May 21, 2020

On March 19th, Making MY Plan: Self-Care During School Closings was posted. I knew that my educating and caregiving instincts were kicking into high gear and I needed to think beyond “one day at a time” and actively strategize ways to sustain efforts and energy long-term. I created “my plan” as a way to nourish myself- even amidst all that was happening. 

In school, we often talk about setting real...

May 19, 2020

As many of our children are quietly (some not so quietly) facing anxiety and experiencing a wave of emotions that are disrupting their ability to learn and focus, we now more than ever need to make sure that our students see themselves in their learning. Our students (like us) need to feel a sense of purpose and belonging as they wake up every morning to tackle what sometimes feels like a “groundh...

May 14, 2020

 

Over the last several weeks, teachers have continued to step up. We’ve compiled, curated, collaborated, and created. We have Zoomed, Met, laughed, and perhaps even cried. We have tried to create some sense of normalcy while also accepting the fact that none of this is normal. It is exhausting! And although I remain an optimist, as the news and calendar keep reminding us, we are not yet at the fin...

May 12, 2020

You are 5 years old and you are handed a small square envelope with your name written on the outside. You squeal on the inside as you feel the smooth paper of the envelope and begin to rip it open. You were chosen. You were picked. You were invited. You matter.  

I teach kindergarten and in order to be the best that I can be for my students, I often have to channel my inner 5 year ol...

May 7, 2020

It's almost 6 am. The sun is beginning to rise, the birds are beginning to chirp, and the sound of the coffee maker is beginning to brew. Most mornings I try to get up before the whole house, trying to process what the next 13 hours will look like. There are no more boundaries or compartments. The lines are blurred and almost enmeshed. The days of Mrs. Velez during the day and Mom when I walk thro...

May 5, 2020

There’s comfort in the familiar: familiar faces, familiar places, familiar experiences. The challenge to find familiar during this period of unexpected unfamiliar led us to, of all places, our camera rolls. Yes, that’s right. Our gallery of pictures featuring the faces of our students, our classroom walls, our hallways, our colleagues, our students’ work- it brought instantaneous comfort. We wante...

April 30, 2020

This post will not be eloquent or highly academic.  It will not offer wonderful new possibilities for at-home learning or unique ways to reach our students.  It will just be what’s really on my mind right now.  

For the time being, I have given up the word expectation. I have NO expectations for students. Zero. Zip. Zilch.  There are just too many unknowns...  

I don’t know...

April 28, 2020

Image from Pixabay

I don’t know about you, but the more I’m hunkered down at home, the more I feel myself drawn to books that have nothing to do with instruction, but rather titles that offer me reflection and connection. It seems whenever we experience trauma, there is an almost immediate need to fix or mitigate (or better still control). For me, this looks like pouring myself into tutorials and r...

April 23, 2020

We know that the amount of time children spend reading has a huge impact. Reading stamina helps support vocabulary development, comprehension, content knowledge, and the joy of getting lost in books. This is why I consulted with a team at google to help them develop Rivet. This application is filled with thousands of books that students in elementary grades can read independently and is designed t...

April 21, 2020

Much of the joy in our classroom experiences lives in seeing the excitement on students’ faces as they share their ideas and their lives with us. Our days begin with students hurrying over as they enter our classrooms and tapping on our shoulders with a, “Guess what?!” They love to share, and whether their tidbits are stories of soccer, birthdays, video games beaten, or new learning from their rea...

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