So it begins - again Slice 1

What to write... what to write?

Do I begin my month with my frustrations over the patronizing and insulting hours of "training" being currently foisted upon me to make sure I am ready to administer state testing with "honor and integrity"? Hmmm... while this could be a fruitful topic for many posts, I think I'll start with something less agitating-- something more uplifting.

How about this, instead? As part of my campaign to get my students to be even more passionate readers over the course of their elementary years, I'm trying to connect the kids to authors. I frequently tweet our thoughts, and report back to the children when I get a response. We chatted with Stephen McCranie earlier this year (the creator of the amazing Mal and Chad graphic novel series), and it was amazing. Today, we have a Skype visit with the amazing Kate Messner.

I agonize when I prepare for an event with my students. Most of them have spent the past few months reading several of her books, as I purchased stacks of Capture the Flag and Eye of the Storm from Scholastic. I remind them about their behavior, and we work on the kinds of questions we may want to ask.

The biggest hurdles for this event, though, were technological. Believe it or not, my district blocks Skype. When we visited with Stephen McCranie, we had to use Adobe GoLive. It worked out okay, but there were some little blips along the way. I talked to my building librarian, and she suggested that I talk to a specific tech person to see if we could get to use Skype for our visit today. Thankfully, we got the "go ahead" and were able to install it on my computer to use - JUST for today.

Kate also has a presentation we need to show on Slideshare. Guess what? Blocked. Work around? Downloading the presentation on my home computer so I could load it onto a flash drive.

As I begin the day, I'm hopeful that the impact I have on my students by connecting them with authors will bear fruit throughout their lives. It will certainly have a longer lasting effect than the results of the state testing that will mostly shut down instruction for several weeks in April - no matter how well I am prepared to "actively monitor without doing more than glancing at the test items". Okay, so I'm still a bit worked up about that. Today, though? Today I head to work filled with enthusiasm for real world connections.

I'm participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge, hosted by the amazing educators at Two Writing Teachers. Stop by to see what others are posting! 


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