Michelle TeGrootenhuis's Blog (31)

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Hi! Please check out my new blog which I have combined with my website. You can see it at http://www.mrstg.com .

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on August 11, 2010 at 12:44pm — No Comments

Are You Modeling a Passion for Reading?

I adore "The 2 Sisters" Gail Boushey & Joan Moser of The Daily Five and the CAFE Book fame. (If you're not sure, ask an ELEMENTARY teacher--they'll fill you in!) This morning, in my Inbox, I was excited to see their "Tip of the Week" from their site http://www.thedailycafe.com. This week they were remembering something Regie Routman had once said at a… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 29, 2010 at 6:57pm — No Comments

Snow Days & Pretzels

Just wanted to let you know that it IS possible to make pretzels at home from SCRATCH. We had our FIFTH, (yep, count 'em: 1, 2, 3, 4, FIVE), snow day of the year (and it's only January) and I finally mustered up the nerve to try that recipe from food network that had been hanging on my frig for months. For my first attempt at something with YEAST and completely… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 27, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Joy of Teaching Day 5--KIDS

So, as I wrap up this experiment to specifically notice joyful moments in my teaching day, I just have to point out that honestly, the biggest reason I love my job, as corny as it sounds, is the kids. A mentor of mine (Mrs. Martha [Marty] Patton, Bless her soul) put this love of children so eloquently in a poem. This poem was printed along side her obituary and I have had it posted in my classroom ever since. It touches my heart every time I glance at it.



I am a… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 17, 2010 at 10:30am — No Comments

Joy of Teaching--Day 4 Winter Writing Projects

One summer I heard a speaker say, "Is it cute, or does it count?" Meaning, is that activity actually helping the kids LEARN something. Since then, I've cut back on the "artsy/craftsy" activities in my room. Posters, mobiles, dioramas, etc only get made IF they truly reflect actual LEARNING,…



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Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 14, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Joy of Teaching Day 3--STORY TIME

One of the best parts of my job is story time. Yep, story time. I love reading to these kids, making up voices for the characters, forgetting the "curriculum" for fifteen minutes and simply revelling in the joy of reading. I think some of the best literature conversations in my classroom have taken place during the story time part of the day. We are getting to the end of a LONG suspensful book and when I say, "and THAT'S where we have to stop for today," I hear groans and pleads to… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 13, 2010 at 4:35pm — 8 Comments

Joy of Teaching Day 2 --"What Great Teachers Do Differently"

Today I had an "okay" day. Might have been a good day, but honestly, grades and report cards are stressing me out.



Anyway, I decided that after school, while I am working on those grades, I'd pop in the DVD that just came from our local Area Education Agency. I have it on loan for two weeks. It's the video companion to a book that I have sitting in my PILE of books to read called What Great Teachers Do Differently by… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 12, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Joy of Teaching Day 1

Note: This week I'm on watch for joyful moments in teaching.

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Day 1:…

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Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 11, 2010 at 4:00pm — No Comments

Burnout and the Joy of Teaching

Today I read the following from one of my favorite e-newsletters from Brenda Power at Choice Literacy.



"So many of us are experiencing burnout these days, even when we're getting better or more efficient or more competent at our work. If the job is exhausting, you may be paying too much attention to what others expect, and not enough to the joyful aspects of teaching." -Big Fresh Newsletter, Jan 9,… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 9, 2010 at 9:50am — 3 Comments

School Supply Shopping

While I LOVE shopping for school supplies, I do NOT love it when my children are along. And I know for a fact that I'm not the only one. I know because I witnessed it myself yesterday. While shopping with my daughter in the school supply aisles I overheard SEVERAL conversations that went something like this:



"Let me LOOK at that list!"

"No, you do NOT need THAT!"

"Argh! I should have just done this MYSELF!"



Adding to that cacophony was my own argument… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on August 8, 2009 at 10:16am — 4 Comments

Sneaking Down the Stairs

I just caught my ten year old son sneaking down the stairs, trying to surprise me this morning. He likes to do that once in a while. He'll wake up, come down as quietly as possible, see if I'm on the computer and then crawl as far as he can without being caught. He DOES know, however, NOT to jump up and yell "Surprise!" at me after doing that ONCE. Now he just quietly announces his arrival with a "Good morning, Mom," and a hug.



Hmmm.... I really need to savor these… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on July 17, 2009 at 8:32am — No Comments

Summer *WRITING* List

I'm borrowing an idea from Scott Filkins as posted on the NCTE blog site. He writes,



"Every school year, I amass an impressive pile of books for my own summer reading... Always more than I can realistically read in a single season, this collection represents the mythic promise of never-ending summer, abundant with time to relax and recharge.



As I look back on my…
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Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on July 9, 2009 at 6:22am — 1 Comment

Summer To Do List 2009

I put over 130 miles on my minivan in ONE day this week just chauffeuring my two kids to ball games, practices, and "Driver's Ed" class. This time of year can be crazy, but I absolutely LOVE every minute of it!



Anyway, before the summer flies by, as it has a tendency to do each year, I'm writing down some goals to keep me focused.



Professional Goals:

1. Prepare for and lead session (Collaboration and Building a PLN) for… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on June 12, 2009 at 8:36am — No Comments

Reflective Readers

We're working through a novel together in 5th grade right now. The name of the novel, Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, is secondary to the title of the unit, "REFLECTIVE READING". We are really trying to hone in on what it is exactly that makes a reader "reflective". Here's the anchor chart… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on March 6, 2009 at 2:40pm — 1 Comment

My Inspiration

So I know this certain teacher that is just an absolute inspiration to me and I want to tell everyone why. Here's my very HUMBLE and highly inadequate attempt to do so. I don't want to embarrass her too much, as I think she would be by such types of public praise, so I will just call her "Teacher" which is a term she holds dear anyway.



Teacher,

You simply amaze me. I wish I had a clone that could spend every day in your classroom and just soak up your passion and love… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on February 24, 2009 at 8:30pm — No Comments

Creating Life Long Learners

So we went to the computer lab today for 1/2 an hour and I gave them this assignment.



Visit http://www.scholastic.com/kids/stacks and check out any book or author page you'd like. Then write down at least FIVE new things you learned from visiting those pages.



The kids were like, "We can visit ANY author on this page?" and, "We can look at ANY book site on… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on February 17, 2009 at 3:30pm — No Comments

Mission Organization

I'm getting rid of my teacher's desk this week.



I've TRIED to manage without a "reading table" for a year and a half now and I just can't get past the PSYCHOLOGICAL need for one. I'm in the middle of my second year teaching fifth grade after twelve years at second grade, and I just can't go another day with out that kidney-shaped fixture in my classroom.



I tried meeting with fifth grade groups around my rectangle table, but that just is not conducive to get… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on February 7, 2009 at 9:33am — 1 Comment

On a personal note...

Got to be honest. I've haven't felt like myself lately. Honestly, haven't felt like myself in a long time.



I'd say it's about time to straighten that problem out. Seems I've forgotton some things.



Things like...



Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on January 27, 2009 at 10:19pm — No Comments

September TEN, 2001, Thanksgiving 2008, and Missing Mom

Most people vividly remember September 11, 2001. Of course, I remember hearing that news over my recess break at 9:45 and being glued to that one television in the office for those unbearable fifteen minutes of recess, and then being the first to tell a fellow colleague as we passed in the hallway, and finally breaking the news gently to sixteen second graders in a way that wouldn't frighten them.



But, I also remember September 10, 2001. That was the day that I got a phone… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on December 1, 2008 at 6:00pm — 1 Comment

Authentic Nonfiction Assessment



We just wrapped up a two week unit on exactly what it means when the teacher says, "You have to read nonfiction differently." Kiddos at my school have HEARD that phrase before, but many could not really explain exactly what that meant. So on Friday, as an assessment, I had them write out answers to… Continue

Added by Michelle TeGrootenhuis on September 28, 2008 at 7:30pm — 5 Comments

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