Happy 2013! This post in an apology for not being present on the blog for the past few months and a public commitment to make my practice more visible in the coming days.
This has been a challenging year for Katie and I. As many of you know, our school year kicked off with a teachers strike in the Chicago Public Schools. It was one of the most emotional experiences of my life and so many of you supported us with comments on the blog, tweets and emails. A few of our followers even showed up on the streets in solidarity! We are extremely grateful for your thoughts and well-wishes. Thank for being there for us and thank goodness that is all over!
After a bumpy start we bounced back to school with a flourish! But, despite the call for smaller classes, I have 33 students this year. Like all first graders you may know, they are smart, curious, eager to learn and possess tremendous joy for life. It is my largest class to date and it’s been an endeavor to meet their needs as individuals and as a community. I admit, at times I’ve sacrificed this blog to differentiate lessons for students, archive student work or assess student learning.
Katie and I have also been writing our first book which will be published by Heinemann and available this spring. It was a tremendous learning experience and we are very pleased with the outcome! We can hardly wait to share this resource! It was a privilege to collaborate with Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis and to see our writing through the eyes of the exceptional Tina Miller–we are in awe of these ladies and feel blessed to work with them.
Finally, Katie is expecting and will become an amazing mommy in about 21 days! She is healthy and holding up well as she enters the final weeks of pregnancy. I’ve been impressed with her sense of humor and entertained by her commentary throughout this journey. I’ve tried to be a support friend by providing snacks, a baby shower and manicures when needed. Needless to say, we are both anxiously awaiting the arrival of Baby M!
Looking ahead, we’re excited to learn together and from all of you as we enter a new year. We’ll continue to share our practice at conferences around the country and via the blog. I’m trying lots of new things in my classroom and am energized by teachers and students I’ve collaborated with around the world. So check back as many new posts will be coming soon (I promise)!