Sunday, June 7, 2015

Thinking about community... Summer School here we come!

Summer school starts tomorrow.  If you  had asked me a week ago if I was excited to start summer school I would have giggled, meaning... is this question for real?  But then something magical happened and it is called planning for readers and writers. I started thinking about that group of 4th and 5th graders who would be walking in on Monday morning.  Those students would probably groan rather than giggle if you asked them if they were excited to be at school on the first Monday of summer break!  All the more reason for careful planning and community building!

Planning means books!  I started talking to friends about read aloud and book discussions.  I headed to the library on Saturday and that is where the magic happened.  In that library I found books that formed mini themes.  Books to help launch discussions.  Books to use for quick book talks.  Books filled with poetry and wordless books! Books jumped off the shelf and I was suddenly energized by the thought of sharing great books with a community of learners! 

Just thinking about being a part of a learning community has me really excited.  I have been a reading support teacher for a few years now, so the idea of a class of kids to identify with really means something special to me.  Recently a group of former students graduated from high school.  Reconnecting with them as they celebrate their accomplishments reminds me of the importance  of a learning community, building the ties to students that last in our hearts and minds.

Today I gathered with a group of teachers who I adore.  We met to talk about books.  An adult social/learning community.  Again, a community built around words.

Last night I gathered with friends and family for dinner and laughter, celebrating another year of living - my built-in, loving community for which I am unbelievably thankful. 

Community – we all need it, I crave it, and I am so grateful for the many different communities I am graced by each day. 

So, here’s to tomorrow when I enthusiastically meet my newest community that will enrich my summer and to the books that we will share!