Sunday, April 22, 2012

My Three Passions

I'm done!!!!  Grad. school is over!  These past 2 years have dragged by and flown by at the same time, if that's possible.  The two years I have spent in grad school to become a reading specialist have heightened the three passions in my life:  Family, Cooking, and Teaching.

Without my family, I would not have been able to accomplish graduating on time.  Family was the reason I joined this cohort:  my mother-in-law, grandmother, and grandfather.  My husband has taken care of my daughter and then my son on the weekends we had class.  My mom and dad have been there rooting me on the whole way, including letting us live with them when the washing machine flooded our house over one of the weekends I had class.

My mom has also taught me the love of cooking.  Just like a good meal brings people together, so does a good book.  The ingredients you put into a meal can be tweaked, added to, or removed based on what you want the end product to be and the interests of the people you are cooking for. 
During the past two years, I have seen so many connections between cooking a meal and teaching a child to read.  There is no 'right' recipe for teaching a child to read.  You have to take a little of this, a pinch of that, a heaping tablespoon of something else to teach a child to read.  But, the recipe you use for that child may not work for another.  You are constantly looking for the perfect 'recipe.'

Things I have learned from the two years I have spent with Longwood University:
Comprehension skills and strategies are not the same.   
I just might be able to teach kindergarten, but with weekly e-mails to Dr. W.
Students use metacognition and schema when reading, and CAN use these two words in their language.
If you give students choice when reading, they LOVE it!
Students get annoyed when you tell them they are helping you with your homework for class.
You can actually look forward to the weekends of class because you can't wait to catch up with your friends who you used to consider just classmates.
Mentor texts are now your go to instead of worksheets to practice grammar and writing skills.
Basals are NOT the only way to teach reading and you can convince others to believe this as well.
Being a role model and showing young ones that you love to read, DOES make an impact.

Tessa does quote Fancy Nancy, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom, and Love You Forever.  And she would much rather read books than take a nap.

What am I going to do now that I'm done???  Let's see...clean the house, catch up on laundry, organize closets that I have stuffed with odds and ends, and most of all, spend time with my family and COOK!

Like always, here's a recipe to make sometime this week.  This recipe was given to me by my Aunt Cathy, my mom's sister.  It's an awesome salad to have anytime of the year, but very enjoyable on a warm Spring or Summer day.  Wait to add the dressing right before you serve it.  Happy Eating Y'all!

Cashew and Craisin Salad

1 head Romaine lettuce, chopped
1/2 bag spinach, chopped
2 large apples, skinned and chopped (granny smith)
12 oz. Swiss cheese, grated
1 can cashew pieces
1 small bag Craisins

1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 T poppy seeds
1/2 cup sugar

Mix dressing in jar and shake well.  Assemble salad fixings and toss well.  Toss with dressing before serving.

1 comment:

  1. Great final presentation! We definitely have to keep in touch!