Saturday, December 07, 2013

Celebrate This Week!

Discover. Play. Build.

Is it possible for #Nerdlution to change my whole attitude?  I think maybe it did.  Not only was it fun to watch people jump on board, but I have loved following everyone's first week of their #nerdlution. The Twitter feed is almost addicting! So many great stories.  Really, actually getting up every morning and walking, working on my writing for 30 minutes a day, and eating an apple seems to be making my days better. But, the whole idea of so many people coming together in this and the fun we are all having with it, makes it all such fun. What I love most is that we all jumped in and do what we do. Colby created a hashtag. Kevin created a song.  Kristi created a logo and a #nerdlution font.  There are playlists and jokes (love the photos) and encouragement and joy. Chris made a FAQ list for #nerdlution with fabulous answers! And you can find #nerdlution on Pinterest.  There is even talk of a #nerdlution Tweetchat.   It just seems like #nerdlution is good for all of us. A definite celebration.

We started our own version Genius Hour in our classroom this week. Kids can learn whatever they want every morning from 9:05-9:30.   I realized that I had slowly taken too much control in the classroom and it wasn't working. I don't teach that way and I know that. Not sure exactly how it happened but it did. Seems to take me a while to find my way when I start a new grade level.  Anyway, we started Genius Hour (along with other things--changed up a few routines that weren't making sense to me) and it's been great!  My favorite celebration was after 3 days, we were chatting as a class about what they liked about starting the day this way and one child said, "I didn't know I could help people. I always just thought I needed help." A big message for me and so glad I followed my gut about what wasn't working in the classroom.

I shared #nerdlution with my kids and told them that I had started the year with the intention of reading a picture book every day--just because. I read lots of picture books throughout each day but they all tie into something we are learning about. I have let go of the habit of just sharing great books on a daily basis, just because.  So I told them my classroom #nerdlution was for me to do that, every day after lunch.  And from their reaction, they will hold me accountable to this!  On Thursday, I pulled out Guess Again! by Mac Barnett and Adam Rex. I had meant to share this book earlier but had forgotten.  The kids made me read it twice because it CRACKED THEM UP! They laughed and laughed. Even my kids who try not to laugh out loud, couldn't help it.  Great fun!

And JoEllen shared a new title with us at NCTE called Winter is for Snow . I shared it with kids this week in Writing Workshop and we had an amazing workshop.  I thought the book might be too simple for workshop but I was amazed at how many craft decisions the kids noticed in the book and how many they wanted to play with in their own writing.  And it was the perfect week for a snow book, right?

We had a Snow Day!

And finally, I found this video this week and loved it:

I so love living my weeks paying attention to the celebrations. Thanks, Ruth for starting this great tradition! (And visit Ruth Ayres Writes for more Celebrate This Week posts!)


  1. Hooray for Nerdlution!

  2. I love the Kid President videos. He is so right about giving the gift of love and time. Thanks for sharing this one - I had not seen it yet. I received the Dr. Seuss necklace this week - thanks. Looking for a way to pay it forward!

  3. Franki, What a great post! I, too, am addicted to the #nerdlution twitter feed. I'm grateful for the support and love the humorous haikus and songs that have emerged from it. I'm glad to have connected with you during the early morning tweets. :) Can't wait to see where else it leads.

  4. I love the idea of bringing #nerdlution to your classroom. I am doing genius hour in my classes for the first time this year, and I love giving the students more control over their learning. I hope it continues to go well for you. It sounds like the first week definitely had an impact on your students.

  5. I think that "nerdlution" will end up in a dictionary one day. Sharing good books, just because. Enjoy it.

  6. I am loving #nerdlution too! I am finding that my attitude is so much better and I feel better too. The strangest thing...I feel like I have more time now that I'm focused on completing my resolutions. Leaving school by 4:30 has been so freeing. How can that be? Can't wait to hear more about your Genius Hour. We love Google 20% in my room.

  7. I decided to join #nerdlution late in the week after reading Ruth's post, which led me to your intro post. I enjoyed seeing the additional links that you included in this intro. I especially laughed at the FAQs.

  8. That kid is awesome! BEAR HUGS! I love that. I may have to steal that idea for my Christmas cards this year...I wonder if I can J to draw a Klassen-like bear for our holiday card...

    So fun! I agree that this whole Celebration idea is awesome. Love it! *hugs*

  9. Thanks for sharing, as always--great Kid President message, and so many good things happening in your life and your classroom. I'm inspired to see if we can start a Genius Hour after-school in the new year.

    By the way, not sure when the banner was changed to say "average" teachers, but I would challenge that description...You two are "above average" : ) I think I know what you mean by the word average, but I had to impress my thought when I noticed that change.

    Keep celebrating and sharing--I appreciate you taking the time to write these posts!


We welcome your contribution to the conversation!