A Phenomenal Reflection: “Love Thy Craft”

Love my little gifts from my kids.

Sunday’s Reflection: “Love Thy Craft”

As I took my Walk, I thought about a conversation from last Friday. Shortly before I left work, I showed a co-worker my student’s “personality” comment.

Continuing the conversation, she told me that she thought that I was an “excellent teacher.” She says that she walks past my room and hears how I talk to my kids, and that she like the “engagement” and how they respond to me.

I was honored that anyone–especially a peer–held me in such high regard.

It was apropos that I was in the process of conducting a self-inventory of my practices—good and bad. So, her feedback helped me complete it.

Initial Inventory

Good: I’m great at engaging , setting high expectations and giving kids feedback.

Bad: I need to move around more while kids are talking, have better smoother(to task) transitions and not get too frustrated when kids aren’t meeting the expectations.

Coming into the week, my goal was to strengthen those undeveloped strengths and reinforce those strong areas.

Amid this developmental process, I realized something: I love thy craft.

How did I find this out?

Monday, after completing the Word Power lesson, I read-aloud the first book of the week: Chicken Little. I spiced it up, though. To create more turn and talk flow, I had the kids clap twice after I clapped once to signal the routine. Shaky at first but the kids did well with it. (I stole the signal from a teacher they were showing at the previous Saturday’s training.)

When the kids had to write down their think-aloud, I cued it by saying: All I Know is…

Kids would say: You(Do)!!!

Great energy.

For my Reading comprehension block, I started what I was calling Bloom’s Book Study—where I would take the kids through each stage of Bloom’s Taxonomy while reading a Shared Reading book: Bonk’s New Bike.

Considering it was the first day, the kids absorbed the material, although some couldn’t keep up with the speed.

That night, I took another personal inventory. I was too stern in my correction of a student. Tone is everything.

Tuesday morning, there was a true glow. My students watched a read-aloud from one of their classmates who struggled at the beginning of the year with reading. Y’all should have seen the proud look on his face as his classmates watched him read. (Remember that.)

After that student read-aloud, I started Word Study and added a new routine: Tap It Out. The kids would tap for every letter sound. They rocked it.

One of my kids impressed me during the read-aloud portion of the morning block. When I asked what Foxy Loxy(One of the characters) was doing, she correctly determined that he was trying to trick the other characters and eat them.

Now that the kids knew the Book Study routine, they were ready to take it to the next level. Check out few responses to questions on the book “The Drum.”

What was the theme of the story?

Response: “You treat others the way you want to be treat because if you treat people mean, they might treat you mean back. If you treat people kindly, they might treat you kind back.”

What would have been another good title for the story?

Response: “I would say the good helper because he gave people what they needed, and he was being a good citizen.”

Response #2: “The Brand New Drum because he trading all that stuff to get a drum.”

Closing out that lesson, I reinforced multi-step problems in Math. Then I had the kids review and copy an anchor chart for a Rocks Sort they would participate in. (Delayed due to school event.)

Wednesday, I had the kids spell out their words on their desk with a marker. Outside of a word or two, many of them displayed mastery.

A few hours during recess, I found out why. I asked one of my kids if the tapping it out help her spell the words.

She said: “Yes. I was tapping it out in my head.”

In the evening, the kids finally sorted the rocks. I was excited that the kids used their sentence stem: We divided the rocks by… in the debrief. (You got to scaffold instruction.)

Thursday, the same student who sent in the read-aloud stepped up as a performer during the “Conver” Stations recap.

When I asked how a set of words were similar and different, he stood up and walked to the board and said: Three of them have blends(worked on previous week)…st, cr and fl. The other one doesn’t. And all these have EW(spelling pattern).

Directly afterwards, the kids did a #TechnologyThursday activity(Got on chromebooks). Later, I was able to take my time study the book—Coding Camp—with the kids.

Friday was a rewarding day. In the morning, one of my students wanted me to play the P.I.E(Persuade, Inform, Entertain) song at the end of the day.

To start the instructional day, the kids completed a Word Power quiz. Then I finished the second read-aloud of the week: Randolph and the Lion. Not before my kids amazed me with their reader responses.

When the kids were asked about how Lion was feeling when trapped, here are few words they used to describe: anxious, uncomfortable, scared, terrified and embarrassed because he’s supposed to be the king of the jungle and he’s trapped.

The student, who sent in the read-aloud, showed out again by saying: He’s frightened because his eyes are in a shape where he’s all sad, and I think he’s trying to trick the mouse.”

In response to a theme question, check out what this student said: “Small things come in big packages. Sometimes when big things come in small packages, it’s because they are too full of themselves because they think they’re more perfect than others.”

For Reading, I concluded my week of Book Study with the kids. Finishing the Fiction Book Study unit, I was encouraged that my kids who thought high-level thought at an even higher-level and the kids who struggled with thinking high-level started to do so.

At Lunch, I conducted the classroom’s 4th Leadership Council Meeting. I got some good feedback, too. When asked what was working, my class co-mayor said the “work is getting easier.” My class president said that he’s glad they get to explain their big words.

In the evening, my kids did an Hour of Coding. I can tell that they were enjoying themselves. Following that, they had their dance off. They were competing, too. And to end the day, I played the P.I.E song(as the student requested) and announced the Student of the Month…the student who is exhibiting advanced vocabulary.

Great instructional week.

The week wasn’t done, though. I had a training the next day: Dsylexia and Language Learning. The presenter was Joanne Billingsley—one of the experts on developing kid’s vocabulary. So, I had to ask her what she thought of my Word Study routine. She thought it was ok but asked how early I introduce visuals to the kids.


After picking my jaw off the floor, I got excited that I received some feedback that would take my babies to the next level.

I Love Thy Craft.

I leave you with two things.

1. What is your craft?

2. Do you love it?

Jeremiah Short, Educator

Published by Jeremiah Short

My name is Jeremiah Short, and I'm a educator with six years of experience. I love to teach and the overall craft of the profession. I've written one book on my journey(As I Took My Walk With God Volume I: I Stopped Wasting God's Time) with a second one way (As I Took My Walk With God Volume II: Greatness Was Upon Them). In addition to writing books, I've created several instructional routines: Word Power, T.I.D.E., Bloom's Units: Reading and The Phenomenal Classroom.

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