Sunday, February 17, 2019

Sometimes a Small Step is Big

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash
Sometimes a small step is better than doing nothing at all.

"Can you go today?" my friend texted as she tried to get me to the gym.  She'd been working this angle for nearly two months and my calendar seemed to make it impossible.

"I can't today," I replied, "but keep asking.  I do want to get there."  She was likely doubting my sincerity as I had replied so many times that I couldn't make it work.  I may have been doubting it too.

In all honesty, this went on for a few months.  Finally she sent me a text inquiring, "Can you go to the gym Monday, Thursday, or Saturday?"  Clever.  Three days did make it possible to make it work.  As I looked at my calendar there was an opening so we scheduled a time to go.

Sometimes a small step is better than doing nothing at all.  

That was two months ago.  Yesterday, I was driving back from a run - okay a walk, jog, run, walk - at the gym and thinking about how I seemed to have found a rhythm with the gym.  I am starting to want to get to the gym.  It's nothing amazing, but I've gone 2-3 times each week for about two months now.  I just gave myself permission to quit trying to put in place long workouts and just get to the gym.  I gave myself permission to just take a first step.  I committed to going at least once a week.  Then once a week became twice a week.  Since I gave up trying to do long workouts and just get to the gym, I often find myself there three times a week if my calendar allows.  It is a small step, but big.

It's like that in our classrooms too.  Sometimes the challenges can seem so overwhelming that it's hard to dive in to tackle them.  I can remember times when my teaching in reading or writing workshop seemed to not be working.  It was in those times that if I could just take one small step, I would begin to see a difference.  Sometimes it was committing to keeping my mini lesson mini or making sure I didn't skip a share.  Sometimes it was pushing myself to stay on time so that a support teacher was able to push in and use her time effectively.  Sometimes it was putting more time into my language when I was unsure of next steps or spending time to find the right question to start an inquiry.  One little change can often make a big difference.

Sometimes a small step is better than doing nothing at all.

Whether in our personal or professional lives, there are times we want to make a change, but it seems so big.  Sometimes we are presented with a problem that feels overwhelming.  Sometimes we find ourselves in cycles of habit we'd like to break.  Sometimes we want to improve something, but the task seems to large to begin.  Maybe, in those times, the secret is to find one small step that will make a difference.  Before we know it we are on our way.

Sometimes a small step is all it takes.  

What's the small step you want to take?

Sometimes a small step...
                                         is big.  

Sunday, February 10, 2019

It's Today: Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10 #nf10for10

Goodness, how did it get here so fast?  Today's the day for our nonfiction picture book celebration.  This is an important event for me as it is a reminder to keep nonfiction texts in the front of mind.  It reminds me of the importance of weaving these texts alongside the other picture books we read.  It's certainly a great time to talk about nonfiction picture books as authors and publishers continue to grow in the work they do in this genre.

(Directions to join are at the bottom of this post.)

10 Nonfiction Picture Books 
In previous nonfiction events, I've shared:
This Year
This year, I'm going to share 10 hybrid texts I love.  I've often called narrative texts that weave in information, literary nonfiction.  More and more I see the term "hybrid text" being used to talk about books that weave narrative and nonfiction.  I might be going a bit too far in my collection as I'm going to also include poetry that has information woven within its pages.  I'm thinking this works as well, but it is certainly up for debate.

Ten hybrid texts I can't live without:

Join Us
Want to join the conversation?  Visit Mandy's blog, Enjoy and Embrace Learning, to add your nonfiction link to the conversation.  This is different than in the past as we have been hosting on Google Plus, but Google Plus is shutting down.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Are You Ready? The Countdown Begins for Our Nonfiction Picture Book Event

Our February Nonfiction Event
It's January in Ohio and they say we're about to get a bunch of snow.  Personally, I think the weather forecasters have had nothing to talk about so they're a bit overzealous, but time will tell.  I guess if I get snowed in for the weekend, it would be the perfect time to begin my quest for my favorite nonfiction titles.  You see, it's almost time for our annual nonfiction event!

Yep, let the countdown begin.  It's less than a month until February's Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10 event (#nf10for10).  This year will be our 7th annual nonfiction event.  Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10 is the sister event for August's #pb10for10.  I'm always amazed that this event rolls up so quickly.  It seems we flip the calendar - and boom - it's time to prepare for February's nonfiction picture book party:  #nf10for10.

Not only does Nonfiction Picture Book 10 for 10 provide an opportunity to bring our picture book community together to share some book love, but it pushes me to grow in my knowledge of nonfiction.

What is #nf10for10
In 2010 Mandy Robek and I hosted our first picture book event.  In 2013, Julie Balen suggested we add a nonfiction picture book event that worked the same.  Participants choose 10 - well, usually 10 (they're a crafty bunch) - nonfiction picture books to share.  If you'd like to take a look at some of the books shared by participants in previous years, make sure you stop by our #pb10for10 community to find links to their posts.

On the day of the event, we'll ask that you visit Mandy's blog, Enjoy and Embrace Learning, to add your nonfiction link to the conversation.    This is different than in the past as we have been hosting on Google Plus, but Google Plus is shutting down.  Don't get me started on this!!!!  I'll save that rant for another post.  ;o)

Join us!

Start sorting through your collections to find your favorite titles and join us on February 10th as we each share 10 nonfiction picture books we just can't live without.  Feel free to grab the #nf10for10 button and spread the word.

I see the snowflakes beginning to fall outside my window.  Every store is out of bread and milk, and I saw people grabbing snow shovels like hotcakes when I stopped by the store yesterday.  Personally, I haven't pulled my boots out of my closet yet.  What can I say?  I'm a skeptic.  Who knows, maybe I will have a chance to start looking for my titles today.  Time will tell.....