Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sharing The Love, Part 2

Look at this! You didn't even have to wait until tomorrow for me to finish up my post from this morning, in which I finally got around to acknowledging the others bloggers who have recognized me over the course of the last few months, and pay it forward by passing along the contact information for some other bloggers  who delight, inform and inspire me.

To continue . . .

First off, I knew I was forgetting someone. Last November, Scott over at Brick by Brick included me in his list of blogs to "spark your creativity." We share an interest in big messy art projects and building things with PVC pipe. We also share a genuine love for the children we teach, which is evident in everything he writes.

And back to the blogs to with which I'm sharing the love:

Leaves & Branches, Trunk & Roots is the blog for the teachers of the Reggio-inspired Alderwood House school in Vancouver, BC. They first came to my attention when Miss Pamela responded to my admittedly cocky post about our tape machine, by challenging us to a tape-off! The resulting in the international tape-off that continues to attract new competitors to this day. (Click here and read from the bottom up for the full story from my perspective. It's possible that Miss Pamela sees it differently.) But in all seriousness, the reason to visit this blog is to read the dialogs they share with their children. These conversations are so carefully and accurately recorded and each time I read one I walk away feeling like I've just read an incredibly simple, yet profound poem -- like the lyrics to a great folk song. I love the way the teachers let many of the conversations hang there without any attempt at drawing a conclusion, or often just asking probing question about what just happened, demonstrating what it means to be a teacher who is always learning. I'm also a big fan of their long term projects, like Miss Maria's class' Tractor Project. Read this one from the bottom up to learn how a master teacher helped her kids build a tractor.

Playscapes is a place to which I like to escape. Arcady scours the globe to show us the most incredible playground designs and ideas. I often spend an hour just contemplating the photos she posts of both contemporary and vintage outdoor play ideas. It's really like revisiting childhood, both the one of reality and of fantasy. I've never commented there, so I feel a little sneaky, but I do want Arcady to know how much I appreciate her blog.

The first few times I wrote about Little World, Ayn from Little Illuminations would write back something about leprechauns, which has turned into her own class' Wee World, the Georgia franchise of Little World. Ayn is a thoughtful, creative teacher who has managed to stay enthusiastic about having a paying job that includes the side benefits of playing games, eating snack and getting hugs for 18 years. I'm inspired by how much fun she clearly has as a teacher, both as an educator and as a learner.

Matt over at Look At My Happy Rainbow! shares his kindergarten days in tightly written vignettes, usually funny and often, at the same time, deeply moving. It's not Matt's job to give us ideas for art or math projects. He's here to show us the importance of being present for our young students and finding significance in the smallest moments.

My friend and Woodland Park parent Toby writes a couple of blogs, one called TykeGeist which appears on the parenting website Offsprung and her personal blog Floor Pie. I love the way she writes and thinks. I'm never disappointed.

There are so many more blogs that I read, use and enjoy. I'm tired now, but I have some exciting stuff to share with you tomorrow.

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Unknown said...

I am afraid to click over! : ) I know if you love them I will love them too. Also, it makes me miss teaching so much. Social work is fascinating...and wonderful, but so different than teaching. I miss it.

Scott said...

Thanks, Tom, for the kind words. Like you, I've been surprised on where the blogging journey has led. But I'm so glad to have so many new blog friends - and really creative ones at that.

Deborah Stewart said...

I love all of these blogs!! I think it was great of you to share the blogs you love with everyone! Great way to spread the news!

pamela wallberg said...

Teacher Tom, you just made me cry. Yay for my teachers! And yay for you!

Does your school ever do tours? I'd love to see your space in person, and we aren't so far away...