1. Noiseless Notes - I picked this one, because I suppose it represents authenticity, purpose, and meaning - the things that I hope are always present in my classroom. I want my kids to read and write, not do stuff about reading and writing. It's not always easy to separate oneself from stuff or to even recognize its presence for that matter.
Regie Routman says, "Effective teachers who have high-achieving students do more writing and reading of whole texts and spend little time on 'stuff' - activities about writing and reading."
Debbie Diller states, "Too many times we begin with the 'stuff.'"
Gail Boushey and Joan Moser believe that too often we do, "...artificial reading and writing activities (worksheets and so on)."
2. Classroom Books - My kids and I make classroom books together. By the end of the year, we have so many that each child takes at least two home as souvenirs, although by then they're not in the best of shape since they've been loved on so much. Even though every crew of kids has a different personality, as well as likes and dislikes, every class loves reading the books we create. What kid wouldn't enjoy reading about themselves and reading something they had a hand in making? I'm pretty sure there's no stuff in this here basket.
3. RACKing (Random Acts of Christmas Kindness) - Our 12 days of RACKing tops off my list. (Thanks again to The First Grade Parade for the idea.) I find it interesting that my favorite post was the one that taught to the heart and not the head. What goes on in the classroom is a whole lot bigger than the numbers reported in the local paper or on the news.