My 1st grade classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

March 5, 2015

Reason number 1,578,903 SOLC #5

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School ended at 3:50 p.m.
4:00 meeting with principal
4:20 chat with math resource teacher (she grounds me so well)
5:00 run back to the room to create 1/2 day sub plans
5:15 text from hubby that he's landed at the airport


I'm not finished.  
I ask via text if we can grab food then come back to school.
I have to finish.

He agrees.
Surprising, but typical.

My reply text, 
"Reason 1,578,903 
I love you"

March 4, 2015

Priorities (Feelings) SOLC #4

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Science kit repacking (frustrated)
Headed for home at nearly 7 (exhausted)
Talked with college daughter (uplifted)
Hot dinner in the crock pot (impressed)
Younger daughter helping friend (proud)
Laundry, garbage, kitchen duty (bored)
Planning (inspired)
Planning (stuck)
Ask friend for help (hopeful)
Planning (refocused)
Nag younger daughter to get in the shower (annoyed)
Remember to slice (anxious)
Read a comment (calmed)
Eat a mini cheesecake (satiated)
Put computer away until tomorrow (sleepy)

March 3, 2015

Exercise SOLC #3

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I went to my friend's house tonight for a small group exercise session.  The friend is one I've had for 18 years and she became a personal trainer about 5 years ago.  This school year I decided to grace her basement workout gym with my presence. (LOL.  I HATE to exercise.  Really.)

My trainer likes to work us in circuits, so today's workout included treadmill and rowing time, jumping pull ups, lunges and squats with different weights, and planks.  

During the workout, I was talking about three kids who burst into tears today in my first grade class.  One over writing, one about friends being mean, and the last one during math.  As I tried the really awful part of tonight's workout, my arms started to shake and I really wanted to give up.  So I decided to have another buddy take my picture as I tried doing push ups hanging on to rings.  It was hard, but I tried it and I didn't give up.  

Maybe the kids need to see me doing something hard that makes me want to complain and cry.  Maybe they will take it easy on me tomorrow when it comes to lifting my arms!

March 2, 2015

Applause SOLC #2

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I attended our high school's musical production of 42nd Street on Saturday night.  The students did a great job singing, dancing and acting.  The leads got standing ovations (they deserved it) but it got me thinking that not everyone got the applause they deserved.

As much as I was in awe of the pure talent shown by all the students on stage, I thought about all the kids behind the scenes.  The ones who painted sets, managed the lights, played the music, moved all the props, helped with costume changes and applied the makeup.  They put in as many hours as the performers, but they had to enjoy the applause from backstage.

When I think of my classroom, most of the attention (positive and negative) goes to those students who participate and call out and demand the most attention.  My quieter, thoughtful students usually stay "in the wings" and let others "take the stage."  I try my best to give those quieter students one-on-one attention and let their voice be heard.  

Not everyone is a performer or an extrovert.  The world needs actors and backstage people.  We need to cultivate all personality types and make sure everyone gets the applause and recognition they deserve.

March 1, 2015

Why I Slice SOLC #1

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It's year 4 for me participating in the Slice of Life March Challenge at Two Writing Teachers.  I cannot believe I've been part of this community for so long.  Sure, it can be stressful to write and publish to a public forum, but it's reallllly worth it!

I slice because Michelle talked me into it.  She is someone you cannot say no to.  She knows what is good for you and she wants you to try.  Just try.  Then you get hooked and you tell her she was right and she just smiles.  I'm honored that I've been mentored by this smart cookie for 12 years.

I slice because writing calms me down.  I'm an anxious, disorganized, talkative, out-of-the box thinker.  When I need to work out a problem or make a decision, my mind starts to spin.  I have to talk to anyone who will listen.  The decision can be tiny (should I get these shoes?) or humongous (should I change my job?) and I feel better after talking it out with friends and family.  The Slice of Life challenge gives me a community to share my thinking as well as read what others are working through, professionally and personally.  This community promotes gratitude, compassion and empathy.  We are all here for each other even though many of us have not met in person.

Thank you to Stacey and all the hosts and slicers for all you do.  March is a time of crazy weather, testing and cabin fever.  Why not write?

February 24, 2015

Magical Moments

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It was tough to get up on Monday.  I overindulged on the Oscars (Lady Gaga + Sound of Music = surprisingly awesome!) so I already was tired.  I really wanted to stay under the covers, but I brewed a strong cup of coffee and ventured to school.

Our day was already scattered, so I tried to keep an even head.  Specials moved to the morning, lunch time delayed by a lunch delivery dilemma.  Indoor recess, again.  I kept moving the students between the carpet and desks as we completed a writing lesson, talked science, worked through math rotations, guided reading and Daily 5 (with one major student meltdown).

Then it happened.  I introduced the essential question of the week from our reading series ... "how do animal's bodies help them?"

You would have thought that I had a classroom of zoologists.
I'm not kidding.

These first graders were tossing words like camouflage, acacia leaves, muscular legs.
Some were discussing at their tables the difference between cheetahs, jaguars and leopards.
They talked about snakes, birds, elephants, and giraffes.
I couldn't keep up with all the conversations.
I knew I had a few animal experts, but this was amazing.

At it all happened 20 minutes before we had to get ready to go home.

What an inspiring way to finish our day.  I can only guess which book basket will be empty by first bell tomorrow morning!

February 17, 2015

Inspired by Texts

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Karen and Michelle and I have an ongoing group text message.
These ladies are my reading resource buddies at work.
They are my friends.
This year they are my lifelines.

If I need...
a book
an idea
a minute to whine
to celebrate,

they are there.

Typing as fast as they can.

It's pretty awesome
to have two coaches at my fingertips.

Book lovers.
Silly emoji users. (That's the best).

Last week I found this quote on Pinterest.  It sums up how I feel about Karen and Michelle.
They are my tribe.