My 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 30, 2015

Under the Wire SOLC #30

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I made it.  I'm writing.
Just under the wire.

Long day at school,
Excited but exhausted kids.
Had to keep going.
Couldn't let them put their
heads on their 
desks
but one did.

So excited to see friends, 
yet exhausted from 
ten days at home.

Hooked them with read alouds.
Encouraged on-task behaviors
with coupons
and encouragement.

Money at math time!
Read to someone!
Silly read aloud before specials!

Now I'm exhausted
and they are home
in bed
recharging their batteries.
While I
just home from orchestra
find a minute
or two
to slice.

Now off to bed.
Good night!

March 29, 2015

Sunday Night Stress SOLC #29

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It's Sunday night.

Time for a million things
 to run thorough my mind.
What do I do first?  
What do I do instead?

Just a few more minutes 
of basketball,
Really, 
then I'll finish dinner
and get upstairs to organize the school bag.

Click on Pinterest.
So many ideas for math centers.
No time to make them tonight.

Write everything down, 
all the plans for the kiddos
who I haven't seen in 10 days.

Planning to have them share
Will there be enough hours tomorrow
for them to become reacquainted
and still have quiet time to learn?

It's overwhelming 
coming back from a break.
The break is relaxing,
but reentry is stressful.

I'm armed with read alouds
and sticky notes
and goody bags full of 
new crayons, pencils, glue sticks and erasers.

We will do what we can 
in the hours of Monday.
Then pick up where we left off
on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

Friday will be a day off again.
Only to come back Monday
to more stories, smiling faces
minds ready for learning
again.

Sunday night stress.
Is more like excitement
and anticipation.
I missed them.

March 28, 2015

Gratitude List SOLC #28


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It's Saturday evening and I am home.  Hubby and I went out for dinner.  Allison is with her friends and Lindsey is at school with her friends.  Tweety, the parakeet, is sitting on my shoulder. (I think he missed me the most!)

As I look back on my spring break, I'm grateful for so much:

1) Parents who are healthy and enjoy traveling 2000 miles in their RV.  My dad has been sending me funny pictures and text messages during their 6-week trip.

2)  A brother who embraces his role as parent-in-charge of his boys and seeks to keep their minds and bodies active.

3)  Two daughters who are brave, confident and forging their own paths in life (with some advice from their favorite mom).

4)  A husband who knows when to remind me to stay focused and when to leave me alone when I'm working on important tasks.

5) Friends who I can call and text and visit at any time, about any subject, in any mood.

6) A group of writers (The Slicers!) who stop by my blog to read and share comments.  (Thank you!)

7) A warm, inviting house (usually full of teenagers!) in a friendly neighborhood.

8) Students and colleagues that offer me smiles every day I walk into school.

9) Bookstores and libraries that have all the books I'm looking for, and authors who keep writing awesome books.

10)  Sunny skies when the temperatures are low to keep us excited for spring to really arrive.


March 27, 2015

My Girls SOLC #27

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Allison got home from NYC yesterday, exhausted and happy to be home. I was proud that she made the trip on her own!  (Whew!). Lindsey has been back at Iowa this week, getting back into the habit of studying after spending a week at home on her spring break.

Today Allison and I jumped in the car for a road trip to Iowa City.  We have been traveling to college campuses during spring break for a few years now, so this trip felt right.  Tomorrow we will watch Lindsey play club lacrosse against Iowa State.  (Go Hawkeyes!).

We did the usual car ride routine, taking turns at the wheel and singing at the top of our lungs.  It was nice to hear all about NYC.    Our playlist was 100% Taylor Swift songs this trip.  She is quite the storyteller, and we love her music.  The conversation turned to what TSwift songs describe current and past relationships and situations. We had some good laughs and I pretended to be ill when Alli gushed about her special guy.

Tonight we enjoyed dinner at a local place and were joined by two of Lindsey's friends.  We grabbed cupcakes from Molly's (yum!!) and are now watching all the March Madness games.

I realized today how old these girls are (halfway to 19 and 17!) and how fast the years fly by.  I do treasure the time I spend with them...even when they argue.  Gotta love 'em!


March 26, 2015

Spring? SOLC #26

 I went for a walk this morning.

It sounded like spring.
Birds were chirping
and flying between trees.
Dogs were barking
at all the people out walking.
Squirrels chattered and
shook tree branches
as they climbed.


It looked like spring.
Leaf buds were popping
out of tree branches.
Green blades of grass
outnumbered
the dried, brown clumps.
Clear running water
flowed through the creek bed.




It felt like winter.
The "real feel" temperature
was 26 degrees.
The wind was
out of the north.
The snow piles remained
from Monday's surprise storm.

The weather forecaster
promises
warmer weather
next week.

Here's hoping for
true spring
to arrive
SOON! 
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Two Writing Teachers

March 25, 2015

Dear Friend SOLC #25

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Two Writing Teachers

Today I traveled an hour away to see a dear friend.  We met in 1993 at a marketing firm when I worked on the help desk and she was part of the computer purchasing team.

Carol and I are friends who won't see each other for months, yet pick up where we left off.  She's got a great attitude and no agenda.  Whatever we decide to do, minute-to-minute, it's great.  If she has a better idea, she will offer it.  No biggie if you want to do something else.

Our conversations run the gamut from husbands (every wife needs a little venting time to truly appreciate her hubby), to kids, to home repair and HGTV, to cooking (or baking - it's more fun), to family drama. 

I like spending time with Carol because as much as she's a great talker, she is a great listener.  She lets me think out loud and dream and problem solve.  When I say I shouldn't complain about small problems when other people have big problems, she tells me,

"That problem is big to you.  You are allowed to feel however you need to feel."

Carol has seen all sides of me:  techy nerd, out-of-state resident, new mom, career changer, software widow, mom-to-teens.  She continues to be a friend, and nothing I do or say will change that.

I'm glad to have her in my life, especially when she sends a fun text message.  She reminds me to live in the moment and appreciate what is going well.

March 24, 2015

Visit to the Chiropractor SOLC #24




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Today I visited the chiropractor for the first time.  Dr. Dana was recommended to me by Lynn as someone who is caring and careful.  We spent the first 30 minutes of my appointment going over anything that might be troubling me.  We talked about how stress affects our bodies and then our muscles learn how to compensate.  It felt strange listing every single little thing that I feel is "wrong" with my neck, wrists, knees and shoulders, but this gave her more information on what to help me resolve.

Next Dr. Dana used applied kinesiology to move my legs and arms to see what was working and what wasn't.  It was fascinating to talk about how everything is interconnected in our bodies.  She could press a spot on my back and make my hip work differently.  Very interesting!

I have some soreness from some of the stretching and muscle activation, but nothing awful.  I promised Dr. Dana that I would walk this afternoon and not sit too long.  I also have to drink lots of water to flush the toxins.

I'm glad I took Lynn's recommendation to try something new!  Here's to moving forward with better health.