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.

April 11, 2015

Celebrating Writing

Today I'm writing, here, on my blog, and there, in other places.

Here, I can share my thinking, my fears, my dreams.

There, it's informational writing.  It's important.  It's very intimidating.

Thankfully, I've been writing here since April 2011.
I've figured out that the hardest thing about writing is sitting down and writing.

Because of writing here, I am able to write there and not be too afraid.

Today I'm celebrating my writing stamina and my courage.

Today I celebrate all those who inspire me to write and share and press the publish button.

I am forever grateful!

April 7, 2015


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Backstory:  I wanted to slice today, but I was feeling defeated.  I challenged two teens to reframe my thinking.  Thanks, A and E for the positive words in italics to balance my negative feelings.

March 31, 2015

Finished SOLC #31

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Finished is a word I rarely use.

I hear, "I'm done!" from my first graders way too much.  I want to say to them, 
"You're not done (because you're not a casserole), and you will never truly be finished, 
unless you give up."

To me finished means...

you stop changing
you stop growing (emotionally, socially)
you stop learning.

Finished means you have moved on and never want to return 
to this project, this person, this anything.

I prefer to use the words in progress.

I'm in progress of becoming more organized
(all right, who am I kidding)
I'm in progress of becoming a better 
(I walked a mile today!)

I don't know if I'll ever be finished with anything
or anyone.

The Slice of Life Challenge is over today,
but the writing continues,
on Tuesdays,
or any day you care to write.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.  

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 
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,
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

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!