Friday, April 18, 2014

Take a break

This past weekend I attended an edcamp.  As I was eating lunch, a fellow attendee came to the table and began to talk about the next session he was presenting.  He was so passionate about blogging and inspired me to look at my blog again.  Blogging involves taking a risk and putting your thoughts out there, a risk that I am not always comfortable taking.   As I looked at my blog, I noticed that I had written a draft of a post called Take a Break.  I had not published it before, and after being inspired at edcamp, here goes... a post I wrote last spring...

He came in with a scowl and immediately walked over to the take a break chair.  Once there he turned it to face the window and proceeded to take the small green bear out of the toolbox.  

Great I thought.  The last day before spring break and it is going to be a long one, even though it is a half day.  I thought I should go talk to him, but the other part of me thought no, he needs some space and time to get himself in a good spot. So I waited, and while I waited thoughts like maybe he didn't have a chance to eat breakfast, maybe he had a disagreement in the car, maybe thinking about the half day and how that would impact who picked him up threw him into this mood.  This student needs and wants a set routine and today was not going to be a routine day.  So I waited.

A few moments later, he walked over to me. 

How is it going. I say

I had a terrible morning.

Well, I am glad you are here.  I said with a smile as our eyes locked on each other. 

With that, as he walked away to hang up his coat and backpack, I noticed the scowl was gone, and that on the way to backpack city, he stopped and talked to each of his classmates.  The scowl had disappeared and the social part of him had been turned back on.  And he is quite happy, and so am I.

At dismissal that day, standing in the parking lot, he was becoming anxious.  Grandpa was picking him up and he did not know what his car looked like.  I stood with him as we looked at the sea of cars.  "There he is!"  He happily exclaimed and ran to his grandfather.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Importance of Classroom Libraries

Today when conferring with a student the importance of maintaining a classroom library was confirmed.  The student was reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid Hard Luck.  He talked about what he liked about the book so far.  Then he asked if I wanted to hear him read from the book.  I love to be read to, so yes, please.   The selection was about Greg telling his mom that he was bored.  I asked if he ever did the same thing and how would his mom respond.  He connected with Greg.  He then shared that his mom would tell him to read, but that was boring.  My mouth dropped.  This is a student who was very happily reading in class, laughing at what he was reading, and able to connect to what he was reading.  My response "What?  Reading is boring?"  He then explained "At home I don't have any interesting books.  I have read them all.  Your library has lots of interesting books.  I like reading at school because there are lots of books to choose from."  So I will continue to visit the used book store, shop at the library sale, use my Scholastic points, and use any other means to acquire books for my classroom library.  I also reminded the student that he had borrowing privileges from my classroom library so that he would not find himself bored at home again.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

First memories of Being Read Aloud To

My first memory of being read aloud to is really a collection of memories.  I can't recall the absolute first time but memories of me being read to include my mom, aunt, and uncle reading to me as well as my sister and I listening to stories on a record player.   Memories of my mom buying me books when we were at the grocery store and me pointing to the words I recognized and calling them out on the car ride home. Upon arriving home, my mom read the newly purchased book and I would memorize the text.  Memories of my mom taking me to the library on a regular basis so I could check out the books that interested me.  The first books I remembered checking out where The Little House and Harry the Dirty Dog.  No matter how many times I checked them out my mom would read them to me like it was the first time.  Receiving an assortment of Dr.  Seuss books from my aunt and uncle at Christmas and taking turns sitting in their laps and being read to. Of having a GE Show N ' Tell, a combination film strip viewer and record player and an assortment of books with records that I played over and over again. My sister and I taking turns selecting the story.  Reflecting on these memories, makes me realize how blessed I was to have a family that made sure I had access to books.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Is like
Glass of 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


Been thinking and searching for my word for the new year.  A week ago, I was all go for "downsize".  Thought it was the perfect word.  Shared the whole journey I have been on for the last couple of years and the words and their significance with my hubby.  We both agreed what a wonderful word.  Now a week later, I am not feeling it.  Yes, my house is in desperate need of being decluttered and renovated.   But in a few short months my daughter will be back home and we will all be here.  So downsize doesn't fit.

During winter break, I go through a cycle.  First, everything seems overwhelming.  So much to do and so many expectations.  Once Christmas is over, I feel the need to purge.  Then there is the free time that causes a degree of anxiety.  Thinking about the close of the year is sad.  But then, the promise of the new year gets me excited.  Now I am back to thinking about selecting a word, and it keeps coming at me through different means.  I am now ready to embrace it for it brings me laughter and creates memories of a life well lived.  The word is "joy". And in my head I imagine the "o" divided into four sections.  One for each of us- Richard, Danny, Grace, and myself.  The challenge is to be mindful and experience and celebrate joy with each of the four important sections of the "o".