Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Write {SOL Day 31: 3-31-15}


Every day.


Life happening all around you, even in the most unlikely moments.


Everything, not knowing yet what is important and what is not.


Every detail, stuffing them deep into your memory until you can put them into words.


New places and faces, looking for the story to tell


Life, take chances and try new things.



Every day.

Thank you for being a part of my Slice of Life journey!

Monday, March 30, 2015

A Letter to Mother Nature {SOL Day #30: 3-20-15}

Dear Mother Nature,

I am writing you to make sure that you have heard that it is spring.  Winter has passed and it is time for sunshine, warm breezes and tulip buds.

I'm not sure what is going on with you, but you seem very confused lately.  Just last week, you sent us a snow storm that we neither wanted, nor were we ready for.  The usual 25 minute trip to school took me almost an hour.

Today is my first day of spring break.  The sun is shining and it looks warm and beautiful out there.  But it's not...It is chilly and windy.  I will still have to wear my winter coat when I go out later...and a scarf...and probably gloves.

Please, please, Mother Nature, show some mercy and send us spring.


Your Winter Worn Friend

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Family Foods Part 2 {SOL Day 29: 3-29-15}

The other day, I sliced about the family foods that make me "me."  You know the ones...the family recipes that get passed down from generation to generation.

This morning, I was making one of those foods -- my aunt's gnocchi.  I mixed the dough, rolled it out into ropes, and sliced it into little puffs.  No longer in possession of my rolling basket, I flattened each puff with a fork, put a thumb print indentation in each middle, and left it to dry.  

I have probably made this recipe 20 times in my life.  We love it!  Homemade gnocchi cannot even compare to that frozen stuff I buy in the store.

I still remember when my aunt taught me how to make them.  Back then, she didn't score them with a fork, but rolled them in a basket with flour.  She taught me to drain the ricotta before mixing it in.  As I make them now, it's as if my aunt is standing beside me.

Making gnocchi takes a long time.  Many of the family recipes take awhile to make.  We have become so used to having food ready in five minutes flat that we sometimes forget the joy of cooking something by hand.

This got me thinking...My daughter is 15.  I have never taught her how to make gnocchi, or any of the other family recipes in fact, and I began to panic.  What if she never learned?  Would these recipes end with me?  Would she be doomed to a life of boxed mac & cheese and chicken nuggets???

So my little adventure in gnocchi making this morning woke me up to the fact that I need to start teaching her how to make these recipes NOW.  She began this afternoon by helping my husband make spaghetti sauce for the gnocchi.  As we eat dinner tonight, she will feel the pride of having made something that her family has been enjoying for generations.

Thank goodness I'm not too late.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Celebrations {SOL Day #28: 3-28-15}


        A time for reflection and celebrations.

This week, I celebrate:

* My son's safe arrival in France for his spring break trip.  After a long 30 hour delay at the airport, he is with his host family and reports that he loves French croissants, the sauce for the french fries at McDonalds, and shutters on bedroom windows instead of blinds.

* Spring break!  We all need the rest...including the germs that have been running rampant in my classroom.

* The tulips are poking their heads up through the early spring earth.  Can't wait to see their colorful faces.

* Today, my daughter and I will spend the day together.  We will have lunch and go shopping, then tonight we have a DVD already picked out.  (Having her boyfriend away in Spain does have its benefits... :)

* 28 straight days of slicing for this Slice of Life challenge!

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Day Before Break {SOL Day 27: 3-27-15}

The day before a break from school...

  • The students are vibrating from either excitement or the dread of their routine changing
  • The teachers are counting the hours... then the minutes
  • Many are absent (teachers and students)
  • Projects are finished up
  • Movies are shown
  • Bags are packed
  • Goodbyes are said

The return to school seems so far away!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Delayed {SOL Day 26: 3-26-15}

On Tuesday night, we dropped my son off at his high school to catch the chartered bus that would take him to O'Hare Airport for his 12 day trip to France.  His flight was scheduled for 10:30 pm.

At 9:00, he called to say goodbye.  He knows I fall asleep early and figured he better call before I miss hearing the phone ring.

At 11:30pm, the texts began...

     "Sitting on the tarmac. Haven't left yet..."  the first one said.

A problem with the fuel pump, apparently.

At 12:30am...

     "Still waiting...Don't know what's going on."

At 1:30am...

      "I can't believe it...our flight is cancelled now."

Turns out that once they were able to get the fuel pump fixed, the flight crew had been on the clock too long and they didn't have another crew available.

So they went back to the terminal, unloaded their luggage and headed for a hotel.  They arrived at the hotel at 4:30am.

Their flight would be rescheduled for 7:50pm the next day.  It's not easy getting 25 people on the same flight with such short notice. It's also not easy entertaining 25 high school kids (who haven't had much sleep) for an entire day while you wait for your next flight.

That French teacher who is chaperoning is a saint!

I'm happy to say that at 8:20am CST, my son arrived in Paris.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Family Foods {SOL Day 25: 3-25-15}

Pork, sauerkraut & dumplings, or PSD as we sometimes call it.


German chocolate cake

            Cannoli cake

Herring (only at Christmas, thankfully...not my favorite!)


Food is something my family uses to keep our heritage and traditions alive, but I never stopped to think about how important those foods are to me until I started to prepare them for someone who was not family (aka...my daughter's boyfriend.)  In our family, the little kids are encouraged and persuaded to taste, eat, and fall in love with these foods because "It's your heritage," as my brother-in-law says.

We are Polish, my husband's family is German, but my favorite aunt is Italian, so there are a few of those foods mixed in as well.

What foods help make you 'you'?

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dumb Dogs {SOL Day 24: 3-24-15}

I love my dogs.  They mean the world to me and some days, I like them more than I like my own children.  (Parents out there will understand what I mean....)

But sometimes, they do the dumbest things....

* Like eat Kleenex.

* Like eat Chapstick.

* Like take a swim in an algae covered pond.

* Like eat a pound of Tutti-Frutti Jelly Bellys that my daughter "accidentally" left on the floor in her bedroom.  (This one was not much fun to clean up...)

* Like catch baby bunnies. (Never hurting them though...They only bring them to me to show me what they caught and then drop them in a bucket so I can take them back into the woods to set them free.)

* Like roll in dead things. (Ewww....)

* Like chase cars down the driveway.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The View from Here (SOL Day #23: 3-23-15}

The soft glow of the lamp over my right shoulder....

        Toby snoring softly in front of the sofa...

A droopy plant I forgot to water yesterday....

        (Better go take care of that...)

The sky showing just the slightest pink of the sunrise out the window....

        A lone robin sitting on the deck railing...

My favorite coffee cup on the table next to me...

        A few cups and dishes on the kitchen counter that never found their way to the dishwasher last night...

        Yesterday's newspaper still sitting on the coffee table...

This is my view from here.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Routines {SOL Day #22: 3-22-15}

In many classrooms, routines are what keeps the day running smoothly because everyone knows what to expect.  Change anything in the routine and get ready for chaos.

Such is the same in my life.

Whether I realize it or not, my day-to-day routines are what keeps my life sane.  This next week will bring many changes to that routine and I'm feeling a little unsettled about that.

* On Tuesday, my son leaves for a 12 day trip to France.  Such a wonderful opportunity for him, yet it also means he won't be around home and I will miss him.  There will be much craziness before he leaves as we work on packing and making sure he has what he needs to leave.

* Because my son will be gone, I will have to drive my daughter to school and pick her up.  Extra together time, but also means I will have to adjust my commuting time.

* My daughter's boyfriend is in Spain this week.  So instead of talking with him on the phone every night, she will have to find other ways to spend her time.  (I'm hoping she uses this time to do homework. :)

* This is our last week of school before spring break.  That means the kids will be off-the-wall.  Not necessarily because of the upcoming time away from school, but the time away from their routine.  It is unsettling for them as well.

How do you handle changes to your routine?

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Overheard {SOL Day 21: 3-21-15}

Recently overheard during read aloud time:

                            "I knew it!"

          "She always stops at the good points."

                                                 "Can you keep reading? Please...."

                    "What happens next?"

"Why does she always do that to us?  I can't stand the suspense!"

                                               "Are there other books by this author?"

             "I want to reread this book when we're done."


Friday, March 20, 2015

Creating Memories {SOL Day 20: 3-20-15}

I am so inspired by this SOL community! This SOL challenge has been a reminder to me that I need to take more time to notice the little things in life.  Thank you, everyone!

On Tuesday, this post by Jaana, got me thinking.  She wrote about 17 reasons that she writes.  Each and every one of her reasons rang true for me, but I especially liked reason #11:  "Writing creates lasting memories."

For me, this idea is threefold.

One, by writing down the experiences of my life, I am creating a piece of myself that can be shared for years to come with my family long after I'm gone.  Oh, how I wish I had a journal of my grandmother's to read or the love letters that my great grandpa wrote his new bride!  These would be ways I could get to know a part of my family that I had never met.

Two, in the very act of writing, I am reliving the memories of my life.  As I choose the words to put down on the paper, the pictures and emotions of the event are new again.  They flow through my mind as a movie of my life.

Three, I can easily relive these memories long after they've past just by flipping through my journal and reading.  Moments that I may have forgotten come back to life in my words and I am transported back in time.  So many of these memories may have been lost if they were not written down.

For some, writing doesn't matter.  But for me, it is a part of who I am -- my past, my present, and my future.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Weeding {SOL 3-19-15}

Looking down, I saw the little green sprout had poked its head up toward the sunshine.  I reached down, grabbed it, and pulled.

It let loose easily.

I continued to pull and was excited to see the long string of root that followed.  By the time I was done, the string was about three feet long with more little buds of green sprouts attached.  Score!

This only encouraged me to look for other new sprouts and I pulled on those too.  The soil was cool and loose, much different from what it would be in a few months when the sun baked it into a hard, dry rock.

When I was finished, I had a nice pile of weeds and felt much satisfaction.

Weeding the garden in March....The coolness of the dirt,  the smell of the earth coming to life, the feel of the soft leaves of new growth (whether it is a weed or not).

Mother Nature -- I am ready.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Memory {SOL Day 18: 3-18-15}

Memory is something I take for granted.

At any given moment, I can slip back into my memories and relive a cherished event without thinking much about it.

Unfortunately, not everyone can do this.

My stepfather has Alzheimer's and each day, he slips further and further away from his memories...and from us.

While I can go back and relive those moments from my earlier life -- the day he married my mom, going on vacations together, how he helped me pass algebra in high school by sitting at the kitchen table with me every night -- he cannot.

This makes me sad.

It frustrates me.

It worries me.

It gives me new perspective on how much I need to appreciate the memories I do have.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I'm Lucky! {SOL Day 17: 3-17-15}

I'm so lucky...

To have a warm house that holds my family and keeps us safe.

To have a loving husband who supports all of my dreams.

To have two healthy children who are growing into amazing adults.

To have a career that I love.

To have family that surrounds me, helps me build memories, and loves me no matter what.

To have amazing friends who help me appreciate the little things in life.

To know what peace feels like.

To know what happiness feels like.

To know what contentment feels like.

May your day be blessed with all things beautiful and lucky!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Early Riser {SOL Day 16: 3-16-15}

I roll over and glance at the clock...It says 3:30am.

To some, this would be a bad thing.

To me, it is what it is.

I have found myself rising for the day around 4:00am, even on the weekends.  To me, the numbers on the clock are just that...numbers.  I am not sleepy any more, so why should I stay in bed?

There is coffee to be brewed.
Email to be checked.
Books to be read.
Exercise to be had.

I love this time of the day.  It is MY time.

People think I'm crazy to get up this early every day, but I love it.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Collection or Obsession? {SOL Day #15: 3-15-15}

When my son was little, he was in love with anything and everything Star Wars.  Each year for his birthday and Christmas, he would be showered with Star Wars action figures, Star Wars vehicles, Star Wars games, Star Wars movies and Star Wars costumes. You get the idea...

My husband, who shared (and possibly unduly influenced) our son's admiration of Star Wars, always made sure to save the packaging for every single Star Wars anything that he received.

"Why are we saving the boxes?" I would ask cluelessly.

"Because...without the box, the (insert Star Wars item here) doesn't have as much value," he would reply, looking at me as if I were from another planet.  I mean, really...how could I NOT know that?  (And here I thought the value of the toy was the joy that came from playing with it.  Silly me.)

"So we are really going to save all of those cardboard boxes?" I questioned again.

"Don't you worry about it.  I've got this under control," was his quick response, as he whisked away the box and any accompanying paperwork to his secret Star-Wars-box-secret-hiding-place before I could grab it and recycle it.

Fast forward 10 years...

My son is now 16 and no longer plays with Star Wars toys.  This past weekend, my husband went into his Star Wars-box-secret-hiding-place and brought out all of the boxes, along with the totes that were storing that Star Wars stuff.

Then my son and husband began the task of matching each Star Wars item with its box, carefully reassembling the box, and packing it away again in a plastic tote.  Surely, the next time that these things will see the light of day is when my son either sells them on Ebay or takes them out for his own child.

I didn't realize just how bad it was until I made a trip to the basement.


There was Star Wars stuff EVERYWHERE!

Where did all of this come from???  When did it get to be so much?

This picture represents only a tiny portion of his collection.  Like I said, it was everywhere!

So it seems like maybe my son's Star Wars collection turned into a Star Wars obsession.

I wonder what my husband's role was in all of this....

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Celebrations {SOL Day #14: 3-14-15}

Another week down in the record books and so many things to celebrate:

1.  The weather has been as close to perfect as you could ask for in March in Wisconsin.  The snow is almost melted and I'm seeing lots of wildlife return.

2.  Speaking of wildlife, I heard the Sandhill Cranes outside on Wednesday night.  They have a very distinctive call.  These birds, which migrate to Mexico in the winter, are a sure sign that spring is returning.

3.  I have completed week two of the Slice of Life challenge.  At first, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to find a topic to write about every day, but there is so much great inspiration from other SOL slicers that it's not a problem.

4.  I have been participating in the #BFC530 Twitter chat every morning.  It is really early -- 4:30 AM for CDT, but I'm pretty much up by that time anyways.  I have found it to be a wonderful way to start my day with some inspiration and connection with others in my PLN.

5.  This past week, I began a mini research project on reading motivation with my students.  To do this, I have suspended our use of the Accelerated Reader program and am now allowing them to read anything they want in hopes that their desire to read will grow.  (I will slice more about this next week!)

6.  Two more weeks until spring break!  How about you?

Friday, March 13, 2015

Pie (SOL Day #13: 3-13-15)

Today is supposed to be the perfect "Pi" day....3-14-15.  Math lovers everywhere are rejoicing in honor of this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Me?  I prefer to celebrate the other "pie"... the round one that we usually eat for dessert. (I am an English major, not a math major, after all.)

Growing up, the one dessert I always remember is my mom's Lemon Meringue Pie.  As a kid, I would never eat the meringue because I thought it was just gross to put eggs on top of your dessert.  The sweet and tangy lemony filling was quite heavenly though.  I remember even sneaking a piece for breakfast every once in awhile.

One year for St. Patrick's Day, she made her Lemon Meringue Pie, but added green food coloring to the filling and the meringue.  It didn't look very pretty, but it still tasted the divine!

I'm hoping that when I go to mom's for dinner on Sunday, there will be a Lemon Meringue Pie waiting for dessert.

It doesn't even matter if it is green.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Cleaning the Landfill {SOL Day #12: 3-12-15}

Just how much stuff can one teenager fit into a bedroom?

27 empty (or somewhat empty) plastic water bottles

18 kitchen spoons (so that's where those went!)

2 jars of peanut butter (what?????)

12 loads of laundry

3 bags of paper (to be recycled)

2 giant plastic bags of "garbage"

57 mismatched socks

2 boxes of school supplies (pens, crayons, markers, tape....)

3 American Girl dolls that are no longer played with

6 blankets

2 old Girls Scout manuals (where did these come from?)

4 grade school yearbooks

A pack of my favorite pens (grrr.....)

{Too many One Direction posters...}

Four hours later.....

1 bed
1 dresser
1 desk

                Ahhhhh....that's better.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Reading Seasons {SOL Day #11: 3-11-15}

On Sunday, when I was out walking and noticing the changing of the seasons, I started thinking about the books I've read lately.  That lead me to think about the many books I've read in the past and I noticed something that I had never realized before.

Just like the world changes from season to season, my reading preferences change too.

Years ago, when I was a stay-at-home mom, I didn't read very much.  When I did, it was usually some kind of romance novel, usually from Nora Roberts.  The demands of motherhood kept me from being a voracious reader and I think I remember my goal was to read one book a month.  Many months I did not reach that goal.

When I went back to school to get my teaching license, the only books I read were textbooks.  No time for "fun" reading.  This reading was pretty dry and it was pretty long.  I didn't like it.

Then I became a teacher.  I was eager to soak in any and all advice I could find to make myself a better teacher.  Professional titles lined my shelves.  Books by Ralph Fletcher, Regie Routman, Lucy Caulkins and more were always close by.  I read a lot and learned a lot.

Now that I have been teaching for awhile, I notice my reading tastes have changed again.  I still read professional titles, but not as many.  Now, I am focused on taking in the literature that my students would enjoy.  Titles by Jacqueline Woodson, Lynda Mullaly Hunt, Kate Messner, and others sit in my TBR stack.  I can't read them fast enough because I am always in a rush to get them into the hands of a student whom I know would enjoy it the most.

If someone was to check out my bookshelves as an artifact of my life, they would probably be very confused by the wide range of titles and genres.  But that's OK.  That's what keeps life -- and reading -- interesting.

What reading season are you in right now?

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

A Rude Awakening {SOL Day #10: 3-10-15}

It's 4:00 in the morning.

An alarm sounds...

But it's not coming from my clock.

It's coming from the smoke detectors.


The dogs fly under the bed.

My husband and I throw back the covers

         Struggling incomprehensibly to figure out what is going on.

           {We seem to be walking in circles...}

My teenagers children wander out of their room,


That the smoke detectors are going off....again.

We had this problem two weeks ago --

The alarm would go off ... just because.  {no fire}

       Always at night

               {Why is that???}

A good dusting and new batteries later

We assumed the problem was fixed.

It wasn't.

So this morning, the smoke detector was also my alarm clock.

Such a rude awakening. 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Spring Awakens {SOL Day #9: 3-09-15}

Long, dreary days of winter --

Being pushed away

With each passing day on the calendar.

Breaking free of winter's strong hold,

I venture out into the day.

                         I walk

                 I look

      I listen.

Signs of spring are showing:

In the melting snow,

The muddy trails,

The spots of green grass,

The conversations of returning birds.

Spring is awakening.

I am ready.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Parenting a Teenage Son & Daughter {SOL Day #8: 3-08-15}

My children are 17 months apart.  When they were younger, I enjoyed that very much.  Their milestones like learning to walk and starting kindergarten came close together.  What made one child happy, usually made the other one happy as well.

The job of being a parent of a boy and a parent of a girl were very similar.  They both expressed themselves in similar ways.  They both needed me in similar ways.  What was good for one, was usually good for the other.  My job as a parent was easy in that way.

They are teenagers now.  My son is a junior in high school and my daughter is a sophomore.  What I am finding is that the "one size fits all" parenting of the past no longer works.  We have definitely come to a fork in the road in that respect and I am finding that I must now travel two different roads as a parent.

Nothing makes this more apparent than what they share with me about their boyfriend and girlfriend.

My daughter tells me most things.  My son, nothing.

My daughter asks my advice.  My son does not.

My daughter's boyfriend spends a lot of time at our house.  My son's girlfriend, none.

My daughter invites me in with her stories.  My son doesn't share.

In such a short period of time, my job as a parent has changed.  I must now learn to parent them in completely different ways because they each are asking different things from me.

I'm not sure I like it....

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Celebrations (SOL Day #7: 3-07-15}

Saturdays are a great day for reflecting on the week.  Oh, what a week it was!

1.  So many successful author/classroom Skypes that I helped facilitate for my school.  The students and staff will remember this experience for a long time to come, I hope!
2.  Last Saturday was the UW-Milwaukee Writing Project's Conference on the Teaching of Writing that I helped facilitate.  It was an awesome conference!

3.  On Tuesday, I had to go see an oral surgeon about a skin graft that I need to have on my gum.  I have been dreading this appointment for a long time, but I am celebrating my bravery in actually going to the appointment AND for scheduling the surgery for April.

4.  My husband went out to Yellowstone for a week of snowmobiling with his dad.  He came home last night.  I missed him!

5.  The clock is changing tonight.  I will gladly change one lost hour of sleep for one extra hour of light for many days to come.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Ten Tiny Things I Love {SOL Day #6: 3-06-15}

1. The sigh of my dog, Rosie, as she settles in for a snuggle.

2.  The delicate pink of the tulips on my kitchen table.

3.  The cup of coffee that I stopped to grab from McDonalds on my way home.

4.  Sitting around and talking with my daughter and her boyfriend.

5.  My new PJ's.

6.  Carry out pizza for dinner. {No cooking tonight!}

7.  Friday night, when Monday morning seems so far away.

8.  The beautiful icicles that are forming on a tree branch just beyond my front porch.

9.  Not realizing I had spent more than 25 minutes on the elliptical this morning.  (I didn't look at the clock once, apparently.)

10.  That on Sunday, we will gain one more hour of daylight in the evening.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Wise Words for Young Writers {SOL Day #5: 3-05-15}

"I am a writer because I was a reader."

"I like to plan on Post-its.  This way I can move things around when I need to."

"Would you like a sneak peek at my new book?  I can read you the first few pages...and it's not even published yet!"

"I was rejected 26 times before I got my first acceptance letter from a publisher."

"I received 36 'no' letters, before I received my first 'yes.'"

"I draft in this spiral notebook."

"Writers revise many, many times.  I rewrote my book about 25 times before it became the book you are holding in your hand now."

"As long as you guys keep reading, I will keep writing."

"Writing is messy.  Just look at this copy of my draft."

"My editor told me that it only takes one 'yes'.  Hang in there!"

These are the wise words that students at my school heard this week from Kate Messner and Jess Keating, two authors who were kind enough to spend a few minutes on a Skype session with our students.

Such valuable, valuable advice for young writers!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Unexpected Act of Kindness {SOL Day #4: 3-04-15}

Like many places in the midwest and northeastern United States, yesterday was a day of horrible weather.  What started as snow falling in the most ginormous flakes I have ever seen, turned to sleet and rain as the day wore on.  When it was all over with, we had about five inches of heavy, wet snow covering our driveway.

I was not happy.

My husband is out of town for his annual snowmobile trip and our tractor with the plow is broken. Our driveway is about 300 feet long, making shoveling it a daunting task.  My plan was to wait until the snow melted instead of shoveling. (Surely spring would arrive some time soon, right?) Before leaving for his trip, my husband tried to reassure me that him leaving during the first week of March was a safe bet that there would not be any snow.

He was wrong.

I had to head out for a doctor appointment in the afternoon.  All of the precipitation had stopped and since I have 4WD, getting out was not a problem for me.

When I arrived at my appointment, I checked my phone and saw this text from my daughter's boyfriend:
He was offering to shovel for me???  WOW!

When I arrived home from my appointment a few hours later, not only was my sidewalk shoveled, but the entire driveway as well.  Knowing that my husband was out of town, his dad even stopped by to help him.  

All I can say is...WOW!  (And my husband owes them BIG TIME! :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Snow {SOL Day #3 3-03-15}

Falling so quickly the sky is a blur of white,

Coming together in giant puffs

Hurling down snowballs,
             no longer just fluffy flakes

Slapping the windows




Stopping suddenly.


Until the tapping continues,
        this time without the flakes.

Freezing rain.

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Reading Marathon {SOL Day 2 3-02-15}

This week kicks off Read Across America Week, the week when we celebrate all things reading!

I would like to say that this is my favorite week of the year, but really I celebrate reading and good books every single day of the year.  I don't think reading should have just one week set aside to be celebrated, only to return to its box until next year.  You can't do that to reading.

Last Friday, we spent the entire day reading in my 4th grade classroom.  I'll be the first to admit -- this could have been a little bit hairy-scary if it didn't go well.

Would the students be able to read for six hours?
Would they have trouble sitting still?
Would they get bored?
Would they "fake" read? (gasp!!)

Would I???

The students came in, got settled, and we set out reading.  We only stopped for our library special and for lunch/recess.  Otherwise, we were reading.

My kids decided ahead of time that they might need some snacks to help make it through the day so they brought in some healthy snacks like apples, bananas, and granola bars.  Here is what our Snack Center looked like at the beginning of the day:
As the day went on, I was really proud of my students and the awesome perseverance they showed.  They truly spent the entire day reading!

When they finished a book, I had them sign their name on our white board.  By the end of the day, there was hardly any space left for autographs!
It was an awesome, awesome day of reading!  All of my worries about things not going well went unfounded.  At the end of the day, they asked when we could do it again!

That is music to this teacher's ears!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

So Long Winter {SOL Day #1 3-01-15}

The winter months are difficult for me, and each year seems to get harder than the last.

From about December 1st until February 28th, I pretty much keep my head down and run as fast as I can through the cold, dark days until I reach March 1st.  My weatherman calls these days "Meteorological Winter," the time on the calendar when meteorologists say that winter is here.  The cold, dark days and I don't get along.  I miss the colors and sounds of the world that are with me the other nine months of the year.  I miss the light.

On March 1st, that changes.

Today, March 1st, I woke up and put my March calendar up on the board in our kitchen.  I was excited!  Even though there is still snow on the ground and the temperature is a chilly 13 degrees, I can feel spring will be here soon.

This afternoon, I even opened my front door to let the bright sunshine in.  My dog, Rosie, did the perfect thing...she took a nap in the sunshine.  She is so smart, that dog!
If I listen carefully, I can even hear birds out at the bird feeder.  I haven't seen any robins yet, but I'm sure that I will see some in the next few weeks.

So it is with much excitement that I bid Meteorological Winter goodbye and say a great big HELLO to March and spring!