Sunday, March 23, 2008

Sunday Message: Easter Egg Memories

Dear Friends and Family,
Today when I visited my friend, Sarah’s blog she had a poem about coloring Easter eggs with her two daughters. Along with the poem were several very clear pictures of the eggs. They were beautiful!
Those eggs reminded me of the ones my sister and I would make with our mother. We would start early on the Saturday before Easter. Mom believed in making our creations last, so we would make tiny holes on each end of the egg. By placing our mouths over one side we’d blow and blow and blow. We would then blow water through the egg to clean it out.
Now the fun began. We gathered lace, baby pearls, sequins and sparkles. Our egg die would be ready along with wax crayons. Each of us tried to out do the other with our creative ideas.
After letting them dry and settle in baskets with grass, we would plan the most important part of the day. That is when we would decide where to deliver them. Mom usually had the plan already in mind.
My favorite people to give them to were Alma Diehl and Grandma Hathaway. Alma went to our church and was a very active member. However, at this time of her life she was bed-ridden and very sick. She appreciated our visit even more than the egg basket. Grandma Hathaway lived about her son’s office. She wasn’t our grandma---she was our doctor’s mother. Still going up those stairs and hearing her coo-coo clock made the trip worth it. She always gave us cookies to take home, too.
So, when Sarah said she and her girls were making memories, she probably had no idea just how long those memories may last. To me it wasn’t just the lovely eggs…it was the gift of sharing our mother taught us.
Happy Easter to one and all!

Friday, March 21, 2008


This poem is taken from a book by Sara Holbrook called Practical Poetry. Since many second grade teachers, as well as other grade levels are doing poetry now, I thought this would be appropriate. I will give directions from Sara as to how to do this type of poetry after the poem. This is a poem for two voices.

It's not fair, my boy could die.
I need your son to go to war.
I don't know when he's going to be safe.
But he has to go for his country.
He may never come home to me again.
But he will die with honor.
Honor or no honor. I don't want him to go.
He will have to go anyway.
Think twice before sending people to die with "honor".
by Letycya and Curina, Grade 8

Type of poetry: It's Not Fair!
  • Pass out cards and have students complete the sentence, It's not fair that___________
  • Post cards around the room.
  • Have kids in pairs "shop" for a topic of interest to both of them.
  • After they have picked a topic, have each pair rip a single sheet of paper in half lengthwise, each taking half.
  • Ask each member of the team to choose a point of view.
  • Have them work independently and make a list of arguments defending their point of view.
  • Have the two students read poems for two voices aloud to the class.
  • Discuss the poem.
  • Ask the student pairs to go back to their lists, to put the paper they divided back together. Ask them to compare and contrast the lists.
  • Ask kids to put their poems together then to create a poem for two voices.
  • Present the poems fr two voices to the rest of the class.

This comes from Sara' book: Practical Poetry and chapter 5---Social Studies and Poetry. Give you any ideas!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

SCHEMA: map of where you've been

That is the definition of schema from a first grader. That is one lesson I learned tonight at Haley's Meet and Greet. Eight teachers took the time, after a busy day full of children just itching to get out for a long weekend, to share with each other. These teachers came from two different schools to gather for a few minutes...well, over an tell about exciting things that had been working for them.

They shared books, lessons, games, and stories...lots of stories. Did I say there was food? Oh, yes, teachers love food! Jen started with some books she loved. Then Angie shared some poetry ideas, Karen had an amazing center idea and Sarah shared the reading journal that held the quote about schema! Did I say there were two principals there, too? Did I say none of them got paid? Did I say it was the day before a three-day vacation?

After a full day of scanning Acuity tests and feeling stressed to the max, I got to sit back and watch and listen to these fantastic educators share. Again, I just have to say I am truly blessed to be able to work along side these people who so obviously love their cherubs!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

My Teaching Passion

I got a meme from Jen. The meme was to post a picture that shows your passion for teaching. Now to look at the one I posted you might think: But wait a minute those aren't kids. You would be right. However, my passion has become the teachers I work with. When I see these amazing people get excited about helping their kiddos become better readers and writers and then let me come into their rooms to work right along side them, that is my passion! I am so proud of ALL the fellow teachers I work along side. They are all making this journey at their own speed, but they are making the journey. They love those babies and they show it by their dedication and enthusiasm. So, here is a picture of a group that shows my passion!

I am going to meme Annie's Attic. You are to post a picture of something that shows your passion in teaching!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Summer Dreaming


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

What a Wonderful Day!

Today was one of those days where you just sit back and say: "Yes, this is why I do what I do!" It was such a wonderful day of coaching teachers. I was booked solid and almost forgot to eat lunch. I did say ALMOST!

I had two collaborations with teacher groups, one with fourth and one with first. That is always interesting because I can talk to more people that way and we all end up sharing and learning from each other. The fourth grade group talked about response to literature. One of the teachers has had great success with some of her lessons. We started them last week and she has been still working with her kiddos to make them even better. I couldn't believe the long pieces that had from just short text by Cynthia Rylant.

I worked with one second grade today. That teacher had gone to the Debbie Miller workshop and we decided to try something that we heard from Debbie. We tried out the Big Idea in reading. I read the book The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson. After reading a few pages I would stop and have them turn and talk. They were to talk about what they thought the big idea was for that section. After a group discussion we would add something to the chart called Big Ideas. It was so exciting to see these kids actually get it. The teacher was amazed. I told her, "Do you see what they are doing? They are synthesizing!" She said, "But I haven't taught them that word yet." "Too bad," I said, "Because they are doing it anyway!" How cool.

I did poetry with first grade and also with third. In third grade several other teachers popped in to watch the lesson. The kids were delightful. They told the teachers were poetry hides for them. One boy wrote about poetry hiding in the halls of the school. He went on to write about the noise and the teachers yelling at the kids. I think the teachers all learned more than just about poetry today.

Even though I had to about slide all the way home from all the ice and sleet, it was a wonderful day. It is so exciting to see kids get excited about their work and teachers light up when their cherubs turn out such fantastic work!