Saturday, May 1, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
The piece we were looking at right then was a prompt he had responded to for the quarterly assessment. I asked to see his writing folder or what he was currently working on in workshop. The teacher said they couldn't find anything. I decided to just start on another piece...ignoring the prompt writing.
The child and I talked for a few minutes about what the possibilities of his writing. He told me a story about him going to a water park with his grandpa. He said they went to the park and he climbed to the top of the slide. His grandpa was at the bottom holding his arms out to catch him. When he got to his grandpa, he caught him and then hugged him. Since he had trouble remembering what he wrote, and since he would not finish his piece that day, I had him sketch a picture at the top of the paper and label it.
Next, he began to write the story. It began like this: "One time I went to a water park with grandpa." That is as far as he got today. It was written with spaces and nicely formed letters. There were no lines on the paper, but it was all written in straight lines. No problem reading that.
When I asked him about giving the piece to his grandfather when he finished it, he said, "I can't, he's dead." We then talked about keeping memories alive and how important it was for him to capture those memories in stories. He had a very serious job to do in workshop. I asked him which paper he liked best: the prompt or the story he wrote today. Without hesitation he pointed to the story.
After he had gone back to class, I had the chance to talk to the teacher about the importance of meaning. This story had meaning for the child. It was full of meaning. She didn't have to have his eyes checked or just the right kind of writing paper, she just had to find something that held meaning for him.
Thanks, Carl Anderson, for all your lessons in Assessing Writers on meaning as a trait in writing!!!
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Finally, The Big D came up with the idea of having someone stay here with him. He had a few suggestions and made a call. It worked out great! Molly came to visit before actually agreeing to stay with our little monster. She was wonderful. She started correcting him right away, but showed him lots of attention. When we got ready to leave she was right here to go over last minute directions. Dave thought she was great. As you can see from the picture we took right before we left, he LOVES Molly!!!
Thanks, Molly, for making Dave's First Spring Break great for him!
Friday, April 16, 2010
We took many walks on the campus of ASU while we were in Tempe. My friend and professor there, Dr. Frank Serafini, had emailed me some great places to visit, but I just had to spend time on the campus where he works. We first walked on a silent campus on Easter afternoon. We did see a few students and even got some directions from one. It was just nice to be able to have the campus almost to ourselves. Then we came back on a beautiful spring morning and wandered around looking for the book store. The campus, that day, was loaded with bicycles, students and all kinds of activities. We were so glad we stayed close to the campus where we could enjoy the students and other sites.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
We were able to stay at the Mission Palms Resort thanks to Andy. This is a place where he had been working and found it for us. It was just the perfect spot for everything we like to do. In the morning we would hike up the mountain that you can see in the the pool picture. Then we would walk over to Mill Street and have a hot chocolate and bagel while we watched the town wake up. In the afternoons we would sit by the pool, jump back into our jean shorts and t-shirts and head off to Mill Street again for lunch. Then it was back to the pool. In the late afternoons we would walk across the street and head over to Arizona State University. I will save those pictures for tomorrow's blog!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, April 2, 2010
Thursday, April 1, 2010
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
My Slice of Life today has just got to be about my son and daughter-in-law. They are going through so much right now. First of all, they are expecting their first child together...a little boy due in August. We are all so happy about that, especially Kiann, who will be an older brother. He wanted a brother! They just sold their house a few weeks ago and were ready to purchase a lot to begin building their dream house. They had been waiting on the bank to give them the okay. They waited and waited and waited. Then all they needed was the former owners' signature. Those owners had divorced and moved away. The hunt began to find them. People were calling. People tried to find them. No luck. Then they found out they were on the run. So, the purchase of that lot which Todd and Beth had their heart set on, could not be bought.
Now they are looking again for another house. They have a couple that are not quite what they want plus they are much more than they want to pay. They want a house to bring that little boy home to when the time comes. Being sort of "homeless", expecting a baby, and stressed is not the best way to be. We are all praying for a miracle. They have worked so hard for this time in their lives. Hopefully, they will find the perfect house with the perfect price. We will put our faith in the One who holds the future!
Monday, March 29, 2010
Only three more days of school and then SPRING BREAK!! Then on Saturday we pick up the grand kids and head for Indy and the airport. After flying to Dallas and then on to Phoenix. We had everything planned for here at home, at least we thought we did. The neighbor was going to feed the cats and Sarah was going to take care of Dave.
That is until we got to thinking about Dave. He is a five-month old puppy....a LARGE five-month old puppy. This is Easter weekend and Sarah had lots of action going on that weekend. We decided not to make her go through the puppy stage especially when Dave had never even been to her home. We looked into lodging and pet care places. It had to be the best of the best for our Dave. The problem was...everything was full. Then DD had a great idea. He called a friend of his who is a young 20 year old working and going to school. He asked her if she was interested in staying here and taking care of Dave AND the cats. Her answer? "SURE, I'd love to!" My sidebar comment was..."She hasn't met Dave yet!"
She came over tonight to meet Dave and the cats. She still is willing to take on the challenge and stay for five days with the wild guy. We are so excited about our trip. We get to spend time with Emma and Adrian and see their dad in Phoenix.
We will be staying in a resort where Andy, our son, works as a chef. It is practically on the campus of Arizona State University. I remembered that is where Frank Serafini is a professor, so I wrote to him. I wanted to know if he could give us some tips for places to go. He wrote back this morning with several good ideas. We are so excited and can't wait to get in that sunshine!!!
Sunday, March 28, 2010
1. Wipe off Dave after coming in from doing his "duty"
2. Read a professional book on the couch
3. Wipe off Dave after coming in from doing his "duty"
4. Clean the bedroom, including dusting the
5. Wipe off Dave after coming in from doing his
6. Read the Sunday paper
7. Wipe Dave off again
8. Take Dave for a walk
9. Watch the NCAA games
10. Wipe Dave off including muddy paws
WHO WANTED THIS DOG????
Saturday, March 27, 2010
All the coaches I worked with last year were invited. We sat at a table at the back and had the best time. It isn't often that we get to spend time together just talking. That is what we did tonight. We talked and laughed and ate and just had a great time. What a wonderful evening. It is great to have such terrific, fun friends and then to also be able to work with them is a real treat!
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
I am from cornfields, from Coca-Cola and graham crackers. I am from country roads. Homemade, plaid skirts; the sound of trains in the distance. I am from the peony bushes in Grandma's backyard growing tall in the Spring but cut down soon after they bloom. I'm from popcorn on Sunday night and "You've got to hold your mouth right", from Ida Mae and Jim. I'm from sharing my Lima beans with the dog under the table and playing badminton in the front yard. From "finish all your dinner before you leave the table" and "you have to tell your sister you're sorry". I'm from spending all day Sunday in church and Violet teaching us about Winky Bear in Jr. Church. I'm from Irish roots, From potato soup and red velvet cake. From the time Joanie spilled the "grunt" water when she spent the summer with Grandma. The hot pot pies Dale and I ate for lunch at Grandma's house.
I'm from all the family pictures spilling out of boxes under my bed waiting to be mounted into albums representing my family tree.
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Tomorrow's session will be for Quarter 4. We are focusing on three units of study in our two hours with them. We will start out with Independent Writing. I like to give a basic unit so those kiddos who have not been bathed in workshop will have the support they need. Then we go deeper with the study. I am not sure where the second part of our session will go with this. It all depends on where the teachers take it.
The next unit of study is one of my favorites. It is the memoir session. Katie Ray says memoir can be a series of small moments. That is where we are going with the basic group. Then we are going to go deeper using Katherine Bomer's book on memoirs. Our last unit of study is called: The Writerly Life. That is all about reflections. We are going to have the teachers reflect over their year as well as show them how they can help their students to reflect.
That's about it. If you have any suggestions or ideas for us, let us know. We would love to share!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
How does this affect me? I am not sure yet. We have a meeting on Thursday morning and I am sure I will know more then. But today I had the chance to go to the elementary building being closed. Not exactly the best time frame. We were collaborating with the building coach and the principal. We were reluctant to ask about how everyone was today. However, the coach was very up beat and said the staff was handing this well. This school is one that is located away from the urban life, almost in a field with major roads running on both sides of it. The school is like none of the other buildings in that it is more of a country school than big city district. It is so sad to see it go. Even if we all know this is best for the district, it is sad to see it go. Fortunately, I get to work there with their teachers a couple more times this year. I know the last time I am there it is going to be with a heavy heart leaving. My heart goes out to these teachers, students and everyone who has been touched by this school.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Yesterday was prep day for my procedure of the colonoscopy. Actually, what I was preparing for was what they call in slang terms: Flexible Sieg. The prep for this procedure is not as rigid as the full blown colonoscopy. Still, it was not comfortable or fun. I finished that at midnight.
This morning I started with the no eating or drinking segment. There were a couple other things that I had to go through, but I don't want to get down and dirty with that. The hardest part, honestly, was the not being able to eat or drink this morning. We left for the hospital at 9:20 since we live close.
For the procedure a driver is required to stay for the entire time and then obviously drive you home. The Big D volunteered to take off work and do that. He is a great support throughout the time spent going through this procedure. We arrived at the hospital and checked in. A volunteer took us up to the right area. He was wonderful at making us feel comfortable and at ease. In no time at all, I was in bed with a blue wrap that had spots for them to hook up heaters to my gown.
After filling out paperwork from the bed, gettng an IV hooked up and an explanation of what would happen, I was ready to be wheeled into the room for the procedure. I think this was the fastest I was "out" in all the times I have gone through this. The next time I was alert, I was back in the room waking up.
A quick trip through the McDonald's drive-through and I was home on the couch. The Big D left for work and I snuggled with a couple blankets to sleep the day away. I woke up at 5:00 after not even moving. Since I had not really eaten for two days we treated ourselves to a pizza from Pizza Hut.
The doctor told The Big D that things looked great and I would be back for a full-blown colonoscopy next February. I have been doing these for about 10 years. I really believe it is because of them that I have never gotten colon cancer. I have had some pre-cancer polyps and my doctor has been diligent in being on top of the issue. So, if you have not had a colonoscopy yet, I recommend you check with your family doctor and check it out!
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Tomorrow at 10:30 I will be peacefully asleep. Right now though...well, we won't talk about that!!! Bet you can't wait to see what my blog will be tomorrow, can you?
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Our school board and superintendent have made an effort to hold meetings where those affected by the possible closings could come and vent, ask questions, or give suggestions. Two of the meetings were held in schools that are considered being cut. The last meeting was held where the board always meets for their usual meetings. Tonight was that last meeting. All day there were people out front with signs marching. The meeting was emotional, enlightening and informative. I was able to watch it on Live Streaming, the first time for this to happen. I sat in front of my computer and watched the whole thing. What a great way to be involved in what is happening in our district. I was so impressed by how the board and superintendent handled the meeting. I was so impressed with the people who spoke. They gave those suggestions. They asked those questions. And they listened...along with the board. No matter what happens in the mess that we are going through, I am so thankful to have been a part of this school district for the past five years.
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Just like parents getting their children ready for the first school experience, we had trained Dave to heel, sit and down. We thought he did very well for a five month old puppy. Then we took him to class. He was so excited to see so many puppy friends of all sizes. Daddy took him through the class tonight. They did many practice rounds and met a few of the new puppy friends. Then Della, the instructor came into the ring. She is the same instructor that Murphy had for puppy class. We felt Dave did the heel, sits, and downs very well. He didn't have much practice with about turns, so that is his homework for next week. Yes, homework. We are to work him every night during commercials. So, my baby is now in school and we are very proud of him!
Monday, March 15, 2010
It was a literacy sort of day. Spent the morning with the All Write!!! gang at East Noble for a coaches' meeting. As usual, learned lots, saw old friends and did our book study on The Book Whisperer. Then it was off to lunch at Si Senor, a favorite place to eat. Still talking literacy and school.
We went back to East Noble for work on our presentation for summer institute in Shipshewana in June. Julia and I are presenting on "must-have" professional books. We are excited about the books we will be discussing.
At 4:00, it was back to Si Senor for our Book Club. Amy joined us and we ordered and began talking about our book for this month: Outliers. We each told about our favorite chapter and why we liked that one...or why it stood out for us. If you have not read that one yet, it is another MUST READ!!
Perfect way to spend the day...friends, food and books!
Sunday, March 14, 2010
For any teacher who has not read it, I would say it is a MUST read! Donalyn is a 6th grade teacher who says she turns every student into a reader. The book takes you through how she does that. I knew of Richard Alllington's findings from thirty years ago where he says that students weren't spending enough time actually reading during reading instruction, and they still aren't. Miller finds the way to turn her students into not only readers but passionate readers. This is one book that I know I will read over and over and recommend to others.