Thursday, April 28, 2011

Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation week is May 2 - 6.  I loved the simplicity of the words reminding me of my potential impact on the students I teach every day:  possibility, inspire, curiosity, hope, confidence, and my personal favorite: shake loose dreams.

Share this with a teacher, a colleague, or anyone who ever had an inspiring teacher!  And say, "Thank you!"

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Another great idea shared by Diana at One Literacy Coach: Don't Poems

Today, I'm dedicating my don't poem to my students.

kindergarten is fun
photo © 2008 woodleywonderworks | more info (via: Wylio)

Don't have a good fit book?

Don't forget to think when you read.

Don't keep reading if it doesn't make sense.

Don't forget you are a very important person with a capital I.

Don't forget ending punctuation.

Don't you want to reread and check your work?

Don't let me forget that I'm a learner too.

Don't stop making me laugh every day.

Don't you know that you can do this?

And don't ever, ever forget . . .

YOU are why I love being your teacher.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Glass Half Empty? Glass Half Full.

Glass of Waterphoto © 2007 Greg Riegler | more info (via: Wylio)
Glass half empty
I'm feeling a lack of inspiration
and motivation to write.
I'm not opening myself up to the
world around me.
I'm forgetting to notice all
there is to write about every day.
I'm struggling to create and imagine.
I've lost the joy of the process.
The joy of the words.
The joy to just write.

Glass half full
I promise to open my eyes
and ears noticing all that is
waiting to be told.
I will scribble new thoughts, ideas,
and more in my writer's notebook.
I will be reawakened.  Revived.  Reenergized.
Fill my glass. Until it's overflowing.
Overflowing with words.
Overflowing with wonder and delight.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

And Today

WRITEphoto © 2008 Karin Dalziel | more info (via: Wylio)

How was I able to write for thirty-one days last month?

And today . . . nothing.

Was it the challenge of the challenge to write every day?
     The excitement of an attentive audience?
          The inspiration from the other writers?
               Knowing there was an end in sight?

April has been more of a writing challenge.

And today . . . I try to write.
And today . . . I am encouraged to write.
And today . . . I want to write.
And today . . . I will write. No matter what.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Feeling Like the Weather

You don't have to ask me how I'm feeling.
Just look outside:  I'm feeling like the weather.

Heavy Rain Showerphoto © 2007 AlmazUK | more info (via: Wylio)

Today it is rainy, cold, and just plain yucky.
I'm not in the mood to chit chat.
I don't really want to write.
I have no energy.
I'm in one of those moods.
Just leave me alone now.
That's how I feel:  Rainy, cold, and just plain yucky.

Touching the Sunphoto © 2008 Matt McGee | more info (via: Wylio)

I wish it were sunny, warm, and delightful.
I'd be smiling from ear to ear.
I would have an extra bounce in my step.
I'd wonder: do I sing, dance, write, or converse?
I would feel full of life.
Just join in with me.
That's how I'd feel:  Sunny, warm, and delightful.

Why is it that we feel like the weather?
And where can I go where it is always
Sunny, warm, and delightful?

Monday, April 18, 2011

One Day

One day

Royal purple hyacinths
Lemon drop daffodils
Lush grass so green
Tiny spring green buds
Sky so blue filled with 
White puffy clouds
Golden warm sunshine
Cool sixty degree breeze
Through the open window

Spring had arrived.

One day

Heavy hyacinths
Drooping daffodils
White blanket covered grass
Tiny buds stacked with white flakes
Gray sky filled with 
Dark heavy clouds
No sunshine in sight
Chilly thirty degree wind
Whipping the closed window

Spring was gone.

One day

It will be here to stay.

Friday, April 15, 2011

What Will You Do With It?

A friend (who happens to be a new blogger writing for the third day in a row and already inspiring me) wrote a beautiful poem today about the sunrise that signifies a new day and a new start.  Then she ended with this thought-provoking question:  What will you do with it?   Here is today's response . . . tomorrow may be different.

photo © 2008 Keven Law | more info (via: Wylio)
Morning has broken.....
What Will I Do With It?

What will I do with this new day?
This new day that is a gift?

Today I will make someone's day.
Today I will make a difference.
Today I will share my love!

What will you do with this new day?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sharing in the Process

this is where we partphoto © 2005 Josef F. Stuefer | more info (via: Wylio)

It's been a slow process.

I'm a private person.
I like to fade into a crowd.
It takes me awhile to warm up to you.

That's why it's been a slow process.

I shared my writing with my mother.
Then I opened myself to dear friends.
I found others like me in a community of writers.

It's a process that takes time.

Each new day, each new writing
Draws the writer out of me
Willing to share more and more.

It takes time and then others want to share.

My mother started a reading blog.
A friend created a blog about teaching.
Another friend was inspired to write.

It's been a slow process.

We are all blossoming into writers
We never believed existed in an
Amazingly short amount of time.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Clock Confusion: Part II

Part I

I arrived home from work, meandered upstairs to change into play clothes, and noticed the clock was . . . dead.

I guess it was trying to say goodbye this last weekend.  It was confused.  It couldn't remember.  Sadly, today, it took its last blink and is now resting peacefully in clock heaven.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Clock Confusion

Latephoto © 2010 Evan | more info (via: Wylio)
I woke up feeling a bit dazed thinking that it had to be time to get up soon.  There was no rush as it was Saturday with no big plans on the agenda.  I couldn't see across the room to check the time until I slipped on my glasses.  The glowing blue numbers read 2:09 am.

"Why am I wide awake?  I thought it was at least six." I said out loud to my husband as he rolled over.  I heard nothing but a mumble.

It must have been the piece of leftover chocolate cake I devoured last night to celebrate my husband's birthday.    My eyes lids closed and I slowly drifted back to sleep.  After all, it was only 2:09 am.

Thirty minutes later . . . 

I still had my glasses on and I woke up again as it was growing lighter in the room.  Now the clock read 2:42 am.

"Hey.  Isn't it really bright out right now for three in the morning?  And I'm wide awake.  Something seems strange."  I stated to my husband as I felt the growing need to get him involved in this dilemma.

"This does seem strange.  Pinch me.  I'll see if I can feel it.  Do you think we are in heaven?  Is this what heaven is really like?"

He almost dragged me down that path as I started to open my mouth to respond with a disheartening, "Noooo." Instead, I rolled my eyes in his apparent attempt to be funny.  (We were both currently reading books about heaven.  Me: 90 Minutes in Heaven and him: Heaven is for Real, so I guess heaven was on his mind.)

He stumbled out of bed, looked at his watch.  "It's almost seven.  Guess it's time to get up! Are the girls still sleeping?"

"What do you think happened to the clock?"

Shoulders shrugged.  "I dunno. Strange, huh?"

We never did solve the strange clock mystery, and just like every other time, I had to scour the manual to reset the time and the alarms.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Wind in my Hair

Blowing in the windphoto © 2007 Quinn Dombrowski | more info (via: Wylio)

I am thankful for . . . the wind in my hair.

Driving home this sunny day
Windows rolled down
Letting in the cool breeze
Blowing my hair wildly
To the rhythm on the radio.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Busy as a Bee

Sunflowers and Bees - detailphoto © 2007 Linda | more info (via: Wylio)
Tonight, I'm tired.  I worked like a busy little bee around the house.  And, it was a beautiful day here!  So we throughly enjoyed the outside with two walks and a stop at the community park.

I lugged home two bustin'-at-the-seams school bags.  What was I thinking?

Did I open them? No.  Did I even think about them? No.  Did I touch them?  Well, yes.  My husband vacuumed, so I had to lift them up on the couch.

Guess I have some work to do when I get to school tomorrow.

Uh, Mondays!

P.S. This is one of my "things I'm thankful for" posts.  I am so grateful for the weekends that I get to spend every minute with my husband and daughters.  It's amazing to to laugh and smile all day long!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oh No! I'm Thinking Again . . .

Yesterday, I took Deb's challenge of creating the impression of joy in twenty-five words.  My mom also succeeded at the challenge and her responses got me thinking.  There is joy bubbling all around us, we just need to open our eyes, ears, and heart to those little moments.

This led me down the another path of thinking...

Those moments of joy are also the very thing that I am ever-so-grateful for in my life.  I have a new idea if I'm ever stuck on what to write about:  write about things that I am thankful for in my life.  I could write a new post every day of something that I appreciate, that I am grateful for, that I adore, that bring me joy.

Sunphoto © 2007 Jalal HB | more info (via: Wylio)

Today, I am thankful for the warm sunshine of spring.
The glorious sun drops warming my pale, bare arms.
My chin up, smile widening as my eyes squint to the sky.
The bright ball of yellow soothes away crabbiness
And allows my happy-side to grow and blossom like a flower
As I soak up the rays of hope.

Friday, April 8, 2011


This last week I have been on a search.  I'm looking for bits of inspiration and today I found some hidden among the many blogs I try to find time to peruse.

After reading Deb's post, I decided to take her up on her challenge:
"You've got 25 words ~no more, no less~ to create an impression of joy."

Impression of Joy

The sparkle in a child's eye
The smile that lights up a room
The laughter heard down the hall
Joyful learning happening all around us.

Go ahead!  Create your impression of joy in 25 words!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Looking for Inspiration

Throughout the writing challenge, I felt inspired every day.  I was brimming with joy and excitement to write.  There was purpose and an audience.  A writer's beacon was shining down upon me encouraging me to create more than I ever thought was possible:  I learned that I could tell a story.  I discovered that I was a poet.  I realized that I could play with words.   I found the writer inside me.

Yet, the true inspiration came from the other writers.  I enjoyed reading slices from a variety of writers, all from different worlds, but the writing brought us together in unison. I understood the true form of the writer's craft, as I was able to borrow and try out new styles of writing.  Every day there was new inspiration sprinkled my way.

Writers are still writing.  Readers are still reading.

So, why am I feeling a lack of motivation?  Joy?  Inspiration?

Looking for Inspiration
I need to see that beacon of light guiding me down my writer's path once more.
I need to smell those enticing slices to recreate with a 'mixture' of ingredients.
I need to hear that reassurance that fuels my writer's soul.
I need to taste those juicy words jumbling around in my mouth.
I need to feel that breeze of inspiration again.
Breathe it in.  Close my eyes.  Be inspired.  Exhale and write again.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Inspirationphoto © 2010 photosteve101 | more info (via: Wylio)

It was more than just writing.
Writing every day.
It was thinking, reflecting, rereading.
Editing, perfecting, and publishing.
It was complicated.  It was intensive.
It was worth the push and pull of my heart and my mind.


It was more than just reading.
Reading many slices each day.
It was perusing, observing, scrutinizing.
Learning, interpreting, and adoring.
Some I skimmed. Some I soaked in.
Some grabbed me by the hand and led me to a writer's dream.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

SOL: Writing Slices

Yesterday, I read at A Year in Reading about poems squeezed from one word.  Bob Raczka wrote a new book of poems, Lemonade, using the title of each poem to make the words for that poem.  

I loved the idea, but it's definitely harder than it looks!  I completed the first step:  creating words from my title to create the poem. Apparently, there is a second step:  Each poem is presented in two ways:  first like a puzzle and then written clearly.  I opted out of this step for I felt I needed more modeling and the mentor text!

writing slices





Monday, April 4, 2011

Come On! Everybody's Doing It!

Not only have I encouraged my mom to start a blog, but this week a friend/colleague/Twitter junkie  joined the club!  How very exciting!  Over the weekend, she shared her blog with me.  Only a title and background, but it was a great start.  Slowly, she added more and more.

Fear, excitement, curiosity.  I remember having those feelings a little over a month ago, when I created my blog.  I struggled with a name that was important and meant something to me.  I played around with the format, layout, colors, etc.  Then I wrote that first post.  Wait.  Deep breath.  Reread.  Reread again just to be sure.

"Hey, hon, does this sound okay?" I'd yell to my husband in another room.

Then I just did it.  I clicked the orange "Publish Post" button.  I was "out there" for others to read.

Well, friend, you are out there!  I'm so thrilled that I'll have another e-colleague.  Even though we work together, we don't always have the time to share great ideas, strategies, and fun book finds.  We rush about our busy days helping kids, comforting teachers, and worrying about ourselves and our planning last.  This will allow us an opportunity to share.

And guess what?  She already wrote her first post about sketching graphic organizers and letting the students use markers to write because "markers help them forget that they don't like to write!"  Love it!

Welcome!  I can't wait to learn and grow together in our profession!

P.S. A deal is a deal.  You'll have to help me get set up on Twitter this summer!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Mentor Texts (aka Favorite Slices)

letter S letter L I C you at the CNIT ? E letter S
letter O letter F
letter L letter i letter F letter E

I wanted to create a list of some of my favorite slices that I read last month during the Slice of Life Story Challenge.  I've been digging in the archives.  I was captivated by these slices (and countless more) for many reasons:  It could be the story, it could be the words the writer chose, it could be the style and rhythm, or it could be that I felt the honesty, sincerity, or strong emotion emanating through the words. Or, maybe I just loved it just because . . . !

Thank you for your brilliance and mentor texts!

    On a side note:  Want to know how I created the picture montage of letters? Go to Spell with flickr. Thanks to Katie at Inquiry Live in the Classroom for sharing this great tool!

    Saturday, April 2, 2011


    Writing recipesphoto © 2008 Al | more info (via: Wylio)

    Woke up this morning. S-l-o-w-l-y stretched with a yawn.
    Last thirty-one days, my first thoughts at sunrise:
    Publish.  For there was a sense of accountability.
    A yearning to be apart of a magnificent group of writers.
    To learn, to share, to hope, to inspire.

    But not today.

    Deep breath. The challenge is over. D-o-n-e. Complete.
    I felt something missing. The day seemed incomplete.
    My heart was a little sad. I wondered what to do.
    Ideas, words, phrases still tumbled in my head.
    I asked: Why do I want to write?

    Today, I write for me.

    Friday, April 1, 2011

    SOLSC: Ode to Celebrating

    The Slice of Life Story Challenge 
    is hosted by the Two Writing Teachers.

    Ode to Celebrating

    Amazing how one little month can change your outlook, your perspective, and your ideals on numerous layers in your life.

    This is the community I've been yearning to be apart of for years. I stumbled. I fell. I became a writer.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Sharing my innermost thoughts and emotions
    Listening with an open heart and mind
    Ignoring my must-do list and overflowing bag
    Challenging my writer-self to create
    Every single day

    Opportunities for you and me to
    Forge a consortium of writers

    Learning more than I ever anticipated as
    Immense writer-confidence and writer-pride escapes
    Feeling a sense of accomplishment like never before
    Every single day