Welcome!


Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!


Sunday, March 31, 2013

Until Tuesday...



I’ve struggled to write this last post all day.  I’ve been composing and recomposing over and over again in my head.  It is an important post today.  I want so badly to sum up all that this month has been.  It has been a month full of wonderful happy stories, funny stories, stories of sadness and stories of hope.  There have been so many stories that have mattered to me, have buoyed me, and have strengthened me.  I’m not sure my words do justice for my feelings today, at the end of this challenge, but there are things I want to say anyway.

I want to say thank you to everyone who left inspiring comments on my posts throughout the month.  It is your encouragement that helps me believe that my story matters.

I want to say thank you to Ruth and Stacey for hosting this challenge.  Your commitment to writing and the environment you have created is amazing.  This challenge has helped me to grow, as a writer, a teacher and a person, and for that, I thank you both.  Your words and stories have mattered to me.

I want to thank you, too.  Yes, you.  You, who are reading my words right now, thank you.  Thank you for visiting my blog, thank you for taking the time to read my words.  Thank you for sharing your words as well, because I have been to your blog too.  I’ve read your words and enjoyed your thoughts.  I may have commented or I may not have had the words but I’ve been there and shared in your stories because they matter.

See you all on Tuesday!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Birthday Party




There's only one more day of the Slice of Life Writing Challenge!  Can you believe it?



Preparing for the party:
* Wrap the gift
* Put away toys
* Vacuum the living room
* Sweep the kitchen floor
* Do the dishes
* Clean the dining room table
* Set out the food
* Set out the plates, silverware, napkins
* Set out the drinks
* Be sure the kids are clean

After the party:
* Throw away the gift wrap
* Put away toys
* Vacuum the living room
* Sweep the kitchen floor
* Do the dishes   
* Clean the dining room table
* Put away the food
* Put away the plates, silverware, napkins
* Put away drinks
* Clean up the kids


My son got: 
     * Money to buy toys (he collects action figures of many kinds)



My husband got:
     * Money to buy toys (he collects vintage Star Wars figures)



Anyone notice any similarities here?  Two peas in a pod, aren’t they?  Today my son turned 10.  Last weekend my husband turned…well, it was his birthday.  We had a party for them both today with both sides of our families.  It was a nice day together.  I just wish the cleaning fairy would arrive soon and do something about this mess so we can start all over again tomorrow for Easter.  Good thing it’s spring break!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Trees

I have seen so many slice of life stories about trees that I was inspired to write a tree slice of my own.

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These are some of the trees in my backyard. My husband hates them. He hates mowing around them, hates the leaves they drop and hates picking up the sticks that fall to the ground under them.

My children love them!  They love to "rake" the leaves that fall from them. They love the shade they provide for their swing set. They love to play with the sticks they drop on the ground and they love to run in between them.

I hate that they are messy. However, all the other things outweigh that one bad. They are beautiful on a blue sky day. They are spectacular when the green buds begin to pop. They are shady relief on sunny days. They are awesome when snow-covered in the winter. They give our otherwise flat backyard a little bit of character.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Baby Blues

"Why does everyone in your family have blue eyes?" I was asked one day.

How was I going to explain that to a 7-year-old who doesn't know anything about genes and traits and inherited things yet?

"Well, sometimes when the mom and the dad in a family both have blue eyes, the kids will have blue eyes too."  I explained.

"Oh.  Not in my family."  E replied.  "Mom, dad and A have blue eyes.  E, A and I have brown eyes."

It's a question that she's asked me several times since.  I thought my explanation worked pretty well, but I guess if she's still asking it wasn't as good as I thought.  She is old enough to understand that three of the kids in her family are adopted, but not really old enough to understand why that makes a difference in eye color.  While eye color doesn't matter in the least, it did give me something to think about.

In my family, my husband and I both have blue eyes and all four of our children have blue eyes.  However, they are very different!

My eyes are grayish blue with a slightly darker blue ring around the outside edge.  My oldest daughter's eyes are almost the same.  Her eyes are slightly more blue than mine.  My husband's eyes are lighter, baby blue.  My son's eyes are similar to my husbands but his tend to change a bit depending on what color he is wearing.  If he wears blue, his eyes are more blue, but when he wears green, they take on a greenish-bluish cast.  My middle daughter has bright, royal blue eyes with long, pretty, curled lashes.  My youngest daughter has light blue eyes like my husband but she has a dark blue ring around the outside edge like mine.  She is also blessed with long, pretty lashes.

Yes, we all have blue eyes but they are different too.  They are all unique, just like us!

Maybe next time E asks me why we all have blue eyes, I will come up with a better answer for her.  For now, I will just keep thinking that it's cool that our family of 6 all has blue eyes.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Adrift



I'm not sure where this poem came from.  I'm not even sure what this poem is about.  But here it is anyway!
For more slice of life stories, visit Two Writing Teachers, hosted by Ruth Ayres and Stacey Shubitz.

Adrift

Sailing on the open sea

Set adrift alone

Rolling over waves

Crashing toward the shore

Pulling, dragging, out again

Toss the boat

Rock and dip

Pushing toward the shore

The constant battle has waged

The winner not seen

Still more drifting

Floating, sifting

Thundering toward the shore

And for fun...the same poem as a word cloud (created using Wordle).


Wordle: Adrift

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Frustration Runs Rampant




Today was one of THOSE days.  We've all had them.  Spring break is near and everyone is feeling the need for it.  I'm not so sure if it's the kids who need it more or the teachers.  Anyway, I was feeling frustrated this afternoon and wrote this quickly while I was still in the moment and feeling a little ragged.  Can anyone relate?


Frustration runs rampant
The classroom is loud
Work is not done
Teacher not proud
Frustration runs rampant
Is learning going on?
Routines out the window
Teacher holds on
Frustration runs rampant
Misbehavior is here
Take control student teacher
Teacher has fear
Frustration runs rampant
It’s time to step up
You must rein them in
Teacher has warned
Frustration runs rampant
Stakes are high
Be strong, be firm
Teacher needs to be proud

Monday, March 25, 2013

What's In A Name?



I love how inspiring it can be to read everyone's slices.  I got this idea from Jennifer yesterday.  I enjoyed hearing the story of her daughter's name.  As I was typing a comment to her, I decided that I had enough to say to make it a whole slice!  I immediately started writing!

If you have a good name story, leave it in the comments.  I would love to hear about where you or someone you love got their name!





For Matthew -
When my Daddy and I found out we were pregnant with you, we knew right away that even though we wanted so badly to know whether you were a boy or a girl, we were not going to find out.  We wanted to wait until you were born so the doctor could say “It’s a boy!” or “It’s a girl!”  That was the way we wanted it to be…well, I think I wanted it that way more than Daddy but he was patient with me, probably because he knew I had to do all the hard work!
We didn’t know for sure that you were going to be a boy when you arrived, but somehow I just felt like I knew.   I knew you were a boy and I knew you were going to be our Matthew.  I’m not even sure where Matthew came from.  I remember that I had a dream one night and in that dream you were here!  I was holding you and rocking you and calling you Matthew, my little Bugaboo.
Good thing you were a boy; we didn’t have a girl’s name picked out for you at all!  There was a list of possibilities tucked into the baby name book that were all for girls, but nothing grabbed onto us for a girl.  Only Matthew – a name just for you.  Daddy had picked out Thomas, his middle name, to be your middle name too, but once you were born he decided it should be William instead.  Matthew William just sounded like the perfect name for our perfect boy.

For ??
I know you weren’t meant to be.  I’ll never know why.  I’ll never know what you would have looked like.  I’ll never know if you were a boy or a girl.  I loved you anyway.  I always will.  You were never given a name, at 8 weeks we barely knew you, but I’ve always secretly thought of you as Arin.  My middle name, spelled differently, in a way that doesn’t mean boy or girl definitively.  That was all I could do.

For Emma –
When Daddy and I found out that we were pregnant with you, we decided that we wanted to know if you were a boy or girl.  We decided not to wait until you were born, so when we went to see your ultrasound, we told the doctor that we wanted to know what we were having.  The technician did all the measurements and required stuff, snapped a few cute little pictures and then asked the question we had been waiting for. 
“Do you want to know what you are having?” she asked. 
“Yes!” we said together.
 “I’m 99.7% sure that you are having a girl!”
We were so excited!  We already had Matthew at home and we were hoping for a girl.  I knew almost immediately that you would be Emma Grace.  I’m not sure what it was about that name but I knew that it had to be your name.  It was a name just right for you – extra special.  Good thing Daddy liked it too!

For Madison –
When Daddy and I found out we were pregnant with you, we were so excited!  We decided that we wanted to find out if you were a boy or girl because we knew we just wouldn’t be able to wait until you were born!  It didn’t matter to us if you were a boy or a girl because we already had one of each with Matthew and Emma.  We just knew we wanted you to be healthy.  Once we knew for sure you were a girl, we started thinking about names.  We just really didn’t know.  There were names that we liked and were still on our lists from when your brother and sister were born.  We liked Hannah, Bailey, Lily, Ellie and a few others.  We debated for a long time.  Then I suggested Madelyn and Daddy suggested Madison.  We both liked Maddie as a nickname and it worked for either one.  We thought about it for a long time and decided that maybe we would need to see you to know for sure. 
Once you were born and we were holding you in our arms, we knew that you just had to be Madison Elizabeth.  After Grandma came to meet you, she told us that her name was almost Elizabeth too!  That made your name that much more special; just as special as you!

For Avery –
When Daddy and I found out we were pregnant with you, we were so happy!  We knew we would need to know as soon as possible if you were a boy or girl.  We couldn’t wait to find out!  Once we knew that you were going to be a girl, we started thinking about names.  We didn’t want any of the names that were still on our old lists.  They just didn’t seem right for you.  It took us a long time but we finally decided that Avery would was just right for you.  It was the middle name that was the sticking point.
We just couldn’t figure out what name sounded right with Avery.  We couldn’t think of the right thing for you.  Just before you were born, I asked Daddy what he thought about using Rose for your middle name.  Mommy’s niece’s middle name was Rose and she was very special to both Daddy and I.  We thought it would be a sweet name for you too, and we liked the way it sounded with Avery.
We figured we better ask Aunt Lisa if it was ok with her before we decided for sure.  She loved the idea and thought it was quite an honor.  She though that Mackenzie would have liked it.  That sealed the deal.  Your name would be Avery Rose.  When we saw you for the first time, we knew it was absolutely perfect for special little you!

Love you all,
Mommy