I Believe...

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I believe in Santa Claus. I’m a thirty year old mother of two and I still believe in Santa Claus…

That was the beginning of the very first paper I ever wrote in college. I was thirty years old and taking college classes for the very first time in my life. I didn’t know anything about writing. I didn’t know anything about college classes or even if I could pass a college class. But I knew I wanted to, and I knew I wanted to teach. So when the instructor asked us to write about something we believed in I did the only thing I knew. I wrote from my heart.

The essay ended up be much more than a whimsical belief in Santa Claus (of course) it was a gateway to some childhood memories that although they weren’t the happiest, they told the story of the resilience of a mother and the child-like understanding that not everything is like it seems, but if you believe…in something…someone you can make it through.


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“She just smiled, said that she loved books more than anything, and started telling him excitedly what each of the ones in her lap was about. And Ove realized that he wanted to hear her talking about the things she loved for the rest of his life.”

― Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove

Today I didn’t teach what was on my lesson plans. I started the day reading a book called “What do you do with an Idea.” As I neared the end I decided what a great way to teach mental images. So as I turned the next page I read the words, but did not show the pictures. The kids were unusually quiet. I read the rest of the book without showing “the idea.” As we finished I explained what mental images are. How we use them to become better readers. And what we use to make them.

Off we went to make our own mental images of an idea. Then we shared. And we talked about the power of mental images and using our imagination to become stronger readers, and enjoy the text we are reading.

We didn’t get to reading groups today. Today we shared our mental images, and shared our ideas about what to do with an idea.

It was just an idea I had-while sharing a story.


No explanations needed. These are my blessings. I am blessed. Beyond words. post signature

Gather New Friends

The other day I was talking to a “friend” on Facebook. And I said “you don’t know me very well.” And her reply was “aww I don’t. But you’re pretty awesome so far.” That has stayed with me since she said it. We “met” through social media, from a common interest, Rae Dunn pottery. I really don’t know this girl or many others that I have had friendly conversations with about pottery; but I feel as if we have been friends for years.

This pottery has brought me many beautiful pieces of pottery for my home, but it has brought me so much more. I have met sweet and interesting people from many parts of the US. Places that I have never traveled to or seen, but now that I have met these woman I find a desire to visit each one.

The irony in my new obsession and need to collect is that the very first piece I collected was a mug with my OLW for this year. GATHER. I knew as soon as I saw the mug I had to have it because of the connection. What I didn’t know was what this one little mug would bring me. What relationships and friendships I would “gather” from a mug.
So for my friend Karina I plan to Gather here every day until Thanksgiving to gather my thoughts and gather my words to help my friend get to know me a little better, and then we do finally meet face to face it will be as if we have known each other forever

Starting Overs

Starting over. Nobody likes do it. But unfortunately (or fortunately) we all do at one point in our life or another.  Starting over seems to be a theme in our lives lately. Maybe its our age, or the season of our lives, but whatever the reason starting over is what the theme has become in my family this year.
Its not something I mind too much or become worried about. Maybe its the teacher in me that acknowledges and welcomes the chance to start over. Its a time to try again or sometimes try something wholly different. Ive become accustomed to starting lesson plans over. I often start over with new teaching skills and strategies. I sometimes even completely start over from the very (or new beginning) the next day when things dont go as well as Id hoped.
We have to. As teachers if we see our kiddos struggling or trying to grasp a concept we dont have the luxury of saying oh well. We start again. We find that method or thing that will help the kiddos understand and get what they need to, sometimes its in one or two tries, sometimes its in twenty.
I think starting over gives us a chance to rewrite us. It gives us a chance to put on the slate of our composition the things we hope to be, and then decide what we need to show to others. It gives us that fresh new blank start to a whole new beginning.
Summer is that welcomed time before starting over. Its my time to reflect and relive the things that worked and the things that didnt. It gives me the chance to sort out in my mind and on paper how I want my new beginning, my fresh start of a new school season to play out. Sometimes Donnie will look at me and ask whats wrong? He says I look as though Im mad or looking through him. What he doesnt realize is Im replaying the moments in my school year that I want to give a fresh start to next year. Its not that Im not listening to him-Im just starting over in my mind the school year I just left behind. J How do I explain that??
This year everyone in my family has had a taste at starting over. My son and daughter in law both moved to exciting new jobs. My daughter moved to a new state and a new teaching job, her boyfriend graduated college and started a new job. And Donnie lost his job of twenty plus years and started a new one. Thats a lot of change. Thats a lot of new pages to fill up and begin again. Thats a lot of starting overs.
Soon itll be my turn to start over with a new group of kiddos and a bucket full of ideas Ive been turning over in my mind.  

I can hardly wait. 

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Time To Make The Donuts!

Do you do donut math?
Do you know about donut math?
Am I the last to know about donut math?
I read about this somewhere the other day for multiplication fluency. But I cannot remember whereso I promise I am not trying to steal anyone’s thunderor donuts. 
So if this is your idea please say so! I’d like to thank you.
The teacher I read about drew two donuts on the board. In the “holes” she/he put a number. On the donut itself she/he wrote some random (or maybe not so random) numbers. The students then came up two at a time and raced to find the product of the two numbers. 
Brilliant I tell you.
So I thought why not addition! And subtraction. And money. Really anything could work. I tried it last week by just drawing the donuts on the board and the kids L-O-V-E-D it. They asked each day after that when we could do “donut math” again.
I decided instead of on the whiteboard it work better for me as a center. 
So tonight I am making donuts.
I bought some small cheapo paper plates at the store. I got two different colors of sharpie and wa-la. Donuts.
I decided I would use one color for subtraction and one for addition for better housekeeping and so the kiddos could easily know which is which. 
I’m going to have them write the answers on our little dry erase boards and work in pairs so they can check each other and self-check. I may even throw in a bag of mini donuts as a treat when then finish the center!
So off I go to make the donuts! 

Have a super week Y'all!


Among All The Coughiness and Snores

Today was our first day back to school with kids. Tired? Yep. Beyond tired. The kids were great. But they too were beyond tired. And bless their hearts, sick. Almost every one of them told about being sick over the break. 
As they coughed. On me. 
I tried. Really I did. I was sympathetic and said “I’m sorry” as I quickly directed them back to their seats. Away from me.
One poor little guy even feel asleep during my read aloud. 
And come on I’m a pretty fun reader. 
But we had to stop. 
Because he was sleeping. 
And snoring. 
Poor kid. 
I was so jealous.
So today was the first day back with kids and it was c-o-l-d. 21 degrees cold. Last week it was in the 60’s. Monday it was 69! But noooo not the day we come back it was 21 and we all know what that means. Inside recess. Yay more time to spread their coughy germs. Poor kids. Poor teacher.
But through all the coughiness and all the I’m tireds. I have to say I was glad to be back. I missed my kiddos. They make me smile every day. I was even blessed with a new kiddo today who looks to have just as much cuteness as my other kiddos.
 January to me is the month of recognition. It’s when I begin to recognize who’s starting to move away from me and into the league of “a big kid,” and who might still be a little hesitant and need just a few more weeks of extra support and guidance.
I’m always proud of those kiddos who are soaring to new heights. But between you and me I kinda like that extra time I get with my not yet ready ones. I tell you I am beyond blessed this year. And I am not ready to turn loose of a single one of my chicks whether they are ready to soar, or still need my protective arms.
If today was your first day back I hope it was quick and uneventful. If it’s tomorrow, I wish you warm weather, outside recess, and no coughiness or snoring!
See ya soon!