All About the Bass...Base SOL#16/31

I have that song running through my head. You know the one sticks and plays over and over. But not the whole song, just the part I can remember. Over and Over.
Because you know I'm all about that bass,
'Bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass, no treble
I'm all 'bout that bass, 'bout that bass
Now that’s not the normal type of song that runs through my head. I’m more of a I’ve had the time of my lifeOr a Blue skies looking at me, nothing but blue skies do I seetype of gal.
But that Bass song just really has me hooked. And it got me to thinkingThat’s what writing is all aboutthe basswell the base.
It’s the base for everything we do, and it’s the base of all I teach. In the rawest of forms writing is the base. It’s where we begin in Kindergarten. It’s where we begin our children long before that. From the first moment we place a marker, crayon, or pencil in our child’s hands we have started that base.
As a teacher I start the school year finding what type of base my students have, then use my knowledge and input to help them build on that base, stretching and pulling, prodding and uplifting until the base is stronger and everything stacked on top of it is a solid structure.
My base is my love of writing. That is the structure I hope to pile on each and every one of students’ writing lives.  
Sometimes the base seems too hide or crumble if not tended to each day. That is what happened this year. Not only through this challenge, but in my writing life in general. But as I reflect on the whys. Look deeply to the how comes, I can’t help but hear that it’s “all about the base.”
And so here I am at the end looking back to the beginning, the very beginning and finding my base is still intact. Now it’s up to me to start building my writing life once again.
Thank you Slice of Life for letting me leave, reflect, and return once again. 

All About the Bass

Sometimes SOL #16 of 30

We started our month long unit on poetry today...just a few days early. Tonight poetry slice of what we all might feel like from time to time. 
Sometimes you feel like you’re standing alone
But I am there.
Sometimes you feel like it’s not enough
But it is a something.
Sometimes you feel like no one is listening
But I hear.
Sometimes you feel like you’re the only one that sees
But I have you in my sight.
Sometimes you feel like a broken record stuck on the same song playing again and again
But I know the next verse, your verse.
Sometimes you will cry and want to give up
But I will dry your eyes and cheer you on.
You’ve got this! 

I Am Back SOL 15 on Day 29 2015

What I have learned from my month of Slicingor lack thereof. I have sliced a total of fourteen days this month. Fourteen. That is a record for me, and not necessarily a good record. For the past five years I have happily joined in this challenge, and waited keenly for March to come.
This year was no differentuntil about halfway through the month. It was then that I lost the spark. I lost my desire or want to write. I felt my writing was not fresh or worthy enough to be put out there.
My husband asked the other day about my slicing and I told him “ehhhh I have lost the want to.” He seemed surprised and maybe a little worried.
My good friend asked me tonight how the slicing was going. I felt like a failure saying I’d given up, saying I wasn’t doing it any more.
I don’t know why I let it go to the wayside. I could say I was busy, or there were too many distractions. But I feel it was something more.  I felt.repetitive and repetitious. I heard in my writing a tiresome writer and monotonous voice. I felt to be writing the same things I had written in the past, and I didn’t want to be that writer.
But I don’t want to be the writer that doesn’t write either. I find myself comparing my angst to my students and I wonder what I would tell them. And I thinkI’d’s okjust keep writing.
And so here I am almost too late, writing once again. I need to remember to write through the tough days, to write through the boringness, to write through the guilt of writing noneducational writing on here, and write through the not writing.
I am almost too late. But I am back and writing thanks to the kick in the pants from a husband and my friend.      

A Great Day SOL14 2015

Missing a day of slicing is like cheating on your diet or missing a day of exercise. The guilt is awful. The next day all you can think of is how you’ll do better, how you’ll never let it happen again, how this will be the last time. It’s awful I tell you. But not today.
Today was a great day.
I slept in past dawn.
I made cinnamon rolls for breakfast.
I talked my hubby into going to Lowes and buying new flooring.
Had a fun conversation with a friend.
Took my daughter lunch.
I played in the yard with my pup.
I found some fruit trees for my yard and went to supper with my hubby and daughter.
And now I am slicing.
It was a good day.
No Guilt! 

Puppy Posting SOL12 2015

This slice has been brought to you by an overzealous puppy who wants my attention every time I pull out my laptop. Giant paws on the number keys and this is what you get. Puppy Slicing at its best!
I’m off to cuddle my pup! 

Boys Are Rock Stars SOL11 2015

Every morning we spend thirty minutes silently reading in second grade. It gives me time to do “office duties,” the kids (and me) time to settle in. It is time to catch a few readers one on one and listen to kids tell me about a book they’re reading. But mostly it is reading. Silently. For thirty minutes.
The kids love it. I love that they love it. I have been known to give a few extra minute to read when everyone seems content in their spots.
The other day we had such a day. “Can we read until recess Mrs. Klinger?” “Oh we really have a lot to get to, I don’t know.” Pleeeeeessssee they ask. I look around and notice that most of them are reading and not asking.
One book loving girl asks again, “can we please Mrs. Klinger?” I look around one more time. “OK,” I relented, “just until recess.”  Cheers all around.
One of my lil guys happens by about that time. He leans in as if he has a deep dark secret to bestow upon me. I lean in and he says “I knew it, girls are good at convincing.” And then “But boys are good rock stars.”
Cracked me up. Love these kids! 

Just For Today SOL 10 2015

I forgot to slice yesterday! I felt terrible. It just flat slipped my mind, until about an hour after I’d been in bedat midnightcentral time. It was sad. I did have my kids slice for the first time so there is that!
And today I am blank. I can’t seem to pull the words out to put them down to make any sense. So just for today I’m writing about today.
Just for today I will not worry about hitting snooze one more time.
Just for today I will not shave my legs and not worry about the lack of color on my toes.
Just for today I will not overeat and not drink Diet Pepsi.
Just for today I will drink in the warmth of the sun when I should be cleaning, grading, or writing.
Just for today I will let my pup ride with me to town in the front seat long ears flapping.
Just for today I will turn the music up loud and dance in my living room like no one can see.
Just for today I will give myself a break for the bad and revel in the good and think that tomorrow is a new day live in the now. 

Every Woman I Know SOL8 2015

I have a friend who is one of the strongest people I know. She has faced challenges in life that most of us only read about in books or watch on Lifetime television. She has struggled and attuned, only to struggle again.
She has had a rough time lately. Old habits are hard to break, and sometimes easier to fall back into than face the hurdle of them occurring one.more.time.
But she is hanging in there. She is trying. She is not a quitter.
She has a family that loves her, friends that look up to her, and a child that needs her. But her struggles are real. Her needs are daunting. Yet she trudges through.
The tragedies she tells herself wake her in the night and try to creep into her dreams making a spectacle of her tenacity to do better.
The demons she entertains demoralize the righteousness of her actions and taunt her telling her she doesn’t deserve better. But she does.  
She has a plan, a resolve to do better, to find her way out of the darkness once again.
A plan is good, a step toward the light. I am here for her, holding the torch of faith. Letting her know she is never alone, and home, health, and happiness are but one heartbeat away.
I am so proud of her strength. We will endure this struggle together.
If only just for today. 

I told You SOL#7 2015

Today was a great day. Family, friends, and surprises. 
Today I pulled of a surprise party for my husband. He was surprised. 
I was shocked I pulled it off.
I told him I had a women’s auxiliary meeting at HIS fire department.
I told him I was not happy about it but I would go.
I told him it was a lunch and I had to take potatoes.
He told me not to go, but told him I should.
He helped me carry out the food. He felt bad for me.
I told him I would be ok.
The kids told him they were going to the movies.
About forty five minutes later I called and told him my tire was flat, could he come and take a look at it.
He told me he would.
He came to the department. He was shocked. He was surprised. He told me he hadn’t a clue.
I told you it was a great day! 

Whole School Literacy SOL#6 2015

Do you ever do a whole school literacy project? A few years ago I started a story based on the story “Snowmen at Night.” It was called Snowmen at McCord School at Night. Each class added to the story and it was hilarious. Since that time we have done quite of few whole school stories. The principal loves to read them at a morning assembly and the kids love hearing what they have written added to all the kids.
This year we started one to end our reading challenge and for Mr. Principal to read on our reward day. This is the first part of the story our class came up with. I can hardly wait to hear the middle and end!

Mrs. T. Klinger’s second grade class was so excited! The day they had been waiting for had finally arrived. Today was the day of the big SEA adventure Mrs. Henley had promised them. They had read all the books, tracked all the points, and now were ready for the big day.
There seemed to be just one slight problem, someone or something had snuck into their room and taken all their tickets.
The second graders became worried, but instead of pouting like the Pout Pout Fish, they began to scour their room and the school for clues. They searched all the backpacks, looked in every desk in their room, and rummaged through every book bin, but their tickets were nowhere to found.
“What are we going to do?” Wailed Jayce. “I have read all those books for nothing.”
Suddenly the second graders heard a commotion coming from somewhere in the hallway. They quickly scurried out to see what it was. 

Happy Birthday Hubby SOL#5 2015

Today my hubby turns 5o. We have known each other since he was 17. Thirty-three years we have been in each other’s lives. More than half our lives as friends. More than half our lives in love. 
If you knew my husband you would know that he is a man that feels deeply, but shows little. You would know he is loyal to his final breath and respects that in others. His family is his biggest success story and what he measures all other success by.
He is my best friend and at times my only friend. He is the one that mattered when I was a young girl and the one that makes me feel like I matter today.
He makes me laugh, and holds me when I cry.
He is the one I give a hard time to when he brings me fresh eggs for Valentine’s Day, and windshield wipers for Christmas. But I know has my best interest at heart and always has my back.
He is the one I look for to share with when I’m happy and seek out his arms when I’m not.
His are the stories that want to listen to at the end of the day, and the one that I wait to hear from in morning.
He helps protect our community from fire, and still lights mine.
He is the boy I held hands with and gave my heart to, and today he is the man that holds my heart and would give my hand in marriage all over again.
Happy Birthday to my hubby. My friend. My Love

Always Before My But..SOL#4 2015

Every week we have a new word in second grade. We think about the word, discuss the word, use the word in sentences, and do our best to use it in our conversations.
On Monday I put the word in a “cloud” on the whiteboard. The kids write the word in their word journals (spirals) and write what they “think” the word means (some of these are quite fun).
On Tuesday we revisit the word, I use it in a sentence. We look up the “real” definition and find out what part of speech it is.
On Wednesday I use the word in another sentence on the whiteboard. This is the fun day. My sentences are never short. My sentences are never correct, and my sentences are always fun to fix! We not only use our word we get some great editing experience.
The other day we were correcting our sentence and I was going through my usual slapstick of “why do I have to have a capital T for the “The” at the beginning of the sentence?” “I like the little t better!” “It’s cuter!” When I said, “OK I see one more mistake, who else sees it?”  Blank. Crickets. No one could find the mistake.
I try again. “Ok look closely, I’ll give you a hint, it is punctuation.” Again, blank. Crickets. One clever girl piped up “we have a period.”
“Ok what other punctuation could we need?” “Listen to how I read it.” Hands high in the air. Bottoms scooting from their seats to be the first to answer.
“J- what do we need?”  “A comma!” YAY brilliant children! “Good, where does it go?” “After that but” ,he beams. Others snicker.
“Close J, but the comma goes before my but.” Giggles ensue. I act as if I can’t hear them.
“Do you see J?” “My comma goes before my but, not after my but.” Dorky face from the teacher, and fits of giggles from all.
“Ok everyone repeat after me, the comma goes before the but not after, and before the and not after.” Peals of laughter and reciting.
That night I ask my parents to ask their kids where a comma belongs in a sentence. Many said they’d already been told, and the others cracked up when they heard it went before my but!  
A few days later another teacher walks in while we are editing our sentence. She was just in time for the kids to tell her exactly where the comma belongs! 

Slice of Life #3

I have so much I could write about tonight, so much I could say, so much that needs said. But I can’t. It’s too soon, too raw.
I will leave it at- this has been one of the roughest days of my life. 

The Teacher Cries SOL #2

I just couldn’t stop them. The trickle that started in the corner of my eye quickly became a gush as I continued. I knew it would be this way and I had warned them from the beginning this is what would happen. But they asked me to do it anyway.
It shouldn’t be this way. I should be able to control them and keep a steady strong pace.
There was a hint of what was coming in the beginning, and I told them there would be more. They said it was ok. Told me to go on. Begged me to endure.  And so I did.
Day after day. A moment here, time squeezed in at the end of the day or at quiet times. Every day for the last few weeks.
Today we were so close so we struggled through. I struggled through. They listened and watched as I swallowed and choked back the tears. I asked if they wanted me to stop, but again they begged for the finale.  They could see that it was hard for me, but knew that I too wanted it over.
“It happens every time,” I tell them. I just can’t help it, and it may happen to some of them as well. It touches me, and makes me think and feel. They will see. I explained it happened when the first time so many years before when my son and daughter were young.
I can feel them watching me, but unable to look up knowing it will only make it worse. Finally I ask for a break. I look out at them and as I suspected I see worry and care, questions, a few tears, and maybe a little fear.
It’s scary I know, to see your teacher cry. It’s just a book after all.  A book that made us think and feel, question and learn. It’s a book about a girl older than these kids, but full of fear after the loss of her parents, the heartache of a new home, no friends and the need to protect an Uncle that is thirty-five years old but has the mind of a child.
It’s called The Man Who Loved Clowns by June Rae Wood.

This teacher cries every time she reads it, and today so did some of my kids. 

Before He Grows SOL 1 2015

It's finally here! March 1st and the annual Slice of Life writing challenge! I have some goals this year. Each slice will be just that a moment or piece of my day that I have chosen to write about. Not all of them will be nonfiction, but all will start with a moment of my day. 2. I will not write about just the weather, it might be embedded in my slice but it will not be the topic of my slice. 3. The slices will be personal and hopefully find me stretching my writing and thoughts more than I have in years past. In other words I will not be slicing just to slice. 4. I will comment on as many as I possibly can each day..

And so it begins... SOL #1 2015

A blanket of white has finally covered our rustic yard of this barren winter. I sit content after a satiating Sunday morning breakfast, drinking in the stillness and the quiet.  
He plays contentedly on the floor, but I can see the sleepiness creep in. A yawn. A stretch. I sit still and I wait.
He’s old enough to nap on his own now. His own bed. A warm spot on a blanket on the floor. But when he’s really tired, really contented; he searches for me. And I oblige. It won’t be long before I’m an afterthought, a memory of his youth.
I see it now. He stumbles over and touches my knee. I know it’s my lap he’s seeking for his resting spot today. My arms. I reach down and pull him to me. 
It’s been this way since he came home. Cuddle time, snuggle time, nap time is for the warmth of momma’s neck, and protection of her arms.
I know too from my others it will be gone all too soon. He will outgrow my lap and the need for our time.
So I let him rest. Stroke his downy hair and kiss his milky cheek. Just for this quite time. Just for this time before he grows beyond my lap. I am the momma and the place he chooses to rest.