My classroom is not a quiet, orderly place.
Students are constantly moving, thinking, talking, reading and writing.
I do my best to help my students find success.

November 27, 2012

Tuesday's Verbs

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Two Writing Teachers

Scene:  Home
Toss, turn
Sneeze, cough
Hear, ignore, press, repeat
Jump, coax, prepare, frown, smile, sigh
Shower, dry, dress
Change, pack, race

Scene:  School
Chat, brainstorm, thank
Meet, teach, coax, smile, 
Eat, copy, staple, panic, breathe
Teach, read, listen, laugh, scold, compliment
Greet, facilitate, smile, share, reflect
Carry, drive, call

Scene:  Home
Juggle, drop
Kiss, hug
Drive, pickup, listen, coach
Text, understand
Eat, smile, chuckle, breathe
Fix, fill, check, kick, fuel
Sort, fold
Sit, think, read, type, slice

November 20, 2012

Back in the reading habit

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Hooray!  I've been reading L O T S of books since last week.  I'm feeling better about my reading (too bad I have a cracked filling and a stuffy head... but that's a different slice) !!!

Here are some books I read that are worth a shout out!

This adorable story by Paul Schmid finds Petunia in a power struggle with her parents over the animal she thinks would be a perfect pet.  My 4th graders cracked up at Petunia's verbal meltdown in the middle of the story.  I love the beautifully simple purple illustrations.

Elizabeth Levy has a great protagonist in Cassie.  She's a middle school girl with a retired football player for a dad.  Cassie bounces between mom's house and dad/stepmom's house.  Things get interesting when Cassie is asked to try out for the football team, even though she hasn't played since she was 7 in the Pee Wee league.  I love Cassie's perseverance.  

These were my favorites from this weekend's reading.  Next up on the to-read list (see my list on Goodreads) are:

Happy reading to all during this holiday weekend!  I'm so thankful for the time to spend with my family, friends and BOOKS!

November 13, 2012

Excuses for Not Reading

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Many of my students (and lots of adults I've met) have lots of excuses for not reading.  

I was on FIRE this summer, burning through lots of books and adding them on Goodreads.  In the past two weeks, I've found myself in a reading slump.

Here's my current list of excuses.  

I haven't been reading because....

I haven't been to the library in a month.

Every time I try to download an ebook from the library, I don't finish the process, exit my cart and lose all my books.

It gets dark at 5:00 now.  After coming home and waving the dinner wand, I reallllly don't want to go out again.

I've read nearly all the books on my shelf.  If I haven't read them, those books aren't interesting to me.

I haven't had time to read my usual book-loving blogs to add new titles to Goodreads.

I haven't been to the library in a MONTH!
(My husband joked that he expected them to call me and check that I was okay.)

I've been working hard on keeping my classroom papers in order.  When I look up at the clock, there's no time left to read.

I'm looking for a new book, author or genre to get me excited.


I've run out of excuses.  Time to find something to read....and quick!

November 6, 2012

Taking Care of My Customers

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When I need a quick lunch during the school day, I like to stop at the Culver's near our school.  Sure, their burgers are tasty and the custard is yummy, but the reason I keep going is their customer service. Everyone who works there has a smile on their face, even when it's busy or they are taking out the trash.  They will stop by your table and clear your place if you are finished eating.  They always thank you for coming.

I'm trying to recognize the customers in my life and treat them very well.  Sometimes it's tricky (when working with demanding adults) but most times it's very easy (when I see students).

My customer service habits include:
  • Smiling and waving at students I see in the hallway.
  • Chatting with students as they unpack their bags or wait in lines.
  • Practicing great listening skills.
  • Thanking colleagues for new information, papers, or stopping by.
  • Ensuring my students that I'm glad they came to my class and worked so hard.
  • Reminding former students that they can borrow books from my room.
  • Trying to smile -- even when I'm tired, crabby or frustrated.
  • Being approachable
What are your customer service skills?  I'm glad I've reminded myself to keep smiling.