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.

July 24, 2012


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Two Writing Teachers
My aunt has a magnet on her refrigerator,
"Don't worry. I've got it. --God"
I've always wanted to embrace that idea.  I can't.  If worrying was an Olympic sport, I'd be a gold medalist.

My Great Granny Antoinette led the way for me.  I was her understudy, listening and watching her worry.  I thought it was a little funny.  For example, when she'd arrive at a party, she'd ask my Granny (her daughter and chauffeur), "When are we going home?"

Granny's response would always be, "What are you worried about?  The bricks leaving while you're gone?  Relax and enjoy yourself!" (Granny was a very happy-go-lucky lady!)

Enjoy yourself.
Don't worry.

These words are easy to say but hard to live by.  I can find something, anything to worry about, just give me a few minutes.  My husband claims that I thrive in worry and chaos.  Sometimes he says I worry just to worry.

I don't.  Okay.  I might.  If I worry, no one else has to!

Don't worry, I've got it!  --Chris

July 17, 2012

#Summerthrowdown update

Tonight ends the first round of the #summerthrowdown reading challenge.  Three of my Tweeps (people I follow on Twitter) enjoy challenging each other (and their classrooms) to outread each other on a regular basis.  Then the idea of a summer reading challenge came together, plotting librarians against teachers.  It's been great fun:  reading like crazy, logging our reads on a spreadsheet (we count average number of books read) and giving stats/cheering/pouting on Twitter.

I've got a pile of picture books to read tonight, in addition to a few early chapter books that I found at the library.  My plan is to read until my eyes bug out of my head (those pesky #LeagueOfLibrarians have been ahead for most of the throwdown).  We're counting picture books as 0.25, books 50-150 pages as 0.50 and novels over 150 pages as 1.0.

Care to join the second round of the throwdown?  Check out for details on Friday!  Thanks so much to Brian (@brianwyzlic), Jillian (@heisereads), Sherry (@libraryfanatic) and Kathy (@thebrainlair) for a great #summerthrowdown!

Now back to reading!!!

July 10, 2012

Summer time

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A song from my daughter's first grade classroom keeps popping in my the tune of the Adams Family theme song...
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Days of the week (snap, snap)
Okay, I can't remember how the rest of it goes, but it names all the days of the week.

Since it's summer vacation, I'm having a terrible time remembering what day it is!  I've dutifully added everything to the calendar, and I'm able to distinguish the weekends from the weekdays, but oh boy, don't ask me what day it is!

I think this is a very good problem!

My husband is traveling for work most of the summer, so that makes me the grown-up in charge (hahahaha!).  My mornings have a routine:

wake up
take girls to summer school
walk with Cindy
come home

Once I'm home, I get completely lost in Twitter, blogs, books, cleaning up the kitchen, laundry, shower, organizing something, decide to organize later, reading, moving papers around, back to the computer, more reading, did I dry my hair?, sending out some emails....

Poof!  It's time to pick up the girls, feed them and shuttle my oldest to sports camp.

I try to do something outside the house in the afternoons, but since last week was SO hot, I ended up repeating lots of my morning activities.

Can someone tell me what day it is?
Nah, don't bother, I'm on summertime!

From *Mary* on Flikr

July 3, 2012


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Two Writing Teachers
It's been an emotional few days in our community.  One of the moms in the circle suddenly passed away, leaving two high school-aged daughters and a husband behind.

Tragic.  Awful.  Unfair.  Terrible.

I had not met this mom, but I still grieved.  Here was a mom, close to my age, gone so suddenly.  I got goosebumps every time I spoke with someone about her.

During this emotional time, I felt the need to find all the blessings and wonderful things around me.  I needed to find the sunshine and blue sky amid a dark storm.  I needed to stay strong for my friends who were close with the mom, and for our girls, who were trying to find ways to comfort and stay strong for their friends, her daughters.

Today's gratitude list is brought to you by a tragic event.  I definitely plan to start valuing the people around me on a more regular basis - even when the silly, stupid stuff in life brings me down.

I am grateful for...
  • my husband - a man I've known for 30 (!) years, who I drive completely bonkers on a daily basis, yet he's my number one fan
  • my daughters - they are my two favorite people.  I love coaching them and yes, nagging them, to be the best people they can be
  • my friends - I have friends from grade school, high school, grad school, my neighborhood, work, Twitter and blogging.  They've helped me to figure out who I am, and have helped me realize that I don't need to worry about what anyone else thinks
  • my family - parents, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents (RIP, GP!)
  • my sense of humor and (mostly) positive attitude
  • BOOKS, libraries, authors, and all the nerdy book people
  • chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate chips, the cacao bean...tee hee!
May you find the blue skies and sunshine during your next emotional storm, or help a friend through their storm.