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.



April 25, 2016

Sunny Sunday #SOL16

Each Tuesday, visit Two Writing Teachers
to read more slices or join our community of writers!
Be brave :)

I read the newspaper each day, scanning for fun activities amid the dreary news and sobering headlines.  On Saturday, I spotted a glimmer of fun:

Lamb and Wool Festival at Kline Creek Farm

Don't even get me started about sheep and cows and chickens and....  no, I was not raised on a farm (just the suburbs!).  I have no interest in working on a farm (too hard!  too stinky!).  I just l.o.v.e. tours and new places and, most importantly, 

I {heart} being OUTSIDE!

Hooray for nature!!

My daughter, Allison, is a fellow adventurer (when the mood strikes her), and her boyfriend Eric will usually go along for the ride.  My husband really wasn't keen on going at first, but then I pleaded and gave him puppy eyes, so he was game.  When I said we could stop for lunch on the way, he obliged.  It was a beautiful day to take his car for a drive farther than his local office.

We had fun exploring the living history farm, watching sheep being sheared and talking with the horse handler.  We soaked up the sunshine and ended up in downtown Wheaton (yes, we visited one of the chocolate shops!) for a snack and some window shopping.

The visit to the farm was a nice diversion from all the chores and Sunday stress that I usually spend all day churning in my head.  Being outside with some of my favorite people made getting ready for the week that much easier.

This ewe is waiting her turn to be sheared.


This ewe is all finished with her haircut!


April 18, 2016

The Reading Nest #SOL16

Each Tuesday, visit Two Writing Teachers
to read more slices or join our community of writers!
Be brave :)

It's April.  We have less than 30 days of school (yes, we will finish in MAY!)
and my little "birds" are flap, flap, flapping their "reading wings."

I, the sweet, smiling enabler, take on a new persona every spring.
My little birds are not very happy with me.

I become the mama robin
who has sat on the eggs in my nest
keeping them warm and safe from predators.

My little birds are chirp, chirp, chirping
hungry for more words,
longer books 
("Can I have a chapter book, please?")

Their reading wings are the strongest they have been all year.
They really don't want to try to fly.
They are too scared, but
I begin to nudge them closer to the edge of the nest.

When they look at me with big, worried eyes, 
waiting for me to help them with a tricky word,
I pause, I count in my head, I prompt them,
"You try."
They can usually get the word, but I'll whisper help if they need it.

Some of my brood are stronger than others.  
They teeter on the edge of the nest,
encouraging their fellow "feathered" friends
to join them in a trial "flight" with a book.

These birds are ready for short flights on their own.
They refuse to wait for an introduction to the text - 
they jump right in and begin reading on their own,
usually leaving the safety of the table for a comfy spot on the floor
where they exclaim,
"I can read it by myself!"

Some birds need a bigger push towards the edge.  
These are the birds that I will welcome
back to the nest in August.
These are the birds that need more meals
of strategies, easier texts and positive reading experiences.

I will always be back at the nest
where the little ones can find me
amid a variety of juicy texts.

From McHenry County