Sunday, July 3, 2016

Teacher's Write 2016
June 30, 2016

Quick Write- Saying More with Metaphors: Using the Element of Surprise to Say Big Things

Today we are challenged to put words together to create a vivid metaphor. I decided to play with worry and a forest fire.  Worry can start out as a single thought, an idea or concern. It takes only one match to start a fire. As we worry and fret over what may or may not happen, we fan the flames. A small fire might burn only one twig but if left unattended, it soon engulfs the entire forest. If we continue to fret and worry, we are soon consumed just as the forest fire licks each branch and mighty oak!!

Teacher's Write 2016
June 28, 2016

Today's assignment: 100 Steps

I modified my assignment so that it landed me at a Starbuck's that I don't normally frequent. So for 10 minutes, I am just going to observe and record...

Music playing overheard
Customers ordering fru fru drinks
A person bent over their drink, earbuds wrapped around their ears- either deep in thought or quietly asleep
An iPhone signaling someone has a new message or text
Baristas dropping dishes
Silly laughs resulting
Animated conversations between friends

This picture is in front of me at Starbucks.  And I think it captions what I saw and heard.

                       Seconds, Minutes, Hours, It's Life

           The music blares from some speaker overhead
She is bent over her drink, is she deep in thought or asleep?
      "I'll have a Frappuccino, please, light on the cream."
Drop, crash, laughter all around, what a sight, seeing coffee on the ground...
             "But then you know what I said to him?"

Everyday people. Everyday events. Putting their heart into their job and into their lives. And just because I chose to sit back and observe I got to see it unfold in front of me!! How much more we could see, when we put our heart into it...
Teacher's Write 2016
June 27, 2016 What's In Your Notebook?

Let me start off by saying that I have been looking forward to participating in Teacher's Write since last summer! I encouraged people to join me and be a reader who writes and a writer who reads. So what happened? Why am I over a week late to the party? Because I took my yearly vacay with my sisters and this year's cruise was nothing short of spectacular!! And I have had a hard time re-entering the real world!! I have taken a nap. every. single. day! I have yet to finish unpacking my suitcase! And I am counting the days to my next getaway!!

So with that me being said, I decided today, I have to take the plunge and dive in!! I will be behind for a couple of days, but, I really want to be present in this writing camp!! So as we said in Jamaica, "No problem, mon!!"

What's In Your Notebook? asks the age old question- electronic or paper and pencil? Each year I struggle with way I want to record my summer musing and thoughts. I always start with paper and pencil, because just like books, I like the feel and smell of paper. Then I will transfer to digital so that I can share and collaborate with others. I love how it is suggested that we need to make sure that for our learners the notebook belongs to them and that it is for them. Too many times as teachers, we feel the need to tell our learners what to write or how to record it. What if this was truly of collection or a house for their thoughts, their dreams, their wonders? I've bookmarked this blog entry so I can revisit it early August before school starts.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Day 7 of Our Poetry Challenge

Day 7 of Our Poetry Challenge

Today we learned about the poetic device of similes and metaphors and we are trying to write a poem using them.

Dew on the Grass
by Mrs. Cook

In the early morn I walked 
Across the dewy grass
My toes scrunched up
The cold bit them hard
They were blocks of ice!!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

4-6-16 Day 6 of our Poetry Challenge

4-6-16 Day 6 of our Poetry Challenge

A Smashup of Trees and Onomatopoeia
by Mrs. Cook

A peach tree was bought
But I think it was for naught
It sits in the pot
While the weather gets hot
And I am about to go


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

#SOL16 Tuesday Writing 4-5-16

#SOL16 Tuesday Writing 4-5-16

My students and I couldn't leave our daily writing behind when March was over. So I suggested we do a Poetry challenge for the month of April. Today we learned how to write a Cinquain. So my slice of life today is written in the form of a cinquain.

Spring Fever?

The children continue to come to school each day
But their minds are elsewhere
Could it be that spring fever has hit?
The weather is lovely; some may say too hot
School isn't over yet. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

Day 4 of Poetry Challenge

Day 4 of Poetry Challenge

by Mrs. Cook

I read a book or two today
School is over and 
Now it's time to go and play
The sun in out
We scream and shout 
I read a book or two today. 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

4-3-16 Day 3 of Poetry Challenge

4-3-16 Day 3 of Poetry Challenge

Spring Is Here!
by Mrs. Cook

Twitter, twitter, chirp, chirp
Two birds flutter on the roof
A fallen log
A croaking frog
Signs all around that spring is here!!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

4-2 A Morning Walk

4-2 A Morning Walk

A Morning Walk
by Mrs. Cook

Started my walk early this morning
Nobody out
Peaceful yet windy
Ducks flying overhead
6 miles later, 
I was ready to fall back into bed!

4-1-16 April Fool's Day


April Fool's Day
by Mrs. Cook

I am not a fan of this day
Tricks and jokes aren't just child's play
My students were kind and let me be
And then my sister pulled a prank on me!!

Thursday, March 31, 2016

#SOL16 Day 31 The Last Day of Our Slice of Life Challenge

#SOL16 Day 31 The Last Day of Our Slice of Life Challenge

I was sharing with my students this morning that today was the last day of the Slice of Life Challenge. A small group of them have been participating with me! We have all grown through this experience. We are better readers and better writers because of it!

At the end of our sharing time, I had an "aha moment." Why should we stop just because the challenge was about to end? So, I proposed that we do another challenge for the month of April. We have been studying poetry and so we are creating our own Poetry Challenge. I am so excited that they were willing to continue on this journey with me!! Then they asked, "So what about May? We've decided during May we will share our reading experiences!!" How cool is that?

As for me, The Tree Fairies story continues...I won't get to write or revise it tonight due to other commitments but tomorrow, I'm back on it. I woke up in the middle of the night knowing how it ends. Now, I just have to get through the middle of it. :) I am loving this!!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#SOL16 Day 30 The Tree Fairies, con't.

#SOL16 Day 30

The Tree Fairies, con't.

Long, long ago there was a land full of tree fairies. Although no one had ever seen one, the old folk would tell stories of magic and lights. It was said that when the moon came out each night, that one only had to make a wish and that a tree fairy would grab the wish and carry it up to the moon. One night as her family took their evening walk, Sue Ellen saw the moon and remembered her grammy telling her the story late at night. So she closed her eyes, and whispered, "I wish I could fly." No sooner had the wish left her trembling lips then she began to feel the leaves swirl beneath her feet. The winds danced around her ankles and she felt herself floating off the ground.

Sue Ellen couldn't be sure if it was the wind that carried her or something else. A faint light could be seen around her scuffed up tennis shoes. Was it just an ordinary lightning bug? The kind that she would run after and put in an old mason jar? She tried to capture the light between her hands but it swirled to and fro. This wasn't an ordinary lightning bug. Could it be a real tree fairy? The glow became brighter as it circled Sue Ellen's head. 

The glow twinkled and she yearned to reach out and touch it. She lifted her arms out to her sides. But the rushing wind carried her higher. She pinched herself to see if she was really flying or only dreaming. Looking down she saw her family running after her. On the edge of a cloud she heard her momma say, "Sue Ellen, you come down here right this instant. You hear me?" She began to giggle and said, "Momma, I've got to see the Tree Fairies." 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#SOL16 Day 29 Continuing with yesterday's slice...

#SOL16 Day 29
Continuing with yesterday's slice...

Long, long ago there was a land full of tree fairies. Although no one had ever seen one, the old folk would tell stories of magic and lights. It was said that when the moon came out each night, that one only had to make a wish and that a tree fairy would grab the wish and carry it up to the moon. One night as her family took their evening walk, Sue Ellen saw the moon and remembered her grammy telling the story. So she closed her eyes, and thought, "I wish I could fly." No sooner had the wish left her trembling lips then she began to feel the leaves swirl beneath her feet. The winds danced around her ankles and she felt herself being pulled up off the ground.

Sue Ellen couldn't be sure if it was the wind that carried her or something else. A faint light could be seen around her scuffed up tennis shoes. Was it just an ordinary lightning bug? The kind that she would run after and put in an old mason jar? She tried to capture the light between her hands but it swirled to and fro. This wasn't an ordinary lightning bug. Could it be a real tree fairy? The glow became brighter as it circled Sue Ellen's head. 

If you read this slice, could you let me know what you think? I would love to continue this and see where the story takes me. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

#SOL16 Day 28 Tree Fairies

#SOL16 Day 28 Tree Fairies

When I was out for my walk today I  saw a tree that had a magnificent knot hole. All around this knot hole were little holes that had been burrowed out. And a story was born.

Long, long ago there was a land full of tree fairies. Although no one had ever seen one, the old folk would tell stories of magic and lights. It was said that when the moon came out each night, that one only had to make a wish and that a tree fairy would grab the wish and carry it up to the moon. One night as her family took their evening walk, Sue Ellen saw the moon and remembered her grammy telling her the story. So she closed her eyes, and thought, "I wish I could fly." No sooner had the wish left her trembling lips then she began to feel the leaves swirl beneath her feet. The winds danced around her ankles and she felt herself being pulled up off the ground.

Not sure where it is going from here, but, I am enjoying this "seed" from a tree...

Sunday, March 27, 2016

#SOL16 Day 27 Maybe That Wasn't the Lesson I Was Supposed to Learn...

#SOL16 Day 27 Maybe That Wasn't the Lesson I Was Supposed to Learn...

This morning as I was walking, trying to get in my steps before church, I was pondering on why was it so hard for me to write yesterday. I know that it happens to the best of writers. And no, I'm not putting myself in that category. But every day in class, when our students say those dreaded words, "I can't think of anything to write," I say, writing is just like talking. Everyone has something to say. Just talk to me on your paper. But it isn't always that easy is it?

So yesterday, when I hit that stumbling block, maybe the lesson wasn't what do we do when we hit our writer's block. Maybe the lesson(s) was: stop, take a look around you. Appreciate what is right in front of you. Enjoy the ordinary-ness of today. Find something simple and look for the pleasure in it. I think sometimes I can get so wrapped up in all of life's trappings and I miss out on so many little things. And isn't it really the little things, that all add up to become the big things? Maybe my lesson to learn was what do we really do to help kids when they say they have nothing to write about. Is my trivial little remark really going to help think grow as a writer? Maybe instead I should sit with them and just talk. Perhaps a spark will come out of that which will become their story. I think sometimes I just need to stop and see it through the eyes of my 8 and 9 year students. Writing can be scary. Writing can be fun! Writing can heal. Writing can cease! It is what we do in the "in between times" that makes it worthy of writing!!

As we near the end of this 31 day writing challenge, I'm glad that this lesson presented itself to me!!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

#SOL16 Day 26 Writer's Block Has Hit Today

#SOL16 Day 26

Writer's Block Has Hit Today

I spent the entire day trying to find something to write about. I was observant during my 2 1/2 hour walk this morning. I saw a slow creek running along beside me. I saw squirrels hopping across fallen trees. I heard dogs barking and saw a lot of people walking or running ahead and behind me.

Later I joined hubby for a day of errands. I read for awhile, we talked, we ate and we went to Home Depot and bought a peach tree.

By the time we got home, I was beyond tired. So I have mindlessly watched old tv reruns and dreaded having to write today's slice. Because I still couldn't think of anything to write about. So today, it is just about the ordinary. A typical Saturday with nothing outstanding. But even in the everyday ordinariness (is that even a word?) I was at least able to put something down on paper.

Friday, March 25, 2016

#SOL16 Day 25 Not Quite What I Had Planned

#SOL16 Day 25 Not Quite What I Had Planned

Today I had a plan. One that I was looking forward to!! We had the day off due to not using our Bad Weather Days. I was going to drive and look for fields of bluebonnets and/or tulips. I knew I wanted to be outside and not cooped up in the house doing laundry or cleaning.

So I got up early this morning, got ready and headed out. My drive was short. It didn't lead me to fields of bluebonnets or blooming tulips. It lead me to shopping. Clothes for myself and hubby. I did get to walk outside as I was going from shop to shop and that was ok. Something about feeling the sun on my skin made me smile.

Hopefully I will get to see the bluebonnets soon. My sister suggested going to the Arboretum. I may have to put that on my to do list!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

#SOL16 Day 24 To Do or Not to Do?

#SOL16 Day 24 To Do or Not to Do?

There's no school tomorrow. It  is Good Friday. But that is not why we are off. It is a Bad Weather Day, and since we didn't have a snow day this year, we get tomorrow off. There are a million things I need to do. That I should do. Continue cleaning that I started last weekend. More organizing. Report card grades are due next week. The list just keeps growing. Every time I cross off something, I find myself adding at least 2 or 3 more things that have to be done. Right. Now. friends have posted pictures of recent trips to bluebonnet fields and tulip trips. Their babies are sitting in the fields. Their puppies are frolicking in between the blooms. And I want to be outside. I need to be outside. So I think a field trip is in order. I mean, the mess, the laundry, the report cards, they are not going anywhere. But the bluebonnets and the tulips- their days are numbered. And I need sunshine. I need to be able to walk, outside...
Anyone out there with me on this?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

#SOL16 Day 23 A New Do

#SOL16 Day 23

Have you had one of those days where you wake up and look at your hair and say, "I have to get a haircut today?" Today was my haircut day. Isn't it funny how such an ordinary thing like a haircut and color can make your day? I walked out of the shop feeling lighter, cut off a couple of inches, more blonde, and even sassy! I couldn't help but laugh. I then went to dinner with hubby. Wednesday is our Date Night. I got the big thumbs up from him. Which means he approved. Now if  I could make it look like she does when she styles it, I think I would be set! I've even joked with her before and told her that I just need to run by the shop every morning and let her do my hair. Wouldn't that be a treat? Well...I'm short on my Fitbit steps, so I'm iff to get 3,000 more before I can fall into bed! Only one more day and then we have a three day weekend. 😄

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

#SOL16 Day 22 Meetings...

#SOL16 Day 22

Have you ever had to sit in a meeting at school to discuss your student's work or behavior? Most of the time, you provide data, work samples, test results, parent info, etc to come up with a plan of attack to help the student be more successful while at school.
Well this morning, I was in one of those meetings. Except today, I got to start with a success story. How one of my student's is making progress; both academically and behaviorally. I was able to share examples and show data to back up what I was seeing in the classroom. Halfway through the counselor said, "Wait. This is a good thing, right?" We all laughed, because in the midst of all the craziness, we sometimes don't take time to appreciate when something is going well! Here was a kid who was being successful because of our interventions and was truly happy in the classroom. That meeting took on a different tone after that.  It was easier to discuss the other concerns and come up with a plan. Maybe because instead of focusing on the needs, failures, concerns, whatever, we chose to start off with sharing our successes, our wins, their happiness. What a difference it made! This was a good reminder that we can always find something to celebrate with every kid! It is just as easy to find something to complain about! It is our choice!! I'm glad we made the right choice today!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

#SOL16 Day 21 5:30 am came way too early this morning...

#SOL16 Day 21

So over the past 10 days, we have sprung forward on time, I traveled east and lost another hour, flew back home, gained an hour and then set my alarm for 5:30 am this morning. I don't even remember what 5:30 am feels like! But it was brutal this morning people! I turned the alarm off and thankfully awoke 20 minutes later. The first day back to school from Spring Break is hard for everyone! The kids seemed to do fine. They were so excited to be back with their friends. All they wanted to do was talk and share. Couldn't really blame them though. As soon as I saw my friends, I wanted to know how their week had been. We laughed, we reminisced and we sighed. Why is that when you are on school vacations, time seems to go by so quickly?
It was a lot of fun to hear the adventures of others! "Oh, I would like to go there." "I remember when my family took that trip."
We have a short week this week and then a three day weekend for Easter. I guess we can ease our way back into this school thing.  :)
Only 11 more weeks until time is no longer our master!! I can't wait!!

#SOL16 Day 20 Sunday's Post Seems to Have Gotten Lost in Cyberspace

#SOL16 Day 20

Today was "Get This Closet Thing Done!" After two days of purging, sorting, organizing and making several trips to the Donation Drop Off spot, I am happy to say, I got 'er done!! What a great feeling it was to be able to completely walk in to my closet and have everything in its place. I even took a picture of it, because I was so happy!! It is truly the little things that make me smile!!

Which then spurred me on to the junk drawer. I am planning to get everything organized before the end of school so that during the summer I can play! Why is it so easy to let things get messy yet so challenging to get it back in order!! Looking forward to a few hours of reading my book I started while on our Spring Break trip!!

Saturday, March 19, 2016

#SOL16 Day 19 Back to Reality

#SOL16 Day 19 Back to Reality
So today I decided that it would be a good day to clean out my closet. That task of changing over from winter fashion to springtime fashion. I sorted, I washed, I folded, I tossed! And several hours later I'm still not done!!
I'm feeling good that many bags of clothing will be donated so someone can hopefully enjoy them!! So that got me to thinking what if I tackled the junk drawer in the kitchen or maybe the guest bathroom closet!
I'm only off one more day! Maybe I've bit off more than I can chew. 😄

Friday, March 18, 2016

#SOL16 Day 18 Spring Break is Over

#SOL16 Day 18

Today was the last day of our Spring Break together. We spent the day going to 2 Natiinal Parks and what a rich day of stepping back in time!! I walked along the childhood town of Jimmy Carter and I walked through tortuous trails at the POW Memorial. What a day of learning! I am humbled by what I saw. And now I'm in the Atlanta airport waiting to fly home. To my boys. To laundry. To some much needed sleep!
It has been a week of memories that I won't soon forget!!

Thursday, March 17, 2016

#SOL16 Day 17 Sometimes It's the Small Things

#SOL16 Day 17

Sometimes It's the Small Things

We woke up early this morning hoping that the weather forecasters were wrong. They were yesterday. They had predicted a cloudy day with no sun!! Yet we were lucky and had a wonderful, sunny day at the beach. Today they were predicting rain!! Lots of it!! And they were spot on!! So, instead of getting to spend a second day at the beach, we packed the car and started heading towards Atlanta. It rained all day. And a drive that was only going to take about 4 hours ended up taking the whole day. But...we were still able to find some things to do when there was a break in the weather. We found a cute little fruit stand and was able to purchase local great Florida fruit!! We happended upon a peanut factory in Georgia and was able to pull off the road and watch that process!! We drove along roads where wild cotton was growing!! It was a day full of driving and stuck in the truck but the small things still made it a fun day!! When we finally arrived at our hotel this evening, I checked my Fitbit and nearly flipped out!! I had only accomplished one mile. So I put on my tennis shoes and it the pavement. I was able to get them done and then joined the hubby in the lobby for hot cocoa and cookies.  :0 Not a bad way to end a day!!
Tomorrow we spend the day in Atlanta!! As Scarlett O'Hara would say, "Tomorrow is another day!!"

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

#SOL16 Day 16 A Day in the Sun

#SOL16 Day 16

The beach! We left New Orleans yesterday and arrived last night. So this morning we headed to the beach!! Clouds and rain were forecasted. We got sun. Lots and lots of sun! I even took a weak on the beach for an hour trying to get my steps in! It was a glorious day! With sand between our toes and sun kissed skin, we decided to leave around 3. I can't wait to return again tomorrow and dig my toes in the sand. Something about the beach grounds me. We took trips here when I was a girl. Maybe memories from a time gone by. Goodness this trip is causing lots of reflection, memories and joyful tears!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

#SOL16 Day 15 Ponderings...

#SOL16 Day 15

Today as we leave New Orleans and head to the beach, I wonder. Will I remember the walks we took? The talks we shared? The laughs over simple things? Time spent together just enjoying our day. Not too planned out, yet fulfilling days! I am truly enjoying this getaway. It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of our lives.  Do we take the time we need to grow our relationships? Do we take the time to focus on what is important? Do we reorganize so that we are effective yet still joyful? I think that is what this trip has been for me. A chance to ponder...a chance to reflect...a chance to begin anew!! Hopefully we all get a chance to do this!!

Monday, March 14, 2016

#SOL16 Day 14 The Red Slipper

#SOL16 Day 14 New Orleans Day 2 It has been such a grand day today. Walking the city, taking in the sights and smells. If you have read the last couple of days posts, you know I love eating breakfast out! This morning we ate at The Red Slipper down off Canal Street. They had great food which had abundant portions. The banana pecan pancakes were yummy! Such a treat! New Orleans is a great foodie town! Tonight is our last evening here and then headed to the beach. Spring Break- I am loving you!!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

#SOL16 Day 13 Fun in the Sun ☀️

#SOL16 Day 13
Good morning from NOLA,
We've stopped for a late breakfast and after yesterday's fiasco, we are keeping it simple. Undercooked , soggy waffles kind of deflated my breakfast expectations yesterday. The waffle irons seemed hot. Cooked for the full three minutes. Looked delish. Took my first bite. Wet batter. Was also my last bite. 😄 So today a quick dash into McDonald's and we are off for a day of walking the streets of New Orleans. I love visiting this town with all it has to offer!! Spring Break- I needed you! Let's enjoy the fun and sun! Yes. Sun! After many days of rain I awoke to see the sun! It is a good day!!

Saturday, March 12, 2016

#SOL16 Day 12 I Smell Bacon and Fresh Coffee!

#SOL16 Day 12

I love going out for breakfast! I just don't get to do it unless I am vacationing.  Which I am, as of last night. I'm not what is special about this time but I love sitting down with my hubby, over eggs, bacon or waffles and sharing our plans for the day!! It is a quiet, special time!! So what does today bring us? We are outside of New Orleans and plan to visit a Louisiana plantation. To take time to step back in history and walk in another time period. To smell the days of long gone and to hear the trees whisper their shared secrets. I love that we are able to stop and take a break and enjoy not only each other's company but enjoy the scenery around us!!
The waffles are calling so I am outta here!! I hope to share some memories tomorrow!!

Friday, March 11, 2016

#SOL16 Day 11 I Think I Will Make It!!

#SOL16 Day 11

Today's slice comes from my morning task. My job this morning was to get up on time. No small feat!! It is the day before we get out for Spring Break.  :) Get ready in under 30 minutes. And then use that extra time to finish packing for my trip. The packing that didn't get finished last night. Not only did I accomplish this task, I also arrived at work early. I was able to prep my room and get ready for my enrichment class. Then I was able to walk for 10 minutes and get a few more steps in. Because getting 12,000 steps today is going to be impossible. We head out of town right after school.  And then I'm in the car for several hours as hubby and I begin our road trip!! But wait, I just checked my Fitbit and I've  already got over 11,000 steps in and it is only 2:00pm This might really happen. Then I can join the road trip, settle in and take a much deserved nap!! :)

Thursday, March 10, 2016

#SOL16 Day 10 Tired Doesn't Even Begin to Describe It...

#SOL16 Day 10

The room is ready. We have been working for a couple of weeks and all of the work is up and proudly displayed.  We practiced today on taking our parents on a tour of our classroom for tonight's Open House! Yet, all I can think of is give me enough strength to make it through tomorrow. has been a week of inside recess.  Because...of the rain they haven't been able to play at home either.  Because...tonight is Open House.  Because...we come back tomorrow and everyone is antsy. week is Spring Break.  And all I want to do is go home and finish packing for my trip! So for now, I'll have to sit and wait in my classroom.  Which is clean and full of great work!! Their parents will be so proud!! Even though their teacher is so tired!! It really is worth it, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

#SOL16 Day 9 It will only take a minute...

#SOL16 Day 9

It was only going to take a little time today...famous last words! The project that my students had been working on for two weeks, didn't save. So today, instead of putting up the final pieces for my Open House bulletin board, I spent the entire day retyping their Bio poems. Then attaching the QR code of them reading their original poems. We're talking three classes, 66 students people!! What was I thinking? At the end of the day when I thought, I will never do this again, I went into the hallway to check the QR code to make sure they worked. And those sweet voices wafted down the hallway. I couldn't help but smile. Every mom and dad, grandma and grandpa are going to burst at the seam when they hear they loved one reciting their poem.  I was so proud of their hard work and can not wait for tomorrow evening when they showcase their great work!!

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

#SOL16 Day 8They say...March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb!!

#SOL16 Day 8

Today started out calmly. My students and I were working on a major Open House project. I had this planned for over two weeks. I had collaborated with my librarian and my IT person. So we were just about to begin typing our Bio Poems into Google Docs; followed by recording them reading their original poems and QR'ing them!! When...the skies opened up and turned an angry green!! The wind was howling and blew open the doors at the end of the hallway. A sheet of rain blew in. It was in that moment that I knew all learning for the door was DONE! The kids were running to the window to see what was going on! "It's a tornado!" "It's sleet." "It is hailing." "I wonder if my parents are coming to get me." No, this wasn't on the lesson plan and what was wasn't working. Maybe because we lost internet. Maybe because we lost phone lines. We didn't lose our electricity. So we just laughed and said, "Whatever gets done today, is enough." We chose not to let it stress us out or go crazy. At the end of the day, it will all get done. Or maybe not. But, it will be OK!! Sometimes you just have to find the humor in all of it!! At least that's what I keep telling myself.  :)

Monday, March 7, 2016

#SOL Day 7
Tick tock. Tick Tock. I'm not sure I can wait any longer.  :) Today's slice is courtesy of my new favorite show being on tonight. But not until 9:00. No, I'm not talking about The Bachelor.  :) The new show that keeps me waiting all week long is Blindspot. A show that focuses on solving clues and  crimes based on a woman who is covered in tattoos. It is suspenseful, creative and nail biting. I love devoting an hour each week to just hanging out and watching this show! Show as the minutes dwindle down I sit on my bed, tapping my feet, thinking can time go any slower? Oh yeah!! It's time! Let me quickly sign off. Talk again tomorrow.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

#SOL Day 6

Today was such a busy day for me. I had a ton of errands to complete as I prepare to leave for my Spring Break trip next weekend.  After 6 hours of shopping I headed home. All I wanted to do was rest; prop my feet up and veg! But I knew I still had chores at home to do. And I still had to get my steps in for the day. As I headed outside my two boys were outside flying a kite. I just had to stop and watch them play for awhile. :) Now understand that my two boys are completely grown up. Yet there I was watching them run after the kite, laughing and having a great time. And my mind played back to another time when they did the same thing with Daddy. It was a bittersweet moment because their only my babies in my mind. But for a few special moments, I got to relieve such a special memory right in front of me!! All because of a kite...

Saturday, March 5, 2016

#SOL16 Day 5

Saturday. A day made of up of many little slices. Errands. Clothes shopping for the upcoming Spring Break trip. Lunch with hubby. Hanging out at the local bookstore. Getting lost in a good book and losing track of time. Arrive home. Checking the Fitbit and realizing that you are nowhere near your step goal. Changing into your workout clothes and hitting the pavement. 90 minutes later you're done. Back home.  Pop some popcorn, turn on the tv and relax.  Another day in the books!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

#SOL Day 4I Lost Them...and I Don't Want to Find Them!!

 The theme today is: a lost item...

It is Friday afternoon. All the kids have rushed out of the doors; followed almost as quickly by most of the teachers and staff!! And I find myself walking in circles. Around and around and around our building. Listening to music and checking my steps on my Fitbit!! Why? Because I've lost a few pounds and several inches!! But where today's inspiration was a lost glove and what was found along the way; I don't want to find those pounds or inches and maybe a few extra!! This is such a stressful time of year for teachers. State testing is on the horizon. Open House is next week. Are we really going to finish this project in time? :) Spring Break is at the end of next week.  Have I packed yet? Well that's kind of difficult when I still have to plan what I am wearing, wash it and make sure that it isn't part of next week's schedule!! And if I am not careful this stress turns to eating. Which would mean I might find those pounds and inches that I worked so hard to lose.
So how does this teacher make sure that what was lost isn't found? I walk!! In circles! In place! And I breathe and realize that this is only a little slice of my life!! Whew!! I can do this!! :)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

#SOL Day 3 My Baby is All Grown Up

How do we really measure time? Is it by seconds, minutes, hours, days, months or years? Is it by the photographs or Instagrams or selfies that we have taken? How quickly time flies!! You hear this all the time as a young parent. "Cherish these moments, because they grow up too quickly!!" In the day to day living, it sometimes seems as if they will never grow up!! "Will they outgrow the terrible twos? Will they ever outgrow the screaming temper tantrums?"
Today my youngest son turns 24! How did that happen? He really isn't/hasn't been my baby for many years!! I still remember his birth day. We went to the hospital that morning at 7:00 am. Thinking that this would be a long delivery like my first son (20 1/2 hours), I sent my husband to work. No use having him standing around just waiting. At 12:00 pm, the nurse told me that we better call my husband, that we were having a baby.  I looked at her and said, "No, Not yet. It's only been 5 hours!!" We called Tom and said to head back to the hospital. Our son was born at 12:34 pm!! And in a blink of an eye, he is 24 today. Where is the little boy who went to school with me? Where is the little boy who hid in his kindergarten class on Rodeo Day because he was scared? Where is the young man who wrestled with his team mates and plowed down the football field in middle school? Where is the young man who did high school on his terms and his way? I peeked in on him this morning while he was sleeping and all I saw was my baby. Sleeping in his bed. This "slice of his life" moved too quickly for me!! Happy Birthday, John!! I can't wait to see what your new "slice of life" looks like!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Day 2 #SOL The Potential of One Day

A day. 24 hours. It has the potential to be anything. Its worth may be measured in seconds, minutes, hours or "slices." Today is Dr. Seuss Day. It's our practice state testing day. It is Picture Day. It is Faculty meeting day. It is Date Night Day with my hubby. Whew! So much to do in only the breadth of a day.
Our classroom mantra is flexibility. Whenever my students hear me say this, they repeat, "Just go with the flow." Which is easy to do...until you have a day like today.  Testing has to be done. Pictures have to be taken. Meetings have to be attended. BUT, I have the power to sprinkle in the wonder of reading and writing with my students. To not let the minutia of every day life interrupt us chasing what is most important.  To read or write...the heartbeat of our classroom.
So, today we will celebrate Dr. Seuss. We will read his books. We will find the joy of reading. We will capture the words that show our thoughts!!
The potential of one will you spend yours?

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

1st Day of Slice of Life 31 Day Writing Challenge

March 1, 2016 have an annual writing challenge. Today I'm joining other "slicers" to share a slice of my life!  31 days of could be terrifying! It could be hard! It could be the best thing I've ever done for my writing self! So allow me to introduce myself with an original acrostic poem, "A First Time Slicer" by me!!

A First Time "Slicer"
by Beth Cook

A Twitter chat invite becomes...a 31 day writing challenge!

Freeing to be able to capture a "slice" of life
Inviting my peers and friends to walk beside me during this journey
Reconnecting with the writer, within
Scared- what if they don't like my writing
Taking a leap of faith!!

Trusting the process
Important for my students to see me as a writer
Modeling my failures and successes
Excited to see how my writing changes and grows!

So here I go
Looking at the opportunity before me
Including my students in the challenge
Could have thought this more through before I said yes. :)
Even though I'm nervous...
Ready for this challenge!