Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I am almost officially done with griping. It's only the first full week of school and I am amazed at how much griping I've heard from other teachers. Maybe it's because I don't want to be known for it that I'm more in tune with it...maybe there's just more this year. Don't get me wrong, I've done my fair share before, but after hearing it from others, I'm ready to turn over a new leaf and be an encourager...Thanks for letting me gripe and get that off my chest!

Bees and Wax

Today, after reading about bees on our own, we got together in a sharing circle to share what made our brains go "Wow". One of my girls was sharing about how she turned to a certain page in the book..."And so we decided to read about how bees make earwax." Hmmm.....not quite sure about that one!

Monday, August 25, 2008

So far...

Well, I've now had roughly five days with my new cherubs. Many people ask how's it going? To be honest, I can't say yet. I see some great things and am reminded of how "trained" I had my last class. I know my students love informational text and certain topics already....I can see a dragon project for the year (to keep three of my boys busy). I also am noticing how well they use their words to show politeness. I notice that they have not perfected keeping their hands to themselves yet, but we'll work on that. I have some really sweet students and I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to tell this year! They are talkative, so I am hoping that we'll be able to channel their thoughts and ideas into our workshops and keep them learning.

I do have to say that the hardest part of the year is just getting back into a routine and getting up early...ugh!

Great Teachers

I am currently reading, What Great Teachers do Differently, by Todd Whitaker. Here are some of the ideas that I have taken away so far. While some of them may be no-brainers...I felt that they were worthy of being noted.

Great teachers focus on expectations.
There is never an appropriate time or place to yell at students (unless it's because an oncoming car, etc.)
Respect parents and students - do it for my sake.
I am the variable.
My behavior is the only one that I can control in my classroom.
I can control my own performance.
The real challenge is to treat everyone with respect at all times.
The power of praise - it should be authentic, specific, immediate, clean, and private.
The teacher is the filter.

Some of these ideas may not make go ahead and ask me questions, I'll gladly expand. It talked about who are the top three most effective teachers in your school and then who praised people? Do they overlap? I had to say, they did when I was creating my list.

Great food for thought as I keep reading. It also is a great book to read, especially at the beginning of the year. I can choose my attitude every day and love my students!


To start off our classroom theme of bees (you'd be surprised how much it can come in - queen bee, worker bees, teamwork, communication, etc.), we created a KWL today. While looking through some informational text about bees, a question of "What is this?" kept coming up with photos. Not only am I excited that I'll be able to do a quick focus lesson on reading captions, one student brought up the word pupa. At the same time, another student said larva...well, they combined and students thought they said parpa. Students kept repeating that the picture was that of a parpa...I had to write it down!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

I'm Still Here...

I know I haven't posted lately, but please know that I've been racking my brain trying to figure out what to post. School has just started and I've been a little busy with that. I have to give props to my friends who are mothers because I have no idea how you do it. I take care of just myself and I get own dishes, laundry, bills, household chores, cooking, and still my work from school. Praying that those of you who read my blog on a regular basis find encouragement every now and again when you read this...know that all of the work you do that goes unseen is an amazing testimony to those who watch you and sometimes don't fully understand all of the sacrifices you make.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Calling on Ideas

I begin my year and most mornings with a meeting with my students. I gather them to the Hive by playing a song (currently The More We Get Together). I greet them, we talk, and then we often sing several songs together. Most of these songs go along with some text that I have either typed or the actual books. I am looking for new songs or just wanting to know what other songs teachers use. If you have any ideas, PLEASE jot me a comment. The More We Get Together is getting a little old...


Friday, August 8, 2008

A poem of my own...

Granted...I feel safe most days, but when sharing my writing, this can be one of the scariest times for me as a person. I think it comes from wanting people's approval. However, I am putting this out there because 1) I am proud of it, 2) I need to be able to talk with my students about my journey as a writer, and 3) I love the people that read my blog and wanted to share it with you.

Background knowledge - it's supposed to be a poem for two voices (not sure how the formatting will turn out...just and fyi) I am the text that is plain, God is italicized, and together we are bold.


to see who I am
You are a child of of the great I AM

to know I'm loved
I have loved you with an everlasting love
for approval
I have called you by name - you are mine.
for satisfaction
Be still and know that I am God
for you!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Movie Review...Writer Style

If you haven't seen the movie, WALL-E, then stop reading this...go watch it and then come back and read.

Okay, so if you're still reading one of three things has happened...1) you don't follow rules, 2) you've already seen the movie, or 3) you really don't care and are still going to keep reading.

I watched the movie WALL-E tonight and during it I felt like I had to keep my brain awake to remember the big themes that I saw. In fact, I heard the captain say something and I pulled a piece of paper out of my purse (in the middle of the movie) and started writing it down (in the dark, I don't even know if I wrote in a straight line). The following are many of the thoughts and the processing that goes along with them.

I was blown away by the progression of the weight gain of the people simply because they didn't stay active. I was wondering what people thought of this as they watched it. After having lost some weight...and still trying to work on being healthy, I don't know if I was more in tune with it. I felt bad for these people (in the movie) who weren't able to get around without the help of an aided machine. I also thanked God that even though I may not LOVE my thighs right now...I am able to move and run and get around without the help of others. It was a good reminder to me to stay active and keep pursuing the goal of being healthy and enjoying life.

With the thought of enjoying life...the people were surrounded by machines who displayed lovely distractions in front of them all of the time. When the distraction was taken away, they were finally able to notice what was around them...the pool, the stars, others. How many times am I distracted by things around me?

I loved the way that WALL-E took care of Eva. It was an unconditional love...and yes, I know they were robots and aren't real. When she was able to see how he cared for her, she was on a mission to save him. He pursued her...(can you tell it's the romantic side of me???). He longed for ache that we all have. And it goes right along with the message that our pastor talked about today about the two greatest commandments and how we should love others. BTW...feel free to get the podcast - WCC - Unbreakable...

Finally...this is what started the entire writing down process (Ruth and Stacey, are you proud of me??? - I should show this notetaking to my class), the captain says, "I don't want to survive, I want to live." Ugh! What a great statement! I don't want to merely go through this life just existing, I want to leave a mark...I want to be something...I want to know that I matter and that I made a difference! Whew...I'm glad school is starting soon so I can start pouring this passion into my students and loving on my colleagues.

For those of you who watched the movie...what are your thoughts? And for those of you don't follow you feel like you want to see the movie now?