Saturday, January 31, 2015

Celebrate This Week - #olwnourish

Today is the perfect day to share how I embraced my one little word - nourish for 2015 participate in Ruth's Celebrate This Week community.  I really tried to be intentional and recognize what nourishes my soul for January.



Row 1 - discussing fractions, new recipe BLT salad with avocado, homemade granola
Row 2 - homemade granola, a class book written during indoor recess, snow day shoveling help
Row 3 - Jeni's ice cream, night time walk in the snow, concord grape yogurt!
Row 4 - steel cut oats overnight in crockpot, my walking companions, new houseplants
Row 5 - dinner with a friend, introducing telling time in a meaningful way, reading
Row 6 - knitting and basketball, snow day, and reading/writing

My friend Cathy reminded me she doesn't use Instagram and I always think, not YET my friend.  She also expressed an interest in following my journey.  She is always good for ideas and inspired this post along with my friend Mary Lee.  

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Slice of Life - Don't Use the Downstairs Bathroom?

We got in from dinner the other night and I wanted to use the downstairs bathroom but it was occupied already.  I started to grumble in my head and then realized this was an opportunity to get more steps today by going to an upstairs bathroom.  So, I dashed upstairs and thought of a new Fitbit strategy - stop using the first floor bathroom!  It sounded like a great idea at the time but to be honest I haven't fully implemented that idea in the days since.  After this idea came to me I realized that since getting my Fitbit last spring I have several strategies and I could make a list.  I love writing lists!

Taking More Steps in My Life

1.  Walk in place while drying your hair.
2.  Vacuum more often, that's about 1,000 steps.
3.  Park father away in parking lots.
4.  Look at lunch room duty as an opportunity for more steps.
5.  Forget papers on the copier? no worries, more steps to go get them.
6.  Use the second floor bathroom, only.
7.  Have friends share step totals or be a Fitbit friend - it's quite motivating.
8.  Get only 1 item at a time from the basement and go back for more.
9.  Remember 1 mile is 2,000 steps - cheer to self, go Mandy go!
10.  Have two dogs who need to walk twice daily, in all types of weather.

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for fostering our writing community.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Celebrate This Week - I Understand!

Today I am celebrating, making sense of bar models for myself, for my students and with my students.  I've taught a long time.  I've heard about bar models but hadn't taken on learning about them before I left third grade to teach kindergarten.  Now that I'm back teaching second grade bar models became some new learning I needed to figure out.  

I'm celebrating - 

1.  Bar models can help you make sense of a math problem.

2.  Bar models do not provide an answer.

3.  Bar models can help you figure out what operation to use.

4.  Bar models involve reading carefully.

5.  Bar models are a sophisticated pictorial representation.

6.  Bar models are helpful when working with larger numbers.

I've been wrestling with a resource I have available and got really excited when I could decode some gobble-ly gook and simplify our thinking for some anchor charts to guide our work.  I did model the word problems after ones in my resource for some consistency between that and my thinking.

Thank you Ruth, for supporting us in finding the positive in our busy lives.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Slice of Life - Dashing About for Reading

It's a snow day and how will I start my day?  It's cold and chilly.  The house is quiet and I'm 60% through a book on my kindle.  I realize a cup of warm tea, a half made bed, and my kindle are calling my name.  

I "sneak" downstairs because I don't want the dogs to know I'm awake.  Realizing they can both see me while I make my cup of tea but I make NO eye contact with either of them.  I dash back upstairs, make my bed and crawl in on my side with propped pillows just right for a cozy reading spot.  

I begin reading in on my kindle and not too long into my reading the 15% battery power message lights up.  Bummer.  My cord isn't long enough to recharge and stay in this little cozy spot I've created.  I really don't want to change spots so I think about just reading until it runs out and then start my day with something else.  Then I begin brainstorming and pretty quickly realize I need an extension cord and my reading plans can continue.  

I leap out of bed.  I quickly dash down two flights of stairs to the basement.  I quickly pick up my green extension cord.  I quickly dash back up two flights of stairs and try out the extension cord idea.  All the while hoping my dashing about will go unnoticed by two dogs who can still see me.  Perfect!  I was able to stay in that cozy reading spot and finish reading my book and that is how I started my day.

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for fostering this writing community.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Nourish - One Little Word 2015

Happy New Year 2015, better late than never and I wanted to share with you my One Little Word for 2015.  Instead of creating a New Years Resolution and always wanting to have many I've chosen to participate in the One Little Word project and ideas from scrapbooker/storyteller Ali Edwards.  If you haven't read anything by Ali, I highly recommend you stop by her blog.  The past seven years I have chosen enjoy, aware, nuture, discover, change, create, and embrace. 

This year before winter break, I wrote a Slice of Life title - It's dead, but wait....!  I didn't realize that was the beginning of my One Little Word selection journey.  With some nurturing and some nourishment that thought for dead, plant is making a great comeback.  Green shoots keep popping up.  Green shoots keep growing taller and I'm anticipating some buds might appear soon.  Then I went succulent plant shopping with my oldest.  She's all giddy about succulent plants and it was so fun watching her ooo and ahhh over these cute little plants.  I walked around the indoor plant area of this store and I realized I use to have more plants in my home.  I have lots of live plants in my classroom.  I then began to wonder if I have been ignoring some things in my home and my life.

These two recent plant events led me to with lots of thinking pondering and thinking over nurture and nourish.  I purposefully didn't want to pick nurture because the definition involves a strong message about teaching.  My life needs to be more than teaching in my home and out of my home.  I also didn't realize I had even picked nurture previously until I started researching my blog for this post.  I think that sends a strong message that nurture didn't work back then very well if I can't even remember selecting it.

If you follow me on Instagram you will see a video of my first documentation with nourish and how I've gotten to know my word for the year.  Parts two and three of the definition really solidified this word choice for me this year - to cherish, foster, keep alive; to strengthen, build up or promote.  I discovered lots of words in the thesaurus but three words made my heart flutter; cultivate, sustain, and encourage.  I think nourish is an invitation for many areas of my life; writing, reading, creating, playing, relationships, and health.  In my previous six years of choosing One Little Word, relationships never came up within my selection process.  I need to do some exploring, mending, and adjusting with relationships and myself.  I hope nourish will help me continue to find balance, let go, be present, and do things I enjoy.  

I've kept my journey with my One Little Word quite private during the year but hope to write about it monthly.  I'm always inspired by Maria's monthly updates.  I was also listening to two podcasts at the gym this week from the Elise Gets Crafty show and found some inspiration to keep nourish present in my life.  Crystal Moody was a guest and shared her goal of sketching all last year and how posting and sharing her sketches on Instagram was encouraging and motivating.  So, I hope to share ways I keep nourish alive with the hashtag #olwnourish and I think it will be fun to see the different areas in my life nourish is thriving.