Saturday, October 31, 2015

Celebrate this Week - Finding Joy


This week I celebrate it's finding joy for students and myself.

While reading an On Demand Narrative Piece I discovered Family Math is having a positive impact on students and families during a sister's birthday.  A win - win for everyone and my heart is full.  What we do matters.  Students are finding joy and choosing to do math for fun.  Learning should be fun.



"We got board of t.v. so we played my family math game!  It was very fun and I won. It felt like I was in card maineya!!!!!!!!"


Thank you to Ruth Ayers for fostering a community where celebrations are found and shared.  Reminding us of the joy in our daily lives, inside and outside our classrooms. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Slice of Life - I Didn't Expect to Get Homework!



"That didn't just happen."
"Did I just get homework from my daughter's principal?"
"I think I did."
"Do I walk around with book reader stamped in on my forehead?"
"Do I walk around with one who is always learning stamped on my forehead?"
"Did I just get homework from my daughter's principal?"
"I just got homework from my daughter's principal!"
"It's not a small assignment, it's to read a whole book!"


I had a great meeting with my daughter's principal a couple of weeks ago.  I've had some concerns about her learning, we've done some tutoring and wanted to get some support through school with something we finally found helpful for spelling.  I requested some testing be done and the results were what I expected but to be truthful, I was hoping to find an explanation and didn't besides she didn't learn how to spell in the right way for her.  It's a tricky conversation to have when you also teach in the district.  I just wanted to review some thinking with him and I really enjoyed our conversation and his willingness to realize we needed to keep momentum going with combination of school and home being united.  We are blessed to have a great team of teachers working with her this year, also.

I never expected to leave with a book to read!  He had just finished reading Drive by Daniel Pink and offered for me to read his copy.  I offered to buy my own version and he declined, handing me his copy.  I said I had a couple of books to finish first and he said, "no hurry."  As I read the blurb and the introduction, my appreciation for our meeting grew deeper.  I think he quickly listened and thought this book might be interesting to Mandy as a parent and a teacher.  He didn't know I was a reader.  He didn't know if I would follow through or did he?  One day, when I return this book I'm going to ask, why did you give me this book to read.  I'd love to know his point of view for why I got homework from the principal!


Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for inviting teachers to write and share their writing with each other.  This community helps teachers and students grow in writing.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Celebrate This Week - It's Okay and Memories


This week I celebrate it's okay and memories.  

For weeks I asked, what would you like to do for your birthday?  I would toss out all kinds of ideas; big, small, nothing, go somewhere, and silence.  This past Monday out of the blue I got a bubbly response.  "Mom, I want to relive one of my childhood birthday parties with my friends.  They never got to come because we met in middle school and our parties are always the best!"  My reply, "Great idea, plan it and I will get the things we need."  Inside I began to wonder how would we pull this off for Friday night.

We did pull this off and the evening has been filled costumes, pizza and wings, creating spider cupcakes, playing pin the spider on the web, mummy wrapping a friend, relay races, presents, making "spooky" halloween treats for the movie which is occurring right now with lots of laughter, music, and talk.  The house is full of joy.

While shopping for everything Thursday night, yes the night before I found myself talking to myself a lot.  It's okay I didn't do any school work.  It's okay my plans were sketchy in my mind.  It's okay I put work aside because the house is full of joy and joy matters.  While this started out as reliving a childhood memory it's turned into making new childhood memories.  

Thank you to Ruth Ayers for fostering a community where celebrations are found and shared.  Reminding us of the joy in our daily lives, inside and outside our classrooms. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Slice of Life - I hear something...

It's the middle of the night.  I'm not sleeping well.  I seem to be laying awake and must drift off for small chunks of time because I hear a noise but I'm not registering what it is.  I feel tired but begin to get up because if feels like I should check on something.  

My friend and math conference roommate says anxiously, "Mandy, that's a fire alarm.  We've got to get out of here.  Grab your purse!"  I'm trying to process everything while I grab my purse and realize I need my glasses to see and a pair of shoes to go out of the room.  I realize boots weren't the most practical shoes to have for this emergency but I have nothing else.  I have to make them work with my pajama pants but slow down the GET OUT OF THE ROOM mode my roommate is in.  We are luckily on the first floor and walk out of the lobby and decide to sit in her car, which is in the front row of the parking lot.  The location of the car is very important because we were able to observe a lot.

Our observations were a bit alarming.  People were exciting the building slowly or standing in the lobby.  Many ladies had grabbed their purses.  There didn't seem to be enough people up and about for the size of the hotel.  The front desk help didn't seem alarmed.  Hotel guests were choosing to sit on the sidewalk right where a firetruck should pull up.  A very cute older conference attendee had put on her conference badge over her bathrobe.  While this was cute, I actually thought how smart it was for people to know her name.  The firetruck did pull up and hotel guests had to move.  All of these observations were happening at 4:15am.

After this experience, I reflected on a few things.  Pack flip flops for all trips.  They are very quick to put on and off.  Why don't we have a consistent fire alarm sound in every building in our country?  This hotel alarm sounded nothing like the fire alarm in my school building.  Why didn't the guests at the hotel move away from the building as they practiced growing up and going to school?  We hope our lessons in school carry over to real life and travel with a friend who is quick to respond to a fire alarm!

Thank you to Two Writing Teachers for inviting teachers to write and share their writing with each other.  This community helps teachers and students grow in writing.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Celebrate This Week - Spaces


This week I celebrate spaces.  

I've been pondering this post for a few weeks and thought I would celebrate the various spaces in my life and how beautiful each one is as I wander in and out of each.  None of these spaces get equal time and sometimes they are neglected.  When I think about spaces being neglected, I realized that spaces don't mind a little neglect and they often call you back.  Spaces are forgiving and spaces are inviting.  Spaces can be overwhelming but spaces are comfortable with little steps.  

This week I particularly celebrate this space.

This space has been neglected.  This space has called me back.  This space is inviting me to write and share again.  This space is encouraging me to connect.  This space is willing to take little steps and be active again.  This space encourages rest amongst my busy days as I write and reflect.  This space doesn't need a plan.  This space doesn't need a schedule.  This space is happy I'll be writing again.

Thank you to Ruth Ayers for fostering a community where celebrations are found and shared.  Reminding us of the joy in our daily lives, inside and outside our classrooms.