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Archive for August, 2017

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

My birthday was yesterday and while birthdays can be a big deal, this one made me celebrate the little things.

Like a poem from a student:

So much depends upon the teacher,
clad in happiness
sharing with her students
the secrets to life’s success.

–Lynzee, 3rd grade

Lynzee also brought a birthday banner to hang on my desk for the day.

 

Erin brought me a mug for tea that was a funny play on words: “Go with the Flow” and “Manatee” tea infuser.

 

One of our favorite bands (Nouveau String Band) was playing at one of our favorite places in Breaux Bridge (Joie de Vivre).  Many of our dancing friends came to my “birthday party” and even brought birthday cards.  May Louise’s card was so sweet.  On the front was a cute hair clip that I put in my hair.  The message on the card: “Some people were born to stand out. Happy birthday to one of them…”

Daughter Maggie points to the hair clip in this selfie.

I certainly did stand out at Joie de Vivre last night.  The band played a waltz in my honor and sang Happy Birthday to me.  We’ve grown to be a family of friends.  I’m not usually the center of attention, but for my birthday, why not?  I soaked up all the good energy, good wishes, and love.

A show off turn in the waltz.

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Poetry Friday posts are here today. Scroll down and click the green frog.

Welcome to my birthday poetry party.  I am a birthday triplet with Linda Mitchell and Julieanne Harmatz, both of whom I originally met through blogging.  Now they are real life writing critique friends.  Hop over to their blogs to say Happy Birthday! Julieanne

Linda

I am sharing some poetic treasures.  Joy Acey sent me a beautiful watercolor painting of an iris along with a fluttering haiku for the Summer Poetry Swap.   She also sent a blank card, so I put it into WordSwag and wrote a response haiku to Joy.

Joy wrote in her note to me that she considered this alternate third line.
Blue Dutch Irises
flutter to the wind’s command
Happy Birthday wishes!

Sea blue echoes
Ukulele birthday song
Windcall my name
–Margaret Simon

School has started.  I found on a shelf in my classroom an old copy of Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg.  I read to my students the chapter “Be Specific” in which she quotes William Carlos Williams, “Write what is under your nose.”  Then I read aloud River of Words by Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet about the life of William Carlos Williams.  Writing prompt: Write a poem that uses something specific and ordinary and begin with “So much depends upon…” after W.C. Williams’ poem with the same first line.

I was pretty pleased with my poem about the sparkles of condensation on a glass of mint iced tea until I was absolutely blown away by my students’ writing.

So much depends upon
the warm glow of the fairy lights,
silver and golden with gems and hearts
gently pushing me to the ocean of dreams.

Drifting calmly until the waves
rock me to the land of reality,
until the fairies and their lights
send me out again.

Erin, 6th grade

 

So much depends upon
the brass uniform of a senior dragonfly
soaring past
the barking, yelling, chirping, rumbling
noises of the day.

Lynzee, 3rd grade

 

I can already tell that this is going to be an amazing year of poetry writing. Did you notice “brass uniform of a senior dragonfly?” We were all blown away by that line.

Link your Poetry Friday post below.

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Rain falls every day where I live, deep down south in Louisiana bayou country. And it never fails, Charlie, my nearly 10 year old schnoodle, gets upset. He cries, and I have to open the back door to let him run outside and bark at the rain. I tell him, “Charlie, it does this every day! You should know by now.”

This is a dog that sets his clock by a treat in the morning and a Dingo at dinner time. He knows when it’s time, and he sits by the cabinet and waits.

This is a dog who knows when I have tennis shoes on, we are going for a walk. His tail wags, and he gladly stands still for the leash.

This is a dog who grabs his ball and runs to the door when I say, “Daddy’s home!”

If you have a pet, you know how they are. Creatures of routine. So why, when the thunder booms and the rain falls, does he always need to bark it away? Ah, yes, routine. Rain comes around every afternoon. He feels the lower pressure. He anticipates the fearful storm. A creature of habit.

I hear the rumble of thunder, feel the rhythm of cicada song, and know that all is well with the world. Charlie is on call.

Charlie sits for a treat.

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Please use this button on your site for DigiLit Sunday posts

 

This summer I have been nurturing myself.  I know that’s a good thing, but in doing so, I lost some of my stamina.  I always do.  During the summer months, I sleep a little later, linger a little longer, and relax into a slower pace.

When school starts back up again as it has for me this week, I have to build my stamina for getting up before the sun, going longer between meals, and being alert.  Our kids have to build their stamina, too.

 

Nurturing myself this summer included yoga classes.  Yoga is all about stamina, sustaining a pose for minutes at a time, all the while your muscles are vibrating and telling you to release.  When I stood in warrior pose on Saturday, I thought about how this relates to my school year.  The instructor said, “In warrior pose, you are both guarded and open.  Your arm shoots straight out like a drawn sword while you stand wide legged and open for attack.”

I will be a warrior for my students.  I will guard them and be open to them.  I will honor their presence and push them to new limits.

When I learned that I would be teaching some new students and different subject areas, my sword went up, and I resisted.  But once I started delving into the content, I felt my stance relax.  I got this.  My focus shifted to the thrill of planning for new learning.  I hope this will happen with my students as well.  Once they get into the swing of things, their focus will shift, their stamina will rise, and they will become warriors for their own learning.

Click on the link below to add your own DigiLitSunday post.

Don’t forget to join us Monday, August 7th at 7:30 Eastern for the new #TeachWrite chat. Questions with times are available here.

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

I need to celebrate today.  I think the days when it is hardest are the days when celebration is needed the most.  Today I am celebrating in pictures from my phone storage.

I saw this scene as I was driving home.  I stopped, got out of my car, walked across the street to the bridge to capture the sunset.  I celebrate that every day there is beauty in the world.

This bulletin board is outside my room at one of my three schools.  This school has a Disney theme this year.  I celebrate the students who helped me create this board and I celebrate that the letters are running over the edge of the border and I’m OK with it. I had to “Let it go!” (That’s from another Disney movie, isn’t it?)

This sign was stuck to the mirror at another school.  I celebrate the positive messages I’ve received this week from colleagues and friends.  They are my rainbows.  I received this text on the first day of school: “Just thinking about you and wishing you a very good year at school.  I hope your travels to three school goes smoothly.”

Sunsets. Mermaids. Rainbows.  Positive, magical messages that make me happy.

What are some of the positive messages you’ve received this week?

 

 

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Find other posts at To Read, To Write, To Be with Julieanne

 

We had our first faculty meeting yesterday.  Our new master teacher was charged with leading an ice breaker.  She passed around a bowl of Hershey’s chocolate bars.  She told us to choose one carefully.  I chose Krackel.  The first personality she put on the board was Dark Chocolate.  I should have chosen Dark Chocolate.  I am more comfortable as an introvert.

You are a deep and complex person. You don’t let anyone get too close to you.
You stay a mystery, and you’re good at keeping secrets… especially your own.

You prefer to stay on the outside a bit and observe. You find people fascinating.
You seek to understand and appreciate the world. There is more to you than anyone will ever know.

But God had a message for me, so God made me choose Krackel.

You create a spark and leave a mark everywhere you go. You’re very bold.
Your days are full of fun and laughter. You love life, and you never take it too seriously.

You enjoy brightening someone’s mood, and you are always an optimist.
Things may not ever be perfect, but you’ll always find something to smile about.

I was caught being pessimistic.  I had to laugh at this joke.  Me?  A smiling optimist?  Full of fun and laughter?  Not at this party!  I have been anything but optimistic about this new school year.  I’ve been trying to change my attitude.  What can change your attitude better than random fortune cookie-like personality proclamations?  I am going to tape this Krackel wrapper to the front of my writing notebook.

 

On another note, but along the same topic of messages from the universe, I saw this sign on a fence in my daughter’s neighborhood.

What a great message!  I need to realize even though I am faced with a difficult schedule and new curriculum to learn, I can be better this year than I was last year.  And being better is a choice that is mine to make.

So for this new beginning, I am going to take these not so subliminal smack-me-in-the-face messages and start the new school year with optimism, a sense of humor, and determination to make it the best year ever.

 

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