Posts Tagged ‘birthdays’

Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

October is my favorite month of the year. The air is cooling. My favorite fruit is ripe, satsumas. And Halloween is coming soon.

This week I had a discussion about Halloween with my Voxer group. For me Halloween evokes memories of my super-mom-syndrome days when I decorated, made costumes, and invited friends over for hot dogs and chili. I remember when my girls and I dressed as the Wizard of Oz characters.

Lately, though, Halloween is a happy memory. But one of my schools is going all out. I am on the first grade hall, and my door was the only one not decorated. So I turned to Pinterest. I’ve never used Pinterest in this way before. I emailed myself a picture and with the help of one of my students, we made the door look like a one-eyed purple monster.


Pinterest Halloween door

Andrew made a plan to read aloud to his sister’s first grade class.  He selected the book Louise Loves Art.  We had such fun reading the book, singing along with Emily Arrow, and drawing Kelly Light’s cat “Chuck.”  We tweeted to Kelly Light.

Emily made me my own pair of Louise glasses.




Friday was Madison’s ninth birthday.  We celebrated with chocolate-chocolatey cupcakes.  They decorate them with candy pieces.  Look at those smiles!


We love cupcakes!

By Friday evening, I was exhausted.  I headed out to pickup takeout and the moon was rising in the sunset.  I had to stop and notice.  There is always time to stop and notice.



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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Last week I celebrated the hard work of planning a new learning community, our 6th grade enrichment project. We call these special Wednesdays, “WOW” as in “Way out Wednesdays,” and this week was WOW! We have an amazing group of students who enthusiastically mingled and became fast friends. One of our teachers had the brilliant idea of grouping them by what they like to do (computer, art, writing a play, building/crafting), and these groups built their own super hero. One group did a Powerpoint, another a play. The art group created a poster, and the craft group built a costume. This was one of those situations a teacher dreams about. All the students on task and completely self-directed. I celebrate this new learning community and have high expectations for the products they will create.

Super Hero costume: Cop Copter!

Super Hero costume: Cop Copter!

My classes are becoming places of safety, learning, and fun. Yesterday we celebrated two birthdays. It delights me that the wish that my students have for their birthday celebrations is the apple peeler. I have an old turn style apple peeler. They each get a turn to peel their own apples. Kielan brought in cookies to share. She created a scavenger hunt that included book titles. And she chose a poetry writing activity from Laura Purdie Salas’s book Catch Your Breath. This is what I call a literary birthday celebration.

Kielan's birthday

While every other day of the week is focused on reading and writing, Fridays are fun! In my other classroom (I teach at two schools), we celebrated completing the week’s assignments with game day. Don’t tell my students, but the games are all educational. They don’t know that. They just think it’s fun. As it should be!

Game Day: Building with the game Brain Builders, challenging and fun!

Game Day: Building with the game Brain Builders, challenging and fun!

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

What a wonderful week with students! It’s our second week together, and we worked hard. I am requiring three blog posts each week: It’s Monday: What are you Reading?, Tuesday Slice of Life, and Poetry Friday. I thought it might be too much, but so far, my students are meeting the challenge. I am more and more convinced that blogging is the way to get students writing. You can read their writing here. I want to share one of the fingerprint poems. I posted the lesson on Poetry Friday.

Unique Fingerprint

I am the expert: you are the rookie.
You will never see my treasure,
Invisible to you but
Everything to me.
My print shines bright like a diamond,
As beautiful as a bow.
My treasure is one thing I love more than gold.
Maybe one day you will see my unique design,
But for now you have to classify your own.
by Kielan, all rights reserved

I love to celebrate birthdays with my students. For her birthday celebration, Kielan wanted me to bring the apple peeler and apples. She remembered how much fun it was from last year. The kids loved it!

Kim Douillard’s photo challenge this week was action. I did a video of the apple peeler in action. At the very end of the video, you can hear Emily say, “You’re about the best teacher in the universe.”

We also celebrated Andrew’s birthday. Look at the lovely cupcake his talented mother made!

butterfly cupcake

Emily brought me a special gift this week, a happiness box. She gave it to me on Monday which segued perfectly into a discussion of tone. She had turned my irritable mood into joy!

happiness box

Come back tomorrow for DigiLit Sunday and our first Chalkabration. What are you celebrating this week?

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Discover. Play. Build.

Welcome to Saturday Celebration. I thought it would never come. Yes, it was a long week. Yet the week was full of reasons to celebrate (and sleep late) today.

1. Healing
Minga, my mother-in-law, gets stronger every day. (Last Saturday’s post was about her successful surgery.) Here she is with cards from my students. My students put effort into their creations. They know Minga because she visited last year to present about her trip to Myanmar (Burma). Vannisa made a book of character traits while Kendall, without my knowing, wrote a poem for her. Brooklyn sent her a booklet of her own writing. This pleased me because it shows how far Brooklyn has come not only in her writing ability but also in her confidence. She wanted to give Minga something to read while she recovers.
Minga with cards

2. Courage
On Tuesday, we had a Skype visit with Caroline Starr Rose, the author of May B. We had some technical difficulties. She could not hear us, so we typed our questions and comments. We could hear her. How delightful she is! My students learned so much about how to be an author, the hard work that goes into it, and the rewards. Caroline said being an author is a dream come true for her. When we discussed her visit, we decided to make a chart to remember all her advice. The chart became an acrostic of the word COURAGE.

author's courage

3. Cupcakes
One of the things I love about teaching small groups of children is the opportunity to celebrate birthdays. I sent my husband out to get cupcakes for Emily’s birthday. He bought the ones with the brightest icing. He said they reminded him of Willy Wonka. The kids loved them. The girls made the icing into lipstick. How silly!

Silly cupcake lipstick

Silly cupcake lipstick

I hope you have found some healing, courage, and cupcakes to celebrate this week!

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