Posts Tagged ‘students writing’

Discover. Play. Build.

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

prayer shawl

I heard from a colleague that her student’s mom was battling cancer. I made a prayer shawl and gave it to the little girl at school. Two days later I got this text.

tumor text

A miracle to Celebrate!

The end of the school year is such a bittersweet time. I receive notes from students and parents that lift me up and make me cry. I celebrate the connections in my lives with my students and their families.

Magic Matt is learning to make balloon animals for his act.  Love these!

Magic Matt is learning to make balloon animals for his act. Love these!

My letter from Matthew included this awesome line, “To say I’ll miss you would be like saying you kind of like poetry.”

And from his mom, “You are so much more than Matthew’s teacher. You are his mentor, his confidante, his cheerleader, and one of his biggest supporters!”

Some students, like Emily, I will teach again next year.  I am so lucky!

Some students, like Emily, I will teach again next year. I am so lucky!

Mimi is always waiting for me to come home.

Mimi is always waiting for me to come home.

Summer is here!  Those long-stretched-out-open days full of possibility.  I celebrate the possibilities.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Celebration Saturday is here! I am happy Ruth Ayres started this tradition. It makes me stop every Saturday and think about the week in a positive way. Yesterday Ruth wrote:

I think too busy means I’m missing real life. Too busy means I’m swept up by the current panic or the flashy trend.

Too busy means I’m surviving.

Life should be more than survival.

Because when we are trapped in survival, it is too easy to believe we can’t do anything powerful or meaningful or worthy. It is too easy for the day to wrap around us and to feel like the only choice is to react

Life should be more than reaction.

I’m wondering if the way to step over (or maybe to step on) too busy, is to find the celebration.

Her words spoke to me because I feel I went into the panic mode last week and began the crazy mantra that I’m too busy. Her words made me stop. OK, breathe and look around you for things to celebrate.
Last night I made Tortilla Soup. That is something to celebrate, time to cook and time for soup!


The air has gotten cooler. The flowers in my front flower bed opened up to this cool air. They remind me every morning to open up to the air and see the light.

Brooke bday

Brooklyn celebrated her 12th birthday yesterday. I brought sprinkle donuts and satsumas. She brought homemade chocolate chip cookies. We took a break from all our writing to celebrate Brooklyn. I gave her a journal. She waved it at me and said, “You gave me the gift of writing!”

Before we took the break, V. was writing at the computer. She saw the google doodle and played with the changing ink blots. She announced, “I see a cat with wings.”
I said, “You should write a poem about the cat with wings.”
She got up and threw herself on the pillows in the reading center exclaiming, “I can’t take all this writing!” Hilarious. I had to take her picture.

Too much writing

What are you celebrating this week? Take a moment to stop, breathe in the cooler air, and celebrate your life.

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Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

Join the Tuesday Slice of Life!

October is here, and the weather has turned slightly cooler. Anticipation is growing for a favorite holiday…Halloween. What better time is there to write haunted stories?

I invited my writer friend, Chere’ Coen to visit my class. She recently released a new book, Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana. You can read excerpts on her blog Haunted Lafayette. Chere’ is a journalist who has always had a fascination with ghost stories. She brought her interest and her talent together in this book published by History Press. The book blurb reads, “Ghost stories abound in the Cajun and Creole city of Lafayette, Louisiana, from those lost in Civil War skirmishes and fever outbreaks to the former living who can’t say goodbye. Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana by The History Press takes readers inside some of the most historic sites in South Louisiana, including haunted bed and breakfasts, restaurants and entertainment venues — even the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. In addition, there are the back roads and cemeteries where spirits linger, pirates who refuse to leave and ancient French legends hiding in the swamps, bayous and woods.”



My students came alive while Chere’ talked to them. They all had stories to tell and questions to ask. To illustrate the difference in style from dry, factual writing to intriguing feature writing, Chere’ read an article from the front page of a local newspaper. Then she read an article she had written about a ghost story. We discussed the differences and how we can make our writing more vivid and interesting.

Finally, we all settled down to have quiet writing time. The pens and pencils were flying. My students were primed to write their own haunted stories. Chere’ wrote, too, and shared her scary tale of a class of students diligently writing while a headless man lurked in the sugarcane fields. (In Brooklyn’s thank you note, she wrote that she keeps looking out the window for the headless man.) While we were reading aloud our rough drafts, one student proclaimed, “We are all writers!” Yes! Chere’ inspired them to understand they can be writers.

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Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers

Join the Chalk-a-bration over at Teaching Young Writers

My students welcomed Friday by chalking up some poetry. The principal stopped by and said, “How fun!” Then she asked if we would do it again for grandparents’ day.  A great way to welcome the long weekend. Sorry my pictures aren’t clearer.  Any advice on taking pictures of chalk art?


A colorful rainbow,
pretty spiral like it’s spinning,
sugar filled gummie land,
a wonderful site to see.
by Tyler



Hip, hip hooray! Today is Friday. Happy in my heart the weekend's about to start. Margaret Simon

Hip, hip hooray!
Today is Friday.
Happy in my heart
the weekend’s about to start.
Margaret Simon



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