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Showing posts from 2013

Today I Celebrate Tradition

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Today I'm joining Ruth Ayres in celebration.  Stop by Ruth Ayres Writes for links to other celebrations.  Thanks, Ruth. Yesterday the snow fell outside as I sat on the couch near our french doors and watched it gently float to the ground.  It wasn't long before the green beyond our doors had turned to a beautiful bright white.  There was something about the snow nestled in the branches of the evergreens.  There was something about its gentle descent from the sky.  There was something about this change that finally motivated me head to my basement to grab the plastic tubs filled with holiday decorations. Each year I begin in the same way, pulling out the ceramic nativity scene painted by my great grandmother.  Each piece, carefully wrapped in tissue and newspaper, is unwrapped to be placed upon our mantle.  As I pull the pieces out one by one I always hold my breath a bit hoping they have not been broken while in storage.  Pulling out the pieces of the nativity scene I&

Poetry Friday: A Wish is a Start

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Today I'm joining the Poetry Friday fun hosted by Robin Hood Black .  Stop by for more poetry links. Last week I joined the #Nerdlution .  My goal is to read 50 minutes of fiction each day for 50 days.  I know, tough goal, right?  This week I finished The Center of Everything .  This story, about a girl named Ruby who is trying to make sense of the loss of her grandma, was touching.  In the book Ruby makes a wish.  As a read, like Ruby, I became fascinated with the power of a wish.  I couldn't help but think a wish might make a good topic for a poem.    However, as I wrote my poem I heard of the death of Nelson Mandela.  Reflecting on the life of Nelson Mandela caused me to pause to remind myself that a wish might not be enough.  Sometimes we have to do more than wish --- we have to take action.   via C M Handler WikiMedia Common A Wish is a Start A coin tossed into a shimmering fountain. A birthday candle snuffed in just one breath. A shooting star racing thro

Queso Anyone?

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Today's post is part of the  Slice of Life  roundup at  Two Writing Teachers .  Stop by for links to many great slices or, better yet, join the fun by linking your own piece.  Thanks to all for hosting. Tonight I am slipping in under the wire for Slice of Life.  At least I'm slipping in with something. Me, Deb Frazier, Karen Terlecky & Nicole Kessler What's one of the best ways to spend an evening?  Hanging out with these three over a bowl (or two) of queso.  A few years ago, the four of us started chatting often on Twitter and then crossing paths at conferences and gatherings.  It wasn't long until we decided to start getting together to share what we had learned.  We've supported each other through blogging, Twitter, Evernote, Pinterest (yes, even Pinterest), learning about new apps, and weaving all of this into literacy in our classrooms. Our gatherings have moved from our devices, to queso in the winter, porches and patios in the summer.  Whateve

Slice of Life: My New Addiction

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Today's post is part of the  Slice of Life  roundup at  Two Writing Teachers .  Stop by for links to many great slices or, better yet, join the fun by linking your own piece.  Thanks to all for hosting. The blog isn't the place to confess your addictions, but admitting you have a problem is the first step.  Right?  My addiction is worse on the weekends, but lately I'm finding I'm falling victim to it during the week too.  It keeps me up late at night.  It makes me mumble in my sleep.  It has me searching into the night to find just what I need. My addiction?  It isn't Reese's Peanut Butter cups, though that would have been a good guess since I have a stash hidden in the freezer.  It isn't  Twitter, though one could make an argument that I have a Twitter issue.  It isn't coffee, though I do have a slight headache if I haven't had a cup by nine in the morning.  My addiction will shock and repulse you.  My addiction is....fantasy football.  Who

Celebrating Possibility

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Today I join Ruth Ayres as she hosts this week's celebrations at Ruth Ayres Writes .  Stop by to read her post and follow the links to other celebrations. "Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."                   -George Bernard Shaw Finally taking a minute for lunch I check the clock on my phone.  Cassie should be ending her college visit about now and heading to the next one.  "How are the visits going?" I inquire in a text message.  My phone rings almost as soon as I press the send button. "I found my school," she relays quickly. I can hear the excitement in her voice.  She has been on several college visits and few have ended without questions or hesitations.  She's found schools she likes, but I haven't really felt she loves any of them.  Some are too small.  Some are too expensive.  Some she's not sure she can get into.  Some she's not sure she will fit in with the people who attend.

Slice of Life: The Recipe Box

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Today's post is part of the  Slice of Life  roundup at  Two Writing Teachers .  Stop by for links to many great slices or, better yet, join the fun by linking your own piece.  Thanks to all for hosting. I don't really know where pot pie came from.  Was it a recipe with its roots in the kitchens of the Pennsylvania Dutch ?  Has it been adapted from the German bot boi recipes?  Was it a recipe used in kitchens during the depression when eggs may have been harder to find?  I'm really not sure.  I'm not even sure it matters.  In my mind, pot pie always came from Grandma's kitchen. What I do know is, as a child, I could always count on having pot pie when I visited my grandma.   The smells from my grandma's kitchen greeted us as soon as we climbed the cement steps to her house.  She'd open the door and we would be immediately enveloped in the love of her kitchen as she wrapped her arms around each of us. Grandma would make pot pie - my favorite dish - f

Writing Priorities: Slice of Life

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"I must write it all out, at any cost.  Writing is thinking.  It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living."                                  --- Anne Morrow Lindbergh Today's post is part of the Slice of Life roundup at Two Writing Teachers .  Stop by for links to many great slices or, better yet, join the fun by linking your own piece.  Thanks to all for hosting. Why Write? If you didn't have time to check out this week's Big Fresh by Brenda Power be sure to stop by.  In it Brenda talks about the different kinds of writing we do and compares our writing to gardening.  She shares, "A garden is a great metaphor for writing, because it helps me to think about what I need to prune, plant again, or trim back to keep myself thriving as a writer." I've been trying to rethink my writing habits --- or maybe I should say begin to shape strong writing habits.  I really value my time writing like some people make time to exercise

Celebrating Discoveries

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I was pretty excited to learn of Ruth Ayres' Celebrations Round-Up at Ruth Ayres Writes .  As I have thought about it, I have so much to celebrate each week it is hard to choose just one thing, but here it goes. Today I'm celebrating DISCOVERIES.  This weekend we found a little time to sneak away to visit our oldest daughter.  As teachers it isn't often we manage a fall get away.  With Friday off, we packed our bags, jumped in the car, and decided to head south.   The drive was beautiful as we meandered through the Blue Ridge Mountains speckled in crimson and gold.  We arrived in North Carolina at the end of her school day and the adventure began. Staying at the Ritz Cortney has been full of delightful discoveries.  I became a vegetarian after eating a zucchini sandwich at Natty Greens in Greensboro.  Maybe it was the combination of vegetables.  Maybe it was the fresh bread.  Either way, I wondered why I didn't order veggie meals more often.   While in t

Don't Miss It: Poetry Friday is Here!

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I'm truly honored to be hosting today's Poetry Friday event.   I always enjoy wandering through the blogs joining the Poetry Friday conversation.  It is a pleasure to be reminded of poems I have loved, to discover new poems, and to read the poems written by participants. If you're joining us today, and I hope you are, please add your link to the comments section of this post.  Then follow the links in the post, and the comments section, to find more poetry.  I'll be by a few time across the day to update the event.  Enjoy! A Chance The quarter tossed carelessly to the bottom of my purse, once coveted, now overlooked. Shiny quarter once held such promise, a wish for something grand from the store's gum ball machine: a new ring, a bracelet of gold, a plastic parachute man.  Something sure to be envied.  Twenty five cents placed in a slot, turn, turn,  click. Opening the door revealed a clear plastic bubble, the

Just 15 minutes

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Life has been busy.  It's busy for everyone.  I find when I get busy I have to let some things go, and keeping up with this blog is always one of them.  Today I'm rethinking that... It's 7:53. Today is Slice of Life .  In March I joined the month long challenge once again.  After March was over I decided I was going to try to continue with the Tuesday Slice of Life posts.  I did really well for awhile; writing a slice, reading at least three, and then leaving comments.  Soon I didn't have time to write and would stop by a few posts to comment.  Then I was reading a few and not leaving a comment.  Then it just seemed hard to keep up.  I've missed this weekly community so today I've decided I'm going to find time for this post.  I've decided all I need is 15 minutes. You see, recently at a writing retreat Brenda Power has had me rethinking productivity.  She's caused me to pause and rethink writing time a bit.  I've always felt I need a la

September's Chalkabration: Reach

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Well, I guess life's been a little busy.  I was shocked to see I haven't posted since July 5th.  Yes, July 5th!?!?  I can't believe my mom hasn't called to complain about this.  Today I'm joining September's Chalkabration hosted by Betsy at Teaching Young Writers .   My chalkabration creation:                             Looking up.                             Step.                             Then climb.                             Reach.                             Up,                             Up,                             Up.                             You are the stars! Deb Frazier, Betsy Hubbard, Mary Lee Hahn and Marie Nixon at Mellow Mushroom. This weekend I had the privilege of spending time with Betsy Hubbard.  When I met Betsy for the first time at #nerdcampbc, I felt like I already knew her.  For some time I had been following her blogs I Think in Poems and Teaching Young Writers .  I knew her from Slice of Life , P

Poetry Friday: Freedom (and mood)

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Today's post is part of Poetry Friday hosted by Keri at Keri Recommends .  Stop by today's host blog for more poetry links. As part of yesterday's #teacherswrite events, guest author, Jenny Meyerhoff, talked about mood.  The quick write exercise was to see a room through the eyes of a character feeling a particular way.   I am discovering that, though I am very much a character reader, I am not much of a character writer. She reminded us, " When the writer isn’t deliberate about mood, the reader is often left emotionally cold." Jenny's comments about mood did apply to some of writing I dabble in here and there.   I really wondered about mood in poetry.  It seems like an important piece.  One I rarely think intentionally about; so I decided to try it out a bit in two poems about freedom (yes, a little cliche since yesterday was the fourth). Of course, I didn't really accomplish mood so more practice is ahead.  It seems I did manage two d

Winter Wish: Poetry Friday

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Don't worry, I'm not wishing for winter.  I'm not sure I will ever wish for winter.  We went to the Columbus Zoo yesterday and saw the moose.  The moose looked a little sad and as I researched I realized moose really do not like heat.  They don't like temperatures above 57 degrees.  I'm guessing Ohio summers are as pleasant to them as Ohio winters are to me.  So today's original poem is dedicated to the moose as they struggle through these sizzling days.   Thanks to Amy Ludwig-VanDerwater at The Poem Farm for hosting today's event .  Stop by for more Poetry Friday fun --- and try not to get lost on Amy's amazing treasure of a site.   Winter Wish The sun beats down I hide under this tree Wanting to remove My heavy coat Or wade in a deep cool pond Instead I rest Panting Wishing For the cold days of winter I miss snow Weeks of winter white  My hooves are snowshoes My lanky legs keep me moving In the deepest of

Notebooks: Bound or Digital? That is the Question

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Today's piece is part of the  Slice of Life Challenge hosted on Tuesdays  at T wo Writing Teachers.   Thanks  Stacey  and  Ruth .  Yesterday was the first day of Teachers Write hosted at Kate Messner's blog .  I was excited to see many of the participants from Slice of Life joining this writing event.  This is my first year to participate and I'm looking forward to continuing to build my writing community.  Today's post is a reflection of yesterday's conversation --- and a continued problem for me.  I hope you can help.   Notebooks:  The Beginning It's been a little over ten years now since I trained to work as a literacy coach in my district.  I often look back at that time, not just as training to be a literacy leader, but also a training in life.  I learned many life lessons along the way and changed the way I do so many things.  Our trainer at the time, Max Brand, taught me perhaps the most important lesson:  not to TEACH literacy, but to LIVE l

Poetry Friday: Lily Dance

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Today I join the Poetry Friday fun with this poem original poem about lilies.   Carol Wilcox is hosting today and has some great poetry books waiting for you there.   Stop by Carol's Corner (carolescorner.blogspot.com) for more poetry fun .     Lily Dance Lily, as the tulip and iris bloom, you wait unnoticed, staying close to the ground for warmth. It's hard to resist the sun, calling you to play. You reach your ladder-like leaves, connecting ground and sky. The warmer days call you out, you climb, rising above others watching. You ascend higher, hoping for a better view. Finally you can see her, orange and hot in the deep blue sky. You burst like a firework in stunning color. Together, you bring color to the green all around, in your magical stance. Lily radiating from the earth, Sun singing from the sky. © Cathy L. Mere

Slice of Life: Why I Stay

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Today's piece is part of the Slice of Life Challenge hosted on Tuesdays at T wo Writing Teachers.  Thanks Stacey and Ruth .  It is written in response to the numerous "I quit" letters written by educators that float around the internet.   A few months ago our son, at that time a business major with nearly two years of business classes completed, came to us with news. I could tell he was worried and nervous as he sat us down to talk. My husband and I listened intently as our son explained his reasons for wanting to switch his major to education. Jeff and I, both educators, looked at each other and smiled. I think we both had known this day would come eventually. John's decision made me think carefully. It is one thing to endure the current stresses in public education, yet quite another to envision your child (another one of your children) in that situation. The long hours, the continued attacks by politicians, the enormous amounts of mandated testi