Monday, August 13, 2018

WELCOME BACK!

It's August and here is what we know:

  • it's hot
  • summer is winding down
  • school supplies and ads are everywhere
  • high school students can be seen practicing everywhere
  • and....school is starting
Summer is a great time relax and recharge.  Students and teachers both get to have a different routine for a while and it's wonderful.  

But now it's August and the first day of school is 2 days away.  It's time to get the kids back in the building.  After a few months, it's too quiet around here.

Our elementary Open House was tonight and it filled my heart to see so many smiles and get lots of hugs.  School is a happy place.  It's a place where kids come to feel loved, to learn, to create, to explore, to fail, to succeed, to make friends, to skin their knees and reach new heights.

A new year is beginning, and it is going to be awesome!  

Friday, January 12, 2018

The Latest Books in My Bag

Culturize by Jimmy Casas is the latest book that I am diving into. Word is getting out that I love to read based on 3 gift cards to Barnes and Noble over the holidays. Reading provides so much power. You have heard the phrase, "Knowledge is power." Fostering a love for literature in your home or your classroom turns out students who love reading. Reading and having a love for literature comes in so many different forms these days. It used to just be books you got from the library. In our modern world, literature is reading from our phones or tablets, magazines, websites, twitter feeds, FB stories, comic books or graphic novels, the newspaper, signs around the room or out in public...the list is endless.

There are several classrooms who have taken advantage of DEAR time this year and it is paying off big dividends. These classrooms are dedicated to setting aside a consistent time out of each day for silent reading. The teachers are participating too! There is always a new book on their desks with sticky notes in a different location so I know that they are reading. Students are just devouring books at a record pace and sharing with their friends. It truly is exciting to see. If you haven't taken advantage of DEAR time and been consistent with it, now is the time to start with the beginning of a new semester.

It doesn't matter if the students don't know how to read every word in a book, they are looking, exploring, guessing, or creating their own story in their head. They are learning to love books and getting excited about the day that they can read all of the words on the page.

The book Culturize is about what it takes to create a community of learners who embody the innately human traits our world desperately needs: kindness, honesty, and compassion. It talks about how to be an Awesomizer instead of an Awfulizer and how what we model is what we get.

My colleagues have said that it is quite possibly the best professional book they have read! I can't wait to see what is discovered between the pages!


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Kindness Day #7

November 7-

When you don't feel good, all you want is your mom.  I am 37 years old, and I still miss my mom when I don't feel good.  Admittedly a few years ago, she came to take care of me when I was really feeling crumby...made me some hot tea and soup.  So yesterday I go to play mom/nurse for my little one.  Miss Em wasn't feeling good and started running a low grade temp.  By evening she was a hot mess.  She wanted tomato soup so we made a pot which she slurped right down.  Before it was even 7pm, we were in jammies curled up reading stories.  Her eyes were heavy but was sound alseep by 7:30.  It's no fun to have little ones who feel bad, but it feels good to try and make them feel better.

Kindness Day #6-

November 6-

Sharing is good, sharing makes my soul feel good.  This is a popular time of year when movies come out.  Last year I watched Bad Moms.  It was one of those movies that you wanted to see, but didn't want anyone to see you AT the theater watching it.  The movie is funny, SO funny.  Mostly because it is true and very relateable as a female. 

Of course I want to go to Bad Moms 2...the Christmas version that just came out.  Going to this movie will be way more enjoyable with girlfriends than your spouse.  So for day #6, I shared the first movie with a friend so that we could see the second one later this month.  Good belly laughing is good for the soul, right?!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Kindness Day #4- November 4

Rocky Before

  Living on a farm, you never know what adventures you might run across.  I grew up on a farm, but still consider it my home.  On Saturday, I was visiting my mom when she told me that the farm dog had gotten ahold of a baby kitty.  Usually this is code for 'snapped neck' or 'killed.'  His coat was drenched in dog slobber, not moving very much with his eyes half open.  The poor thing was simply adorable but pretty pathetic.  Being the animal lover that I am, I picked up the box and took him home.  The girls would be thrilled, but my husband, not so much!  My mom and I agreed that he would be lucky to make it through the night.

When I got home, I made a soft bed for him and let him rest.  Being a mom, I didn't sleep well wondering if he would be alive in the morning or not.  About 1:30 I got up to check on him.  He popped his little head up and was crying.  Now this little guy is little so hasn't been weaned off his mother.  I had some soft kitten food and put some water with it and it ate and ate as best he could.  I tucked him into bed again thinking the morning looked promising.  By morning our little fighter kitten was up and meowing and starving!  So more soft food and water.  By mid morning he was following us around the house and purring!  I have never seen a wild barn kitten so tame and loving when it hasn't been around people.

He is a lovey kitten and we hope to find a nice home for him.  Although we joke that we may need to help him "recover" for life.  Picking out a name was tricky, but I think we settled on Rocky.  He is a fighter after all.
Rocky After

Kindess Day #3- November 3

The service industry cannot be easy.  You are constantly serving others: making food, cleaning, taking care of children, greeting guests, answering questions and trying to do so with a positive attitude and smile.  I can imagine it is probably a thankless job most of the time. 

On Thursday and Friday I attended a conference.  Any time I stay in a hotel, I think about the maids and how they do the same job every day.  It can't be an easy job, but I sure appreciate a clean room, clean towels, and clean sheets.

My random act of kindness was to leave a $5 bill and a note of thanks.  I hope she (or he) enjoyed a soda after a long day of work!


Thursday, November 2, 2017

Kindness Day #2- November 2

Fall is a great time of year.  I love fall!  I love sweatshirts, soup, fresh baked bread, football, and the crisp air.  Food videos are a guilty pleasure.  I really enjoy watching food videos!  What can I say?  Now my twin 6 year olds love to watch them too.  I ran across a video about mini apple pies.  So I baked up 24 last night.  I am a baker and I almost feel guilty about making them because it takes sugar cookie dough, apple pie filling.  I did make from scratch the whipped cream.  Yum-O!

This morning, we delivered a plate to the elementary office for a sweet treat!  Never mind that the plate (covered in plastic) fell onto the floor before it got to the office. Oh well...it all tastes the same even if it is slightly mangled. 

Day #2:  Mini Apple Pie