Saturday, June 13, 2015

Celebrating The Lazy Days of Summer

Discover. Play. Build.

I've been done with school since the 28th of May.

TWO weeks already.

I haven't written
I haven't started planning for next year
I haven't thought about students
I haven't even thought about my presentation at a conference next week (YIKES)
And I really haven't accomplished much of anything.

I've spent them at the lake, surrounded by friends and family, and enjoying every minute of it.

And food, of course, always lots of food

I've taken time to notice the beauty around me

And the ways of nature (who knew turtle could move so fast?)


I've read THREE adult books! I may have to do a little review of two of them, but trust me on Stephen King's new trilogy (Mr. Mercedes and Finder's Keepers are the first two). This is not horror fiction, more detective/crime novels and truly good reads.

And I promised myself all of this on that last day. Because I felt out of BALANCE, you see. Those last weeks of school are crazy and I had to let it take over. It seemed only fair that I let the teeter totter fall to the other side for awhile.

But now I am back. Ready to learn and plan this summer, ready to take off at a moments notice and enjoy myself and my family and friends, ready for anything.

But first, I better take a look at that presentation---we present on Tuesday!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Celebrate the Lake

Discover. Play. Build.
Want to celebrate with us? Click the icon above and head on over to Ruth's blog!

This week, I'm celebrating the lake.

My happy place.

I seldom leave school as quickly as I did Friday. My husband couldn't believe it when I pulled in the driveway....and I already had half the car packed since I loaded a few things before school. That of course, got Chloe all worked up. She knew something was going on.

We arrived about 7 and had plenty of time to turn on the water and check for leaks before I went down to the beach to catch my first sunset of the season.

Sunset is almost a sacred time at Sandbar. Most of us stop whatever we are doing and just breathe it in.

Then, it was enough with the chores that could be done later (or even tomorrow), we headed out to find the friends we have missed all winter. We spent a couple of weekends with them since we closed last fall, but it's not the same as just sitting and enjoying each other, even if we don't talk.

As we sat on a friend's deck and watched the last of the sun, I just smiled, thinking how lucky I am to have this.

Saturday was warm, but cloudy. Chloe and I took advantage of the nice morning and walked with a friend up the "lake road" as I call it. It's a beautiful walk along the lake with lots for Chloe to check out. We spent a little time before we headed out watching this guy fish along the shore in front of the cabins.

Our oldest and his family came out during the afternoon (we weren't the only ones anxious for us to open the cabin). It rained off and on, but even that didn't dampen our spirits.  It was good to be together.

All in all, it was a day to celebrate. Chloe agrees!

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Celebrating Balance

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Head on over to Ruth Ayres Write and celebrate with us!

This week I'm celebrating FAILURE, of a sort...
  • I didn't finish the March blogging challenge
  • I didn't write a celebration last week
  • I didn't clean my house until yesterday
  • I didn't walk every day
  • I didn't do a lot of things I probably should have
But really. I'm celebrating balance, which of course is my OLW for 2015

I'm celebrating the student I wrote about yesterday. The balance between technology and "old school" is a delicate one. You have to meet students where they are. Once I got him off his computer and just got him to think about his writing, he soared. 

I'm celebrating myself. Learning the difference between the "I really have to have this done tomorrow" and "This isn't a priority and I can do it later".  I'm celebrating myself making time for family and friends and not using school work as an excuse for not getting together and enjoying their company.

I'm celebrating Chloe. Who makes me walk and get outside and enjoy moments of breathing as we head into the last few weeks of school.

I'm celebrating my speech kids, who gave me an amazing day at All-State speech on Monday. A day full of celebrating what we do and how far we have come. And silly reasons to laugh.

I'm celebrating grandkids
and a husband
and friends
all those people who need more me.
Who have gently nudged me into this balancing act.

And I want to share this link to the Huffington Post. Because it reminded me of the BALANCE I need in my life. I love the combination of photos and writing and how they celebrate life.  I think I'm going to try this. Once a week. A picture and some writing. And it might go along with Christy's 30 day challenge (which I haven't started yet, but I'm going to)

And what are you celebrating this week?

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sometimes, You Have to Go Old School

... A Story of BALANCE

Combine Creative Writing with

"Slacker" Students---

  • It's easy to sit back and say, "I'll work on it tomorrow", and then sit back and watch videos on your computer. But you don't do it tomorrow either.


  • The millionth email from the principal about passing classes by Tuesday or you can't attend.

and Digital Storytelling---
  • "Mrs. Day, I don't even know how to start"  "What do you mean we need an outline?" "How do I write an outline?"
When these three things converge, you have some panic setting in. Never mind that I have set up a day by day calendar for my class, so they all know what they should be working on. Never mind that we talk every day at the beginning of class what they should be working on. Never mind that I offer to sit and work with anyone having troubles every day. 

Never mind. Until the last day before a four day weekend. 

"Why can't we have until midterm? Passing by Tuesday is just stupid. I will be passing everything by midterm (the day before prom). I have a plan."

"Passing by Tuesday means your date still has almost two weeks to find a new date..."

He doesn't see much humor in my statement.

"Come over here and I will help you. I'm going to let you write on my desk."


He  drags himself from the comfort of the couch to the pod of desks where I am sitting. 

I know this student and I know where his passions lie. All the work I do at the beginning of classes to learn about students pays off in this conversation. He might be a slacker student, but he is a hard working farm kid, who wants nothing more than to be on the farm working all day.

So that's where we start.

"Why do you like to farm?  Explain it to me."

And I start writing what he says on the desks.

"Now you've got three main ideas. You sit here and explain these to me."
And he does

And before you know it, he has filled up the desk with his ideas. He has a plan. I email him this picture and he moves back to the spot on the couch and begins writing a script and thinking about his visuals. 

Because sometimes, even when you are 1 to 1, you have to go old school....

Thursday, March 26, 2015

{#sol15} 26/31 Nothing to Do
Join us at Two Writing Teachers
for the March Slice of Life challenge.
Share your stories!
I looked around
Checked all my piles
Double checked my to-do list

I looked again.
Checked my lesson plans
Triple checked my to do list

It was 3:30 on a school day and



I have lesson plans for my classes done for the next two weeks. I have all student blog post graded, fiction pieces graded, Romeo and Juliet webquests graded. All entered into the grade book.

Of course, tomorrow it will all start coming in again.

But for today


Guess I'll go home and pack for the weekend and work on my grad class.

There's always something....

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

{#sol15} 25/31 Merry March 25th!
Join us at Two Writing Teachers
for the March Slice of Life challenge.
Share your stories!

Things to love about March 25th!

  • We had school today! (No snow day)
  • The snow we got Sunday and last night has melted a lot
  • Even though there is snow on the ground, the weather is getting nicer.
  • My houseplants are starting to bloom because the sun is warmer!
  • American Idol is on TV because it's a Wednesday!
  • So is Nashville
  • I'm guessing, but there are about 40 days of school left (with kids)
  • 3 days until we go to Rockin Baconfest in Spencer, Iowa
  • I get to see the grandkids this weekend
  • And I get to see my friends!
  • My tulips don't look any worse for the wear because of TWO winter events
  • Chloe and I can now walk every day after school
  • It's almost lake time

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

{#sol15} 24/31 The Fallback Post
Join us at Two Writing Teachers
for the March Slice of Life challenge.
Share your stories!

Every year I have a day (or two or three) where I have trouble thinking of things to write. Just in case, I always have a fallback post. A listy type of post I can use. Many slicers this year have used the "Currently" post, but I used that last year. Luckily, I found a new one...

Found at Wanderlust
I am really hoping we don't miss another day of school tomorrow. Right now we have freezing rain which is supposed to turn into snow.  Could be  messy morning...

I keep emails from fellow slicers that mean a lot to me. I like to go back and read them when I need a pick me up.  I have a little folder in my email so I don't accidentally trash them.

I wish I could meet the slicers whose emails I keep.  One of these days I will. It's my promise to myself!

I love my house. I loved it from the first day we walked into it. It was a wreck, but the sun shone into the dining room and just made it feel so cozy. I get that feeling to this day whenever I walked into our house.

I dance with my friends whenever we go to listen to bands. And sometimes I dance in the dining room when I'm by myself.

I sing in the car whenever I drive by myself. I always have several CDs with me that I can sing along to. 

I think this year has been easier to write slices every day. Maybe it just seems that way since I started writing at night. More has happened to me. I've had more time to think..... but after five years, shouldn't it get easier?

I really need to get caught up on grading. If we do have a snow day tomorrow, I WILL get everything done.

I need to go to bed!  I can hardly keep my eyes open.

I should, however, grade one more set of papers before I do that.

I can Always do them tomorrow afternoon after our inservice meetings.

I like traveling in the summer. My husband and I are starting to talk about trips we'd like to go on this year. So far, Nashville seems to be the place.

I make lots and lots of lists. There is a list for just about everything in my life. Pretty soon, I'll have lists of my lists!

I always feel so accomplished when I finish my slice for the day!