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Showing posts from September, 2011

Versatile Blogger

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What a fantastic way to start a gloomy Tuesday!  I began the morning like I do every Tuesday--going to my blog to begin my slice for the week.  And that's where I found that Linda from TeacherDance had named me a Versatile Blogger.  I had never heard of this, so of course I HAD to google it (what did we do before Google?) I still didn't find much out about how this award got started, but I still liked the idea of recognizing blogs that inspire you. I started blogging early this year and began reading lots of blogs. Some good, some not-so-good.  The good ones provided LOTS of inspiration and I am not ashamed to say that I "stole" some ideas for my posts.  This is a great way for me to say "thank-you" to my new friends in the blogging world. Here's the "rules" for the award: Thank the person who nominated me and provide a link back to their blog Share seven bits of information about myself Pass the award along to 15 other blogs that

Chloe Teaches Teaching

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As with most mornings, Chloe is trying to get my attention and I am trying to accomplish something. She is much like my teenagers at school! When Chloe and my kids whine about things, they need a little attention for whatever reason.  They need a little stroking. They need to know I care.  If they don't get the attention, they will do something that gets my attention.  Usually, not something good.... Repetition of routines until everyone gets it down--yep, even high schoolers need repetition of routines. They need the "this is how we do things in Mrs. Day's room" modeling. So does Chloe---then she knows what to expect. Along with repetition, they need consistency.  They need to know if they do something well, this happens. If they are "naughty", this happens. The rules don't change from one day to the next. They get bored, though. If you don't mix it up a little. If you don't have a new "toy" to throw out there, a new way to

Banned Book Week: Don't Let This Happen to YOU!

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You Matter Sundays

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Lately I've been thinking about this blog a lot and the format for it. I knew it would be easier to come up with topics to write about if I designated certain days to certain topics. Now I don't want to be limited to writing about Chloe only on Tuesdays or my classroom only on Fridays. But themes might help me write through some writer's block. And then this morning I watched this video from Angela Maiers Now, Angela gave this talk in June and the video has been roaming around on the internet for awhile--especially around my area because Angela works with our school district periodically. I love her. She inspires me to be a better person. She matters. But lots of others in my life matter also--family, students, friends, co-workers, fellow bloggers...well, you get the picture. So after watching this video, I decided I would make Sundays my "You Matter" day. A day to write a post telling my world why they matter to me. This week I'd like

A Rant: Let's Just Take 'Em Out and Shoot 'Em

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I know that teachers get tired of student behavior. I understand there needs to be consequences for "bad behavior". I believe consequences should make sense for the offense. But honestly--sometimes I believe all some think of is "How can I get this kid." As my (ex) roomie tweeted, "When did we forget we're here to help not hurt?" side note:  I have found that tweeting my thoughts during inservice keeps me from going crazy. Our new principal asked a simple question this afternoon. ( By the way--I love my new principal. He is doing good things in our building!)  What did we think was an appropriate length of time for both in-school and out-of-school suspensions?  Talk about opening up a can of worms! The conversation led to what about the work that these students miss while they're not in class. Given? Not given? Graded? Not graded? "People!"  I wanted to scream.  "We. Are. Educators." But I didn't and I should h

Random Acts

Two random acts prompt this post--one positive, one negative.  Both have me thinking about how my actions affect others. My mind is a jumble of thoughts and ideas about this, so I hope this post makes sense. Random Act #1 The volleyball team and their supporters proudly wore their new t-shirts yesterday. They were cute. A team builder phrase on front. Unfortunately, one with a double meaning. My second thought when I saw them was, "Oh, this could be trouble." And it was. As I walked through the office, a young man wearing the shirt was standing there waiting to see our new principal to see if the shirt was school appropriate.  Why only this young man?   He's a former SSB !  He's made bad choices in the past, but this year seems to be trying to correct himself. But where are the 20 others wearing this shirt? Nowhere to be seen. No one sent them to the office... Unfair to pick on one. Totally. Unfair. And demoralizing to the young man. I'm sure he think

Happy Dog

Ears flapping, fur flying, she races in a crazy figure eight pattern in the backyard. Freedom. You see, we fenced in part of our yard for Chloe.  We never did that for our other dog. Jake just always had a very long cable and never got to just roam the yard. But Chloe is the dog of our "golden years" and we spoil her just a bit. She generally walks the yard with me and sticks close to my side. But every once in awhile, that crazy puppy energy takes over and she races around to get rid of it.  Before the fence she stayed in the yard for the most part, but sometimes the energy propelled her across the street and into neighbor's yards. She never ran away from me, she just raced to release all the energy. She raced for fun. I swear, she smiles as she runs.

Where Were You?

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"A plane crashed into a building in New York City." A seventh grader said those words to me. He had heard that from another teacher. It was all we knew early that morning. But the news became grim. I made a decision to continue on with as normal routine as possible until we knew for sure what was happening. We turned on the TV the last ten minutes of class to watch the news of the event. I didn't think any of us, but especially twelve-year-olds, needed to watch the horrific news all day. To this day, I'm not sure it was the right decision. I went home and sat glued to the TV. Tears fell often. The image seared in my mind is of a reporter giving her report when a piece of the Towers went down and then she was covered in ash. I remember the deaths of JFK and his brother, Robert. Martin Luther King, Jr and John Lennon. I can tell you where I was when I heard the news. But this was different. I could see it happening. My kids and my students could

When I Grow Little....

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I love listening to how kids learn language. They use unique expressions to get their point across. They mix up letters in words--baseghetti, anyone.  Or they say things like, "Can I flush the toaster?" (Really. Think about it.) So conversations with my grandkids are always delightful.   Me: So Tony, how is preschool? Are you having fun? Tony:  Yep. I learned "Going on a Bear Hunt." I recited the first line and asked if that was the right one.  He assured me it was and proceeded to recite the whole thing (with actions, of course).  "I like that, Tony!  Will you teach it to me?" "Well, Gramma, when you grow little, maybe you will learn it at school." When I Grow Little When I grow little I will sing with passion Even if I don't sing very well. I will draw lots and lots of pictures And not care that no one Knows what I drew. When I grow little I will skip down the sidewalk, and Wear my

A Change of Seasons

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As I sit in my swing, wrapped in a blanket drinking coffee, Chloe at my feet barking for the neighbor kids to come and play, I realize it's not just the calendar turning to September that signals a change in seasons. There's a chill in the air this morning. Fall seems to be peeking in the door and wanting to join the party here at the lake.  Today the sun won't chase me from my comfy place to look for shade. Today it will be a welcome companion. I love fall at the lake. There's just a different atmosphere during our weekend visits. After Labor Day the regulars come less and less.  Especially those with kids in school. Just too many activities going on and not enough time to make it to the lake.  The cabins aren't as full either with kids in school. It will be mostly fishermen coming on the weekends now. At times there will be more geese on the beach than people and more wood ducks swimming than kids. The sunsets have moved down the lake and we know that soon it

Guest Post

The most nerve-wracking piece of writing I have done in a long time is posted at Two Writing Teachers .

Slacker

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Not the boy in the blog, but this is what he looks like Usually in the hall he looks full of energy. He greets most people with high fives or the boy shove that is so popular. I get a "Hey, Mrs. Day." as he strolls into my room. There, he slumps in his desk in the front of the room (his choice) and waits for me to start class. Sometimes I swear his eyes glaze over as I speak. He will participate some days and when he does, he obviously knows what is going on. Some would say he should know what's going on--he's been through this part of speech before. Head on his desk, eyes semi-closed. It's time to work on an assignment and his book isn't even open.  I've know this young man since he was a seventh grader, back when I taught junior high. Always a slacker, this is the third time he has been enrolled in speech. Oh, he's never failed it. He just never completes the semester. He moved one year and dropped out the next. So here he sits in my cl