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Showing posts from October, 2014

Mouse Story on a Foggy Day

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Our house was built in the late 1800's. It's an old farmhouse, now sitting in the middle of town. Nothing fancy, just old. And with old comes lots of little places in the foundation where those cute creepy,gross  little mice get in. Since our cat died several years ago, mice have been a problem in the fall ( and sometimes in the winter ). Chloe has never been a mouser. Squirrels. Rabbits. Cats. Anything outside she can chase is fair game (she caught the foot of a rabbit the other day). But mice?  Nope. I think she just watches them run across the kitchen floor, if she sees them at all. And because of Chloe, the non-mousing dog, we have to rely on non-poisonous means to get rid of mice. Our brother-in-law, an exterminator, gave us a type of trap last year but we can't remember how to set it. So glue traps it is. Now, we seem to have very smart mice. They avoided the glue traps easily. Would go right around it, them--or maybe over them...  Obsessively   Diligent

5 Pics/1 Story: A Collaborative Effort

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You know me and Twitter.  I love it. Follow great people. Try new ideas I find there. That's what this post is about. It's full of links, so I hope you have the patience to check them out! Two Iowa educators, Erin Olson and Leslie Pralle Keehn , who now work for one of the education agencies in our state, have started a Connecting Creativity Series . I'll let you check it out. There is a new activity every month, and I use these as a way to connect my students to students in other parts of the state. This month's "assignment" is a 5 Photo Story . This one excited me because my Creative Writing students and I already do this in collaboration with our art teacher and her digital camera class.  This post will share how we go about creating this activity and even meet some common core standards ! STEP 1A (and beyond. Will try to have her write about what she does in class) @Artteach13 talks with her students about telling stories with pictures. They need

Celebrate

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Sometimes, when I sit at the computer and get ready to write my celebrations, it's hard to think of what to write. Either I have too many Or I don't feel anything is worthy. And sometimes, I let dumb things block the celebrations. This is one of those weeks. But as I sit here, snuggled in a blanket, schoolwork spread around me, coffee in hand, waiting for the football game to start, lots of celebrations come flooding into my head Our IT department. I can't imagine how hard their job is. 2 people and LOTS of devices. We are a 1 to 1 district. Every student in kindergarten through 12th grade have a device of some kind. Keeping everyone up and running is a tough job. I have an amazing principal. Even when I don't handle things in the best way, he's got my back. He has totally changed the culture at our high school by being a role model and leader. I am so blessed to work with him. I'm home. You all know I LOVE the lake, our friends there, the pea

Forgetting Aloha: Anger

I could feel it welling up Anger Tears (Damn it all. Why do I cry when I'm angry?) A semi-unprofessional email for which I will apologize tomorrow But it got the job done Why does it have to go this far Why do I have to get angry Why do I have to ask three times for Something Which should have been done a month ago Tired of being part of the Red-Headed step-child building (I apologize for those I've offended with that remark) Even now hours later I'm still angry I had to take it this far

Celebrating Student Voice

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After two days of state testing in Language, I explained to my #Crazy8s (8th graders taking 9th grade English) that we would be starting a personal narrative unit. They moaned. LOUDLY. At 13 they are sick and tired of personal narratives. I get it, but now what? I know they are right. It's the go-to writing piece for everyone. I hate being lazy. My excuse is that I wanted to plan a new unit for them and doing something familiar would make that easier for me. Shame on me. Truth is. These are REALLY smart kids. Smarter than most I've had in advanced classes before and I'm struggling to challenge them, yet keep things fun. So this weekend, our last at the lake, I am scrambling for new ideas.  (Any ideas appreciated) But I'm still celebrating. The fact that 13 year olds speak up and let me know this is not an engaging lesson is GOOD. It's their education. They should speak up. So I'll keep thinking. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I Forgot

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So caught up in the teaching of genres,       in the teaching of the how and why and what I forgot to make writing fun. But they reminded me today That everything doesn't have to be       perfect         or polished           or even finished. They reminded me of how important sharing is       Even if it's just a silly little piece         or one great line           or a title that says it all.    . I forgot       the hook         the engagement           the fun. But they reminded me.

Celebrate

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This past week was Homecoming week in our district.  A week not only celebrated at our high school, but with our elementary and junior high as well. It is a crazy week of dressing up, selfie contests and and anticipation. For some it is easy to see negative behaviors and wasted class time, but for most of us, IT IS FUN. Three little words that are so powerful.   I love you.  I've been saying them a lot this week--to students.  And I've been hearing those words a lot this week--from students. Kids drop in to talk, " Love you , Mrs. Day." " Love you , too" As I thought about it one night this week, it just made me smile.  Today, as I was looking through my quote board on Pinterest, I found this: My students and I are creating quite the little community. We have a few "family" members who need to shape up, but most of us are taking care of each other in the classroom.  We're not perfect. Sometimes we lose our patience with oth