Thursday, December 31, 2009
How will your first chapter read?
Happy New Year to one and all! Goodbye 2009, Hello 2010!
Saturday, December 26, 2009
I got my very own laptop for Christmas! I'm finally getting to use it since Abe's been working on loading programs and getting it all set up for me. It's a Toshiba--really cute and small. I am going to love this...sitting on the sofa, watching the t.v., and playing on my laptop.
Well, I just wanted to wish you all Merry Christmas, good health and loads of happiness in the New Year!!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I tried using the song "Fireflies" by Owl Moon (with lyrics, without lyrics) as an auditory timer for students who were cutting out their word sorts and it worked like a charm. There seemed to be less chatter, more quiet focus. The task was also completed faster compared to when I just put my online timer up on the screen during the previous week.
One final benefit: There is something eerily peaceful about listening to a class of fifth graders whispering along with a song like this.
I'd love your suggestions if anyone has any...
Sunday, November 22, 2009
I wish everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING and can't wait to see you all again!
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
I always enjoyed the challenge of ensuring that the boys did not slide themselves into a broken collar bone or stitches from a fall near the drainage grate on the basketball court.
Even to this day I can vividly recall bringing in the students on the intermediate playground after personally observing a close call!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
I know that a lot of you will be working on report cards-good luck. It is amazing that one trimester is already in the books. Everything to me is just a whirlwind-especially with Morgan in high school... oh my goodness. I am planning on being at the November 20th gathering.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I wanted to let you all know that this weekend kicks off arts week in Denver. (Nov. 6-14) The best part of this week is, on Saturday, a bunch of denver museums are FREE!!!! Yes... 100% free!!! Its an amazing opportunity for not only us to take advantage of, but also our kiddos! The art museum is always free on the first Saturday of the month, but adding to the (LONG) list this Saturday are:
Black Americans West Museum
Byers-Evans House Museum
Children's Museum of Denver
Colorado History Museum
Denver Art Museum
Denver Museum of Nature & Science
Forney Museum of Transportation
Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art
Molly Brown House Museum
Museo de las Americas
Museum of Contemporary Art Denver
I will be at the art museum and the contemporary art museum this Saturday. I am PUMPED! I hope all of you are doing great. I cant wait to see your smiling faces on the 20th! Much Love,
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
I just wanted to pass on some sad news- Sue's mom passed away this morning unexpectedly- Sue was actually in Nebraska this weekend visiting her when it happened. Services will be held on Friday at 11AM. I just wanted to let everyone know so that we can keep her family in our thoughts and prayers!
Sunday, October 25, 2009
It's GREAT to be in the company of some FARTS.
It's GREAT to be building new relationships with passionate professionals.
It's GREAT to be in the classroom.
It's GREAT to be learning more everyday about the students through their writing.
It's GREAT to be part of something bigger than me.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Keith and I just got back from the doctor and we are having a....GIRL!!!
She looks good so far...2 legs, 2 arms...ect!!!!
Now the only question is...will she be an Ohio State fan or a Colorado Buffalo fan??? (Just kidding she will be a BUFF!!!)
Miss you all,
Monday, October 5, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
a year of songs: number 21
- Thursday, May 21st (from the Denver Airport): In Littleton, CO the powers that be are closing Lewis Ames Elementary School. In a time of too big to fail, we also have too small to save, I guess. So this sweet little, high performance school asked me to come and mark the final days in song. This song took shape in a meeting with teachers and staff and was recorded in a classroom. Here's number 21, "When You Think You're Done, You've Just Begun".
- I love this song and had to post the site. I hope it works...if not , here is the address to the site---http://www.reachwithme.com/52songs/number21.html
He speaks at length about the rigors of his job such as rappelling down buildings, planning how to explode different types of vehicles and being lit on fire. He also talks about a couple of his risk-taking role models who worked with less safety equipment than a table chef at Gasho's. Eventually he plans on skydiving from the edge of space (after a corporation sponsors him). You can even track his progress visually here if you're interested.
While he was explaining his job and how it has changed/evolved over time, he message intertwined with what I perceive is our shared experience as former teachers at Ames.
I feel like an educational stunt man this year: The best of what I/we have created and experienced so far as a teacher is constantly tested in my new environment. What worked for me in Room 17 and was reliably effective in the intermediate hallway does not always work for me in my new space. An experience (Mr. Sprat) or positive reinforcement ("Gimme five!") that resonated with past classes has been shelved in favor of Mr. Time Efficiency (let's enter through the gym and save ten minutes) and "Pound It!" (when the knuckles of my hand impact another students' knuckles gently). More on the "fist bump" here.
These moments are great and definitely keep my differentiation/adaptability skills sharp, but they also remind me how much I still need to learn in order to provide the best instruction possible for kids.
Thankfully, just like Steve Truglia (the stunt man), I've discovered that I can lean on my new colleagues at my new institution for guidance and support (just like I did at Ames).
(insert virtual fist bump here)
By the way, click here for the stunt man video, then skip to 14:39 and watch to the end. You're the orange one on the left... :)
Thursday, October 1, 2009
There's been more sadness--unfortunately, a 5th grade student at Franklin became very ill from pneumonia (not H1N1) and passed away last night. It was terribly sad for the staff and students who knew her. For those of us who didn't know her, it broke our hearts to see the pain that everyone is feeling. Why is it that grief seems to be reoccurring far too often lately?
I think it's about time for another get together; maybe after conferences are over we could figure out something fun to do.
Take care of YOU!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
Keith and I had our 16 week appt today too and everything looks good. The heart beat is healthy and in the 150's and I am starting to feel the beginning of little kicks now and then!!!
I will keep you posted we find out the sex on the 7th of October!!!
Miss you all!!!
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Nothing remains quite the same
With all of my running and all of my cunning
If I couldn't laugh I just would go insane
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Janet Stevens stopped by my school earlier this week: It was amazing to see how her ideas evolved as an illustrator/author. Her presentation complimented our focus on Personal Narratives wonderfully and I highly recommend her. She had three classes of fifth graders thoroughly engaged for an hour and a half...even seated on the floor!
Someone driving a green Volkswagon with a terrier sticker on the back drove right by me on the way to school last week. At first I was happy that they did not recognize me, then was thankful that the driver did not graze me with their rear-view mirror. :)
I am also still typing in my old copy number...
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Unfortunately she has no voice here (yet) because she is waiting for post approval. Hopefully that will come soon! :)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
One good thing about being sick, I've missed some meetings at school. Franklin is great, but there's so much being thrown at us; too much too soon! We need time to breath after the exhausting move and time to settle in with a new environment.
Take time to smell the coffee...
Here's more amazing news: I have not consumed lunch ONCE in my classroom so far this year (RK can vouch for me). My new buddies must have a chunk of working-lunch kryptonite or something!
I have also started riding my bike to school once per week. Look for me on Bowles: I'm the one in sweating through the backpack full of pre-assessments that I'm hauling.
Latest Training: Thinking Maps
Topic of first BLT Meeting: Mentor Texts/Bookroom Organization
Topic of latest Team Meeting: Organizing three ability-grouped math classes across the grade level via NWEA/CSAP scores.
Topic of most recent FARTS reflection: (During first Unit of Study) What would Sara say right now?
I think about you "guys" probably once a day still!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
It is just strange right now, but that does not mean it is bad, just different. I am missing your familiar faces and the comforting hugs.
Wishing you great success on your first day of school, and a happy new year.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
How only a few months ago
We all sat wondering
Where we would be
Worrying, hoping, praying
That we would have someplace to go
It is easy to imagine
How right now
You are cracking a sarcastic joke
About how YOU landed the best place of all.
Smiling over us.
Wowing the angels with your vocabulary.
I can also imagine
how you would not want us
To cry, mourn, or ruminate
But I will
Not because I don’t care
But because I do
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
I decided to write a new post so everyone can see it! Lets meet at Merles in Downtown Littleton (Paige that is on Main Street off of Santa Fe and Bowles---Main is the one way going west before you get to the Melting Pot)
at 11:30 on Wed.
I hope to see everyone there!!!
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Top Ten Family Activities: Summer 09
-Moonight Classic Bike Tour (Rapids Player and Referee team costume contest entry)
-Pirate's Cove: 360 off low dive
-Rockies Game: Garrett Atkins mit autograph/catch of pregame warm-up ball
-Rapids Game: Rapids def. NY Red Bulls; watching fireworks from our backs on the FIELD!
-Princess Ballerina balancing on two-wheeled scooter by herself at Copper Mountain (TIE Conference)
-Racing Boondocks Go Carts
-Fishing for the first time after we camped/rode our bikes/slept under the trees and stars at Cherry Creek Reservoir
-Donning purple "milker" for free food at Chick-Fil-A
-Reading constellation stories to kids with an illuminated planetarium toy at bedtime
-Examining road kill/"stink bugs"/ants/"rolley pollies"/worms on the way to the "Dirt Hill" and the "Tunnel"
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I am back from 10 days in Manhattan Beach, CA, vacation with my family. We stayed in my Manhattan Beach son’s girlfriend, Amber’s apartment, rooming with Dozer (Satan cat) and Camo (lovey cat) within a few steps, although very steep steps, from the sand. My Denver son, Kenny and Amber (so gracious of her!) joined the frat brothers (my beach son Walker, Matty & Alex) and Smokey (my grand-dog) at their Manhattan Beach Blvd home. Getting to the ocean, at least once per year, is a required prescription for me to be fully healthy. My happy place.
Kenny, Bob and I did get to the LA Farmer’s Market, although on a day that hit 101 degrees inland. A divine lunch at a fabulous Greek restaurant, al fresco, was the highlight (try Ulysses Greek Voyage if you ever make it to downtown LA). We struck up a delightful conversation with the owner, Peter. He is soon going to Philadelphia to start another restaurant. Peter treated us to the freshest and best baklava at the end of our meal. The heated stroll through the market was tolerable as much of it is covered, and we each topped off the experience with a bottle of icey cold Orangina. Do we have that here? It is my new favorite soft drink.
Another warm day we spent at Redondo Beach at the pier and boardwalk. I had my hot dog on a stick and a fresh churro. I even indulged in a cold Fat Tire draft at Naja’s, where they boast over 80 beers on draft. I know, Fat Tire...the boys got more exciting drafts (I am not a big beer drinker). Probably the highlight of this adventure was talking with the three LA Breakers, 3rd Gen, as they set up for their performance.
These young men were very nice and phenomenally, athletically talented young men (not gang bangers as they humorously reminded the crowd).
There is a saying that “you are only as happy as your saddest child”. Both of my sons are happy right now. I am so very very happy. We were able to celebrate Kenny and Walker’s 27th birthday together at Father’s Office with some of their best friends. My boys have good friends, these friends will be friends for life. Life is so good when your children are loved and happy.
I caught my wave on vacation and I am still sitting on top of the world!
PS: By the way, Dozer is not really Satan..he is just moody...he talks (purrs) to you and wants you to love him, when you pet him you have to listen carefully....his mood can change in a split second (listen to the kitty!) and he becomes NASTY! He is still adorable, and slept by my feet. Camo is very affectionate, she is the momma cat, what else would one expect?
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Well, we made it back from Vegas alive!!! HaHa....It was very hot but we still managed to lay out at the pool everyday!
I just wanted to see if anyone would be up for a lunch next week? I think Lori is in too. We can do anyday next week! I would really love to get together and see one another before school starts and I know most of us will be working in our classrooms the first week of August...well...at least I will (and probably Sue too!!!)
Talk to you soon!!!
Friday, July 17, 2009
I love this blog--I think it's great we can stay in touch this way! I finally got moved in to my new apartment in Denver, and I love it. I love my new neighborhood and it's really close to all my favorite restaurants and shops...My Aikido (martial arts) class is going well, and I'm starting to get the hang of it. As for my job situation, nothing else has come up, so I will probably be subbing in Littleton this coming year when I am not teaching at Hopkins. I would really love to get together for Happy Hour with all of you, so if you do get something planned, would you email me and let me know when and where? My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. As for the unpacking, I have yet to start, but at least I will have some extra days of the week to work on it. I am kind of looking forward to a new school year, but am all about enjoying the rest of summer as it goes by so quickly! I hope everyone is having a great summer and I hope to see you all soon! Paige
Thursday, July 16, 2009
I have been at school a lot to unpack boxes-only a few hours at a time though. I have a few more boxes to do, and then I have to figure out what to do with my room-----but I have to check with teammates to figure out the Ralph Moody scoop!
Enjoy every sunny day-it is going by too fast-
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I am finally a "follower" of FARTS! It is great to read what everyone has been up to- I feel like Ames is still alive in spirit. I am having a great time in South Dakota- visiting friends and family, reading lots, and actually having time to relax. My mom and I went to New York City last week (I attended the Teachers College Reading Summer Institute and she went to a different conference). We had a great time playing in my new home, saw West Side Story and Wicked (amazing) on Broadway by scoring cheap tickets on the days of the shows. I am starting to pack things for NYC as I move in 2 and 1r m/2 weeks! (yes, I just finished unpacking and now it is time to repack things- the little bit that I am taking). I have also started reading for my classes this fall- they sent our booklist and it is not exactly beach reading :)
Keep enjoying the summer- it is flying right by us! And I want to know when the first FAC in NYC will be?
Also, the Reading and Writing Summer Institutes that TC puts on each summer are AMAZING! Think about attending next summer- you all would love it and fit right in! And I may be teaching at it by then :) Here is the link: http://rwproject.tc.columbia.edu/default.aspx?pageid=1171
Monday, July 13, 2009
Just wondering if anyone has talked to Sean or know how he's doing? Last I heard was from Deb S. that he is off Oxygen, very tired, and sleeps a lot. I think she said he's on his fourth week of Cemo Therapy.
I hope all is well in your lives and you are finding time to relax and enjoy the summer a little.
Smiles and hugs to all!
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Larry's home is finally on the market - WAHOO! After working on it for a year, the sign went up in the yard on Tuesday. I I feel like I've given birth, Larry says he's pulled the trigger. Ah the differences between men and women.
Sounds like everyone is busy going to conferences and institutes. I've been doing my thing at ESY - the 16th is the end. And then we're headed to Massachusetts and Rhode Island until the end of the month. Now that will be fun!!!!
I'd love to do an FAC (not necessarily on Friday this week) if we can all pull it together. Sounded like Deb had something in the works.
One more thing, I heard a rumor that Nancy K. got a job out of state. Has anyone else heard anything? Think I will give her a call this week.
Take care everyone. Hope to see you all soon - somewhere, sometime!
Friday, July 10, 2009
Also, for Lori---I have been over to Franklin and we are able to work in our rooms, but not today. I spent two full days this week but hardly made a dent in my room. (Lori, they're stripping and waxing the rooms and hallways today. They started at the end of the hallway and I assume they are working their way toward the main hallway. I noticed they delivered a white board skin to your room. I need to give you a call to talk about a couple things pertaining to setting up. I'll give you a call today (Friday).
Talk to you all later. We should meet up for happy hour, maybe next week sometime. We could go to a restaurant at Aspen Grove or somewhere else. Let me know and I'd be glad to email people!
Monday, July 6, 2009
-Unpack 65 boxes of Mr.-R.-In-A-Box: Check
-Shift collection of Lit. Library materials (25 boxes) to new Lit. Library location: Check
-Clean existing/new furniture: Check
-Literacy Institute: Check
-Powering Up Class: Check
-TIE Conference Session One: Check
-TIE Conference Session Two: Check
-Twitter Account (wiki focus): Check
-NECC Remote Broadcast: Check
Connecting/powering up classroom technology is next.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Saturday, June 27, 2009
Hope you don't mind me referring to the acronym we made up -- I'm headed home from visiting my in-laws in CA. They're as sweet as can be but after staying with them for almost 2 weeks, I'm more than ready to come home!
Oh yes, Deb, I understand how your nights can be burdened with thoughts of your classroom. Give yourself a break -- you ARE going to be fine and after about 2 months or so, you'll get the hang of it. I'm sure it's got to be an uneasy feeling, not having been in the classroom for quite some time. I'd be willing to bet that you're going to like it and find that the staff and kids at East will make you feel like one of the family.
Okay, so I'm reading the 2nd book in the Twilight series. Lori, you're right--I'm hooked! Edward is intriguing!
Got to get back in the car now, ugh! only 395 miles to go!!
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Doris, I hope your mom continues with the good spirits. She is very brave to go through the chemo-so glad that she isn't feeling sick.
Brian is out in San Diego playing baseball for the San Diego Waves. Finally his hand has healed and he has been playing in games since June 6th. Morgan and I can't wait to go out and visit and cheer in a few weeks. Morgan is doing speed camp and weigh training at Heritage 4 mornings a week and is enjoying that-trying to really make a difference on the soccer field. She is like a bee and flitting from one social event to another when she isn't working out!
I taught Vacation Bible School last week, and have been moving into my new room one box at a time! Talk later!
I am so glad that we can re-connect this way! I enjoyed seeing a few framiliar Ames faces at the Lit. Institute!
I have been sloowwlly moving into my new room :( What a pain in the butt!!! But I feel very lucky that I can move in all summer.
I am going to Ohio for the 4th of July! Whoo Hooo....fun summer trip!!! Then,....Vegas in July with some of my Fav....Ames Ladies!!!! Trip is still open to anyone who would like to join!!! ALL ARE WELCOME!!!! (July 13-16)
Talk to you guys later!!!!
I just got home from New England a few days ago. It was a great trip ... just what I needed. Now I'm catching up and getting back in touch.
Mom is doing well after two rounds of chemo. She's very thin and tired, but she's not feeling pukey. Thanks so much to all of you who have called and written to ask. I truly appreciate your thoughts and prayers.