Archive for January, 2011

FlipShare – Private Video Sharing – Email

This week was our first week back from our break. We spent some time talking about resolutions, goals, and intentions to work on in the new year. We also discussed how we can pick one word and do our best to do at least one thing each day based on our word. If we can; we will have a very worthwhile year!

I videoed the kids telling me their words with the new flip video I got for Christmas from my family. They practiced telling about their words first but some still got a little “stage fright.” They all did an awesome job! I am so proud of my kiddos, and their willingness to always do what the teacher asks.

We plan on using the camera a lot in the classroom, and hope to get a few more to use when we make digital stories!

 FlipShare – Private Video Sharing – Email.


My first Slice

Today I am writing my first “Slice of Life” blog post! I have wanted to do this for a very long time, but felt shy and unsure if my post would be “good enough” “well written enough,” “interesting enough,” or “relevant.” But today I am using my energy and taking that leap to write away…no matter my insecurities.

We go back to school tomorrow after a nice holiday break, and I can’t help but wonder if some of my kiddos won’t come back with some of the worries and thoughts that I mentioned above. Although we have been with each other all year, I know that after a break it is often just like starting fresh. I have spent many days in my classroom over the break hoping to ease some of their worries as soon as they step through the door. It is my hope to pick up right where we left off, and to make the second half of our first grade year as enjoyable as the first.

Our first activity will be to find a word for each kiddo for the year, and to write a list of intentions for our class and 2011. Of course this will be after all the stories and sharing about the great fun they had on the break, and what “Santa” brought everyone. Sounds like a great mini-lesson for writing workshop!

Happy 2011 to all! I am so excited to become a regular “Slicer” here in the mid-west!

Hello 2011

My first blog post of 2011 is going to be more on the personal side than first grade. I have been away from my kiddos for two weeks now, and am not going to get to see them until the 5th. Breaks are always a welcomed blessing. Burnout from long days, holiday preparations, Christmas programs, parties and shopping, while still trying to teach; are at times very overwhelming. The breaks are always as much a relief for me as they are for the kids. But after the hustle wears down, and the Christmas dinners are over, I am ready to be back in the classroom and with my kiddos once again.

As usual this lull in time finds me contemplating my past and anticipating the future. The holidays always bring bittersweet memories of Christmas’s past, and days of childhood- mine and my children’s. This Christmas we were blessed with not only the kids, but the company of my oldest brother and his daughter, my mom, mother-in-law, and a favorite Uncle and Aunt. Many other family members sadly were not here, but the house felt fuller and warmer because of those that were. It was a Christmas to cherish and remember.

Looking ahead always starts with looking back. Taking inventory of the past year and years before that. I am a tremendous “planner.” I plan parties. I plan nights out. I plan projects. I plan what to cook. I plan how to arrange and decorate. I plan what to buy, when to buy it, where to go, when to go, who to see, what to see, and what to wear. I plan activities, and of course I plan lessons. So naturally the New Year finds me planning “me” and my intentions for the New Year.

A few years ago I started listing my “intentions” for the year instead of resolutions. About that same time I started picking a word to base my year on. I came upon these ideas after reading Henriette Anne Klausers’ Write it Down Make it Happen and Debbie MaComber’s nonfiction book Knit Together, and of course it was on Oprah a few years later. I pull out these two books this time year after year and always find new ideas, or information I had forgotten about. But in some uncanny way they have seeped into parts my life.

Recently I noticed that some of my favorite bloggers such as the Two Writing Teachers and Ali Edwards use such things as intentions instead of resolutions and one word for the year. They have deemed it OLW –One Little Word.

This year I have bounced around a few words and have decided on some and then changed my mind. I have had such words as inspire, aspire, gratitude, and balance in past years. But this year I wanted something different. Something that would grab me and help me BE me. I first came up with “plan” (cause I love to) and then I decided on “diligent” (something I want to be), and then finally decided on “assiduous” (showing persistent and hard-working effort in doing something) it was catchy and fun to say, something I strive to be, and it caught mine and other people’s attention. It felt perfect.

BUT then my brother came for Christmas…and he brought his iPad…and he let me play with it…and it had BOOKS to read on it…and I read Jon Gordon’s The No Complaining Rule, which led me to buy his book The Energy Bus (and of course I had to buy the other book, as well because my brother wouldn’t leave his iPad!) Because of these two books I have changed my word to ENERGY! To me it encompasses all the other words, and is something that I need, we need, I hope to portray, and have, for 2011 and many years to come.
My list of intentions is long and will need ENERGY to see them through, but because I am diligent and assiduous I know my ENERGY will last!

I PLAN to introduce OLW and a list of intentions (we will make one as a class) when we return to school. I can hardly wait to hear the words they come up with. We have been “collecting” words all year. Our goal is 100 “unusual” or “new to us words” before the end of our school year. We will add these to our “Word Jar.”

Breaks are always a welcome reprieve from the busyness’. But this year I am just as anxious to be back in the classroom, and on our way to new words, new intentions, new planning, and new ENERGY!

Happy New Year!

List of Intentions 2011:

Write every day

Post on blog at least 2 time a week and join “Slice of Life”

Slow down, take time, for family, friends, and me




Listen and watch

Give thanks and show gratitude

Volunteer and do more random acts of kindness


Stay in contact

Do something for me

Take a chance

Build relations

Organize, stay current


Have fun

Tell those that are important to me that they are-show love, pride for them

Have, show, live with-ENERGY!

Ask people to ride my energy bus! Come along!