Archive for September, 2011

Catching up…

Catching up Quickly

This is our fourth full week of school. We have been through testing, procedures, discipline, eye exams, snowball “fights” to learn names and make friends, worked on independent reading, just right books, and partner reading, our first Rise and Shine assembly, fire, tornado, and stranger drills and the dreaded inside recess. We are coming together learning to trust and love each other; we are becoming a first grade community-family.

In some ways it feels as if we have just started in others it feels as if we’ve been there much more than four weeks. Miss Lindsay started her student teaching the second week of school. We are so happy to have her in our little family she is a shining spot of our first grade routine. The second week Miss Lindsay was with us she shared a book with us she had made about “her.”

I liked it so much I decided to change my family involvement project I do for our writing notebooks. I usually have the kids decorate them with their families with pictures about them, and then add a note about the student. Instead of naming them “writer’s notebooks” I called them “Me Notebooks.” We still discussed how to use them, what heart stories and ideas would fit well in them, and how other writers use theirs. The kids and families did a great job. My favorite part was in the note I asked the parents to write why they were so proud of their child. The answers were heart- warming.

This past week we read Laura Numeroff’s 10 Step’s to Living With Their Monster . It is a great story and one I’ll be adding to my yearly read aloud list. We made mental images after I read the story the first time through without showing the illustrations. Then we read it again (this time with the illustrations). I then gave the kiddos some templates I’d made of “monster parts.” Each one picked their parts, traced, cut out and glued. Their creations were MONSTERLY creative.

This week we read it again (because Miss. Lindsay had missed it the first two) and then wrote a class book “The 10 Step Guide to Living with Your First Grade Monster.” Their responses and ideas were very intuitive and FUNNY!  We will be placing all in the hallway outside our door for everyone to see!

On a personal note Monday night was my daughter’s first Senior night. I had no idea this senior stuff would begin so early in the year, and I have another to go through in the spring. Her brother surprised her by showing up, and of course that made me choke back even more tears….Oh where did my babies go?  


Labor Day Weekend


The early morning sun slanted across my face through the thin slats of the rustic wooden shutters. I adjusted the cozy covers and my pillow to block them for just a few more minutes of sleep. The bed is warm and soft, softer than mine at home.

I can hear my family downstairs talking quietly readying themselves for their morning hunt. The screen door opens and shuts again, and I hear murmur of my brother’s voice thank the deliverer of the yummy goods. More soft murmuring and I doze off again.

Finally I hear Donnie tip-toe up the stairs to ask if I’m ok. “Yes,” I stretch and reply “just waiting for the party to leave.” He tells me they were waiting on me, but assured me they would be off now.

The final slap of the screen door, and I peer out the window to make sure they are gone. The coast is clear, so I make my way to the one and only bathroom, and hopefully what’s left of the breakfast goodies. I hear my sister-in-law’s voice and give her a quick wave. She smiles and waves back. I see she had the same idea I did.

After a quick shower I head for the tray near the kitchen sink. I lift the cover and grin. One left. One. One of the homemade cinnamon rolls from the owners of the Doyle Creek Bed and Breakfast. Since the passing of my grandparents a few years ago we now spend our Labor Day “nights” at the B& B. It’s not the same as grandma and grandpas but it is nice.

My family comes for the days filled with card games, visiting the family farm, fishing, and the hunting. But I come for the relaxation, restful atmosphere, beautiful scenery, memories of days gone by, and of course… the cinnamon rolls.