Monday, November 30, 2009

The cat's

...away, but the mice won't play, right? Have a good one! I'm sure I'm learning something; I just can't remember what...

Students of the

...week. In another stab at making my blog interesting, I will be putting on students of the week each week. After this week, they'll be in the sidebar for all to see. Look for them.

For now, though, here are this week's.

Peyton is first.

Can you believe I wondered if she needed to smile more? Dippy me. Peyton listens, takes notes, thinks and then tries. What a student. I am lucky to have her in my classroom.

Darian is an artist, but she reads, and adult level books, and she listens, learns from others and then tries herself to do better and more.

Wow! I love it!

Calli is my thesaurus girl, going on and trying to up her vocab.

She is also reading and commenting on the blog. Thanks!

Ah, Brandon. It pays to start so low in the hole that good effort looks great.

And, it does. Brandon is improving every week in his writing; he is reading for me, finishing one over the holiday and starting another; and he has humor (that can get him in trouble...but he's working on that, right?).

And, finally, Ozzy.

I know he's fighting me on any given day, but I know there's a good student in that bad boy image, and I'm dong my best to help Ozzy decide to be a bad-boy good boy.

These students and any students on any given day are what keep me lovin' teaching.

See you tomorrow.

Are you an

...artist? If you are, check out this post on Brooklyn Street Art. The people who run this, are friends of ours. Every once in a while they send me what's happening and I feel like I'm a part, just a little bit, of the city.

Miss Zraik was inspired last year by their book they put out and worked with it and the Time cover of Obama (the artist was in the book) to do a unit in her classroom.

I've forwarded this to Miss Zraik again this year because I could so see some of you doing something like this. It's such a treat to have your artwork in the newspaper each edition, so I know just how good some of you are.

As an English teacher and mother, I love the whole piece. The writing is interesting and the use of his child is wonderful.

We might live in upstate New York, but that doesn't mean our thinking and experiences have to stop here.

There's a quote I like. Can you guess which one it is?

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sunday's goal

...for me is to learn how to take my five posts for the vacation and figure out how to do them so they're on the blog in the right order....

It's always good to have a goal and to keep learning. I think it's especially good for a teacher to do so. Otherwise, we forget what it's like to have to do and push and try. It can get frustrating and teachers need to remember that, don't we?

Let's see if I can do it.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A blast from the past

...and finishing up a series of posts from the summer. My one goal this Thanksgiving, besides visiting with family, relaxing, eating lots, and reading (which I never got to--sudukos and crosswords won), was to finish my llama camp series.

It never happened at my in-laws' because of computer problems, but now, home on Saturday night, I am fulfilling my promise to myself.

To recap, my youngest went for a week of fun and farm life at llama camp across the lake. As soon as I dropped her off the first day, I knew I wanted to bring my camera back and take pictures. (To see the other posts, click here: post 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1.)

Have you ever had that feeling? That feeling of being somewhere and it giving you a sense of peace and contentment?

So, sit back, be warm in November and travel back with me to August there a better image of summer than a youngster enjoying the outdoors? I can feel the sun and warmth already; enjoy!

On my last post of the camp, I was coming back from behind Cheryl and Bruce's house.

I had met up with Cheryl, below with one of her camp girls,

and so I had taken a bunch more pictures while getting the lowdown from her.

Cheryl and Bruce are the epitome of people who love where they are and what they are doing in life.

I'd like to think there are moments in my classroom where I project that same feeling- do I dare say the serenity too? Nope, not yet, not for me...but I'm working on it! But, the love of what I am doing? That I can say yes to, definitely!

By this time, my daughter and our neighbors were waiting, pretty patiently, for me to finish. They were enjoying the tree and all it had to offer.

And, another family was enjoying an adult willing to take pictures.

Look at the smiles: I hope you've been that happy and carefree lately.

These pictures are the beginning of the end. They were one last take on a beautiful place.

The buildings,

the flowers,

the barn of llamas and their friends,

a place where time deserves to be noted and then carried on,
and all are welcome:

this was llama camp for me, 2009.

It was time to go. Rori had a face painting that wouldn't last the day,

but she had a notebook to take and a beautiful bowl to share with me.

And, the memories? They would last far longer than one week in the summer.

On our way to our car (I swear we were going to the car),

Cheryl and Bruce took us over to the ram.

He was in front of the house

and to the side of the first building

and garden

we had visited.

The end of the tour, the day, and the camp was here.

I took one last picture of the terra cotta of summer,

one last picture of the buildings that Bruce and Cheryl created,

and one last glance down the way. It was enough.

Llama camp was over, except for.... oh, a final look at the creatures who started all this!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


...personified: Nick! We were just discussing when to use them, for contractions and ownership, and I had mentioned to Nick that he really needs to learn that....

when later in the period I realized that Nick was an apostrophe!

Talk about life imitating art!


....dogs, and Kyle.

Mrs. Farrell had this on Monday. It was found in the FACS closet, made by a teacher who retired from that room, Mrs. Patterson. She's a great lady who could do amazing things.

Benny came in yesterday since it was technically a Thursday. Zeke noticed today that the little stuffed dog on my chair looks like Benny, exactly why I bought him ( at my favorite store!). When Benny isn't here watching over all of you, his jr. is. Benny so loves coming in, and you are all so wonderful to him. It makes for goodness all around.

Mrs. Hume came in when Benny was sitting with me and took these.

Really, does it get any better than a dog at my back and great students in the front?

Kyle just couldn't handle reading yesterday so he fell asleep. He informed me that he reads before going to bed. Me too, and that's exactly what happens to me too. Let's just hope he gets his reading in before nodding off. Your next book report is due Dec. 7.

But, for now? Enjoy the break; read, watch football, eat, play and be thankful.

I know I will!

Monday, November 23, 2009


...magnet poem from the basement.

But, I have to say, I'm pretty close to using up ideas when the magnet set only has about 25 words!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Benny school.

As a dog watching out the door,

and enjoying a good scratch;

as the top dog in charge

watching in every direction, making sure all are behaving

(and if they're not, knowing he wants to be there!);

and, finally, as the keeper of the chair.

Life is good for Benny and for me. I have graded one set of the projects, and I am impressed. Wow!

The rest to be graded while having coffee at the Ithaca Bakery tomorrow morning.

Can't wait!


morning begins.

Sun peeking over the trees.

Rising to meet the day.

Becoming a poem:


The day begins
with the sun
through the trees

to greet the day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Kyle's, today!Doesn't he look great?

...and yesterday.

Now, that's what I call a full service English class!