Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Cards

In Thirdland, I'm seen as someone with quite a bit of street cred when it comes to Pokemon.  #1 Son collected the cards way back when, so I shelled out quite a bit of cash for the cards, watched the show every day after school and came to have my own favorites, including Squirtle and Bulbasaur.  Sadly,  I had to put the kibosh on the whole shebang of Pokemon at the school site by announcing to the Thirdlanders that Pokemon is now banned.  They weren't surprised.  The trading had reached a feverish pitch and even they could see that they needed someone to step in and get control of the situation.  These kids were trading like they worked on Wall Street.  Recess became a hyped up Let's Make a Deal show.

Don't worry about the ban. They'll get in to something new soon, and after awhile, they'll start wreaking havoc with it. That's just how we roll. In Thirdland.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

The Podcast

Photo Credit:  Heinemann 
Well, yesterday was a big day.  We had a celebration for Back and Forth.  We ate tamales and cake and drank wine.  The house could barely hold all the friendship and fun that frolicked through the place yesterday eve.  I wish my handful of blog readers that couldn't be here for the party could be here now.  I would give you leftover tamales and we could samples some of the fabulous wines that were gifted to us last night.  Fun times.  And one more thing.  Have you listened to the Heinemann podcast yet?  Brett did a great job of telling the story of the book with his questions and editing.  I do a bit too much laughing as I talk but does that really surprise anyone???? I'm so glad I went to Florida to tape the podcast.  I hope you don't think I'm going overboard with blogging about the book, but you've been with me through the hard times and I want you here now during the good times.  Thanks, good friends.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

The Herons

So first off, let me tell you
that everything's going well here in the heartland.  My colleagues threw me a surprise party for the book on Friday morning.  Funnest time ever. We saw U2 on Sunday night and that also was the funnest time ever.  And C., I took these photos of the mysterious green heron a few weeks ago. Life's just rolling along and I'm basically just singing my song.



Tuesday, September 05, 2017

The Bees


The 3 day weekend is over, but my illness isn't.  I spent the weekend on the couch, watching movies and sleeping.  Yesterday I pulled it together to write the ILA proposal, so that's good.

Frankly, I'm irked, but I know things could be worse and I should just be happy that I didn't have to write sub plans for this illness which I'm calling Fatty Fatigue Syndrome.  I hope you don't get it, because it really knocks you OUT.

Still feeling punky, to tell you the truth, but I'm heading in to teach because I'm teachering up and that's how we roll.

My weekend was not the bee's knees.  It was just the bees.

Friday, September 01, 2017

The Fries

I'm thinking of calling any blog I write on Fridays, 'The Fries.'  Good idea?  Let's see.

Recap of the week's highlights, in a bulleted list.

  • Open House went well.  I talked with most parents about our tarantula.  I enjoyed that.
  • Katie Wood Ray agreed to present with me at ILA next summer.  I started working on the proposal this week. 
  • A copy of Back and Forth arrived at the house.  To be honest, I'm in love with it.
  • Judith gave me a cupcake.
  • My gentle yoga class was effective at calming both my mind and my body.
  • The Thirdlanders are making some awesome creations at our Well, well, well inquiry centers.



Tuesday, August 29, 2017

The Enjoyment

My mom was born 87 years ago.  She's not feeling as spry as in her heyday, but she gets up every morning, exercises, writes letters to friends, and watches our president's antics on the news with appropriate scorn and disdain. She looks after all of us and makes sure we're doing okay.  When I called her on Sunday from school, she said, "Lee, I thought you were going to try not to go to school on the weekends anymore."
I gave my usual excuses about Open House coming up blah blah blah but then I stopped and said, "Who am I kidding, Mom?"
"Only yourself," she answered.
She's right.  I'm kidding myself that x y or z will happen and then teaching will be all sewn up by 4pm and I can go off on my merry way.  I'm not doing anything wrong.  My job's not a mystery to be solved. Teaching requires lots of teacher time outside of the school day and that's how it is. It's a good job and I enjoy it. That's someone else's mantra, but I may need to borrow it. No one can tell me what's enough though. Only I can do that.  We got all the stories done and a Thirdlander said, "Is this the only thing that's going to be on display at Open House?"
"Yes, these excellent Best Year Ever pieces are the only pieces on display."
Of course then I got the great idea to take photos of the writers, so I have those too to put up during lunch.
And there's a slim chance that we might do our wild thing monster heads today if there's time.
Who am I kidding? It's time to embrace the workload. And it's also time to roll out the new mantra of the school year:  Enough's enough.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Ponderosa


Here's what I'm pondering.  Do I want a blog to tell people about the book or do I want an actual web page?  I'm thinking on this daily and doing some casual explorations on the internets, as seen below.


I like this LITLEARNACT wordpress blog a lot, but once I tried to create a wordpress and it didn't turn out so great. But let's face it, how hard can it be?  But maybe I should stay loyal to blogger. These blogspot blogs REFLECT AND REFINE and CATHY MERE are excellent and really get the job done. 

Sam and Quinn use web pages to send their stuff out into the world and I like their pages, Sam Quinones and Quinn Sternberg

I made this weebly for my classroom press last year, but I didn’t add to it because our district blocked Weebly, for some reason. 

So I'm all over the place.  Please weigh in. If you feel like it. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

The Bests

I'm not kidding.  I've got to get those Best Year Ever pieces done today.  This is no joke.  

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Papers


 Open House is coming up and I don't feel like putting any student work up on my walls.  We are working every day on stuff, but I can't guarantee any of it's going to be finished by Tuesday night.  I'm thinking of having Open House catered.  If I carry around trays of sushi and small glasses of sake, I doubt anyone's going to care that much that their kid doesn't have stuff on display.  I decided to take a "gentle yoga" class.  Tonight was the first session.  There were moments where I thought, "NOT GENTLE! NOT AT ALL GENTLE!"  But most of it was fine.  It's important to take yoga classes and not worry about posting student work.  Teachers in Finland don't go crazy with the hallway displays.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Wonderings


I'm about to run some ideas by you, so settle in and get ready.  Someone suggested that I make a web page or a blog for the book.  And that I create some new lessons that go with the book to share on that web page.  I'm not sure if I want to do a webpage or not.  I see some people have cool sites on wordpress.  Not sure what to do yet.  Please discuss among yourselves and get back to me.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

The Sun

At my workspot, no one can go outside during the eclipse, but we can go to the science lab and watch it on a big screen. My classroom doesn't have windows to the outside, so we won't be able to see the darkening skies, but we can think about the eclipse and maybe write some poetry about what it's like to be so close and yet so far.  We don't want to leave anyone's vision behind on eclipse day, so we're going to stay inside for safety. Some families are taking the afternoon off to enjoy the eclipse experience.   I want everyone who's able to see the eclipse to just go ahead and have a good time. Luckily,  I'll probably be able to catch the next eclipse in 2024.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The Pencils


1.  There's a book in my room that one of the Thirdlanders really likes.  He has encouraged me to read it to the class about 15 or 20 times a day.  Today I finally decided to read it.  When I walked over to the reading area with it in my hand, he jumped up and stood in front of me.  Addressing his classmates he said, "I want everyone to know that I highly recommend this book.  It's one of the best I've ever read.  And I'm sure you're all going to enjoy it a lot.  And you'll see at the end that it's based on a true story."  Then he sat down and we got on with the book.  It really was pretty good.  It's called Ketzel the Cat Who Composed. At the end, I said I wasn't sure the cat really composed the music.  He walked across the keys, but his guardian is the one who wrote the piece.  The Thirdlander in question disagreed vehemently.  "That cat walked across the keys, creating the music.  He was the original creator of the music.  He made the notes. He is the composer."
I'm not totally sold, but I decided to drop it.

2.  I'm working quite a lot right now.  Not at all like the teachers in Finland.  2 X this week I was at school for 11 hours straight.  I was getting stressed about it, but then I got home, ate dinner and went for a walk with Husbandman.  Life's good now.

3.  A few minutes ago, I told Husbandman that I'm kind of thinking about the concept of the bully pulpit.  He said, "Okay."
"Do you know what bully pulpit means?" I asked him.
"Yes," he answered, busy with his computer.
"Prove it," I answered back, but he refused to do it.  So, I guess we all can only conclude that  Husbandman obviously doesn't know what a bully pulpit is!  Incredible!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

The Zen

If I had more energy, I'd crop and straighten this photo.

Day 5.  These Thirdlanders are pretty darned nice.  Today they worked on writing in the morning. Some were even revising with green pencils. We read The Name Jar and I mispronounced the main character's name, so I'm going to have to correct that tomorrow.  We talked about Crow Boy and made some sketch notes.  We are building our reading stamina.  According to the Daily 5 book, the teacher should read as well at the beginning of the year, until the class gets to know the procedures.  These kids actually read a lot and are very focused, so I could've probably started reading conferences today, but I decided to keep reading ZEN TEACHER for one more day.   I'm enjoying the heck out of that book.  Our calm day had some riotous moments.  Case in point. One Thirdlander spent a considerable time in the restroom. When I asked why, the Thirdlander said, "My butt was exploding! It was almost having spontaneous combustion."  Besides this outlier, the day proceeded pretty much as planned.