What’s Good Wednesday

Dear Miss Cutie,

A brilliant shade of orange,

I seek you out in the grocery store.

You are petite, refreshing, and oh-so-sweet.

Sometimes I find you tucked away

in my lunch bag

with a smile on your face,

knowing the happiness you bring.

So easy to peel

for fingers big or small.

Your tiny little wedges

plop right in my mouth.

Your juices whet my whistle.

No mess,

no fuss.

Thanks for being a perfect snack,

and a healthy treat,

a delight to everyone you meet.

Love,

Amy

~~~~~

FullSizeRender.jpg

~~~~~

Today’s poem is called an epistolary poem. Epistolary means written as friendly letter. Ode to my mentor text The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary for a plethora of ideas!

FullSizeRender-1

~~~~~

Slice of Life

hosted at

Two Writing Teachers

Join in and share a slice of your life!

Take-away Tuesday

FullSizeRender

These two little books by Austin Kleon are a quick read that I enjoyed reading during the Slice of Life Story Challenge. In both books, the writing style is structured and informative while the artwork is fun and whimsical. Kleon is also the author of Newspaper Blackout where I got the inspiration for my post from Sunday.

In Kleon’s book, Steal Like an Artist, all I could think about was the connection to what we teachers and writers use, mentor texts. Basically, Kleon advocates that you get your inspiration and creativity from those around you, but then make it your own.

Here are some of my take-aways from Steal Like an ArtistShow Your Work:

  • Every new idea is just a mashup or a remix of one or more previous ideas.
  • An artist is a collector. Not a hoarder, mind you, there’s a difference: Hoarders collect indiscriminately, artist collect selectively.
  • Carry a notebook and a pen with you wherever you go. Get used to pulling it out and jotting down your thoughts and observations. Copy your favorite passages out of books. Record over heard conversations. Doodle when you’re on the phone.
  • Keep a swipe file. It’s just what it sounds like-a file to keep track of the stuff you’ve swiped from others. See something worth stealing? Put it in the swipe file. Need a little inspiration? Open up the swipe file.
  • Keep two desks. One is an “analog” desk and one is a “digital” desk. The analog desk contains markers, pens, pens, paper, etc. The digital desk houses the computer and other devices.
  • Surround your self with books and objects you love. Tape things to the wall and create your own world.
  • Your brain gets too comfortable in your everyday surroundings. You need to make it uncomfortable. You need to spend some time in another place among people that think differently than you. Travel makes the world look new, and when the world looks new, our brain works harder.
  • “The trick is not caring what everybody thinks of you and just caring about what the right people think of you.” ~Brian Michael Bendis
  • You can’t count on success; you can only leave open the possibility for it, and be ready to jump on and take the ride when it comes for you.

So there you go! If you need to add another book to your never ending stack of books to read, you should definitely grab both of these.

Happy Reading!

~~~~~

Slice of Life

hosted at

Two Writing Teachers

Join in and share a slice of your life!

Date Day

Two Sundays ago Matt decided to take me on a date. A real date that was just us, not a trip to the gym for a workout or out for a training run for our upcoming race. A real date!

As you can see from the photo, the sky was a brilliant crystal clear blue and the snow was still on the ground from our March Madness blizzard. The air was crisp and cool. It was a perfect day to go to the Dissolve Float Spa, and, well, float!

IMG_3403

So what is floating???? That is what I was wondering when Matt told me about it. Basically you get in a “pod” the is filled with epson salt and warm water and you float. Honestly, it reminds me of a tanning bed only with water and without the harmful lights.

Truthfully I’m not one for a massage. Something about having a stranger rub his or her hands all over your barely dressed body just is not me. But the floating, that’s a different story. It’s therapeutic, it’s warm, and it’s peaceful. It’s also surprising how you just float in the water. My session was for an entire hour and it was just what I needed to break the winter blues. It did take me several minutes to settle into my float, but once I truly relaxed I enjoyed it. I think that the next time I go for a float the experience will be even better since I know what to anticipate.

After our float we headed out for brunch. We went to a new restaurant called The Handsome Cab. Our good friends introduced us to it a few weeks ago and Matt and I really enjoyed it. When he saw they offered a brunch, he made the reservations.

IMG_3412

We started off with a cheese tray and Matt ordered the European Staycation wine flight. I had a refreshing Lady in Red to drink.

Then our meal arrived. Matt had Lox Toast Points. His entree was cured smoked salmon, shredded potato leeks, tomato, and caper cream cheese. My entree was a bit more simplistic. I ordered the Eggs Benedict Oscar. It was two poached eggs on top of a delicious Maryland crab cake. It was amazing!

We had a delightful afternoon and I’m thankful that Matt planned this time just for us. I am looking forward to doing something similar again soon!

~~~~~

 

Slice of Life

hosted at

Two Writing Teachers

Join in and share a slice of your life!

What’s Your Marathon?

I’m a runner.

I’ve planned, trained, and completed 4 marathons (26.2 miles). The training plan requires 72 days of training over a span of 18 weeks. It’s an enormous commitment.

And then race day arrives. My mind plays mental games. “Trust in your training, trust in your training,” I whisper to myself again and again. I step up to the starting line and I run. I run up the hills. I glide down them. I use the flat road ahead for recovery.  It’s a roller coaster of emotions and a ping-pong of thoughts the entire time. I exhaust both physical and mental energy. Consequently, this saying that I stumbled upon couldn’t be any further from the truth.

imgres.jpg

Enter the Slice of Life Story Challenge. It’s a marathon of writing. Thirty-one days of blogging and sharing life stories during the month of March.

I’ve blogged throughout the year so I’ve trained. I created a rough drafts here, there, and everywhere. I’ve spent time planning what I will write. Some are content rich and some say less but perhaps mean more. Yes, I’ve planned. And I showed up at the starting line on March 1st and have blogged for the last twenty-five days.

On March 23rd I pretty much felt like I was at mile marker 20. I have the topics. I actually have more topics than what I need to complete the challenge. But I’m tired. This marathon of writing is taxing on my mind. I feel like my writing is dead.

Today, March 25th, I feel like I’m at mile marker 22…I’m ready to quit. I’ve told my husband to remind me not to sign up next year. It’s been a balancing act to say the least. But just like running my marathon, I keep.on.going. I keep.on.writing.

Why do I keep on going? I keep on going because next week I know I will have crossed the finish line…too tough to kill. Undoubtably, I will forget about the anguish. What I will have is thirty-one days of memories and thoughts captured and shared, always here to relive and enjoy. I’ve come to realize that we all face marathons in our life in one way or another and we keep plugging away. This month, this challenge has been a marathon of writing, a marathon of writing for me. What’s your marathon?

~~~~~

Slice of Life

hosted at

Two Writing Teachers

Join in and share a slice of your life!

This Is Me

Ricochet out of bed at 5:00 AM:

Blogger & Writer: I wake up early to proofread my blog post and publish it. Then I spend some time reading other blogs and leaving some comments. I’ll do some journaling if I’m not working on my blog.

Teacher: I’ll read my school emails, take a look at my teaching schedule, and put any finishing touches on my lesson plans.

Mom: I’m a “mom” to my little fur fam. I’m busy getting their breakfast, cleaning their cages, and letting them run around and wreck havoc on the house.

It’s 8:00 AM:

Teacher/Colleague: I arrive at school and step right into teacher mode. Everything else is pushed aside! I’m busy suggesting books, asking my readers what they are reading, fostering the love of independent reading, and teaching readers to be strategic about their reading. I also a support other teachers in the school by addressing pertinent reading questions and concerns.

School’s out 4:00 PM:

Runner: It’s time to put the rubber to the road and knock out a training run or cross-train. This could be anywhere between a 3 mile run to a 5 mile run, depending on where I am in my training plan. Cross-training consists of strength training, core work, or yoga.

Rushing around at 5:00 PM:

Housewife: I empty the dishwasher, put the trash out, place some laundry in the washing machine or put the laundry away, and pay some bills. I’m going to be truthful here, I rarely start dinner. That’s Matt’s area of speciality. If he doesn’t feel like cooking, I just roll with it and we eat leftovers or eggs.

Winding down from 6:00-7:30 PM:

Wife & Friend: I spend this time chit-chatting with Matt about his day and enjoying dinner, usually over a glass of wine. In between I will be texting or Snapchatting with my family and friends about whatever. I usually send a pic of the scrumptious dinner Matt has prepared. Some nights Matt and I might have a date. Our date would be at the gym attending a yoga class. I know you’re jealous!

Back to my little fur fam from 7:30-8:30 PM:

Mom: Once again I let the fur kids out to frolic around and get some exercise. I do my best to capture some of their antics and post it on their Instagram account. Usually, I’m touching base with Maddie too about her day via text or Snapchat.

Winding down for the day from 8:30-10:00 PM:

Whatever Me: You’ll find me writing in my journal or creating rough drafts for my blog. I *love* to make lists, so I’ll probably be preparing a to-do list, an exercise schedule, or a grocery list. Or perhaps you’ll observe me “reading”. (I have a tendency to read with my eyes shut. ~sigh) I catch up on social media during this time too. Best of all, I’m just chilling with Matt.

This is me. Just little ole me.

~~~~~

Slice of Life

hosted at

Two Writing Teachers

Join in and share a slice of your life!

#truestory

This school year I purchased a pre-made journal/planner. What I love about it is that at the beginning of the month there is a place to establish goals. There is also a journaling page at the start and end of each month. Not only do I use the journal for planning, but I also use it for reflecting.

And, I’ve been using my journal to capture what my readers are saying. Writing and blogging certainly makes me a better listener, for you never know if something you say is going to turn into a blog post! When I capture what they’re saying, I jot it down in my journal and just for fun I hashtag it, #truestory, although I never tweet these captured moments. Here are some of the #truestory moments from this year:

“You make me excited about books like never before!” ~a.b.

#truestory

“Your classroom just makes me want to just sit down and read.” ~o.t.

#truestory

“I read for 60 minutes last night and it left me at a cliff hanger! I wanted to keep on reading!” ~k.s.

#truestory

“My mom said that it was time to go shopping and I said, ‘Mom, I can’t! I want to read!’ So I took my book in the car with me.” ~m.w.

#truestory

Me: “I’m starting Wish today, Marlee.”

Marlee: “Hurry up and read it fast so we can talk about it!”

#truestory

“Last night I needed to keep on reading my book! I turned on my little clip light and read under the covers.” ~z.z.

#truestory

“Is today a reading day? I hope so. It’s the best part of the day!” ~b.a.

#truestory

Student #1: “This room is really, really cool! What do you need to do to be able to come here?

Student #2: “You pretty much have to suck at reading.”

#truestory…#sigh

“I love this book Wish and I love this class. This is my favorite part of the day!” ~k.s.

#truestory

I’m going to be honest here. There are days when I wonder if my readers are making enough progress. Progress is limited and sometimes stalled. On those days I revisit these #truestories and I know that #kidsarereading and that #kidslovebooks. What more could I ask for? This #truestory and that #truestory reminds me to keep chugging along.

“If it’s to be, it’s up to me.” ~a.w.

#truestory

~~~~~

Slice of Life

hosted at

Two Writing Teachers

Join in and share a slice of your life!