Everybody Knows

Everybody knows…

Maddie is her mother’s daughter.

It’s her petite frame,

the pointy nose,

and a mouth that mirrors her mother’s smile.

Everybody knows…

Maddie is her daddy’s daughter.

Those hazel eyes,

her fair skin that easily burns in the sun,

expensive taste that enjoys the finest life has to offer.

Everybody knows…

Maddie is her gram’s girl.

A knack for decorating cakes,

kindness that spills from the heart,

or the sizable purse she carries over her shoulder.

Everybody knows…

Maddie is her pa’s granddaughter.

There’s the fierce sense of determination,

her ability to assist others in need,

an everlasting love for man’s best friend.

Everybody knows…

Maddie is her nana’s girl.

The creativity that flows,

an artistic niche that proves amazing abilities,

an eye for all that is unique.

Everybody knows…

Maddie is her pappy’s granddaughter.

Always on time,

if not a bit early,

or impatient waiting for others.

Everybody knows,

everybody knows,

everybody knows,

twenty-one years have flown by!

You’ve captured the best of the best,

a perfect blend,

a shining star,

the Maddie we all love!


Cheers to 21 years! Maddie’s 21st birthday, April 16, 2017


Ode to Lynne for sharing the “Everybody Says” Dorothy Aldis in Songs of Myself compiled by Georgia Heard.


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small steps

I’ve been taking small steps since I wrapped up the Slice of Life March challenge. Small steps in my classroom that is. After finishing the challenge, I decided I would torment myself try blogging with some of my students. Small steps, hopefully leading to big leaps.

The first thing I needed to do was decide on a blogging platform.  I looked at Kidblog and the free version of Edublogs. I actually set up an account at Edublogs, but the free version just was not robust enough to do what I wanted it to do.  Then after I thought about it, I decided against Kidblog because if I was going to pay for a platform, I would just use Edublog because it is similar to the WORDPRESS that I use for my own blog.

But then a change…enter Blogger! I almost feel like in the blogging world it’s WORDPRESS vs. BLOGGER, just like COKE vs. PEPSI, or APPLE vs. PC! I mean I love WORDPRESS, but I decided to give Blogger a try with my students. Yes, I crossed over!

First off, Blogger is *FREE*! My students all have a GOGGLE account which made set-up easy to establish. While it might not be as sophisticated as the paid version of Edublogs, it certainly is manageable. We didn’t spend a lot of time picking templates, colors, fonts, etc. I pretty much set the site up on my end and then added my students as blog authors/contributors. This was easy-peasy and worked out perfect since I was pressed for time. The end of the school year is right around the corner!

We modeled our first post after a series of poems that Amy Ludwig VanDerwater did in the month of April called “Wallow in Wonder!“. It was just brilliant the way she connected poetry to the ever-engaging articles of Wonderopolis.  If you haven’t been to their sites you need to finish reading this post and GET.THERE.TO.CHECK.IT.OUT!

I decided on our first article from Wonderopolis, Why Are They Called Killer Whales? Wonder of the Day #1651. And then, I modeled the framework of the response. I have to admit, when I saw Dana Murphy’s post,  Create Your Own Text: Teaching Writing with Mentor Texts, I was like, yesssssss, I just did that with my kiddos.  Here is the link to the mentor text that I created: Oh, Mr. Killer Whale, what if we met? The students then worked on creating their post and drew a graphic or added a picture.

We are currently working on our second post. Once again, I choose the article from Wonderopolis, Why Do Some People Chase Storms? Wonder of the Day #779. I didn’t give my students a formal mentor text, but I did give them some possible titles for their post. They could decide on their own title or choose from one of these:

  • Today I’m Chasing a Storm
  • My Dangerous Hobby
  • When I Grow Up…
  • I’m Just a Storm Chaser

Once they finish the storm chaser post they are going to explore Wonderopolis on their own and create their third post. I’ll be anxious to see what they find and what they create! I hope you have time to take a look at our site.

You can find us at gr8readersgr8writers.blogspot.com.

If you do hop on over, feel free to leave a comment!


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[trīˈaTHlən]  noun
a long-distance race that has three parts: swimming, bicycling, and running
As in:  Brilliant sunshine
on April 17th
Matt swimming 300 yards,
the first leg
of the sprint triathlon,
gliding through the water
taking a mere 6 minutes,
59 seconds.
As in: Crystal blue skies,
time to jump on the bike,
peddle, peddle, peddle,
as fast as you can,
as fast as you can!
riding 16 miles
for 54 minutes & 56 seconds.
As in: The last leg of the race,
run, Matt, run!
up the hills,
around the corner,
down the hills.
run, run, running,
3.1 miles
in 26 minutes, 16 seconds.
As in: Crossing the finish line,
cheering for you!
a personal record,
a personal best,
1 hour, 30 minutes, 17 seconds-
Another Triathlon in the Books
triathlon #10,
number ten complete!
how can that be?
Harrisburg 2 times,
Hempfield 3 times,
Mt. Gretna,
Cambridge 2 times,
Lake Placid
more than just numbers,
it’s about
mind over matter.
you can do hard things,
a swim, a bike, a run,
a triatlon!

triathlon buddies




Mentor Text:

The Crossover 


Kwame Alexander


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A Poem for Your Pocket

Today is Poem in Your Pocket Day!

It’s a day where people celebrate by selecting a poem, carry it with them, and share it with others throughout the day at schools, bookstores, libraries, parks, and workplaces.

The poem that I am sharing with my students and with you is from The Crossover by Kwame Alexander. Its title is “Basketball Rule #3”.


this is just to say…

Oh, Buddy, our Jersey Wooly rabbit, can be quite a handful! He always keeps me on my toes, so here’s a quick little apology that he wrote to me.


this is just to say…

i jumped out of my cage

this afternoon

while you were at school


which mostly likely

you will probably

have a heart attack

when you

get home


forgive me!

i just wanted

a lazy day

in which

i could




just hangin’ out!

Mentor Text: Forgive Me I Meant To Do ItFalse Apology Poems

by Gail Carson Levine.

“This Is Just To Say” by William Carlos Williams

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 4.47.37 PM


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Slice of Life