A Promise Broken

I knew you would be leaving on this day;

I told myself you’ll be home before long,

before I even know it.

The calendar is marked,

so I know it’s true.

You’ll be home soon,

sooner rather than later.

We had a tranquil Sunday at home.

You did your laundry,

spent some time with the fur babies,

focused on your school work.

It was a quiet morning.

And then 3:00 PM arrived.

We packed your car.

You said good-bye.

I gave you a hug,

said, “I love you.”

As I watched your car back out of the driveway,

I promised I wouldn’t cry,

I promised I wouldn’t cry.

I turned and walked away,

through the garage,

into the house.

Then I ran!

I ran to the front door,

to catch one more glimpse!

Just one.more.glimpse!

I espied your car,

drift, drift, drifting out of sight!

And I cried;

I cried.

A promise broken,

a promise broken.

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Readfessions of a Reading Specialist

 

readfessionsof-a-reading-specialist

Nothing But the Truth!

Welcome to Readfessions of a Reading Specialist.

Just some quick & clean happenings from my reading world.

Readfession #1: My readers love their reading journals!

This year I decided that I would utilize reading journals (again). I’ve used them in the past, but about two years ago our school started providing an iPad for each learner so reading journals have been on the back burner. I was excited to introduce them  and it’s funny how pumped my students get when I tell them that we are writing in their journals!

My readers decorated the front cover and then together we added some standard pages and some anchor charts. Throughout the year the journals will be used for responses from explicit instruction and for responses to independent reading. The reading journals serve as a great tool for formative assessment and a way to track progress.

Readfession #2:   I love Scholastic’s new resource, Storyworks Jr. 

This summer I attended the Scholastic Reading Summit. It was a great one day conference that was jam-packed with exciting books, awesome keynote speakers, and fabulous sessions. Oh, and need I mention, I had some great colleagues attend the conference too! (You can read about it here!)

Anyway, the point is that during the conference Scholastic was promoting its brand new multi-genre resource, STORYWORKS Jr. Since I love STORYWORKS, I knew STORYWORKS Jr. would be perfect for the group of readers I instruct. I purchased a subscription and I couldn’t be any happier. The online resources includes lesson plans, videos, audio recordings, and multi-level versions of the story. I love the reading selections and so do my students. It’s a reading win-win for me. It’s a reading win-win for my readers!

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Readfession #3: Independent reading is a huge success!

You know what Dr. Seuss says:

The more you read, the more you know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go!

Well, my readers are going places! Independent reading has gone to a whole new level this year. I’ve always made it a priority, but again after attending the Scholastic Reading Summit, I just knew I had to push more this year. And pushing I am! I cannot emphasize enough the power of the book talk. If I read the book, they want to read it. If I talk about the book, they want to read. I am truly amazed how simple yet powerful book talking is. My worry, I can’t read the books fast enough and I’m afraid I’m going to run out of books!  I’m stocking my room with books that I purchase, books from the school library, books from the public library, and most recently, e-books for my Kindles.

We’ve also been utilizing “book bins” this year and they too are quite powerful. It’s not enough for me to ask, “What are you reading now?” I also am asking, “What are you reading next?” or “What book(s) are in your book bin?” Visit Franki Sibberson’s blog to read more about book bins.

Book bins=powerful reading!

Readfession #4: I am busy reading too!

Here’s what’s on my short stack:

  • Finished: Ghost by Jason Reynolds
  • Reading Now: Finding Perfect by Elly Swartz
  • Up Next: Wish by Barbara O’Connor
  • In the Bin: Six Kids and a Stuffed Cat by Gary Paulsen
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my short stack

Well, that’s a wrap of readfessions for this reading specialist!

Until next time,

~Amy

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Little Win

Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.

~Thich Nhat Hanh

It’s the morning drive to work,
on the horizon,
a field of grazing cows.
The beauty of the old barn,
but the goats, the goats!
Peering through the barn door,
frolicking in the farm yard,
chasing each other with their tiny gallops,
ears bouncing,
up, up, up,
down, down down!
A smile on my face,
happiness in my heart!
~Little win~
It’s the echo empty house,
silence broken
by the chime of a text message.
Happy birthday, Mom!
We share, we laugh
She reminds me,
“I’ll be home soon!”
We’ll shop,
go out to eat,
we’ll just hang out.
A smile on my face,
happiness in my heart!
~Little win~
It’s the kind words of a colleague,
thank you,
thank you for all you do.
Thank you,
thank for supporting us and our students,
thank you!
A smile on my face,
happiness in my heart!
~Little win~
It’s the rushing around,
errands here,
errands there.
Standing in a longer than necessary line,
hands full of “stuff”,
the kind words of a stranger,
“You go ahead,
you go first,” she says.
“Thank you!”
A smile on my face,
happiness in my heart!”
~Little win~
It’s the smile on their faces,
as they enter our classroom.
Talking,
sharing,
laughing.
But the delight they bring,
“You make me excited about books,
like never before!”
That’s what they said!
Mission accomplished!
A smile on my face,
happiness in my heart!”
~Little win~

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Live Your Why

By fulfilling your why, you may realize that you can have an even greater impact than you have ever imagined. Surround yourself with things that remind you of why you do what you do and find something each day to help you live your why.

~Lucy West

Why I Write:

I write for me. I write because I want to capture my moments that have now turned into memories. I write because I want to tell my story. I write because I want to remember my story. I write because writing is thinking on paper.

Why I Read:

I read because knowledge is power. I read because I know that reading can take me away when I need to stay where I am. I read because I want to share the passion. I read because I believe I should exercise my mind everyday.

Why I Run:

I run because I can challenge myself in ways that I never thought possible. I run for the thrill and I run for the accomplishment. I run to inspire others to live a healthy lifestyle. I run for mental toughness and I run because my body was meant to move.

Why I Teach:

I teach for my students. I teach because I understand their struggles. I teach because I want to celebrate their successes. I teach because I believe I can make a difference.

Why I Advocate for the SPCA:

I advocate for homeless and neglected rabbits. I advocate for them because they don’t have a voice. I advocate to show these precious animals that there are good humans in this world of neglect and abuse. I advocate because I believe I can make their world a better place.

Why I Will Always Be a Mom:

I will always be a mom because I have the best daughter in the world. I will always be there when she needs me. I will share in the highlights and lowlights of her life. I will always be a mom because I have been blessed to be given this role.

What Is Your Why?

Live Your Why!

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races, races, races!

In August I raced…

who was there: Livvy & Me

what was my time & pace: 1 hour, 25 minutes, 42 seconds @ 8:37 pace

where the race was: York County Heritage Rail Trail

when did the race happen: August 27, 2016

why the race was awesome: I clinched 2nd place for my age group! I won my very own 2nd place beer glass. It’s kind of funny since I don’t even drink beer. And, this was a 10 mile personal record (PR) for me.

how many miles: 10 long, flat miles

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In September I raced…

who was there: Sandy & Me

what was my time & pace: 25 minutes, 13 seconds @ 8:04 pace

where the race was: New Hope, PA (Run Now, Wine Later)

when did the race happen: September 18, 2016

why the race was awesome: It was a *short* race and we were served wine and o’dourves after our race. I ran this race last year and both years I had the exact same time. Just think that’s kind of interesting.

how many miles: 3.1 miles (5K)

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In October I raced…

who was there: Sandy & Me

what was my time & pace: 1 hour, 49 minutes, 25 seconds @ 8:20 pace. Yes, I crushed it!

where the race was: Hershey, PA

when did the race happen: October 16, 2016

why the race was awesome: I set another 1/2 marathon personal record (PR) for myself and came in 13th for my age group! The course was hilly, but I pushed myself and can’t even believe I achieved another PR.

how many miles: 13.1 miles (1/2 marathon)

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And in November I will race again (Turkey Trot 5k),

but in December I will rest!

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Coffee & Confessions

I’m glad you’re here.

Enjoy your morning, afternoon, or evening coffee

while I share my latest confessions.

Confession #1

First off, I confess I don’t even drink coffee! I love the way it smells, but the taste, not-so-much. So, I’ll be enjoying my favorite hot drink, a chai latte.

Confession #2

Remember that 11 mile run I blogged about last week?  The training run I didn’t want to complete? The one where you gave me all kinds of encouragement?  Well, you would think all that encouragement would be enough to get me through my last long training run, but it wasn’t. I confess, I skipped, passed over, disregarded my 12 mile training run this past Sunday. It’s so not like me to do so, but I did.

Confession #3

Not only did I skip my long run on Sunday, but I confess that for my dinner on Sunday I ate one two soft pretzels and enjoyed a glass of wine with my soft, doughy, salty pretzels. Such a strange combo, I know, and topple it with a whole bunch of empty calories and a few tons of carbs-not the best choice for sure. But, I confess, it tasted oh, so, delicious and I would probably do it again if we ever allow those soft pretzels to enter our house!

Confession #4

To make up for the fact that I skipped my long run on Sunday, I decided there was absolutely no way I was ditching my 4 mile run on Monday. With that being said, I was determined to run those 4 miles as.fast.as.I.could! No excuses! And that I did. I’m pretty sure they were the fastest 4 training miles I ever ran! (It must have been those pretzels!) Since I ran those 4 miles and I ran them fast, I decided I needed a little pampering afterwards. I thought it would be perfect to treat myself to a pedicure at the salon home.

Confession #5

I confess, I’m not one who enjoys decorating for the holidays anymore. It’s kinda a bummer, I know, but I just don’t get too excited about it. However, I kept driving past the local farm market and this giant pumpkin smiles at me every time inviting me to stop, so I did. I decided I would purchase a few three pumpkins and place them by our front door. Yes, three pumpkins are a bit lame, but it is what it is.

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Confession #6

I made dinner on Monday! This is a big hoopla for anyone who knows me personally because I despise cooking and the kitchen. This is partly because Matt is an excellent chef and cooks all the time and partly because I’m lazy when it comes to eating. I could pretty much care less. I didn’t do anything too wild now. Just broke out the crockpot and made Minestrone soup. It’s an Olive Garden copycat recipe and it was quite tasty! Matt even said so himself. And we have plenty of leftover soup for the rest of the week! I must confess, I’m pretty proud of myself!

Confession #7

And last but not least, I confess that this little nugget melts my heart. I could just give him kisses all.day.long. Isn’t it silly how happy a little ball of fur can make me!

I hope you enjoyed your coffee, and thanks for hearing my confessions.

What confessions do you want to share?

~~~~~

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I Didn’t Want To…

It was Sunday morning…

I didn’t want to get up at 5:00 AM,

but I did.

I didn’t want to eat breakfast at 5:30 AM,

but I did.

I didn’t want to put on my running gear,

but I did.

I wanted to stay in bed,

under the covers.

I wanted to eat a leisurely breakfast,

peruse my book.

I wanted to snuggle with the fur kids,

steal a kiss or two, or three,

but I didn’t.

It was Sunday morning…

I was out the door before 7:00 AM.

I ran and I ran and I ran.

I heard a chorus of crickets,

and the cicadas sing.

I caught a glimpse of a gaggle of geese.

I watched the fog fade and the sun ascend.

Then I spotted Geneva,

pushing her walker,

down her driveway,

smiling,

waving,

yelling, “You’re so fast!”

And then there was Robert with his Golden Retriever, Max,

remarking, “You sure are a dedicated runner!”

So I ran and I ran and I ran.

I conquered those 11 miles.

I didn’t want to, but I did!

Finished, fulfilled, finalized!

No regrets, no ruefulness!

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11 mile training run for Hershey 1/2

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