SOLC: Walking Backwards

March 28, 2015

The distance between the Title I room and the first grade hallway is looong, especially for little legs. When my room was changed this year, I began pondering the amount of time it would take to walk, the children’s behavior, and the instructional time. Normally, my assistants and I service small groups, ranging from 1 – 4 students each. Interactive Writing with first graders is different. We have sixteen students for the initial teaching, modeling sentences and word parts. Midway during the thirty minute segment, we separate into groups for practice of the sentence(s) just modeled. The effects of this writing time has been immensely effective.

But the walk.

Time is precious. A sense of urgency fuels me.

I began to walk backwards, using the time to practice sight words. I have command of their attention and have their brains thinking. We use hands in the air techniques and little chants at times to remember the tricky “heart words”, those words you must know by heart to spell. Thankfully, the first part of the long hallway houses the cafeteria, principal’s office, and front office. I introduce the words and we practice chorally. As we pass individual classrooms, whisper voices are initiated and individual students are called on to answer.

So if you come to Pierceton Elementary, you might see me coming down the hall walking backwards with a group of students learning.

SOLC: Kindergarten Excitement

March 27, 2015

Kids were definitely excited about their upcoming spring break, including my own children.

One of my kindergartners said they were going to a hotel “with a great big pool to go swimming in.” Pete’s excitement continued to grow, eyes widening as he continued telling me about the trip.

“Yeah. The best thing about the hotel is that it has a hot tub. And you know what, Mrs. Gensch, it is really HOT!” I tried to stifle a laugh. “It is sooo hot, my body gets hot.”

I wonder if that is why it is called a hot tub?!

SOLC: Florida Bound

March 24, 2015

Since my daughter learned she can go to Florida with her friends and their family, her excitement has been building. I love learning what is on her mind via Twitter. image

Elizabeth and the Twins

Elizabeth and the Twins



Elizabeth apologized to one of her teachers. “Sorry, Mr. M. I don’t think I paid attention very well today in class. I am just so excited about going to Florida.”

His reply, “You’re not the only one.”

When I asked Tim if he was disappointed he couldn’t go, he just smiled. “Happy spring break to me. No sister around.”

SOLC: On my Mind

March 22, 2015

Not much time to craft something special.

Thoughts on my mind:

Parents anniversary – 51 years. Wow!

I start back to school tomorrow. Lasagna, salad, fruit for supper.

Elizabeth heading to Florida on Friday. Much to do before she leaves.

Five school meetings to bring me up to date.

I start back to school tomorrow, hoping I don’t tire in the afternoon.

Wes pitched well yesterday. Hope Hannah is okay (line drive softball to the face) Ouch!

Five days until Spring Break. Tim is ready to have time without his sister.

Jeans this week as a fund raiser for Jana (colleague has been in the hospital since Dec. 17 – fighting)

I start back to school tomorrow, ready to embrace hugs and laugh in the halls, and lunch with Angie, Vicki.

It will be okay.

SOLC: Happy Birthday

March 21, 2015

My friend, Michelle, turns 50 tomorrow. This birthday will be sprinkled with specialness. Looking for a birthday card, my kids picked out one that made me chuckle (oh alright. I did laugh out loud in the store with my sixteen year old.) My time is coming.

To celebrate your 50th birthday, do something you’ve never done before but always wanted to.

(Inside…) …Er…’cuz, ya know, you’re kind of running out of time here.

I did want to make her birthday memorable, so I carefully chose words to describe her and created a word cloud with fifty attributes. It is framed with a personal message to brighten her day.

Happy 50th Birthday!

Happy 50th Birthday!

SOLC: March Madness Call Outs

March 20, 2015

Voices from the living room burst loudly:


Where’s the foul?

That’s not a foul.

Must be a ghost foul.

Got nothin out of that break.

Threw it away.

Ooohhhhhh! He drained it. How’d he get that?

That was a nice shot. Too little too late.

That was taking it to the hole strong.

Step back. Throw it down. In your eye.

Ohhh blow by. Ooohhhhhh give and go.

Did you see that? Clutch.


March Madness is happening in basketball, on TV, in my living room.





SOLC: A Smile

March 19, 2015

I read a poem at Chocolate Delight blog called What’s in a Smile? The poem made me think of what makes me smile, the inspiration for my poem today. (Thank you, CJHamilton)

What makes me smile?

Sunshine streaming through the window. Warmth fills the room. My senses spark energy.

What makes me smile?

A child’s handwritten note saying, “You’re the best teacher ever!” A card details a colorful picture. “We miss you!” covers another.

What makes me smile?

Listening to my daughter share about her day, my son helping me carry groceries, and my college-oldest sending a text to say “Hello”.

A smile makes me shine. A smile tells a child he can do it, to persevere through the hard. A smile brings meaning without words spoken.

A smile emerges while writing. A smile grows reading posts. A smile grins reading comments from those dear and slicers just introduced.

A smile. What is a smile? What makes you smile?


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