SOL 31: Kids Say the Cutest Things

March 31, 2011

I have had more fun with kindergarten kids this year. They say the cutest things.

Daily I work with two boys on language skills. We play the “wh” game. They roll the dice to correlating word cards. I ask a question that begins with who, what, where, when, why, or how.

Matt rolled a “who” question. I read: “Who is in charge of the school?”

Matt smiled and said, “Teachers.”

I said, “Okay. Teachers are in charge of children at school. Who is in charge of the teachers?”

The young boy thought and then smiled. “The janitor!”

Our PTO president was nearby and heard the comment. She turned and commented, “Well, I guess Mrs. I (our principal) does clean up messes.”

When I saw Mr. O, our custodian,  and told him about Matt’s comment, he said, “I wouldn’t want to clean up Mrs. I’s messes.”

SOL 30: The Wave from the Lake

March 30, 2011

The lake waved

its serene hand

beckoning me to pause,

to rest

Its face smiled

at the pink

hues floating by


the inside beauty

showering me

with  peace from above

Being a Pig is Nice

March 30, 2011

Finally a book about manners in Being a Pig is Nice: a Child’s-Eye View of MannersBeing a Pig Is Nice by Sally Lloyd-Jones: Book CoverA little girl is reminded of her manners by her mother.  She begins thinking about a pig.  Clean is not necessary for a pig.  As the little girl day dreams of being muddy, she also is reminded of an opposite point of view – pigs smell!

Sally Lloyd-Jones uses the imagination of a little girl to teach manners.  The little girl then thinks of other animals and the way they eat.  Do they have good manners? animals like an elephant, a snail, a monkey, or owl.  In the end, a monster appears and has the worst manners of them all.  Dan Krall’s illustrations are just as fun as the young lady’s imagination.

The book is a delight and will tickle your students’ funny bones.  The book will teach children manners in a psychological backward way.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Being a Pig is Nice:

  • Speech bubbles
  • Point of View
  • Question/Answer structure
  • Vocabulary – inconsiderate, dawdle, atrocious
  • Voice – “Ooooh… you’re in trouble…
  • Descriptive of the animals

SOL 29: Silence

March 29, 2011

Silence is golden.

Silence for me is a special commodity. My thoughts flow in a quiet atmosphere.

Noise, especially from the TV, interrupts my thinking. I have kids asking questions and having a conversations with each other.

I try to plug my ears, but I still hear. I have to hear. I’m mom.

Shhhh, I’m trying to write my slice tonight and am struggling in between the noises of my home.

Ahhh – got it?

“Mom, can you help me please?”

Oops, lost it again. I’ll try again tomorrow.


SOL 28: The 38 Degree Game

March 28, 2011

Why am I still cold?” my husband just asked me.

“Because we sat outside for over two hours and froze tonight,” I replied.

We definitely love our son. Wes had his first baseball game. The sky was a beautiful clear blue. The sun was shining. Was that beauty ever deceiving! The temperature was 38 degrees with some wind. Brrrrrr. I haven’t taken my sweatshirt off yet.  Our toes froze wrapped up in a blanket.

I had packed hot water bottles in a small cooler, heated up the heat packs, and hoped Wesley could stay warm in between innings.  Did you know those 8 hour hot patches for a back really do help keep fingers warm?  Wesley puts one in his back pants pocket. In between pitches, I kept noticing him slip his hand in his pocket. One of his teammates came over holding a hot pack. “These are awesome. I’m getting one for Wednesday’s game.”

Wednesday, oh, I hope it’s warmer. I love my son, but I would prefer to love him in  warmer weather.



Firefighters to the Rescue

March 28, 2011

Kersten Hamilton uses a poem as the text for the narrative. The book isn’t just a story about firemen, but informational too.  Bold words and some conversation accent the text.

The setting is not in present day but more like in the 1950’s.  Notice the cars, clothing (many women in dresses), the movie theatre (Roy Rogers in Trigger Jr.), cameras are a few items to point out to your students.  I know one first grade social studies standard is to compare past to present. Firefighters to the Rescue would be a great conversation starter.

The story is told through Rich Davis‘s illustrations in Firefighters to the Rescue! The fire engine races through the streets as people make way.  A house fire blazes.  A little boy cannot find his dog. The crowd waits and hopes. The fireman brave the elements, and yes, the dog is rescued.

Savorings for reading and in writing for Firefighters to the Rescue:

  • Compare past and present – Retro/historical
  • Suddenly – all on its own page for emphasis
  • Bold print
  • Inging verbs – cooking, mapping
  • Teacher Resources – check out Kersten Hamilton’s website.  You can connect through the link on her name above.  She has teacher resources for her books.  An interview is linked as well.  I think it’s great when children can “meet” the author.


SOL 27: Pink

March 27, 2011

Pink is a fun color.

My son was invited to a wedding yesterday.  His girlfriend’s sister was getting married.

When I asked what colors the bridesmaids were wearing, he said pink.

My daughter said, “What kind of pink?”

“What do you mean? Pink?” Wes said matter-of-factly.

I shook my head as Elizabeth proceeded. “Pink? There is hot pink, bubble-gum pink, light pink, mauve pink. What kind of pink?”

Wes proceeded to text his girlfriend and found out, “Cotton-candy pink.”

“Okay. Now I know what color of tie to get you,” I said.

Wesley was schooled in the color pink. I have a feeling he is going to be schooled in a few other fashion tips before long.

SOL 26: Friendship

March 26, 2011

Friendship is powerful.

Friends laugh with you,  share a recipe for supper, lend a listening ear, advise on a decision, push you to grow, support through difficult times, comfort you in loss. Friends are.

Yesterday, I received some exciting news. The first thing I did, after squealing in delight, was to contact my close friends. I had to share. We encourage each other. We reflect with each other. We nudge each other.

And we do a happy-dance for each other!

(I found it interesting  that my book post scheduled for today is City Dog, Country Frog by Mo Willems. It’s a beautiful book about friendship and the cycles they go through. I thought, “How appropriate.”)

Friendship: City Dog and Country Frog

March 26, 2011

Product DetailsMo Willems has created a frolicking book about friendship in City Dog, Country Frog.  Two animals meet and become friends – a dog and a frog. Each animal teaches the other some games.  Jon Muth’s illustrations allow the readers to infer much more than the text says.  It’s a packed, simple story that allows children to fill in the parts when time transfers from one season to the next.

In the end, the dog goes and cannot find his friend after the winter.  The pictures made my heart sad. As I turned the page, my heart was cheered when a Country Chipmunk came upon the City Dog waiting for his friend.  And a new friendship bloomed.  Love it.

Savorings for reading and in writing for City Dog, Country Frog:

  • Semi-colon – “City dog didn’t stop on that first day in the country; he ran as far and as fast as he could.”
  • Seasons changing and hibernation
  • Parenthesis
  • Bookend – begins with City Dog meeting Country Frog who was waiting for a friend
  • “Ing”ing verbs – sniffing, fetching, barking

(Okay I know the verbs are called present participles, but I learned a long time ago that first graders do not understand that terminology.  Instead, thanks to Katie Wood Ray and my friend Ruth, who noticed “ing”ing words in My Mama Had a Dancin’ Heart, I can name the verbs what I want.  So “ing”ing verbs makes sense to little kids. :))

SOL 25: Me – a midget?

March 25, 2011

I’m short.

At five foot five-and-a-half inches, I’m short.

I haven’t always been short, but I am short.

My husband is six-foot three.

My seventeen year old son is six-foot two.

I’m okay with that.

Last night, I went to hug my fourteen year old daughter good night and noticed something odd. I was eye level with her … nose. Going back to back, my husband measured. “Elizabeth is five foot seven.” She giggled.

My mouth dropped open.  When did this happen?

Hearing the news, my twelve year old son comes in smiling.  Back to back we go.  He is five foot six inches tall.

“This is not funny,” I state, hands on my hips.

Tim bellowed. “No, not funny. (snickers and more laughter).  It’s hilarious.”

I’m short.