Celebrating Life

September 20, 2015
Celebrating my daughter, Elizabeth, at college. I have been adjusting to a quiet house. I am thankful for tweets and Instagram.

Celebrating my daughter, Elizabeth, at college. I have been adjusting to a quiet house. I am thankful for tweets and Instagram.

Celebrating our new school, it's dedication complete. I am learning to use new technology with a Mimio.

Celebrating our new school, it’s dedication complete. I am learning to use new technology with a Mimio.

Celebrating a surprise gift from a friend! We both thought of the same children's book that linked with the shoes, Ruby's Wish.

Celebrating a surprise gift from a friend! We both thought of the same children’s book that linked with the shoes, Ruby’s Wish.

Celebrating  my cousin, Melody, who is a great support and friend!

Celebrating my cousin, Melody, who is a great support and friend!

Celebrating the excitement of children learning.

Celebrating the excitement of children learning.


Celebrating the writing group! We have special stories, the best laughs, and uplifting encouragement! Love them all!

My Assistant {SOL}

July 1, 2014
Listening in to Kay as she reads to Tim.

Listening in to Kay as she reads to Tim.

For the past three summers, my youngest son has been my assistant during summer school. Tim doesn’t have any extra training; he’s just a young man who is willing to help. His first year of helping, I modeled how to catch the kids acting appropriately. I remember hearing him stop mid-sentence, “Tom, stop ta…. I notice how Sam is standing quietly with his voice off. I notice Sally with her eyes on me.” After class that day, Tim said, “Hey, catching them being good really works.”

I finished teaching kindergarten two weeks ago and wouldn’t have survived without Tim. My hat is off to kindergarten teachers. These kids are inquisitive, attention-seeking, and energetic. During a read a loud, the kids would be captivated, participated, and definitely cheered for more. We had fun.

The kids loved having Tim's full attention.

The kids loved having Tim’s full attention.

During small group instruction, Tim would circulate among the students who were reading independently from their book bags. He doesn’t know any specific strategy except for listening. Tim would ask them questions and encourage each on a job well done. He also helped keep the kids focused. I loved capturing him one morning listening in. I wish I had Tim during the school year, to be a live audience and respond positively to the efforts each kid makes. Does he plan to be a teacher some day? Maybe not the professional kind, but he’s definitely learning the life lesson of assisting others.

Endings and Beginnings {Celebrations}

June 7, 2014

The school year ended with some fun and some tears. My classroom was disassembled, removed, and now awaits my new room. Glad I packed everything on time and my kids help load boxes for home.

My boys went to the Chicago Cubs game with my husband. They had a great time of bonding. Stories were shared the next day.

My cousin’s daughter, Megan, graduated last night. Elizabeth is close to her and joined in the celebration. She’s the senior now.



AllWrite!!! is around the corner. I am excited to be among friends, share stories, and enjoy delightful laughter.

The year has come to an end, but I am now looking forward to the beginning of summer rejuvenation.

Field Day {Celebrations}

May 31, 2014

End of the year is approaching, only 3 days left. Field day is scheduled on Monday. The kids love it. The activities experienced will culminate the community of the class.

I experienced field day yesterday. Yep, from three to five o’clock several teachers stayed after to participate in team competition in honor of our school that is being demolished (okay, only two wings are going to be torn down for this summer while the new school is being built.) We had a picture scavenger hunt, locating areas from the older parts of the building. (I didn’t know our school’s first graduating class was in the year 1902.)

A water balloon toss was next. I failed terribly, but the cool water was refreshing. The egg toss was next. My partner and I survived the longest with 15 tosses. (I told Bill to share with my oldest son that I can actually catch.) A corn hole toss landed us near the top. The winning team was allowed to duck tape our new principal to the wall. A cook out picnic was shared with great stories. Laughing was heard all over!!

In the midst of long to-do lists, end-of-the-year reports, and packing, I found delight, laughter, and joy with close colleagues. It was the best field day ever!


Mess {Five Minute Friday}

May 2, 2014

Mess – Five Minutes of Writing

7:47 a.m.

My desk is a mess. My house seems to be a mess. My room has some mess.

I don’t like mess.

I don’t like my schedule to be changed or boxes sitting around or laundry on the floor.

I do like neat piles in order, a checklist half-way completed, and children.

I don’t like packing or the hospital or squabbles between siblings.

I do like purging, reading a great book, and kid stories.

I don’t like mess, but I do like living, loving, lingering.

7:53 a.m.

Five Minute Friday with Lisa-Jo Baker.

Downsizing {SOL}

January 28, 2014

Let me introduce you to the work I have been doing the past several days.

I have been downsizing. Yep, I have been reviewing binders, folders, lessons so neatly tucked away in file cabinets and shelves. Why? You ask. Besides the fact that I have collected lessons and articles and notes for the past twenty years. Besides the fact that my job description has changed the past few years. The fact is I have to! You see our current school building is old and has been renovated and repaired many times. It is now time for a new building. (Rejoice! Yippee! :)) That’s how I felt – excited about a new place, a more modern atmosphere, updates all around. That’s how I felt … Until I learned that my teaching space would be reduced greatly in the new building. Without boring you with details, I will say that I am found peace in my anticipated new school. I will find places for my books AND the Title I resources. I just have to make adjustments.


I am making space by downsizing materials. I actually have been enjoying going through lessons, pulling double sets of handouts or duplicate lessons. I have learned to rely on my computer files and don’t have to have a paper copy. And transparencies- please, so ancient (I can’t believe I having just verbalized my thinking). By downsizing, I am being proactive (my one little word for the year). I am freeing up space for the important things – my books!!!


Thank you, snow, for the extra time off. I have been working diligently, downsizing. 🙂

SOL: Why I Teach

October 8, 2013

Data is the driving force in choosing students for groups. Lots of numbers!

Collaboration with teachers ensures the programming is supportive. Lots of lunches!

Plans are executed with fidelity. Lots of reflection!

At the end of the day, what matters most is students! Lots of stories!

Ready to learn...

Ready to learn…

One laugh ...

One story …

Laugh 2 ...

An add on …

Sharing stories ...

Reflective story …

The reason for teaching ...

The reason for teaching …