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Archive for the ‘Celebration Saturday’ Category

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

Thursday was an adventurous morning, so I created a Slice of Life model post for my students.

When I got to school this morning, I saw a crowd of teachers looking at a wall of the school.  In fact, they had their phones out and were taking pictures.  I finally saw what they were looking at.  A rat!  

Ms. Katie wasn’t taking a picture.  She was making an emergency phone call to the maintenance department.

I was on car line duty, so I could watch the whole adventure take place.  Mr. Rat stayed in place in the crook of the corner for a while.  Then there was Mr. Leonard with a black trash can.

The rat scurried around the corner and the chase was on!

Not long after Mr. Leonard and Ms. Katie disappeared around the side of the school, the cafeteria side which was smelling strongly of syrup, the maintenance department trucks (there were 2) showed up.  I didn’t see the action, but I assumed the ratty rat was caught and disposed of.

As we walked back into school, Mrs. Delahoussaye reminded me, “We are taking over their environment, the canefields.  They have every right to be here.”

I’m not sure I agree.  

One of my students started drawing a picture a day on the whiteboard.  Here’s a collage of her drawings:

 

Speaking of art, the mural is complete.  Here’s a picture of the completed gator mural by Mary Lacy.

 

Today is my oldest daughter’s wedding.  Talk about a celebration.  She wants me to read a Margaret Atwood poem at her ceremony.  It’s not sentimental (not Maggie’s nor Margaret Atwood’s style), but I still hope I can get through it without choking up.

Habitation
by Margaret Atwood

Marriage is not
a house or even a tent

it is before that, and colder:

the edge of the forest, the edge
of the desert
the unpainted stairs
at the back where we squat
outside, eating popcorn

the edge of the receding glacier

where painfully and with wonder
at having survived even
this far

we are learning to make fire

 

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

Today is a busy day.  I am preparing for a dinner party tonight as well as a backyard wedding in one week.

Currently:

Baking lemon squares: I don’t bake very regularly.  The new mixer I bought at Christmas was still in the box.  Also, I don’t follow directions well.  I expressed my frustration at having to re-read the directions, and my husband said, “You just don’t like anyone telling you what to do.  Even when it’s a recipe.” He’s right, I guess.  Nevertheless, said lemon squares are currently making my kitchen smell fresh and lemony.

Arranging flowers: I love buying cheap flowers at the grocery store.  I feel like I am rescuing them from a terminal life in the garbage bin.  Yellow-orange tulips and white carnations are currently brightening up the kitchen and dining tables.

Cleaning cat litter: I will spare you the details.

Reading blog posts: The Slice of Life Challenge is well on its way, and I am finding so many great posts to read.  I secretly wish I could sit here all day and read and comment.  But the floor needs sweeping and the bathrooms need a once over before guests arrive.

Cuddling Charlie: Charlie is a cuddle-dog, a nine-year-old schnauzer/ poodle mix, a schnoodle.  Currently, he has an infected mole on his face that needs to be surgically removed on Monday, so I am giving him lots of hugs and kisses.

Opening the doors: The spring air is fresh and warm.  The sun is shining.  The trees are reaching out for green, green, green.  We’ve added more plants to the deck in preparation for the wedding.  They make me happy.  A shasta daisy that I thought died in the freeze is pushing out red blossoms.

Writing and thinking about writing:  This SOL challenge has my mind always thinking about writing. Ideas float around like butterflies.  Every day I look forward to opening the blank blog page and writing.  After 6 years of this practice, I am finally feeling like I can do this.  (Tomorrow may be a different story.)

Celebrating: Each week I join Ruth Ayres blog round up of celebrations.  Having a practice of looking for celebration nurtures a positive, grateful outlook.  Here are some pictures from my week.

Time change means dark morning walks with the moon lighting my path.

The “big whopping dictionary” an antique two-volume dictionary that we used to find root words for fractal poems.

 

Found this watching minion rock at a local restaurant.

My neighbor fed a group of visiting students from Arcadia University. She invited friends to help teach them how to peel crawfish. They quickly got the hang of it and dug right in.

I decided to go all out for St. Patrick’s Day, all the way to green eyelashes.

 

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

As is true for every day of life, sometimes things are good, sometimes they are not so good.  This week after our Berry Queens Hats and Hallelujahs brunch, I’ve been singing an old bluegrass song in my head.  If you know the song at all, be warned.  When you read the words, it will keep playing in your head for days.

There’s a dark & a troubled side of life
There’s a bright, there’s a sunny side, too
Tho’ we meet with the darkness and strife
The sunny side we also may view
[cho:] Keep on the sunny side, always on the sunny side,
Keep on the sunny side of life
It will help us ev’ry day, it will brighten all the way
If we’ll keep on the sunny side of life

Celebrating the Sunny Side today!

Slicing students.

  1. My students are slicing fools!  Before March began I warned them that it was coming.  They’ve done this before.  There were moans of “Oh, no!  Not Slice of Life Challenge!”  Everyday the first thing my students do is open up our Kidblog site  and type a slice.  The rhythm of typing is music to my ears.  Occasionally conversations were started over posts.  For the most part, these conversations are about the writing.

Two of my students have challenged each other with a bet.  They’ve bet a dollar that they can write the most slices.  One of them is up to number 15.  These girls are setting the tone in my room without even realizing it.  Even though the others are not involved in a bet, they are inspired to write from these classmates.

 

2. Comments from teachers.  On Friday, poet Donna Smith visited our blog.  She left poem comments.  She wrote about 10 of them, so if you visit our site you can see more of her fun brilliance.  Thanks, Donna!

You talk of the speed of light
Like the turtle and the hare
You zip through the topics heavy
As if they were light as air
Slow as an encyclopedia
Is how life used to be
Fast as a Google engine
Is now the choice for me!

by Donna JT Smith

3. Kathleen Sokolowski took inspiration from my students to create her slice today.  Wow, kids inspiring teachers!  That’s awesome!

 

3. I drive by the mural every day.  Here’s the latest progress. You can see my post about this mural here. 

 

4. I enjoyed the last of the azaleas blooming on my walk Friday morning.  These white ones open their eyes and spread pure Joy.

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Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

window-2

From my window, I see a stately oak
and the bayou beyond
flanked by cypress knees
sticking up like toy soldiers.

Sometimes, a heron happens by
stealthily stalking a wayward minnow.

Sometimes, the sun beams down
in a spotlight directing my gaze
to the intricate design of trees.

And some days, I don’t have time
to look, watch, or listen,
But I know my bayou
is always near
keeping me grounded,
showing me faithfulness,
bringing me solace.

–Margaret Simon

This Slice/ Celebration idea came from Elsie.  She wrote “Outside my Window” for her Day 2 Slice of Life.

I’ve been on break all week.  Such a gift to be able to look outside, take walks with Charlie, and lunch with friends.  I celebrate this time to look out the window.

 

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

morning-on-the-bayou

Good Morning Haiku

1. Light streams on bayou
wake up trees to stand tall for
perfect reflection.

2. Frothy milk swirling
atop French roast coffee drips,
sweet cafe au lait.

3. Breezy walk with Anne-
dogs sniff, pull, and interrupt
our conversation.

4. Breakfast at Victor’s,
savor sweet potato pancakes,
crispy bacon.

5. A day like today,
watering is not a chore;
Praise gentle morning.

–Margaret Simon

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

 

This week the flu made its way through my students.  I, thankfully, have remained healthy.  Today, I want to celebrate my student Andrew and his initiatives.  Before Christmas he became interested in the plight of orphaned elephants.  We read a Scholastic Scope magazine article that pointed to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Preserve.  Andrew wanted to raise funds to adopt an orphaned elephant at the preserve.  The adoption fee is $50 a year.  He decided to sell posters to classmates. I ordered Vista Print posters of a baby elephant picture from my trip to Tanzania, Africa.

baby-elephant-poster

Before the Christmas break, Andrew presented to his fourth grade classmates.  He raised about $32.  After Christmas break, he decided to present to third grade classes.  He raised the remaining funds he needed.  He crafted a letter to the David Sheldrick Wildlife Preserve explaining the project and selecting Malima as the baby elephant he wants to sponsor.  This video broke our hearts.  Andrew and I both already feel and love and affection for Malima.

Andrew is one of those rare kids who wants to inspire and make a difference.  In January when preparing to choose our One Little Word, I read aloud the book Beautiful Hands.  The production of this book has a heartwarming story.  Kathryn Otoshi worked with Bret Baumgarten who was diagnosed with cancer to design this book from something he would say to his own children, “What will you do with your beautiful hands today?”

beautiful-hands

 

The artwork was created all with handprints and fingerprints, even a dog print from Bret’s dog.

“My hope that this story empowers love, creativity, compassion, and a 

connection to you and yours, in the fulfilling and remarkable way it has for me” 

~ Bret Baumgarten, 1970–2014

I think Bret would be proud to know what Andrew did with his inspiring words.  Andrew wanted to read the book to his sister’s first grade class and do a hand printing activity with them.  Some of Andrew’s gifted classmates helped him.  I was impressed with how smoothly the whole activity went.  I was not sure because we had to paint all the kids’ hands and help them print.  Andrew had selected some Valentine quotes for the kids to copy into their hand painted cards.  This creative service activity was a positive experience for all of us.

 

handprint

 

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Find more celebration posts at Ruth's blog.

Find more celebration posts at Ruth’s blog.

There are those weeks that seem to go on and on, yet offer nothing to be celebrated. Sometimes I have to look harder to find the bright spots. I am actually ashamed that I felt this way yesterday because this morning I looked through my mail and found so much to celebrate.

I signed up for a poetry postcard exchange. I thought the giving and receiving was over, but this week I got three more poetry postcards.

New Year poem cards from Sylvia Vardell with a Wonder Woman stamp.

New Year poem cards from Sylvia Vardell with a Wonder Woman stamp.

Poem from Donna Smith: Listen to the sounds crunching, munching, lunch a foot Leaves nourishing earth

Poem from Donna Smith:
Listen to the sounds
crunching, munching, lunch a foot
Leaves nourishing earth

Handwritten poem and card from Kim Urband:

Summer Storm
Stone-gray clouds steal azure sky
Lightning stabs, singes
Liquid silver glazes hills
Relinquishes to Rhapsody

–Kim Urband

This sweet, uplifting message from Joy Acey:

My body feels electric like new years fireworks
blazing in starlight.
I want to raise my arms
to twirl and dance in the moonlight.
Poetry fills me
and runs out of my pen.
May the force be with your poetry.
–Joy Acey

And an invitation to my daughter’s wedding in March. Here we go again!

maggie-wedding-invitation

preaching-interior-2-1000x647
This week I read aloud Preaching to the Chickens about John Lewis’s childhood. I wanted my students to know his name and to have a better understanding of the fight for civil rights. This book is beautifully illustrated. One of my students, Madison, was inspired by the paintings to draw her own yard of chickens. I love the personalities of each of her chickens.

Chickens by Madison, 3rd grade.

Chickens by Madison, 3rd grade.

I didn’t have to look very hard to find these celebrations today. What are you celebrating?

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