Monthly Archives: June 2015

Slices: Bikes, rides, and getting back on

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for info and links to more Slicing!


It’s a long story, why everyone needed a bike at the same time –Why we ended up at the store even after other, more sustainable, cheaper options were suggested. But that’s where we were. All the other shoppers looked at me like I was crazy – buying 4 bikes at once. I wanted to explain to each evil eye: “My bike was stolen 2 years ago! My daughter’s bike is too small and broken! My 8 year old has been riding my hand me down bike for 2 years! It has no gears! My 5 year old tried a goodwill bike last year and it wouldn’t pedal, and the training wheels bent…” But instead, I smiled and laughed at us… the kids riding their bikes to the checkout, me wheeling mine while I shouted after them.

“Be careful! Slow down!”


Even the woman ringing up our purchase seemed mad. I told her that the Assembler had told us my youngest son’s bike was $50, not $80. Even after her manager gave her the go ahead to charge us $49.95, she scoffed at us, annoyed, I guess, that I was getting a better bargain on my smallest bike purchase.

IMG_2949The next day we strapped our bikes on to the van, and headed to a nearby bike path with my sister, Aunt Awesomeness. After a small mishap of using the bike rack incorrectly (Note: don’t strap it to the window!) we were on our way. Aunt Awesomeness kept up with the big kids while I followed E. He was a trooper for 5 whole miles on his training wheels, and this is the true slice I want to remember: My bike ride with E.

I tried not to bump into him when he slowed down, and I tried to limit my yelling of “Be careful!” as much as possible. I tried to teach him how to use his brakes on the downhills, and how to keep pedaling on the uphills. I tried not to scream as he gained speed going down the steep parts, and not to cry when he fell. I told him it was okay to fall, and that he needed to get back on. (I only took a picture of the fall after he was okay. I promise.)

I breathed it in: the beautiful day and his little voice calling to me from his bike:

“This uses energy!”

“Is this exercise?”

“This isn’t motorized so it didn’t use gas.”

“Doesn’t this feel like we are going across the country? And I’m not even thirsty yet!”

….(5 minutes later…) “I need a break. I’m thirsty.”

“Did you see me going down that hill? It’s as fun as LEGOS! Even funner.”

IMG_2959 IMG_2962 IMG_2963  IMG_2957

A Slice of Comment Codes

Slice of LIfe

Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers. Head over there for information and links to more Slicing!

Dear Students,

When you see your report card and it says Comment 07: “Behaves appropriately,” will you know that what I meant is that I see how hard it is for you each day? Will you know I appreciate how you listened to my reminders, even though you wanted to roll your eyes?

When you see Comment C13: “Works well independently,” will you know that I respect your quiet way? That I wish I had sat down next to you more often?

How about Comment C05: “Positively contributes to classroom environment?” Please know that I appreciated your smile, and your kind words, and your positive leadership. Keep choosing happy as much as you can!

Comment C17: “Often requires prompting to focus and stay on task.” I don’t want to put this comment on your final report card. You and I both know that focus isn’t your strength yet. You have taken my prompting, and you have moved on. Sometimes you were annoyed at my prompting, and sometimes you took it in stride. School is hard work, thank you for bringing your best.

Comment C20: “Needs to make better use of work time.” Me too. Comment C28: “Needs to improve organization.” Don’t we all?

Your 6th grade report card will all too soon be a thing of your past, just like your 6th grade year. I want to make new comment codes for you:

I heard you.

I saw you.

I learned something from you.

Thank you.