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Some Celebrations, big and small #HashTagsIncluded

celebrate-image So happy to Celebrate with Ruth Ayres this weekend! 

Some Celebrations, big and small

Right now I am celebrating:

Listening: My dog drops the shoes he steals now, without chewing them up first. Usually.  #HeStillRunsAway

Remodelling: The family room rug – the one that same dog chewed up – is gone. Hardwood floors are in! #NowWeHaveToPaint

Learning: Spending time with my coaching team — getting to know them, getting excited to work with them. #LuckyMe

Replacing:  Our 17 year old car is off to the highway in the sky, and we have a lovely used prius now…45 mpg. #Good4Planet

Listing: Somehow this list is patterned L-R-L-R… and patterns are something to celebrate and extend… #PatternNerd

Reading: Audiobooks on walks, young adult books on my deck, professional development books in between. #NeedMoreShelves

Lingering: I pause when I can, summer is short…I want to soak up the sun and time with my babies. #It’sAlmostAugust

Restarting: My kids and I will all be in new schools this school year… we are all nervous, but so excited! #BlankSlate

Looking: I’m trying to look at things and take them in, notice the good. #There’sSoMuchGood

(W)riting: I need to do it even more… but #IamWriting

#sol17 March 29 A Confession Slice, and some poems

Slice of LIfe

 

 I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for bloggingwithstudentsall of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

 

Confession Slice. 

I wrote a poem slice.
But the rhythm was off.
So I started over,
and that one stunk too.
So here, I’ve written a few:

Today: Bulletin Boards

I had to cover bulletin boards today,
So my students won’t cheat on their standardized tests
I might not agree, but it’s what PDE thinks is best.

Today: My Dog

My dog wouldn’t take a walk with me
Even though I had my sneakers on, and treats in my pocket.
Even when I cheered “Let’s go!”
All he did was stand there, unmoving, saying “NO!”
So I took him to the dog park, where he ran and played
Tired out, I took him home, where he chewed and lay.

Today: Writing

As soon as I start writing,
the dog is no longer tired.
He wants to play tug of war,
Now he seems so wired!

He wants to chase, and chew, and tug
Now he probably wants a walk!
But it’s bedtime for the human kids –
I mean, just take a look at the clock!

I’m not trying to bore you with my griping
It’s just that I’m not so good
at playing chase or tug of war,
at least not while I’m typing.

#sol17 March 24 A slice of a love note. 

Slice of LIfe

 

 I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for bloggingwithstudentsall of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

 

Dear Students, 

My head is in my hands. It’s true. I can’t believe that some of you are having such a hard time not distracting yourself and others. You are bickering! Stealing silly objects from each other. It’s annoying, and the rest of the class is having a hard time concentrating. I am having a hard time concentrating and helping students. 

What do I need to do? I’ve already asked nicely, had a few heart to hearts, moved your seats, told everyone it is silent work time, and let you know that continuing will mean an office referral. 

“She’s actually mad.” I hear one of you say. 

And I realize that’s not really true. I’m not mad. 

The class is distracted for sure, but it is 15 minutes until the last class bell on a Friday. The atmosphere here is not heavy with defiance. It’s just odd. 

A few of you are still working, but most of you are watching your classmates who are acting up and me. You are wondering, I guess, what I wil do. 

“Her patience is running out, guys.” I hear someone say. 

This isn’t really true either. Although patience isn’t exactly my best quality.

Something strikes me in this moment where I am rubbing my eyebrows and trying to figure out what my next step is.

I realize that I really do love all of you. 

“I love you all,” I say, “And I’m so glad it’s Friday.” 

“You’re just saying that because it helps you get through the year with us.” One of you counters. 

“No. She does. I believe her.” Someone argues. 

“It’s true.” I say. And I look all around so you all know that I’m talking about you. 

“Would you risk your life for us?” You ask. 

“Yes.”

I know you know I love you. Yesterday when asked who an ally is, I heard you say “Students, teachers…especially Ms. Feinberg. ” 

I wrote that down on a little post it note. I’ll take it out later when I’m having a bad day. 

This is not a bad day. 

Now I look around, I smile at you, and ask you once again to get back to work. 

There are 14 more minutes of class left, and we have work to get done. 

Love,

Ms. Feinberg 
 

#sol17 March 9 A Slice of a Trip

Slice of LIfe I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March. You should do it too! Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

A slice of a Trip: 

I don’t like slicing from a hotel bed, typing on my phone.
But how else would I write, so far away from home?

I don’t like the Lincoln tunnel, crammed before we even zipper in.
But how else can we travel efficiently to our destination?

I don’t like spending $80 on grilled cheese, pasta and guacamole with chips
But how else could we have show tunes belted straight from our waiters’ lips?

I don’t like elevators packed with strangers and coffee lines out the door
But how else could I get my morning drink before our family toured?

I don’t like how apple maps keeps letting me down.
But how else would we have walked and seen so much uptown?

I don’t like the whining and the complaining all day.
But how else would I truly appreciate the quiet now, as they all play?

I don’t like keeping secrets. My secret skills are low.
But how else would we surprise the kids tonight, when we take them to a show?

I don’t like slicing from a hotel bed, typing on my phone.
But how else would I write so far away from home?

#sol17 March 6 A slice of complaint

Slice of LIfe

 

 I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for bloggingwithstudentsall of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

 Allow me a complaint poem. . . 

Elimination diet, I’m so tired of you
Breakfast: Coffee with almond milk
More almond (butter) in my oatmeal, and
Lunch: Veggies, with a few cashews
All day, I drink water, that’s nothing new
Salted homemade popcorn for a snack,and
Dinner: Veggies again,
With spices and some tofu
It’s fine, not a horrible thing to have to do
Such a first world problem – not a problem,
A stupid thing to complain about. But, 
Elimination diet, I’m so tired of you

A slice of Water?

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers

“Um, Ona? Water?” Sara lifts the wine glass with confusion. I had just poured her a glass, from a bottle of wine.

“No! I just poured that. Let me taste it.”

Water. That is water. What?

I look at the bottle, wondering how wine can change to water… does that happen if the new bottle wasn’t sealed? Is there some sort of chemical reaction? My mind starts making up new scientific facts… then I hold up the bottle, remembering how it seemed awfully easy to open the twist cap. I turn to H, with a question, “Um, H?” He looks up at the bottle in my hand. He is suddenly beet red, eyes wide.

“Oh no! I –”

L starts laughing, and the story comes out. Months ago, H took an empty bottle of wine, rinsed it out and filled it with water. Mr. Thought came in and told him not to play with wine bottles, so H put it back. It isn’t clear here if he simply forgot about his project, or if he was planning on tricking me, but then forgot about it. Whatever the case, he certainly did not plan on tricking his beloved “Aunt” Sara. This is clear by the color that stays on his cheeks, the head shaking, the anguish.

“It was filtered fridge water!” He winces. “I promise!”

 

Winter Break Slice-A-Day Challenge #8

I’ve challenged my 6th graders to a Slice-A-Day during our winter break…I will attempt to keep up with the challenge as well!

Yesterday I had to stop by my classroom to get library books that were due… so I dragged my kids with me intending to to grab to the books and then go home. As we walked down the steps though, the kids started asking if we could stay a bit.

Hmmm… possibilities started popping into my head of small projects I could do in my classroom.

“Are you sure?” I asked, trying not to get my hopes up as I put away my holiday decorations. In response, they got out some legos and dice, and started playing a game. I happily labeled my new nonfiction books (read a few too!) and then asked again, “You guys okay hanging out a little bit longer?”

They hardly looked away from their game to nod their heads. So, I put my nonfiction books out on display…

Their game was over, but now they were all playing legos… So, I organized my new fiction books…

They were still playing…

img_3891

I told the kids we should get going. They didn’t want to… so I filed some papers, cleaned off my desk, and graded a stray late quiz.

Finally they agreed to go. They cleaned up the legos, I grabbed my library books and off we went.

As we walked back to the car I realized it had been over 2 hours of no bickering, kids playing together, and getting some of my work done.

A Christmas miracle for sure.

(And I think a short book called “If you give a teacher time in her room…”)

Winter Break Slice-A-Day Challenge #4

I’ve challenged my 6th graders to a Slice-A-Day during our winter break…I will attempt to keep up with the challenge as well!

The day after Christmas

I am not so good 
at lazy days of sitting
so I'll make some tea

I'll walk the dog soon
then return to my reading-
cozy on my chair

At some point the mess
will overwhelm me too much
and I'll clean, I think

Or maybe I won't 
maybe I'll stay in my chair -
hope for cleaning elves

A slice of complaining

Slice of LIfe Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers.

There's a lot to celebrate - that's true
pumpkin spice, red leaves fall, sweater weather - 
just to name a few.

But the air is still -- slightly sticky.
I'm feeling annoyed and more than 
a little bit picky. 

My complaints vary -- and that's the truth
From the bear in my neighborhood
to the mistreatment of youth.

I can't keep quiet, for instance
about a certain adult who 
can't see my child's brilliance.

She tells him his art is a mistake
And he gets sent out of the room
if he speaks up to that flake.

I know I'm sounding brutal
but my kindness -- thus far
it just seems so futile. 

So I'm done being nice -- for now
I need to speak up
and get my points across somehow.

And there are more complaints to be spoken 
About grading, and time, and ---
Listen, I'm rhyming not joking.

I know my next complaint -- it isn't proper
It deals with Data, and how 
we need to put in the stopper!

"Too much data!" -- I want to scream
Let's stop the madness and wake up
from this rigorous dream. 

The children in my classroom aren't data points for you
Their each and every word and action
aren't plots or lines or graphs to do.

Please let them be - let them read!
Let them write, and make mistakes too, 
work and play is what they need!

Now, of course I know - I hope you understand
That there are things I have to do 
things the state has planned.

And obviously I must be sure to mention
That assessments help me check in with kids
and give the proper things attention. 

But data for data, is a pet peeve of mine
If it isn't friendly and useful then,
It was a waste of our time.

Worst complaint of all? --I can't finish this piece
I'm complaining too slowly 
because I keep falling asleep.

I think it's because I'm busy, you see
Teaching, parenting, parenting, teaching
leaves little time for sleeping for me.

I hear your thoughts, dear reader of mine
Maybe she should shush down, go to sleep 
and then all will be fine. 

Fine. 
Goodnight.