#sol18 March 24 Before That… Kitten Edition

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! 

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Home to slice, before I go hang out with my dog, and then snuggle the new kittens.

Before that, we went out to dinner. I confess, I mostly wanted to go to get a little break from our dog, Finnegan whining about the new kittens.

 

Before that, we spent time trying to get Finnegan to calm down at the closed door where the kittens were playing.

Before that, I took Finn on an hour walk, hoping to tire him out a little.

Before that, Finnegan was crying at the door and straining at his leash to see those kittens.

Before that, we had the dog sniff the carrier holding a fluffy orange and white kitten. He stared a little, whined a little, and lunged a little. Fluffy kitten didn’t care — Didn’t even flinch.

Before that, we took the tiny tabby kitten in her carrier towards the house. Finn sniffed, and the cat hissed. She was scared!

Before that, we drove 2 kittens home from the shelter.

Before that, we sat at the shelter deciding. We knew we wanted the orange and white cat, but the little tabby sat on my chest, all curled in. She was purring.

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Before that, we walked in. The kids went to the orange and white fluffy cat they knew they wanted. A little tiny tabby cat stared up at me, so I picked her up.

Before that, the shelter volunteers told us two cats was better than one, and that it didn’t matter if we got one later.

Before that, we took our one pet carrier out of the car and walked into the shelter. We only needed one. Because we were only getting one kitten. The orange and white fluffy one.

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Before that, the pet supply store people told us that we should get one cat now and two cats later, rather than two cats now and one cat later.

Before that, I took a deep breath, reminded the kids that it was going to be a lot of work training Finnegan to ignore any new kittens.

Before that, the kids did so many things to remind me that they needed kittens. I didn’t argue. I  need cats in my life too!

Before that, I saw a quote online. “Sometimes the best way to honor the life of the pet you lost is to save another. . . Don’t wait too long, a shelter animal is waiting for you…”

Before that, we were a home without cats for the first time in a long time.

Before that, Susie passed away.

Before that, Billy passed away.

 

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#sol18 March 23 Goodnight 

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! 

Goodnight: a haiku typed on my phone

Downstairs closed and dark
Laptop tucked away down there
Upstairs quiet calls

#Sol18 March 22 Finnegan’s Medicine

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! 

Finnegan’s Medicine

The vet’s office said Finnegan would like his medicine.

“It’s in a chicken suspension, so it shouldn’t be a problem. He should like the taste,” they said.

I stared at the huge syringe and thought, ‘Ok.”

But, they were wrong.

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Yes, those are my Valentine’s Elmo socks. I wore them under my boots today.  Then, I had to throw my boots away because they are broken now. That’s a different slice. A sad slice. I was going to crop myself out of the picture, but then I thought, I should be my authentic self.

The vet was very, very wrong.

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I’m sure there’s a better way to do this.

Finally, most got in his mouth, but some did splash on the floor.

“UGH! Chicken juice on the floor!” my vegetarian family groaned.

Luckily, Finnegan did like the taste when it was on the floor.

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If he ever needs this medicine again, I plan on just pouring it on the floor.

Dogs are weird.

(But sweet and cute enough to make it up for it)

#Sol18 March 21 Spring Snow Day

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! 

Spring Snow Day: A day in a few words

Delay!
Cancelled!
Yay!

Coffee?
Coffee?
Coffee?

Clean
Your
Stuff.

Chores?
No!
Chores!

Whine?
Too
Much.

Wine?
Too
Early.

Chores?
No!
Chores!

Ignored
Annoyed
Tired

Roads?
Clear
Enough.

Lunch
Shop
Home

Vet
Karate
Grandparents

Home
Snack
Write

Clean
Your
Stuff!

Hope
Bedtime’s
Soon.

#Sol18 March 20 Kindergarteners

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! 

I’m ready for Kindergarten.

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Thanks to help of another coach, I have an interactive writing lesson planned for this morning. Thanks to a kind kindergarten teacher, I have a bunch of kids to practice with! Thanks to my love of sticky notes, I had just enough to cover my mystery pictures.

Last night I practiced with Mr. Thought. I needed to make sure I had the flow of the lesson down. As we peeled sticky notes away, he wasn’t as excited as I hoped the kindergarteners would be. But, he cooperated as we labeled a few important parts, and came up with some sentences to go with our eagle picture. 

“That was a little boring,” he told me. 

“Maybe that’s because you already know how to read, past a kindergarten book!” I said and I scowled a little, hoping the kindergarteners won’t think it’s boring. 

Despite my boring practice session last night, I am ready for kindergarten.

As I sit with  kindergarteners, I can’t help but think,  “How lucky am I?”

We do so much in our small group meetings. They are definitely more excited than Mr. Thought was.

I knew we would guess what pictures are, label important parts, analyze the details, sound out words, write sentences, count words, sound out more words, and read our pages. I wasn’t planning on kids saying they want to label the fish “prey” not just “fish,” and those who add, “Well, then we need to label predator too.” (That’s a hard word to sound out cold with kindergartners…)

 

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Original Image from here

I knew I’d be trying to get them to see what our whole book was about. I wasn’t planning on the boy saying after the first look, “This must be a book about the Food Chain!”

I knew we would need to go over some norms for talking. I wasn’t planning on the girl saying emphatically, “So we will take all our ideas and work together?” (“Yes, please!”)

I knew they would want to make decisions about what we put on our page. I wasn’t planning on the group who brought their pencils and are so disappointed that I am holding the pen today. Their disappointment quickly turns to excitement when I give them each a small yellow sticky. At first this causes a chorus of “How do you write….” but as soon as I remind them to use kid writing, they are on a roll. Of course, I do smile a little when the kids who wrote “nachur” and  “tlug” (tongue) insist that their friend add the ‘k’ to “roc.”

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Original Image from here. 

I knew that kindergartners were brilliant. I wasn’t planning on the group with a different perspective. Their first page includes the sentences “The fish are swimming away from the whale shark.” and “The whale shark is determined to get the fish in his mouth!” They want each page to have a sentence from both the prey and predator perspectives. “Determined?” Way to go with the vocabulary! Later, another group will insist on the word “pouncing!”

 

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This group added questions to their pages! Original Image from here.

I knew there would be kids who interrupted me with things like, “I got this new bracelet, do you like it?” I wasn’t planning on the boy asking, “Which mommy are you?”  I remind him that although I am a mommy, I’m actually also an Instructional Coach. Then, I thank the group for letting me come to practice in kindergarten today.

“Am I doing okay so far?” I whisper.

They all lean in, and nod. One child whispers back, “You’re doing great!”

I knew I loved Kindergarteners.

#Sol18 March 19 We don’t want to write tonight

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! 

We don't want to write tonight 
A poem in two voices
by Me and H

We don't want to write tonight. 
I know, I'm so tired. 
Let's just write it together and get it done. 
Ok.
What slice of life did we share today?
Wait, what? What slice of life did we share today?
What part of life did we share together that we could write about together?
Our brakes were stuck, we went to the park. 
I wasn't there. 
You picked us up from Starbucks. 
I did!
You came to my classroom. 
I did!
I made those hockey sticks. 
You did. 
We're writing this slice!
WE ARE! 

Co-written with my son, H and co-posted on his classroom slice of life

#Sol18 March 18 Daily in March

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! 

Daily, in March 
I write
make coffee
do dishes
do some laundry
ask the kids to please help 
     Please, clean their rooms
I go to bed too late
I shun sugar
I sneak some sugar
I make more coffee
I try to drink a lot of water

E checks the countdown to Easter and then countdown to summer
L asks to go look at the cats and dogs at the shelter soon 
H sits and slices
The kids ask for us to "please pay just $2.00 for a new game"
We ask the kids to "please take the dog for a walk"

We work
our to do list grows
our kids grow

Thankfully we also laugh
Daily, in March

 

#Sol18 March 17 A bakery slice

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! 

When your 14 year old invites a friend for spa day,
they will ask to make cupcakes too.

When they pick a cupcake recipe,
you will need to go to the grocery store.

When you go to the grocery store,
your 11 year old will want to bake too.

When he chooses to make oatmeal raisin cookies
you will ask him to make them vegan.

When the vegan cookies come out of the oven,
you will eat too many.

When you eat too many cookies,
you will be happy that the cupcakes aren’t vegan.

When you look at your bakery kitchen,
you will want to cry.

When you want to cry,
that doesn’t mean anyone will clean it up for you.

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#Sol18 March 16 Writing with Kids

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! 

I wrote with 5th graders today.
I invited them to write a  “Right now I am…” slice, 
first we practiced together 

I have missed the feeling of a class 
shouting out a brainstorm
challenging me to try new things
wondering what I’ll do next

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There’s something about 
writing with kids
writing in front of kids
talking about writing 
joking with kids
teaching with friends
laughing with a class

In just a half an hour we explored
writing, yes but also
verbs
poetry
stamina
running starts
mentor texts
revising 
writing habits
and more

They asked great questions like, “How did you do that?” 
And, my favorite, a hopeful sounding pair of 5th graders asking,
“Will you be teaching at the middle school next year?”

 

#Sol18 March 15 I Remember

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! 

She’s 14 now. I love the 14 year old L, and I will love her forever.  But, I still wish I could go back in time.

I remember sitting in our hand-me-down armchair, with my tiny newborn baby girl. It was dark everywhere else but the little lamp by the chair.

I remember the weight of her. You know when your are little and you love to play with dolls? And you love when the doll feels like a real baby? The actual weight of a real baby ends up even more perfect than you could have imagined.

I remember her head rested just below my shoulder.

I remember I was so tired, but I also knew that cozy time was fleeting.

I remember the feeling when I decided to try to put her back in her co-sleeper. Sometimes she would wake up and I’d end up nursing her back to sleep. Sometimes she’d let out that little newborn squeak and settle in.

I remember falling asleep on that chair, reading a book one-handed on that chair, listening to my husband snore.

I remember I tried to capture the feeling.

I remember her soft soft head, her little hands.

I remember.

But, I still wish I could go back in time.