Archive for November 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

November 27, 2014

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I wish everyone a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving!

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Happy Beautiful Day!

November 20, 2014

In honor of Beautiful Day, I’m posting a few of my favorite pictures. Let the beauty shine through.

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No matter what your day may be like, try to find the beauty in your life. I hope you have a beautiful day!

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And on this Beautiful Day, I want to wish a very special Happy Birthday to my fabulous daughter and husband!

Dan Gutman’s WEIRD WRITING TIPS

November 13, 2014

There are some students who have a natural talent for writing, and there are others who struggle.

As teachers, we try to inspire and encourage our students to become good writers by modeling and exposing them to a variety of literature. Teaching writing to students can be very daunting. Fear not! I have discovered a book that will make teaching the writing process easier and fun for all involved.

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Dan Gutman, author of My Weird School Series, has written My Weird Writing Tips. It’s illustrated by Jim Paillotand this book is the perfect tool to get your middle-grade students engaged in writing.  Gutman offers students basic tips on the right way to write and talks about the importance of written communication He gets students off on the “write foot” by discussing how to come up with ideas, starting with the ordinary and moving along to the extraordinary. He offers positive reinforcement and inspirational quotes from famous writers. Simple explanations and tricks to help choose the correct part of speech, the right punctuation, and how to differentiate between confusing words (it/it’s) are also included. Did I mention that besides being an excellent writing tool, this book is in-your-face funny!

Every middle-grade classroom should have a copy. Teachers can use it as a read aloud and then follow up with mini writing lessons. Students can use it as a reference or just read it for enjoyment. Imagine a student delving into a writing book just for the fun of it. Get your copy today!

Reading: A Cure for the Annoying Things in Life

November 6, 2014

Our Midwest little house on the prairie stands proudly sporting a For Sale sign that has become a permanent fixture in our lawn. Our New England little house in the big woods waits for us to become its permanent residents. Last week we hauled another load of things to make our periodical visits to our new home more comfortable.

Building a house while living halfway across the country had its ups and downs. Before we closed, we did the walk through. Surprise! Surprise! We discovered a list of things the builder and his contractors had missed.

How did cork flooring end up in the laundry room when we ordered tile? And you would think that if you can’t change a light bulb in a bathroom fixture because it’s too close to the ceiling, the fixture should be installed the other way around. And what about the obvious gouges in the hardwood floor and the thermostat that has a mind of its own? All of these things are annoying, but they can be corrected. There was one major thing that put me over the edge. I call it the washing machine incident.

Before attempting to do any laundry in our new fancy-dancy washer, I carefully read the instruction booklet. I followed the directions. I stood by to make sure the washer was working the way it should. When I felt comfortable, I left the room. BIG MISTAKE! Within minutes of my leaving, the washer began to empty water from the machine to get ready for the rinse cycle. The water from the washer went into the hose, down the drain, and came right back up into the laundry room. Soapy water covered the floor and spilled into the mudroom. It was making its way to the hardwood floor in the hallway when my husband’s urgent call for HELP brought dirty clothes, towels, blankets, and anything else we could get our hands on to sop up the water.

What caused this mishap? The pipe the rinse water drains into was capped off just beneath the floor of the laundry room. The plumber failed to connect it to the septic system. HELLO! WHAT WAS HE THINKING? Words I don’t normally use spewed from my mouth that day!

We are back in the Midwest. We stare at the For Sale sign in our front yard and continue to wait for someone to buy our house. It’s very discouraging! To drown my sorrows, I decided to immerse myself in one of my favorite pastimes – reading children’s books. At the library, I picked up a combination of fiction and non-fiction picture books, a poetry book, and a few chapter books.

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Come to me, my lovelies, and fill my head and heart with all things good!


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