Today’s Basketball Game

We become knowledgeable about any activity or topic that interests someone we love. I know how much a touchdown is worth because of my fiance. I have significant knowledge about superheroes and Legos because of my son. And I have learned the basic rules of basketball because of my students.

Today I went to see my students’ basketball game. (Technically I don’t teach these girls anymore, however I will always consider them mine.) It is amazing for me to see students who may struggle with reading at school be stars on the court. I wasn’t going to go today, but I saw one of my girls this morning. She said, “Ms. Bless, you’re coming to the game today. Right?” I had see her!

They did fantastic! 20 – 4. Learning the rules to a game I am not necessarily interested in is worth it. It shows the kids that I care and it allows me to see them persevere and succeed at something outside of academics.

Right Now

I am…

sitting on the couch with my son resting against me.

watching  The Amazing Race.

laughing the Harlem Globetrotter in a tiny tuck tuck.

wishing I could have just one more day of Spring Break.

wondering how tomorrow’s day at school will go.

hoping that I haven’t forgotten to do anything.

knowing that I have forgotten something, but it will be alright.


I have an aversion to parking. Maybe you could even call it a fear. I grew up in the suburbs where no parallel parking was required.  I park far away from other cars in parking lots.  I would rather walk than deal with parking next to other cars.  And today I had to park on the street, on a hill at my sister’s house.  Ahhhhh!!!!!!!

I will not park on the street
I will not park on a hill
Not in a truck
Not in a car
I will not, can not park parallel!

Cinnabon With Extra Icing

Cinnabon With Extra Icing

I had dinner tonight with friends at a restaurant connected to the mall, so I HAD to go inside and get a Cinnabon. One of my friends has never even had one before! Needless to say we forced her to get one and hopefully she is at home enjoying her treat. I was trying to put together what I could write about, but in this case a picture is worth a thousand words. If only I could link the smell…

Day 27 of SOL Challenge! Creating a Reader

ImageMy first nephew was born almost two years ago to my sister and her husband.  When she was pregnant she questioned me, “You aren’t going to get my kid books for every holiday are you?”

You can probably infer that she is NOT a reader and neither is her husband.  They told me that their kid would never like books the way that I do.  I told them that he WOULD be a reader.  For holidays, birthdays, and other just because days I have given him books upon books.  Cardboard books, plastic books, paperback books. 

I am proud to say that at not even two, my nephew is a book lover and a reader in training.  He loves books!  He “reads” books.  And when I brought him books today, he started looking through them immediately.  Turning page by page, looking at all of the animals on each page and gibbering on with a “dog” here and a “fishy” there.  When my son read him one of the books, my nephew sat and listened, pointing to some of the animals on the pages. 

A few more weeks and I will have another nephew to share books and reading with!

Reading in the Wild


I loved The Book Whisperer so, I stole our literacy coach’s copy of Reading in the Wild to read over spring break.  I am only at chapter 2 and already have found so many great ideas, quotes and inspirations….

Book to add to my Someday Book List: The Poisoner’s Handbook by Deborah Blum.

“If a seed of lettuce will not grow, we do not blame the lettuce.  Instead, the fault lies with us for not having nourished the seed properly.”  (xv)  It is unfortunate that this can be applied to education, but I hear two many teachers talking about how a student can’t learn something.  It is a discussion I have had multiple times with our literacy coach (  It is our job to figure out how to make the seed grow – to find how the child will learn.

Mini-lesson ideas for the beginning of the year.  Reading Emergencies – identifying times over the weekend that you could have read if you had a book. (14-15)  This would go along with “Stealing Time to Read” that I read about in The Book Whisperer.  And a reading itinerary where the students  track their reading time and location for a week in order to reflect on their reading habits.  (18-19)

I can’t wait to keep reading!  On a related note, we received an email from a parent over spring break to let us know that they discovered a book series that her daughter has been enjoying reading this week.  Success!


Too many thoughts, but undecided on which to develop further.  So…randomness today.


Went to paint with my sisters last night.  It still surprises me how different we are as learners and as people.   Here is my finished painting:Image



Fail as a mother:  I have washed so much laundry in the last few days, but somehow none of my son’s boxers made it in.  So, today he wears dirty boxers. (Good thing it is Spring Break and we were only going to the store.)


I love the Disney store – regardless of how old I am.  It just makes me happy to be in there.

Book Spine Poems

Here are my first attempts at Book Spine Poems…I had to try and will probably try with kids in April.Image

Dangerous Creatures

Deadly Creatures

Creepy Carrots

Real Life Monsters



Frog and Toad are Friends


Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire


Frog and Toad Together

I Love You, Stinky Face

Book vs. Movie

This evening I saw Divergent, after reading all three books over winter break.  Although I really enjoyed the Hunger Games and Catching Fire movies, I generally go into books turned movies with low expectations.  How can two hours of screen time compete with the words on a page and your own imagination?  I wasn’t disappointed, but as I said, I went in with very low expectations.

Anyway, we have deliberately chosen several read aloud books this year because they were made into a movie.  We read the book and then watch the movie so the kids can compare and contrast the two.  Here are the books made into movies that we have read so far this year:

  • James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  • Matilda by Roald Dahl
  • Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
  • The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

Progress is imp…

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
– George Bernard Shaw

This is very true in education, but change is scary.  We, my co-teacher and I, have decided to implement Genius Hour beginning after spring break.  A detailed description can be found here:  Basically the students get an hour every week to work on a project that they choose and are passionate about.  There are few guidelines:  it has to involve research, it has to be approved by the teacher, and they have to share their finished project with the class.  This seems like a fabulous idea, but I am still unsure about how this will go…