Day 31 of SOLC!

This morning I woke up anxious.  What will I write about?  Today is day 31 and I made it again.   (Year 2)  I need to write about something profound.  I need to write about everything I have learned, everything my students have learned, how much my students have grown this month.  All the way to school and even during our morning meeting, I was listing and discarding ideas for today’s very important slice. 

     Then, not long before lunch, a student made a comment.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  And I realized that this moment would be my slice for today, because this is why I write.  I ♥ working with kids and this challenge gives me the chance to share all of these small moments with other people willing to read them.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 11.40.11 AM     After a brain/movement break with GoNoodle, our little guy got to go through the “transmogrifier” to grow bigger.  He came out looking like the above picture.  A speech bubble popped up above his head saying, “Inventing is like dividing by zero…you cannot define it.”   I read the speech bubble and immediately a chorus of “What?!” and other confused comments filled the room.

The confusion died down and then one student clarified for everyone, “He is a strong nerd, so we aren’t going to understand what he is saying.”  And that was the end of that…

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI am grateful for this opportunity to share my writing, experiences, thoughts, and stories with an open audience.  Once again, this was a fulfilling experience.  Goodbye SOLC!  Until next year…

And You Can Only Laugh


Strange things happen,

When trapped in a room

with 27 kids…

Things are said,

And you can only laugh.

Stories are written,

And you have to smile.

Mistakes are made

And you forgive.

Frustration is near,

And then they smile.

Doubt creeps in,

And then they smile.

Strange things happen,

When trapped in a room

with 27 kids…

But sometimes…

Strange things happen

when they leave…

Randomly found on the floor at the end of the day…Strange.

Chuck E. Cheese…Where a Kid Can Be a Kid…

And apparently where an adult can be a kid…I’m pretty sure my mom had as much fun, if not more fun, than my son and nephew today!

My son wandered off and I was standing next to my mom.  Mom was contemplating how to earn the most points in the “Milk Jug” game. (I’m not sure what it was actually called?) After a couple tokens she still hadn’t got the ball into the milk jug, only the holes with smaller point values.

The third token in, second or third toss and she got it!  The ball sank into the milk jug and my mom screamed!  “Aahhh!  I got it!”  But she didn’t just scream this repeatedly…she jumped up and down, turned in circles, all while waving her hands wildly in the air.

Apparently you are never too old for Chuck E. Cheese.  You are also never to old to be embarrassed by your mother…



For some reason the topic of geese and/or fears has come up multiple times in the last few days.  For me, these two topics are related because my one fear is geese.  This fear stems from a slice of life that took place at the Brookfield Zoo, three or four years ago…

My son and I were siting on a bench by the fountain, minding our business.  We were playing with the toys he just got from the gift shop, some little plastic animals that cost at least three times what they would at another store.

Suddenly these geese started slowly approaching us.  I noticed them, but figured they would be uninterested because we didn’t have food.  Unfortunately, they didn’t seem to care about the lack of food.  The evil birds continued approaching us until they were pecking at my leg and our backpack.

I pushed the backpack in between the geese and my son, telling him to run.  (This may seem overly dramatic, however this is what happened.)  Once he got away, I climbed backwards over the bench and ran to where my son had stopped.  I grabbed his hand and we walked quickly far, far away from any winged creatures.  And my fear of geese was born…

This fear has only multiplied due to other near attacks by geese, but those are slices for another day!


Confusion = Fun

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hWe wandered the store, no idea where anything was…Where are the bananas?  The bread?   The hummus?

“I found the bananas,” my son announced. Then he started laughing.

“What’s so funny?” I asked, confused.

“This is fun!  We don’t know where anything is!”

I am still not so sure why he found it so fun, but his excitement transferred to me.  It was the most fun I have had grocery shopping in a while.  Maybe ever?  🙂

Kids are so perceptive!

“Ms. Bless, I need to show you something,” Al told me during math, while students were practicing math facts using

“Yes?”  I asked.  Something told me that this was going to be a good one.

“Sometimes…sometimes you look like this…” and he turned his computer…

Screen Shot 2015-03-26 at 9.40.06 AM

“Well Al…sometimes I feel like that!”  I told him, laughing.  In fact, I feel like this a lot lately.  Spring Break can’t come soon enough!  One week left…

“Why is it so quiet? It’s never this quiet!”

“The mere habit of writing, of constantly keeping at it, of never giving up, ultimately teaches you how to write.”  – Gabriel Fielding

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hThe room is silent.  This never happens.  She turns around, “Why is it so quiet?  It’s never this quiet!”

It was silent because every single student was enthralled with her writing.  Our very talented young writer worked during her free moments and at home on an original fictional story.  Her writing included dialogue, narration, vivid word choice and more. It was fantastic!

We are in our second year of implementing writing workshop.  This structure has helped us reach every student:  struggling, accelerated, and in between.   Every student is improving in their writing!

Our young author had two chapters of her story done and now every student (and teacher) is waiting impatiently for the next installment.