Things you think you will never have to say…

Screenshot_2015-03-21-08-38-44There are so many phrases you never imagine your self uttering…and then you become a mom…All of a sudden words are flying out of your mouth.  “Don’t use the same balloon for your nose and your mouth!!”  You pause, shocked and confused.   Did you really just say that?

A very generous boy on the bus provided my son with a fresh green balloon yesterday.  After demonstrating the sought after talent of balloon nose blowing (is that what to call it?  I have no idea.), he informed my son that he wouldn’t be able to do it because his nostrils were too big.

My guy, refusing to be told he can’t do something, was wondering out loud this morning in the car.  “What does the size of my nostrils have to do with it?!”  I didn’t have an answer for him.  However, by the time we had reached our destination he had done it!  He had blown up the balloon with his nose!  Although it wasn’t as full as he could get it with his mouth, he explained, trying to demonstrate.

“Don’t use the same balloon for your nose and your mouth!!”

Kindred Sprits Come in All Sizes

I have written about my kindred spirits – the friends that I have found in the last few years.  However, with the help of Jill Pickle, one of those friends, I realized that kindred spirits aren’t limited to your peers – they come in all sizes.

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hThe weather is warming up, the snow is melting of the playground, and the children are staying a little longer after school, playing.  This shift means that we have visitors afters school, former students (4th and 5th grade) stop by to chat.  It is one of these students, let’s call her R, that I realized is a kindred spirit.

Each day she must wait for her grandma to wrangle her little brother, and so we get to spend a little time with R.

“P is my anchor,” she stated, referring to her little brother.  “All I want to do is sail away, like the Titanic.”

“The Titanic sank!”  I pointed out.

“The Titanic without the iceberg,” she amended.

Jill turned to Amanda, the other third grade teacher, because she is new to our school and conversations with R.  “R is like one of us,”  she stated motioning to the three of us teachers.  “When she get’s older she will be just like us.”  (Yep.  Scary!)

The conversation went on a little longer and when it was time for us to go inside, Jill and I gave R hugs.  R then turned to Amanda and held out a hand, “Nice to meet you!” (How polite and grown up!  I know!)

Amanda responded, “Do you want a hug instead?”


Oh, I love the change in weather for so many reasons.  One of them being our time with R, a kindred spirit.


20150318_173035I have a son.  I thought that because I gave birth to a male, I wouldn’t have to have worry about hair brushing.  I was very wrong.  My son likes to limit his haircuts to one cut annually.  Therefore, our mornings are similar to what I imagine mothers of girls experience…

“It hurts!  You’re pulling out my hair!”

“You’ll live.”

“You don’t know what it’s like!”

“Ummmm…my hair is longer than yours and always has been…”

“Owww!  You don’t understand!”

“Your Grannie didn’t care if she brushed my ears or hurt my head.  She would just yank the brush through.”

“You are hurting my head!”

“If you don’t let me brush it, we are getting it cut off!”


“Let the pig sing it!”

“A, B, C, D, E, F, G…”  While babysitting my nephews this weekend, we watched Super Why.  Yay!   The characters talk to you and you are SUPPOSED to talk back!  So, the Alpha Pig was singing the ABCs and, because he says to sing along, I started singing along.  “A, B, C, D, E, F, G…”

My almost three year old nephew hollers, “No!  Stop!  Let the pig sing it!”

“You don’t like my singing?”  I question.

“Just let the pig sing…”  he replied calmly, never taking his eyes off the screen.

Of course, this didn’t surprise me.  Singing is not my strength and when I would try to sing the alphabet to my own son, he would cover my mouth.  Maybe I should stop trying to entertain children with my singing, but I’m not a quitter!

One Right Answer

Growing up, there was always just one right answer in school.  I had to know that one right answer, but that isn’t how I teach.  Sometimes there is one right answer, 2+2 is always 4.  However, sometimes there can be more than one right answer, if you can defend your answer with evidence.  This especially applies in reading.

For a week and a half, we focused on fables in reading.  We taught students the characteristics, practiced sequencing events, and modeled inferring morals.  When we got to inferring morals, we found that students didn’t always get the same message we did out of them.   Students saw a different message and were often able to support their opinion with evidence.  It made sense.

We not only tell them there can be more than one answer, but we also encourage the idea.  Students have learned that they should share their ideas, but they need support.  This became clear when I was grading summative assessments this weekend.

This is a great answer…


But is this answer wrong?  Personally, I don’t think so…


Saturday Morning Memories

My young baker using a mixer that might be older than his mother...
My young baker using a mixer that might be older than his mother…

My son woke me up at 7:00 am on a Saturday because he wanted to make cookies.  So, even though I really wanted to sleep a little longer, I got up to make cookies.  We put on music and sang as we baked.  Kitchens are the perfect place for music and my son really loves music!

“Ummm….I got a little too excited and got some flour out of the bowl…”

I told him not to worry, that happens to me all the time.  In fact, he is a much neater baker than I am.  And what an amazing way to spend a Saturday Morning!


I miss his eyes…


Sitting on the couch, watching the Amazing Race together is one of my favorite moments of the week and the topic of today’s slice.

I kept pushing the hair out of my son’s eyes.  And he would then push the hair back in place.  Finally, he had enough…

“Stop!  Why do you keep doing that?!”

“I just want to see your eyes!”

I miss his eyes…


11454297503_e27946e4ff_hThere really isn’t time to be bored in our classroom and it is rarely silent.  But, that’s the way I like it.  This test has changed that…

I’m so proud of the kids for persevering through this test. They were using all of the strategies we taught them to solve problems.

I’m so proud of the kids  for staying quiet and following rules that don’t make any sense to them, like sitting in a silent room wasting time when everyone is already done with their test.

But, kids will always find a way to entertain themselves and our class is no different.  Most of the kids spent the second half of the block upside-down on their balls.   (We use yoga balls as chairs in our room.)  A lot of our kids used this experience to write their own slice of life.  You can read one of them if you click on the picture below.  I love our kids!

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 7.12.49 PM

Don’t go shopping hungry!


Never go shopping when you are hungry!  This is a very important rule!  Today I broke that rule and came home with way more than I needed.  I went for a notebook and something for breakfast for the next few days.  I walked out of the store with a notebook, Cliff bars, two pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and way too much more…I guess I am baking this weekend?!

Don’t go shopping hungry, Jennie!