Taco Tuesday!!!!!

If you have seen the Lego movie, you understand.  If you haven’t, you NEED to see it!  Yes, today is Tuesday AND tacos were an option for lunch.  So exciting!

Speaking of alliteration, we have been working on many different poems.  Here is a fabulous line from an alliteration alphabet poem that one of my third graders is writing. “Tiny teacher tells Tesha to taste tacos.”

Some students “wrote” a few book spine poems as well…


“It’s all about dead presidents and whales.”

While reading Reading in the Wild I came across a quote from a student about nonfiction:  “It’s all about dead presidents and whales.” (175)  It reminded me of an important conversation I had with my fourth graders last year. 

I handed my small group an article about Tiger Woods.  They read it and then they asked, “When did he die?  It doesn’t say?”

“He hasn’t died.  He is still a professional golfer.”

“But….We never read about anyone who is still alive?!?”

My bad!  (I hate this phrase, but it applies in this situation.)  In my attempt to expose them to important lives in history, I had forgotten to share important lives of the present.  They were under the impression that people only wrote biographies about people once they were dead.   And I had only added to that assumption by never sharing biographies of people making a difference today.  It was an eye opening experience for all of us!

I came to another reminder of this same idea yesterday while previewing an autobiography we may use for a read aloud. 

ImageThis was my first clue that authors were human, like the rest of us. And alive.  From time to time my publisher sends along a letter from a child inquiring how long Sid Fleischman has been dead.  There seems to be a kind of childhood folklore that all authors are dead.  Or ought to be.”  (p.1-2)

We have to show our kids that nonfiction is about more than “dead presidents and whales” and that authors are live human beings. 

Day 1 of Passion Hour

ImageStudents posted their guiding questions on a poster before our first Passion Hour.  There was such a wide range of topics.  How did the Earth begin? How do you make play dough? How does a screen sense human touch?  How do you make a website?  How do you make a video game?

All of the students were extremely engaged, although a handful decided to change their question within the first fifteen minutes.

One problem we ran into is that the students think that Google is magic.  They expect to type in their question and an automatic answer comes up, no work required.  I think it will take a few mini-lessons and some time before they realize even with Google, they must do some research and reading.

One boy is researching how to make origami.  He plans on teaching us (the class) how to make a few things including a baseball mitt.  I can’t wait!

Happy April Fool’s Day!

This morning, after getting ready, I went to the basement to retrieve my hot glue gun and googly eyes.  I pack my son’s lunch everyday, but since it was April 1st I decided to make it a special lunch.  I was looking over Pinterest last night and found a cute idea to glue googly eyes to everything.  It turned out pretty cute:


I went to school, feeling content that my son would find a surprise in his lunch box.  And then disaster struck around 7:30!  Don’t panic, it was only disaster in the life of an eight year old:  he forgot his backpack in his dad’s car when he got dropped at my grandma’s house.  His dad was already at work.  😦

7:30 a.m.  The phone call with sobbing loud enough for the other teacher in the room to hear.  He didn’t want to go to school without his homework.

“You have to go to school.  Your teacher will be o.k. with you not having your home….”

“Nooooooooo! I can’t go to school!”  followed by more sobbing.

“You are going to school.  I will email your teacher to let her know that…”


Well, you get the picture.  (If only I could have reached through the phone or teleported there to give him a hug and comfort him!) Eventually he calmed down enough to accept he was going to school without his backpack.  Whew!!!  Email to teacher to explain situation and then finish getting ready for my students to walk in.  What a start to the day.  And it wasn’t even 8:00 yet!

Thankfully Super Dad was able to leave work and get the backpack to school in the morning.  All went well and googly eyes were peeled off and passed on to friends.  Never a dull moment, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!



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!