SOL #20 – Standing Strong, But I Don’t Want To…

“Please?!?  I promise I won’t ask for anything!”  my son begged as we drove past.

“No.  We aren’t going.”  I was adamant, on the outside anyway.

“Why not?   I won’t ask.”

“No, you’ll just look at me and I’ll end up buying you something,” I replied.

He shrugged.  It was true and he wouldn’t deny it.

I was resolute and we didn’t stop at the store.  But, it was extremely difficult because I wanted to go as much as he did.   Where you ask?  The bookstore!  #proudmommy  #raisingareader #heismyworld

SOL #19 – I am listening.

Several ideas for slices

Have crossed my mind today.

But each time I start to write one,

It is starting to come together,

And then Troy starts to talk to me

About our dog,

About his idea for a graphic novel,

And then it is no longer coming together…

But I will never turn down a chance

To listen to my son.

If I stop listening,

He might stop talking.

So today’s slice must wait,

Because life is happening

And I am listening.


SOL #17 – Sophie’s Mom

“I’m scared…Today could be the day…”11454297503_e27946e4ff_h

Silence.  He was checking his blog.  “Nope.”

“Today’s not the day?”  another student sympathized.

“Nope.  Maybe tomorrow,”  Julian responded.

At this point we all know exactly what he is referring to – Sophie’s Mom.

My students have been blogging all month as part of the Two Writing Teachers Classroom Slice of Life.  Recently, Stacey Shubitz commented on some of my students’ blog posts.  (Thank you Stacey!)  When she comments, a tiny picture of her is also visible next to the comment.  Julian at Amazing15 saw a comment from her on a classmate’s blog and automatically turned to Sophie, a classmate.  “Is this your mom?  Are you sure?”  She assured him it was not her mother, but couldn’t deny the resemblance.

Although he knows Stacey Shubitz is from Two Writing Teachers and is not Sophie’s mom, he still looked each day this week for a comment from “Sophie’s Mom.”  Today his post is about this very wish.  You can read it and leave him a comment here.  He is a dedicated writer and has sliced every day of March so far!

Stacey – If you are reading this, it would make Julian’s day/week/school year if he were to receive a comment from Sophie’s famous mom!

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SOL #16 – My ❤️ is Full!

“Ms. Bless, I compared you to my mom the other day.”  20160703_114739 copy

This came from a student and from experience I know this can go many different ways.  You never know if you will be receiving a compliment or a hit to your self-esteem.

“Why?  How are we the same?” I asked warily.

“Well, she was mad at us,” she started explaining a situation with her brothers.  “And I said, ‘You’re like Ms. Bless.  You both get mad at us sometimes, but you still love us no matter what.”

My ❤️ is full!

SOL #14 – Gotta Love a Good Writing Mini-lesson!

My writers gathered on the ground, crisscross applesauce, for today’s mini-lesson.  It was an idea from Craft Lessons by Ralph Fletcher and Joann Portalupi about word choice.  I explained to the students that we would be reading Shrek for a purpose today – to find alternatives to the word walk.

I read.  At the end of each page I stopped so students could share the synonyms they had heard.  A student added them to our anchor chart.

They were enthralled with the ugly guy who breaths fire, eats pheasant, and is looking for his even uglier princess.  Very engaged, listening for the words that were used instead of walk.

“Why do you think the author is using all of these words that we don’t normally hear, all in one book?” I asked.

“Because it makes it funnier,” they answered.

“Some of the children kept hugging and kissing him, and there was nothing he could do to make them stop,” I read.

“Some people don’t like to be hugged,” a student empathized.

And when he found his princess and they started to recite rhymes to each other!    They loved it!

Said Shrek:

“Oh, ghastly you,

With lips of blue,

Your ruddy eyes

With carmine sties

Enchant me.

I could go on,

I know you know

The reason why

I love you so –

You’re ugh-ly!”

We finished and I sent them off to slice, paying attention to the verbs they choose to use.  No one is too old to enjoy a good picture book!



SOL #13 – “It didn’t go as planned.”

The mid-month slump is here and I’m out of ideas.   It always seems to happen around this time and results in procrastination.  Lots of procrastination.  Dinner.  Dishes.  Netflix.  I started reading and commenting on student blogs.

One of my talented writers wrote a post about wet grass.  In it she wrote, “It didn’t go as planned.”  And that got me thinking…so many things have not gone as planned. In my life.  In each day of teaching.

Now I have a list of slices.  Being a teen mom.  The discussion on women’s rights on Friday.   A read aloud.  Losing at Monopoly. So, today’s slice is about not having ideas and finding inspiration in my student.  But, I also have a list of other ideas in my notebook ready for the upcoming week.





SOL #12 – Baseball – Our Way!

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hI stood about five feet from Troy.  The fluffy Angry Bird stuffed animal made contact with the Styrofoam bat that Troy was swinging.  The bird came straight toward me, but above my head. Fear filled me.  Although it was fluffy, the bird could still hurt if it hit me at that speed.  As it whizzed past me, I spun to see where it was headed.

“No! Not again!” I shouted, knowing that I was going to loose by a large margin once again.  I was frustrated that at only ten, my son’s athletic ability had surpassed mine by so much –  his team always wins against my Boston Baguettes.

I reached up for it, but was way too short.  The bird soared into the light, hitting the light bulbs and passing through the air and into the kitchen.  Suddenly, the room became much darker. Two of the three light bulbs were broken.

It was a home run for Troy, but he only got halfway to first base when he realized that he had broken the light.

“Oh, fudge-muffins!”  he said.   He stopped and looked at me, afraid that he would be in trouble.

I just looked at him, then glanced at the light, and then back at him again.  Did that really just happen?  Yes, in fact it did.  And after several seconds that seemed like minutes, we burst out laughing.

“Did you see that?”  he said, realizing that I wasn’t mad, just shocked.

Since that day, the light bulbs have been replaced…several times.  It is the memories that last forever, light bulbs are just things.  And this memory has become one of Troy’s favorite stories to tell.