Monday, February 11, 2019

Monday's Mixed Bag


In this week's Monday's Mixed Bag, I am going to focus on three positive things.

My son continues to make me laugh each and every day.  He has a great sense of humor and he's very quick-witted.  He gets that from his uncle Mike!

In class, I enjoy starting each day with a soft opening (S.Ahmed).  I like to play a song while the students walk around and say hello to one another.   This gives me an opportunity to hear about the many things they enjoy doing over weekends and breaks.  In addition, this comes in handy when it is time to write and a student is struggling with ideas.  Writer's block can be lifted instantly if you remind a student about a moment they shared.

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training in about a week.  I am huge baseball fan and can't wait for the next baseball season. I wish your team well!

Have any of you ever used baseball stats or league standings as a math lesson? Students can be in charge of keeping the information accurate and up to date.  It's a unique way to engage students with out of the box lessons.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Some of My Favorite Quotes

“Well done is better than well said.” Franklin
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” Disney 
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.” Franklin
“Keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground.” Roosevelt 
“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.” Confucius
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Tzu
“The secret to getting ahead is getting started.”  Twain
“Set your goals high and do not stop until you get there.” Bo Jackson
“Never, never, never give up.”  Churchill
“The way to getting started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Disney
“Without hard work, nothing grows but weeds.” Hinckley
“The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.” Drummond
“A goal is a dream with a deadline.” Hill
“Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” Andrews
“Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.” Marshall
“After a storm comes calm.” Henry 
“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.” James
“Always desire to learn something useful.”  Sophocles
“The more things you do the more you can do.” Ball
“You will never win if you never begin.” Rowland
“You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream the farther you get.“ Michael Phelps
“The most important thing in this world is family and love.”  Wooden
“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see a shadow.”  Keller
 “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career and lost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over again in my life and that is why I succeeded.” Michael Jordan

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Classroom Reads Part II

This is the reading list for grades 5-8.  As I've stated before, please feel free to email me any other amazing reads for any grade level.

Grades 5-8
  • Tuesday's at the Castle (5th)-series
  • Circus Mirandus (5th)
  • Out of my Mind (5th)
  • The Misadventures of Maude March (5th)
  • A Single Shard (5th)
  • The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle (5th)
  • Amelia Lost!: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart (5th)- non-fiction text
  • Wonder (5th)
  • Number the Stars (5th)
  • Esperanza Rising (5th)

  • Tuck Everlasting (6th)
  • The Thing About Jelly Fish (6th)
  • Holes (6th)
  • Upside Down in the Middle of Nowhere (6th)
  • Where the Red Fern Grows (6/7th)
  • The War That Saved My Life (8th)
  • Chains (8th)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Great Classroom Reads

Is there anything better than diving into a great book with your students?  I am listing some books that have been recommended by other teachers as well as myself.  Teachers will refer to some of these books as core novels/texts. You might use the books for students to read independently or as instructional texts. 

Picture Books
  • The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole
  • The Adventures of Beekle
  • Mother Goose Bruce
  • I am a Story
  • A Child of Books
  • What to do With an Idea
  • What to do With a Problem
  • Finding Winnie
  • How to Train a Train
  • Aberdeen
  • Choose Your Days
  • The Giving Tree
  • Rosie Revere, Engineer
  • Iggy Peck, Architect
  • Ada Twist, Scientist
  • The Invisible Boy
  • The Uncorker of Ocean Bottles
  • The Dark
  • The Not So Quiet Library
Grades 3-4
  • Gooney Bird Greene (3rd) series
  • The Hundred Dresses (3rd)
  • Riding Freedom (3rd)
  • Frank Einstein and the Anti-Matter Motor (3rd)
  • My Father's Dragon (3rd)
  • The Year of Billy Miller (3rd)
  • Because of Winn Dixie (3rd)
  • Fantastic Mr. Fox (3rd)
  • Ruby Lu Empress of Everything (3rd)
  • Alvin Ho: Allergic to Girls, School, and Other Scary Things (3rd/4th)
  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (4th)
  • Mr. Popper's Penguins (4th)
  • The One and Only Ivan (4th)
  • Al Capone Does my Shirts (4th)
  • Rules (4th)
  • Turtle in Paradise (4th)
  • The Ballad of Lucy Whipple (4th)
  • Fish in a Tree (4th)
  • El Deafo (4th)
  • Bridge to Terabithia (4/5th)
  • By the Great Horn Spoon (4/5th)

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Writing Done Right

I'm excited to announce my writing curriculum is now on Amazon.  The book is available in paperback or on Kindle.

Writing Done Right is suited for teachers, parents, homeschoolers, or anybody that would like a comprehensive writing curriculum that teaches students to meet the rigor of current writing standards with flair and style.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Successful Summer Writing Camp

I'd like to thank the amazing parents and students for a successful Killeen Up Your Writing Summer Camp!

We covered opinion, informational, and narrative text types.  In addition, the students learned about author's craft, descriptive writing, and so much more.

The informational piece on "Pokemon Go" was a huge hit!

I am proud of what they accomplished.  They rocked!

I look forward to more sessions next summer!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The First Draft is From the Heart

I was flipping through the channels a few weeks back and noticed we had free HBO. You heard me! I'm sure I'm paying for it in one way, shape, or form, but I figured I'd scroll through to see what was on. I stumbled upon Finding Forrester with Sean Connery.  I'm no movie buff, but I watched this years ago and found myself glued again for some reason. There were a few spoken lines that resonated with me. In fact, I ran over to my post-its and wrote them down.  

"The first draft is written from the heart and the second draft is written from the head!" These words sent goose bumps down my arms.  I missed this the first time through, but this makes total sense.  

How often do we just write about what we are feeling on a particular day? Sometimes my pen seems to do the thinking while my head plays catch up.  Has this happened to you?  

I have a quick challenge. Write what comes to mind for five minutes and see where it leads.  I bet you'll tap into something you never imagined.  You can do this as a parent, teacher, individually, or with your class.