Category Archives: Uncategorized

#Gratiku #sol20

Writer’s block struck today! I started several posts, but nothing made it past a second sentence. I’ve been writing #gratiku (haiku focused on gratitude) with my Teach Write friends and started playing around with that format to get me out of this temporary writing rut. I am grateful for the start of the college basketball season (my Wahoos play tomorrow!), a forgotten Hershey bar stashed away in my classroom, the book waiting for me at home, an even my foe, writer’s block!

basketball season

starting for the Cavaliers

ready to cheer them!

writer’s block doesn’t

make me falter but pushes

me to be focused

the promise of a

new book, waiting on my desk

for my attention

Forgotten Hershey

bar in the cabinet means

unexpected snack

Thinking About Exercise #sol20

I don’t like exercise. I would like to avoid exercise. I don’t like getting sweaty. I’m also a very uncoordinated person, which makes exercising even less enjoyable. I would much rather sit in a comfy chair reading a good book. However, a diabetes diagnosis and a history of heart disease in my family means that I have had to come to terms with the need for exercise.

For a long time, I walked on the treadmill. I listened to audiobooks, podcasts, and music. It wasn’t the most enjoyable part of the day, but I did it…at least until earlier in the year. I fell off the exercise wagon, and while my A1c didn’t suffer, I did gain some weight.

I struggled, though, to get on the treadmill, even though I just had to walk downstairs and hop on. I found so many excuses not to walk or I’d walk a day here and a day there, but not enough to be beneficial.

I wondered if I simply needed a change in routine, but didn’t really know what else to do. You see, doing any kind of formal exercise routine was intimidating. I never could follow the moves, was always steps behind, and just couldn’t keep up. I saw all of these exercise commercials and didn’t think that any of them could help me.

Then, one night a couple of weeks ago, when scrolling through YouTube, I discovered a video for a Beginner 1-mile walk. As I watched the video, I tentatively thought, “I might be able to do this.” I cleared a space in my office and set up the computer with the video. The moves were simple, so I could do them and not go crashing into any furniture. The fifteen minutes seemed to fly by and at the end, I felt okay!

Since that initial workout, I’ve used the video nearly every day and while I don’t know that it’s affected my weight (yet), I have felt better about exercising because I felt successful with the simple exercise routine. Maybe this video workout was just what I needed to get out of the exercise rut!

Currently #sol20

I decided to use one of my favorite prompts for today’s slice. I love capturing this moment in time.

Currently, I am…

sitting at my desk at school.

listening to the hum of my air purifier.

drinking a cup of tea.

eating an egg and bacon muffin

needing to straighten up my desk.

thinking about an assessment that I’m giving later today.

watching a bird in the courtyard.

dreaming about taking a long vacation when COVID-19 is behind us.

excited about meeting a new second grader.

Voting with Mom #sol20

It’s a cold Tuesday morning and it would be nice to stay in bed for an extra ten or fifteen minutes. But this morning, I had something to do: voting with Mom. This is something I look forward to doing every year! This is definitely a special mother-daughter activity. We started this tradition in 2016. That election was the first time Mom voted and on that day, we went together. From then on, we’ve made a date to go vote together. We always go early in the morning before I go to school. We traveled the short distance to the church that is our polling place. Normally, there are maybe one or two other people voting, but the activity was brisk today. I was especially pleased with the safety protections in place. I saw lots of sanitizing and carefully planned steps to ensure that we were all protected. We cast our ballots and proudly placed our stickers on before heading out into the chilly morning. As we shivered and waited for the car to warm up, I felt so grateful that I was able to share this experience with my Mom. I’ll always remember exercising our right to vote together!

#gratiku #teachwrite

Sights on an evening ride #sol20

My grandmother enjoys going out for rides in the evening. I also love taking rides as it always relaxes me, especially after a long, busy day. So, my grandmother, my Mom, and I piled into the car after dinner and took a ride through town. As we cruised through one of the subdivisions in town, we started to notice deer everywhere. In the front yard of one house, we saw a dozen deer. Just down the street, we saw several more grazing under a tree. Then, we saw this lone buck. I had to stop the car, roll down the window and snap a picture. The buck seemed perfectly content to pose for several photos and didn’t seem too concerned about the three women in the car.

What’s even funnier is that at the exact same time, my significant other was in the woods on an evening hunt and he didn’t see anything like this!

A Scene In The Woods #sol20

My significant other, M, is an avid hunter, and is enjoying bow season here in Virginia. He loves the outdoors and spending time in the woods is

Recently, he sent the picture below from one of his hunting spots. He said that this rock was near his spot and he asked me if I noticed anything about the rock in the picture. I looked at in and immediately saw something unusual. What do you see in the photo?

Out of the mouths of babes! #sol20

I really didn’t know what to title today’s slice:)

I’ve been using my phone as a document camera. I have a wireless connection between my computer and my projector, but my very old document camera isn’t meeting my needs. When I first set up the connection, my webcam picks up whatever is in front of it, which is always me. I hate this because my face seems to fill up the screen and my whiteboard until the computer starts talking to my phone. It’s not a good look.

I thought that the kids were used to this process, at least the ones who are in my room when I first start this set-up. I was wrong. Very wrong.

M is one of my favorite kids. I’ve had him for three years and his work ethic is amazing. He’s one of those kids that you look forward to every day. He’s my first student of the day, and working with him is a great way to begin each day.

However, today, as I was connecting the projector, computer, and “document camera,” M looked at me very seriously and said, “Why does it look at you all the time? It kinda creeps me.”

I glanced at the board and silently agreed with M. Maybe I just need to start scooting over out of the webcam’s range so that I don’t take over the screen. Maybe on those days when I need the “document camera” I’ll set it up extra early before any kids are around. Then, nobody, including myself, will be “creeped out.”

Celebrations #sol20

I wrote earlier this morning, not thinking about it being Tuesday. I’m not sure what day I thought it was:) Thankfully, my Mom and grandmother both knew the day of the week and since they know that I blog every Tuesday, they reminded me that I needed to compose my slice. I’m so glad that they knew the day of the week!

I thought that I’d write about some celebrations today. I think that it’s important to focus on celebrations, no matter how large or small they are, especially in the current climate.

This morning, I received the results from yesterday’s blood work and my A1C is still below 6!

I celebrated my Mom’s birthday and feel so blessed when I spend time with her!

I have written every day for #teachwritetober! I’ve been writing a lot in the mornings. I celebrate the Teach Write group and Jen Laffin for encouraging and supporting me on my writing journey.

We had a Shenandoah Valley Reading Chapter board meeting last night and it was so nice to connect with this group, even if it was virtual. I’ve known most of these educators for several years and they’ve become dear friends. I love how passionate they are about all things literacy and celebrate the friendships and the time I’ve spent with them.

Google Meet with a first grader #sol20

I love first graders! I had the best Google Meet with a first grader today. I’m currently administering a virtual literacy assessment and H was one of the students on my list. I remember him as a toddler during a parent conference and he’s just as precocious as he was then:)

After we started the spelling portion of the assessment, I asked H how he spelled the first word. H promptly replied, “I sounded it out.” I realized that I needed to rephrase my question so that he would tell me the letters he used to spell the words.

Then, he looked outside and noticed that it was raining hard. He said, “You should go home because it’s raining hard.” I looked out the window and was surprised how hard it was raining. Of all days for my umbrella to be in the back of my car!

I also met H’s cat, who didn’t appear to be too excited about our test. It was particularly timely because H just read a story about a cat that didn’t like to do anything but eat.

Then, at the end of our session, before we signed off, H said, “I love you!” First graders really are the best!

Sights on an evening walk #sol20

M and I like to take evening walks, especially now that the weather is cooler. During these walks, I’ve learned a lot from M about animal tracks. We’ve also seen animal droppings (I can now identify several different kinds) and parts of a snake. The snake must not have survived VDOT’s grass cutting and I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t too sad about that. We’ve seen deer and squirrels and there are cows in the field that adjoins the lane. However, I didn’t expect to see what looks like a lizard on this rural road.

We saw the fellow below on our evening walk. I’m not sure what exactly he is, but he was a pretty unusual sight. The little fellow froze as we stood over him, trying to check him out. However, by the time that we returned, he had disappeared. I wonder if we’ll see him again!