The Drive to School-#sol17


My route to school involves curvy rural roads. Today was a beautiful, sunny morning and I was enjoying the drive, listening to my favorite morning show on XM.  The guys on The Morning Drive on NASCAR Channel 90 had me laughing out loud, so I was pretty relaxed and ready for the day.

I was probably two miles from school when I saw an animal out of the corner of my right eye.  I slowed to a stop and saw that it was a fox with some small animal clenched in its jaws.  The fox froze briefly, dropped the animal, and then briskly trotted across the road.  I watched it for a moment and then accelerated slowly and continued on to school.

Ten Things Tuesday-#sol17


I was inspired by “Ten Things Thursday” posts from the March SOL challenge, but decided to change it to Ten Things Tuesday:) My list includes ten things that I did during last week’s spring break.  This was the first spring break in a decade that I didn’t need to write a paper, get ready for or take an exam, or read books and articles for a class.

10. I worked on developing some ideas for for the 2019 VSRA conference.  I brainstormed ideas for the theme and worked on my list of authors.  I am so excited to have this opportunity to chair this conference.

9. I went shopping on two different days, but the only things I ended up purchasing were books and tennis shoes.  I’m not much of a shopper unless it’s a bookstore!

8. I binge-watched old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix and Lifetime.  I love the first few seasons, in particular.

7.  I sat in my favorite recliner, which belonged to my grandfather, and read books while drinking sweet tea.

6.  I sat up late to read…a lot:)

5.  I went out to eat several times over the course of the week.  I don’t cook much, but I love to go out to eat! 

4. I enjoyed going for rides and exploring country roads.  There are so many roads in this area that are perfect for relaxing drives.

3. I spent some time planning summer trips and professional development.  I’m going to the Children’s Literature Conference at Shenandoah University in June and I’m so excited about this opportunity! I’ve wanted to do this for years!

2. Spending Easter with my family was special.  I was able to visit with several cousins I hadn’t seen for a long time and Easter dinner was amazing.  This time together fed both body and soul.

1. Spending quality time with my family was the best part of the holiday! The memories that we made over the week are priceless!


Playing with poetry-#sol17


Elsie at Elsie Tries Writing has inspired me with her poetry, so I decided to play around with some poems for today’s slice.  My poems cover a wide spectrum of topics from my writer’s notebook to watching a NASCAR race.

Blank notebook pages

Waiting for inspiration

What will be written?


Bright yellow pollen

Sneezing, sniffling, and coughing

Spring is really here.


Checkered flag waving

Crossing the finish line first

Listen to the crowd.


Refresh and recharge

During Spring Break’s languid days

Time to read and write.

School music program-#sol17


I’m so glad that it’s Tuesday! I’ve missed slicing over the past few days, so I’m happy to be back in my writing routine!

My school’s spring music program was last night and it was amazing!  We have two music programs a year: one in December and one in April.  Students in 3-5 usually perform during the winter program while K-2 students perform in the spring.  Our programs are full-fledged shows with props and speaking parts in addition to the songs and a lot of effort goes into preparing the programs.  The music teacher and the principal brainstorm ideas during the summer and decide on the theme for both programs.  They select the music and the principal, who is one of the most creative people I know, often develops and writes parts to accompany the theme and musical selections.  One of the custodians, who is a talented artist, assists in creating backdrops and props for the show.  On the day of the show, students perform for the whole school and invited guests, including residents from a local nursing home.  Then, in the evening, families and guests pack the cafeteria/auditorium/gymnasium to watch the show.  Folks start lining up at the door by 5:30 and if you don’t get a parking place by then, you’re going to be on the side of the road in the grass:)



The program last night was one of the best.  Based on a Hee Haw theme (if you’ve never heard of Hee Haw, you can check it out on YouTube), the whole show had the audience in stitches.  The students sang a variety of songs, including the “Crawdad Song,” “Man of Constant Sorrow,” and “Rocky Top”.  The principal, secretary, teachers, and instructional assistants all had parts.  The principal played the part of “Minnie Pearl” and a group of teachers were the “Gossip Girls.” Teachers popped up out of a cornfield and sat on hay bales while telling funny stories and jokes in between the songs.  The whole show was amazing and the families seemed to love every minute!

Title Poetry-#sol17


I want to take some time this weekend to process my participation in SOL17, so I’m not ready to post a slice with reflections, yet.   Being a part of this community of writers means a lot to me and I value the time I’ve spent with you all this month.  I decided to look at the titles of my posts and try to create a poem using some of those titles (I couldn’t get all of them to work, but I’ll keep trying!)  Here goes:)


I’m Currently Trying out ideas

To Escape My Comfort Zones.

My RSVP to the Party includes

10 Things About Me As A Writer.


I’ve loved all of the Book Spine Poetry

Thank you for the inspiration!

My Day has been enriched by all of you

I’ve Never felt so empowered as a writer!






Ten Things Thursday-#sol17


I wrote a “Ten Things Thursday” post because I’ve struggled with writer’s block.  Then, once I selected that format, I couldn’t decide on a topic within that format.  I took a break and just sat here at my table.  As I listened to some relaxing music, I surveyed my classroom and inspiration struck as I thought about all of the things that I couldn’t live without in my classroom.

Ten Things That I Couldn’t Live Without In My Classroom…

  1. Books-I can’t imagine being a reading specialist without shelves and baskets full of books, but unfortunately, I know that such classrooms exist.  I don’t know how one can be a reading specialist and not be drowning in books!
  2. My iPad cart-We use our iPads on pretty much a daily basis.  We use them for writing, to read e-books, and for games to review and practice a variety of skills.
  3. The awesome cabinets that were installed in my classroom a year ago.  They allow me to store a lot of my stuff in an organized fashion:)
  4. Windows-I am lucky to have a view of the courtyard where there’s a pond and a variety of trees, bushes, and other plants.  One of my friends teaches in a classroom without windows, which I cannot imagine doing.  I also love being able to open a window and feel a cool breeze.
  5. My mini-fridge.  This fridge has been with me since my freshman year of college and there’s a whole story about how I ended up with that fridge.  That topic might be a good slice for tomorrow!
  6. My snack drawer that’s filled with chocolate-I’ve written about it before:)
  7. My Clorox wipes (or Lysol wipes-depending upon which I grab at the store)-I am constantly cleaning tables, computer keyboards, and doorknobs with wipes.
  8. Expo markers for my whiteboard-I love having a variety of colors, particularly when I’m modeling writing and working with words.
  9. Mechanical pencils-my kids love mechanical pencils! If I forget to buy lead, several of them will volunteer to bring in extra lead for the pencils.
  10. Pens-I love pens and I’m noticing that my kids are starting to copy me.  Somehow, a few of my beloved InkJoy pens ended up in the basket of pens, pencils, and markers on the table in my classroom.  Now, those are the pens that the older kids gravitate towards and I haven’t had the heart to retrieve the pens from the basket.


Making book recommendations-#sol17

I love finding the perfect books for my students.  I love to think about their personalities, their likes and dislikes, as well as books they’ve previously enjoyed.  I love telling them, “I saw this book and thought you’d like it.” This morning, as I organized a stack of new books, I came across Mother Bruce and a lightbulb went off in my brain because I knew that one of my older students would love this story.  I grabbed a sticky note and jotted the following quick note to her and had it sitting at her place at the table when she arrived for our lesson.  Now, I can’t wait until tomorrow to see if she liked it as much as I thought she would!

Book rec