Slice of Life Tuesday: Book Birthdays


books_zackdelacruzjustmyluckSlice of Life Small Logo

So many new book birthdays today;books_asheshistorical3

“So little time,” I have to say.

I want to sit and read the books.

I want to read without the dirty looks!bookbirthdayoct4

If I had all the time in the world,

You’d find me curled, furled…


Images from John Schu’s Book Release Calendar 2016 and

Slice of Life Tuesday:


Football Dreams

I would love to be able to attend every Notre Dame home football game as a season-ticket holder, but alas! I am not. So when my husband came home with tickets to Saturday’s game, I was excited to attend.

Even though I had been sick all week, I didn’t want to miss the chance to be in the crowd. We waited until 2:30 to decide to get into the car. It had rained all morning, and the threat was still imminent. But at 2:35, we packed up the car, made sure tickets were in hand, and drove to Edison Road. My daughter is on vacation this week, so we had a free parking spot! Nice!

We walked to campus and found our seats. A cool breeze swept through the stadium. Clouds rolled by, some dark and some white and fluffy. Would it rain? Yes. In the first half, it sprinkled for a few minutes at a time. Then the blue sky appeared and Notre Dame scored.

Notre Dame won the game! It was nice to get out of the house on a Saturday and be a part of the action, instead of watching on TV. I hope to get more tickets this year. Football season is a blast!


Slice of Life Tuesdays: Peanut Butter and the Middle School Mess


Slice of Life Small LogoDISCLAIMER: The following story is my on-demand writing done with my 6th grade class after the mini lesson, “Add Some Spice” to the Narrative Arc with tension/conflict. Students were able to choose a type of conflict and use tension to move the plot along so that readers will want to turn the pages. This is my draft based on the true story, with a little added spice!


The worst argument I ever had with my sister was a summer day after my mom went back to work. We were both old enough to know better. Middle school students are supposed to be able to handle Mom going to work, and we knew what we were supposed to do in case of an emergency. This was NOT an emergency.

My sister and I were doing chores and she did not finish the dishes. She said she was going out for a bike ride, but I reminded her that we were not supposed to leave the house without job being done. She said she would do them when she got back. I blocked the door to the garage so she could not leave. First mistake.

Judy pushed me into the desk, and I fell backwards. She’s taller than me, so I had to think fast. I reached into the cupboard and pulled out the jar of Jif Peanut Butter. Second mistake.

I opened the jar and scooped up handful of peanut butter. I lunged towards Judy and smeared the goop into her long black hair. She screamed bloody murder! She grabbed the jar and dug into the middle, then covered my face with brown sticky peanut butter. I screamed, heading to the phone that was on the desk. I dialed my mom’s work number. Third mistake.

My mom heard both sides of the drama through her earpiece at her cubicle, and so did all her co-workers! She was so embarrassed that she excused herself, saying that one of us had fallen down and needed help. Thankfully, her boss allowed her to leave work so she could “deal with us.”

She dealt all right! She dealt out smacks on our rear-ends, more cleaning duties, and a week’s grounding to both of us. I vowed never again to worry about what my sister was doing while my mom was at work. I did my own chores and kept out of trouble the rest of my middle school days.

Responsibility is a hard lesson, but learning to stay out of other people’s business is even harder. Especially when it’s your little sister.


Slice of Life Tuesday: Read!


Slice of Life Small Logo“Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.”

–Maya Angelou

Slice of Life Tuesday: My Goals for Reading Class


My conversation with a student today went something like this:

Student: “I hate reading.”

Me: “Wait, I know that’s not true. You like reading texts from your friends, right?”

S: (giggle)

Me: “You like reading Facebook posts, right?”

S: “Yeah, but I don’t read them; I just look at them.”

Me: “Wait. You understand what the message means when you look at it, right?”

S: “Yeah.”

Me: “Then you must like reading!”

S: “OK, I don’t like assigned class reading.”

Me: “We’re going to change the way reading class looks to you. I promise.”

My goals for reading class this year:

  1. I want my students to like reading.
  2. I want my students to read during reading time.
  3. I want to help my students become better readers by reading aloud, by helping them comprehend by using strategies that make sense, and by guiding them to talk and write about their reading.

Hopefully, we’re on our way!


Slice of Life Tuesdays: Rain Delay


Our city had some water troubles. A record 8.6 inches of rain fell between 7 am Monday to 7 am Tuesday. Bad for the drivers, but no real damage like other states this past week. My husband had several detours this morning while heading to work, but we were ok. I thought about it again…

Last night before bed, I heard a “drip, drip, drip” coming from above my head. I thought I was just hearing things, so I went back to scratching Jake’s belly (old dog still loves Mom). Then I heard it again. What? I got up and walked around the room. Yep, “drip” – right on my head! The new roof was leaking. Called for service. Thank goodness it wasn’t too bad, so I went off to work this morning. Didn’t think anything of it. It will be fixed, and we can move along with our week. I thought about it again…

As I walked into school, I saw several people walking around with vacuum cleaners, and heard a buzz of chitter chatter in the hallway. Hmm.

“Rain poured all night.”

“Yeah, record-breaking 8.6 inches.”


“Awe, man!”

I turned the key to my classroom and felt my toes get wet. Crud! Water had filled my classroom. “Thank goodness there’s no kids today,” said the engineer. Yeah.

I waded around in ankle-deep water to move boxes and tables, and check out the damage. Not really a problem — most of the books were put away on the shelves already, and I only lost 2 boxes of books and 2 boxes of new chart paper. My new rug was hanging outside on a pole (Thanks, Miss Vanessa!) to dry before students come tomorrow.

Our meeting was fine, and I got my rosters organized, decorated the show case, and counted textbooks and locker numbers. Now I’m ready. Tomorrow will come early.

I’m beat. Let’s pray it stays dry. Good night!



Slice of Life Tuesdays: Ready to Go! (?)


Slice of Life Small LogoAm I ready?

Yes. Tomorrow is the back-to-school staff retreat where my school colleagues will meet and prepare for the new year. We have several new staff members this year, and I am ready to meet everyone and get started. Today I finished my part of the PD on reading instruction, so I can’t wait to see how that goes.

No. Summer is over? No! I still haven’t finished the landscaping project on the front yard, and I wanted to relax a little more before heading into the stress of school. (Ok, I’ll be honest. The stress will start with setting an alarm in the mornings!)

Are YOU ready for the school year? Have a great one!

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