Reading Teacher Writes

Sharing a love of literacy with fellow readers and writers


Slice of Life Tuesday: Relax, But Keep the Momentum

Slice of Life Small LogoThis week is vacation week! The Fourth of July was relaxing and unexpectedly tranquil. Not in the sense that I was bored, but that there wasn’t a schedule of activities. We all just “went with the flow.” It was mellow. Ahh!

My brother-in-law and family rented a house in St. Joe, Michigan and invited us to visit. We got to chill out in a nice, big lake house (yes, I want one, too), walk down the sidewalk to the lighthouse/pier and test the waters with our toes (cold!). My granddaughter said, “There’s not big waves in Lake Michigan, Grandma.” Little did she know that days before, there were 8 foot waves! Family members played cards, ate, and talked all day and night. StJoeMIConcertlightonwater070416

As a trade for giving up our bean bag game for a while, we got to tour a Coast Guard boat. The two officers were thankful for the use of the game during their down time, so they allowed us to board the deck, cabin, holding room, and showed us the mechanicals, rescue equipment, and even let my granddaughter sit in one of the rescue seats down under the main cabin. How nice of them! CoastGuardBoatDeck070416

The fireworks show began late — past my bedtime! It was worth it! The bright colors in the black sky were impressive, and we saw it all right from the sidewalk of the house! Of course, the finale was awesome!


Happy Fourth of July! I hope you get to spend some summer days like mine. Boring? No. Relaxing, and restful.



Slice of Life Tuesday: Packing For the Summer

Slice of Life Small LogoI have packed for 2 days. “All personal belongings in classrooms must go home for the summer.” Principals are brilliant. They’re sneaky, and brilliant. Requiring teachers to go through their personal items makes reflection a required activity. It’s genius! After grumbling a bit about how to create room in my house for a classroom of books and materials, I started reflection time.

I looked at the bookshelves first. Giveaways for the kids! That was fun. I even had a few students say, “Really? I can keep this?” Sure! Once students were gone — off to their own summer vacations — I boxed the rest of the books up by genre. This made me reflect on the types of books I have in the classroom, and made me write a list of needs for the future. I kept thinking about #weneeddiversebooks. Then I started thinking of my friends Christina and Kari, and their wonderful blog post about cleaning up and moving on. (See their post, “Clean Sweep”, at or

After the books were boxed and placed in the car, I started another task. Tough reflection. Each piece of paper, perusing and purging until my eyes ached. Good thing I had a large recycling bin in the room. I filled it three times. I stacked the rest of the files up on the counter. I asked myself, “Really, Jennifer? Do you need all of this?” Mostly I answered, “No,” because that piece of paper, or unit, or activity is on a jump drive (somewhere). I organized the files and boxed them up. One box. Not bad!

On to the computer. I cleaned out my desktop and saved everything I wanted on my jump drive. That small piece of plastic easily fit into my purse. No problem.

Now I’m ready for summer. Let’s get to the beach! (Silver Beach Pizza in St. Joe, MI is calling!)



Slice of Life Tuesdays: Life Moves Pretty Fast

Slice of Life Small LogoLife Moves Pretty Fast

Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and take a look around once in a while, you could miss it.” This year is moving by at the speed of light! It’s already June; that’s half way through 2015. This week is becoming a blur of activity, news, and even forgetfulness. I must slow down!

Thursday marks the end of the school year. As long as the year was, with 8 snow days, it seems like just yesterday I met this group of sixth graders. Looking at the yearbook pictures, they seem so young — oh, how they’ve grown! (I sound like my grandma!)  But I wish them luck and love in the future, and leave them with a summer to fulfill their own adventures.

There’s been quite a bit of news this week: my daughter received a new car she wasn’t expecting. Her former vehicle was totaled (thank goodness all parties involved were not injured!) and the police report, rental car, and new car experience passed by like a race car on the track. The same child inherited a one-year-old Yorkie-poo, the sweetest dog. I guess I’m a grandma again, in a way! She’s friendly and trained. And my little granddaughter loves her already, so the changes are good. Another daughter is in summer school/college sessions and doing well. My youngest finished her junior year of high school. She’s a senior now–yes, time flies.

All of the conversations tonight (why do you think this post is so late?) led to an unexpected and awful happening, though. I forgot to make dinner for my hard-working husband who got home from his second job over an hour ago. He even said he would settle for a sandwich, and after I offered to make it, it slipped my mind! Oh, my goodness!

I’m going to have to take a break at the end of this week, and start my summer more slowly. I don’t want to miss out on the memories.




Slice of Life Tuesdays: Taking a Break

Taking a Break

Assessments are over; what should we do?

Should we sing? Should we dance? I haven’t a clue.

Yes! Let’s dance! Yes! Let’s sing!

We need to take a break and bring

the students and teachers back to life.

Take a break — why, yes! That’s what we’ll do.

We’ll eat cookies and pizza and ice cream, too.

It won’t be long before the school year is through.

Then summer will be here; what should we do?

Our school year is much longer this year — 8 snow days to make up! I can’t help but feel a little stressed tonight as we wind down and prepare for summer and beyond. I’m thinking, “What should I do…first?”  Enjoy your last days of school!

Slice of Life Small Logo

Thank you to the team at Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice of Life writing. You ladies rock!