February 23, 2011

WILW-Random Edition

Welcome back to "What I'm Loving Wednesday!"

I'm lovin'.....

This glorious week off for mid-winter break! (and it's still winter...we went from 60 degree weather last week to 8 inches of fresh snow and ice! Hello, Midwest. I think it's put me in laid-back snow day mode, and that's just fine with me!)

If you read my post on Time, this is a great book that poses and answers some deep questions! The Three Questions by Jon Muth (adapted from Leo Tolstoy) is a great book for all ages, with beautiful illustrations, and a positive message. I can't wait to read it to my class each year, and may in fact read it to my high school girls next small group meeting!

Diving back in to my research/work in dancer health and wellness. I'm part of a team planning our second annual Performing Arts  Medicine Conference (Dancers, Figure Skaters, Gymnasts...) 
More details on that soon!

Monday night Bachelor's night. Silly, I know, but it's great to get together with a bunch of ladies- from high school on up- to have a fun dinner, dish on the show, make delicious desserts...I love starting the week off right spending time with my girls. (And for those watching...I'm so rooting for Emily, although, I don't know if Brad can actually commit...sigh)

I'm also loving getting back into thrifting! I found some great sunglasses and an adorable tank/tunic today at Platos...think I'm willing SPRING to come once and for all! I've also been hitting up the book sections to build my classroom library. Any favorite book suggestions? (I will hopefully be teaching somewhere in the K-3 range)

And to round out the randomness for this WILW Edition, I leave you with one of my favorite quotes...
                                                                                                                                      ~Nelson Mandela

February 21, 2011


Judy Clock
What is this thing, called time?
7 days, 24 hrs a day, 60 mins an hour...that's 10,080 minutes a week!
(Anyone remember the Judy clock for learning to tell time? Yes, we still use those with kids today. Yes, I have to battle the analog vs. digital argument, but yes, learning to tell time the old fashioned way wins...at least in my classroom!)


Where does it go?
It feels like time is rushing forward most days, other days it feels like the clock is stuttering, even moving backwards. Why are we so focused on either the next thing we have to do, or on rehashing the past?
(Often w/ anxiety, fear, and/or regret.)
But, why not the "now?"

Such a simple thing, the present, yet we avoid it or rush through it with lightening speed! Maybe it's because I'm on glorious mid-winter break and have the gift of time, but I am increasingly aware of the importance. The importance of being with, being present, in the now. Even if it's difficult. Don't get me wrong, I understand that we live busy, complicated lives in 2011. A lot is expected of us, life throws us things that unavoidably eat up our time. Many of these things or people are important and 100% worth it. However, we DO still have time. I am guilty of using the "no time" excuse over and over again...and not just in the art of learning to say no to adding more, but in avoidance. Avoidance of the present.

How many of you are with me?

Whether it's intentional or not we forget about the present, and often with it, what's most important.


This word is used in the scriptures, particularly in the psalms. I used to brush over it, never bothering to learn its meaning. Ironic, that it means to pause, and reflect. Take a moment to stop and process, allow our spirit to catch up with our frantic body and mind. Allow peace to reign. Listen to the quiet of our hearts, to the Lord, learn something about ourselves or the world in the moment. That goes for those that we are with as well. How often when on the phone with a friend, or in the car with your child or spouse, do we tune out and allow our thoughts to be fractured and distracted? Guilty. Be in the moment- really listen. It's surprising what you may discover.

If you're anything like me, Selah, does not come naturally. So join me, in practicing and training ourselves to choose to be in the moment more, to pause and reflect.



February 16, 2011

WILW-Light at the End of the Tunnel Edition

I was 10 kinds of busy these past couple weeks and I missed WILW last week!  Things are still crazy but there is a light at the end of the tunnel...next week is my district's Winter Break!!! So excited for the chance to catch up on my grad work, organize/plan for my lead teaching, and take some time for me. Gasp- relaxation?!?! Ahh, can't wait....

I'm also loving all the sweet Valentine's I received from my kiddos. Nothing like cartoon temporary tats to bring you back to the 90s :-).

I made super sweet Valentines for my kids thanks to this great teacher! If you are a Lower El teacher you must check out First Grade Parade! My kids loved the "hidden message" in sign language.

I'm loving this new multicultural children's book series- Yoon, by Helen Recorvits!
I have a lot of Asian or Asian-American students and am always looking to represent them in books. (Kids are more apt to read/write if they can see themselves as part of literature). Can't wait to read Yoon and the Jade Bracelet to them and use it as a mentor text in our Realistic Fiction writing unit!

I love Kinesiotape- it's this amazing athletic/therapy tape that's stretchy and flexible . It supports your body while at the same time allowing it to move, not to mention reducing swelling and all sorts of other tricks. Does wonders for those residual dance injuries! It was featured in the 2008 Summer Olympics on the beach volleyball players (if you remember- all the black tape "tattoos" on them?) Maybe you're not an Olympic nerd like me... but bonus, it comes in all sorts of fun colors. http://ezinearticles.com/?What-the-Heck-is-Kinesio-Tape-and-Why-is-Olympic-Gold-Medalist-Kerri-Walsh-Wearing-It?&id=1405298

I'd love to write more and share about the amazing goings-on in 3rd grade but I'm off to re-certify on my allergy, bloodborne pathogens, and other online certifications for my district. Thrilling, I know!
Happy Wednesday y'all!

February 8, 2011

Playin' by the Rules...

Just a quick note tonight because I'm 10 kinds of exhausted but I have a moment of grace and cute story to share! We've been working on writing feature articles in 3rd grade (for a class magazine) for several weeks and most of my students are on revision and/or ready to move on to publishing. That is except the 5 students who do not have a rough draft yet. For 3 darlings in particular it has been like pulling teeth to get them motivated and excited like everyone else.

Today, every one made progress! Some- more than the past week combined! So.much.learning.going.on.
Enough to make my teacher heart melt and my exhaustion obsolete. Anyway...
One of my kiddos decided to add some commentary to spice things up...that or he was bored with his notecards and graphic organizer...or he just zoned out (likely), but he randomly added:

"I know, what's really important is that you play right and be nice so you can play safely and learn the correct rules."

Well said munchkin, well said. Are you still talking about racquetball? or Life?

February 2, 2011

WILW- Snow Day Edition

Why Hello, What I'm Loving Wednesday!

Snow Days are a beautiful thing. Though I was pretty lazy today I believe that practicing the art of "doing nothing" is incredibly important from time to time.  Here are 5 random things that I'm thankful for or loving today :-)

Finally Learning How to Type a '♥' on my laptop, not just a desktop... I know, welcome to 2011! (For those of you who used to cut and paste before...never again! Simultaneously hold the function key and the num lk key (on my laptop it's also scroll) then hold the alt and letter 'L')

YouVersion. It's a great Bible App with tons of different reading plans available. Best part? They can be emailed to you, accessed online, from a smart phone, or from an iPod touch like I do. Reading the Word daily has never been so easy! http://www.youversion.com/

This news clip on using video games for rehabilitation. http://abcnews.go.com/Health/video/wii-rehab-video-game-therapy-nintendo-xbox-kinect-motion-based-conrol-games-parkinson-desease-treatment-11315981?tab=9482931&section=4765066&playlist=&page=1  I have been a part of "Wii PT" myself and I have to say it's really helpful for working on balance, right/left awareness, and muscle/brain connection. Plus it's fun! I'm so glad this is starting to grow in popularity!

Low Fat Pop Tarts. I've been on a kick this year with the "Breakfast of Champions"...Diet Coke and a pack of Pop Tarts- healthy, I know. Now that I found these, and the strawberry ones taste the same, I feel less guilty. Plus they are currently $1.88 at Target! Score :-)

Being back in the classroom. Though my days can be long and crazy, and sometimes I repeat myself a gazillion times, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love trying to figure out what exactly is the key to each one of my students to help them learn best.  They are so hungry and excited to learn right now which makes my job that much easier..and way more fun!

February 1, 2011

2 Magic Words...


I headed to the grocery store after school tonight and was cracking up by all the people buying beer, toilet paper, and milk. I bought more sensible things like produce, ice cream, and a 24 pk of teacher crack...er diet coke! While I was at the store, I heard an announcement from aisle 5 that my district was closed! Keep in mind this was from a disgruntled University prof who's school was NOT closed. As a grad student at said University, I couldn't help but rejoice once again that my full-time teaching internship began...


I celebrated this wonderful news by buying the cutest mailbox from the Target $ section for all my students' sweet notes. Best note of the day..."Dear Ms. W. I wish you were with us when we went to the Planetarium last week. We missed you, but I am very glad you came back. You didn't abandon me! Your very best wishes, ______." It was all folded up and taped around a mini Origami crane. Which I was told "LOOKS like it can fly but really CAN'T" lol.

Guess which child it was from? Yes. My beloved "turtle child." I'm baack...and motivated to plan some fun lessons tomorrow on my day off. Enjoy the snow if you live in the path of this storm :-)