It's never too late to join a party... The Literacy Beginnings book study blog part (that's a mouth full) started this week.  Even if you haven't purchased the book yet, it's not too late to join us!  Go ahead, ORDER the book and then just start with chapter one below.  Fountas and Pinnell have really written a wonderful reminder of how literacy learning is supported and successful when the basics of early childhood development are provided.

I will keep a list of all the chapters and links below to help you catch up when your book arrives.  The chapters are short and easy to read and enjoy.  Once you begin, click on the link for that chapter to participate and comment.

Literacy Beginnings Book Study & Blog Party
Chapter 1 Hosted by Pre-K Pages
More thoughts from Brick by Brick
Chapter 2 Hosted by Teach Preschool
More thoughts from Pre-K Pages
Chapter 3Hosted by Brick by Brick
Chapter 4 Hosted by PreKinders
More thoughts from Pre-K Pages
Chapter 5Hosted by Pre-K Pages
Chapter 6Hosted by Pre-K Pages
Chapter 7Coming Soon!
Chapter 8Coming Soon!
Chapter 9Coming Soon!
Chapter 10Hosted by lookatmyhappyrainbow!
Chapter 11Hosted by lookatmyhappyrainbow!
Chapter 12Coming Soon!
Chapter 13Coming Soon!
Chapter 14Coming Soon!
Chapter 15Coming Soon!
Chapter 16Coming Soon!
Chapter 17Coming Soon!
Chapter 18Hosted by lookatmyhappyrainbow!
Chapter 19Coming Soon!
Chapter 20Coming Soon!

Grab the button below:

book study blog party


Literacy Beginnings

Summer has barely begun... Are you thinking about school already?  No?  Why not?!?  A little professional reading in the summer is just the way to keep your creative juices flowing.  I like to read three books simultaneously... One I consider 'literature', another that is fluff for my brain, and finally something to help my professional growth.  Right now that would be The IliadBossypants, and Comprehension Connections: Bridges to Strategic Reading respectively.

My ADD allows me to seamlessly navigate between all three texts with ease. See, being easily distractible has its advantages!

Anyway, my friend Vanessa over at Pre-kpages has organized a wonderful book study for the summer.  We're going to be reading and discussing Literacy Beginnings: A Prekindergarten Handbook.  Even if you don't teach preschool (I teach K), this book would be a valuable resource to anyone who works with children from preschool through first (or even second) grade.  As Plato stated, 'The beginning is the most important part of the work.' I truly believe the foundation we build for literacy is the most important work we do as educators.

The study is going to take place starting June 27th and run through July.  Don't worry about dates though, because being a blog book study, you can read and participate at your leisure!

Vanessa has much more information on her blog.  Check out the book study guide here.

I'll be looking for you on the other blogs and back here for Section Three.  



Summer vacation
Finally here, time to rest
Recharge and relax


Summer plans.

Well school is over. I spent the day screening new sprouts for the fall… we administer some assessments and score them to help with placement... it’s always a bit of a mixed bag of emotions. On the one hand, I’m excited to meet new friends… on the other hand, I am ready for summer vacation.

As I did last year, I’ll be taking a break from daily postings over the summer. Don’t worry, I’ve got a few special surprises up my sleeve. Some giveaways, a book study, and some other stuff you’ll just have to come back to find out about. How's that for a cliffhanger?

If you have the summer off, ENJOY. I’ll be spending the first half of my summer working with graduate students at the local university... spreading my love and enthusiasm for literacy. The second half will be spent traveling and RELAXING. I’ll be back soon with more information about the giveaways and book study.



The last day is never fun. The kids are ramped up… feeling anxious, sad, excited, you name it. It’s not a good mix. At my school, my sprouts meet their first grade teacher on the last day too, which just works them up even more. It’s a fast, sometimes chaotic day and yet I’m sad when it’s over.

In what other grade but kindergarten do they kids say they are genuinely sad school is over? We tried to have as normal a day as possible, but really, it didn’t happen. The hugs were more frequent and much tighter. One little guy almost hurt me he hugged me so tightly… there were no complaints from me.

I almost started to cry at one moment… it was towards the end of the day, they were all shoving the last bits of paper and memorabilia into their backpacks… the classroom got very loud and noisy and I just stood there looking at them all and got overwhelmed with emotion. For the record, I snapped out of it, but it almost happened… almost.

To make matters worse, one of my dear friends was leaving our school today. I stayed to help her pack her room up and tried to bring a little laughter to the sadness of the situation… I got a few chuckles out of her and the others helping, but really, it was all just a show. When I finally got a moment alone with her, I gave her a big hug, kissed her gently on the cheek, and told her I’d see her soon. Goodbyes are no fun.

As luck would have it, the last few itty-bitty friends to leave are some of the most affectionate. No asking for hugs from these characters. They asked me to walk them out to the bus line, something I don’t normally do… today I did. As two of them took my hands, I thought, ‘Wow, another year gone.’ They will visit me next year early and often. I’ll have a new batch of fresh sprouts to nurture. I’ll miss my class, but I know they have the skills (academic and social) to be successful. I'm a teacher... I gave them my all.



"Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable happiness there is in our lives." - C.S. Lewis

As I prepare for my last day with my sprouts tomorrow, this quote from the author of The Narnia Chronicles, has stuck in my head like a jingle. Something happens the last few weeks in kindergarten… it didn’t happen when I taught second grade, and I suspect it doesn’t happen in most other grades, my students, all of them, become incredibly clingy.

Maybe it’s all the talk of ‘becoming a first grader’ or just the simple realization the end of our precious time together is near, but my itty bitty friends become, what my mother would refer to as, ‘Velcro puppies’.

The funny thing is, while they are hanging off me at every second possible, I’m finding myself feeling the same way. When they line up at Quiet Time to give me a hug, I’m squeezing them back with just a little more gusto. Grown men can be tenacious too.

There’s another powerful quote about teaching from Carol Buchner – ‘They may forget what you said but they will never forget how you made them feel.” I think it’s the same for teachers. As I look back on the year, it’s not the benchmarks, data, and test results I’ll remember (for the record, they were good), it’s the affection. The love. The way they made me feel.


Graduation Reflections.

Yesterday was our kindergarten graduation. Always a bittersweet day, here some highlights.

  • There's nothing much cuter than new dresses and new dress shirts on kindergartners.
  • Practicing our songs in the morning, a certain kindergarten teacher had a mini panic attack when the entire class forgot the second verse of 'Rags' - a song we've sung all year long.
  • When you realize that every other class is having some sort of celebration around the same time as yours, don't worry about parking... Just email all parents and ask them to take said parking chaos into consideration.
  • Realize when your female teaching partner comes back from changing into a dress, a little boy saying, "You look like a cow!" is probably not a good thing... For the record, her dress was black and white - prompting the comment.
  • When you emerge from the bathroom wearing a dress shirt and khaki pants and every child swarms to tell you how 'handsome' you are, it's most likely a sign that all the t-shirts and shorts you've been wearing the past few weeks have washed away the fact that you wore the same dress shirt and khaki pants all year long until it hit eighty degrees.
  • When, not one, but two little boys have a clothes crisis (scissors and chocolate milk), be sure to start the phone calls to their mothers with 'He isn't hurt' - Both moms arrived with new shirts and for the record, kindergarten moms ROCK. Also of note - no wardrobe malfunctions for the girls.
  • When you walk the class down to the cafe-gym-atorium a full half hour before the ceremony begins to set up, do not be surprised to see almost all of the parents there ready and waiting for you... after all, you warned them about the parking.
  • When planning your outfit for the celebration, don't forget that while your classroom is air conditioned and cool, the cafe-gym-atorium is not. You will be sweating. You will be shiny. Get over it.
  • Don't forget the extension cord for the boom box in the classroom. If you do, when you realize you've forgotten it moments before you need to hip play, you'll have to run back to your classroom on the other side of the school making yourself even sweatier.
  • When kneeling down for pictures with every child after the celebration, try not to worry about the pain in your knees on the hard tile floor. Remember why you're here and the smiles will be natural.
  • Don't imagine you're the President or Lady Gaga when the flashes from the cameras temporarily blind you.
  • When the dust begins to settle and your realize one little boy had nobody show up, do not let his tears make you cry too. Take his hand, walk him back to class and offer him a chocolate pudding from your secret stash. Since naturally he's on the last bus, sit next to him, put your arm around his shoulders and read books with him until his bus is called to distract him from being sad.
  • When his bus is finally called and he leaves, remember this is why you teach. You teach for the one kid who is alone after everyone else has left with parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents. You teach so you can give him a pudding, read with him, and make him feel better.

Monday is our last day. It's never easy and when I finally say my last goodbyes and get in my car to go home, I fully expect to shed a tear or two.



Two days of school left. What's a guy to do? Well we had a picnic lunch together... I did resort to a movie too. Oh, and extra recess is a must! As luck would have it, Mother Nature had other plans...

Just as I'm about to line the class up to head out for recess I hear a 'BOOM!' and the thunder begins... followed by downpours. Hmmm. This throws a wrench in the plans for sure.

"Boys and girls, let's make a circle in the carpet area please," I said.

With that I cued up The Farmer In The Dell. I don't know what it is about that song... I swear we could play it all day long and never tire of it. We play enough times to make sure everyone gets at least one turn. For some reason, I get quite tickled when we stop moving, stand still, and all clap as we sing 'The cheese stands alone' over and over. Something about a sprout being the cheese and said cheese standing alone just does it to me.

We played until bus time and to be perfectly honest I think we had more fun than if we'd gone out for extra recess. Who doesn't love to clap and sing about solitary cheese?


Double dog dare.

I've written about it before. My dear friend, Mrs. F. teaches third grade. I see those big, almost gangly, third graders limbering down the hallway and I know there is a universe between them and my tiny sprouts. Sometimes I forget how challenging the academics can be as the children grow.

Yesterday in the teacher's room, I ran into Mrs. F. at the copy machine. We began chatting about this and that (her son just turned one and is quite simply one of the most adorable little boys in the world...) and I couldn't help but notice what she was copying.

"What is that?" I asked with a tinge of fear.

"It's their homework for tonight," she replied.

I picked the paper up and studied it. I was intrigued by her 'double dog dare' - I loved that. As for the actual math problem, I kid you not, it might has well have been in Chinese. Here it is:

"Um, I see the multiplication sign, but that's about all I see..." I mumbled.

She then proceeded to try and explain to me how this problem would be worked out. Mrs. F. is a patient person. She's an amazingly gifted teacher. She achieves amazing results with her students. She was totally lost on me.

I was polite because she's my friend. I nodded and said 'yes' and 'ah, I see' from time to time, but really I felt like Homer Simpson with 'Turkey in the Straw' going on in an endless loop in my head as she spoke.

Today she emailed me to let me know nineteen out of her twenty-one students got it correct. This did not make me feel any smarter. I adore kindergarten and never want to leave it... bumping into Mrs. F. making copies only reiterates this for me.



Yesterday at bus time, Darlene handed me the following note:

I love it for many reasons. First, she has clearly mastered the 'ch' blend - something we've been working on diligently for months. Yay! Second, she loves her teacher, something I never tire of being told. Finally, she wants to be a teacher when she grows up. There's no better compliment than that. She got a big hug for this one.



This afternoon, I read a new book… well new to me. The Pout-Pout Fish is the story of a little fish who just simply can’t see past his pouty ways. His ocean friends try to help him turn his mood around – to no avail. Finally, a stranger comes along and gives him a kiss… he flips upside down, and realizes he really isn’t a Pout-Pout fish after all.

Well, I just loved this book. First of all, it’s written in a wonderful silly rhyming pattern that is reminiscent of Dr. Seuss. Secondly, there is not one, but two messages to discuss after reading. First, we talked about how simple it is to make a decision to change who you are… you can decide, at any moment, to be or act differently. I then asked if anyone knew what the second message was… after some silence and blank stares I gave a clue.

“Sometimes, I come to school and I’m not very happy… I might be upset or sad about something going on at home, or even with other adults at school.” I began.

“Then, one of you walks in, and does something that changes my mood…” I hinted.

A few smiles and hands arrived. I called on Audra.

“We hug you!” She exclaimed.

“Yes! Your hugs put a smile on my face and put me in a good mood,” I agreed.

Sometimes a kind gesture, like a smile or hug, can really turn your mood around. Which is a good thing since nobody loves a Pout-Pout fish.

The Pout-Pout Fish


Some spider.

Oh Charlotte. Each year, you cast a spell on my class... and me. We just finished our study of insects and spiders (they're different!) and celebrated by watching Charlotte's Web... the classic animated version - not the live action remake from a few years ago. I was about to begin writing about E.B. White's masterpiece, but I remembered my post from last year. After rereading it, it really captures the magic of the story... so, here it is again. Until next year Charlotte, rest well dear friend.

Well, we finally finished Charlotte’s Web. I’ve got to say, every time I read that book, I find something new to admire. They don’t call it a classic for nothing.

Anyway, yesterday I read the chapter where Charlotte dies. We’d talked quite a bit about what they thought might be coming and I knew most of them knew it was imminent. When I came to the last paragraph, the one where she actually dies I scanned the room. My sprouts were engrossed. I looked down and finished the chapter.

One of the most heart wrenching lines of the book (or any book for that matter) closes the chapter.

‘Nobody, of the hundreds of people that had visited the Fair, knew that a grey spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.’

As I finished the line, I looked up. There were some visibly sad children staring back at me… a few with tears. Momentarily, I questioned my book selection. Had Charlotte’s death been too much for my sprouts?

No. In kindergarten, the majority of books we read are finished in one sitting. The reading experience is short, usually around ten minutes or so. The other chapter books we’ve read this year were on the short side too. This book was a journey. It took weeks to complete. Each day, we took twenty minutes out of our hectic day to sit and experience the world E.B. White created together. It was magical.

After I read from a chapter book, we usually get up and sing a song or do some movement activity… sitting for twenty minutes is a feat for five-year-olds! As we got up yesterday, I noticed Andy and Sage walked over to me… they were clearly affected by the sadness we’d just shared.

“Are you boys alright?” I whispered to them.

Andy nodded, but his face was giving him away. He wasn’t.

Sage chimed in with, “Anyway, we can sing and dance and we won’t be so sad about Charlotte, come on Andy.” He grabbed his buddy’s hand and walked him over to the circle.

Charlotte, you truly are some spider.



Ah the internet (or World Wide Web as the local newsman calls it...). I'm never surprised at the amazing networking opportunities it provides. I get tweets and emails weekly from teachers, students, and parents. Usually they are kind comments and questions. Occasionally, I'm asked to read and review a book (who doesn't love a free book?) - a few weeks ago I got a most unusual email.

Rachael Stefanussen, an Industrial Design student, emailed and asked if I would take a few minutes to look over her senior capstone project. Being the busy person I am (yes, the kids leave at three, but we all know how that goes), I agreed, but it took me a few weeks to give it the attention it deserved. When I finally sat down to view her project, I was blown away.

Rachael's video was entertaining, professional, and, most importantly, thought provoking. She has envisioned a Portal that would connect teachers across communities to collaborate on classroom management, lesson planning, and all aspects of teacher mentoring. After viewing the video twice, I emailed Rachael with my thoughts and ideas. What about crossing all boundaries and making this international? What about integrating Facebook and twitter and using the already built networks many teachers have created?

Part of what excited me about Rachael's video is the simple idea that someone is thinking outside the box and trying to push the teaching experience even further into the future. I love progressive pondering and Rachael has really impressed me with her ideas.

Rachael was very gracious and we had a nice email dialogue back and forth. I asked her if she minded me sharing her wonderful proposal with others... she agreed on one condition - she'd love feedback from others too. So here it is. Please take a few minutes to watch and leave a comment for Rachael.


Best Books for Boys.

We all know our young boys are in trouble. You don’t have to read the statistics to know that girls are outperforming boys across the board in classrooms across America. Teachers looking for another good resource to help reach the males entering their rooms each day should definitely check out Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys.

The author spends the first part of the book explaining how we can help our boys become more passionate about literacy. She explains in depth that Ritual, Environment, Access, and Dialogue will encourage boys to read without making it feel like an obligation. She explains, at the core of our teaching, we need to ensure we give boys the books they want to read and enough time to read them.

The best part of the book is the extensive annotated book list that breaks down titles by subjects such as action and adventure, fantasy, and sports. The author then breaks each list down by reading level and emotional development stage – very helpful for both teachers and parents.

Like Ralph Fletcher’s amazing Boy Writers (a book I continually revisit), Pam Allyn’s Best Books for Boys is a wonderful way to help us understand the way boys think and express themselves.

"Boys who read widely and wisely, joyously and purposefully, are the same boys who will some day raise children wisely and well, make interesting work decisions, and step forward into the world with kindness, intention and boldness." p.173

I can’t think of a better reason to invest time and energy into our male students.

Pam Allyn's Best Books for Boys: How to Engage Boys in Reading in Ways That Will Change Their Lives



This morning at Sharing, Lonny, always one to give me a chuckle, offered this gem.

“Yesterday, I went on a walk and I was lucky enough to spot a wild caterpillar!”

The following thoughts went through my head:

Wild? Really? As opposed to what? A domestic caterpillar? A tame caterpillar? Was it rearing its head hissing at him? What made this caterpillar so wild? Did it bite him? Are wild caterpillars taking over the woods near my house? Should I be worried? Could one take my dog out in a fight? (My dog is rather skittish) With all the chaos in the world, now I have to worry about wild caterpillars?

But naturally, all I said was, “Thanks for sharing!”

Happy Friday! Here's hoping you don't encounter any wild caterpillars over the weekend.



Last week, as we were standing in line for the bus, some of the sprouts were talking about their parents coming along on our field trip to the beach the next day. Evelyn, whose mom was not joining us, was feeling left out.

“I wish my Mom could come on a field trip,” she said.

“Well next year, when your brothers and sisters are in school, maybe your mom can come,” Mrs. D. offered.

Next year, Evelyn’s little brother and sister will start kindergarten and maybe mom will be able to come along on one of Evelyn’s first grade field trips.

“No, my dad has already said he’s signing her up for a job next year,” she replied.

I had to smile. Parents sign kids up for soccer, T-ball, dance class, and other activities. Apparently Evelyn’s dad is signing her mom up for work.



Today my class had a really unique treat. Mrs. M., a first grade teacher at our school, brought her pet lizard Teddy in for us to meet. Yesterday, when Mrs. M. asked me if my class might like to meet Teddy, I asked a little more about him.

“What kind of lizard is he?” I inquired.

“He’s a Black and White Argentine Tegu,” she answered.

Confession. I had no clue what a Black and White Argentine Tegu was… my experience with pet lizards is limited to geckos and chameleons… so I said, “Sure, the kids would love it.”

Imagine my surprise, when Mrs. M. knocked on my door and came in holding this:

Needless to say, I was taken aback and the class was enthralled with Teddy. Why is his name Teddy? According to Mrs. M., he is cuddly and snuggly like a Teddy Bear. Yeah, right…

Well, wouldn’t you know it, that lizard was, well totally affectionate. He really did seem to love Mrs. M. and want to be close to her. He also liked it when I pet him on his back. Mrs. M. took twenty minutes out of her planning time to come meet my class and share her unique pet with us. We learned a lot about Teddy… I also learned not to judge a lizard by his appearance.



Last week on our field trip to the beach, I had a really nice conversation with Sarah’s mother about her.

You see, when the Sarah started kindergarten last year, she was one of the youngest sprouts and, although I’d seemingly forgotten, she couldn’t write her name. Her mother hadn’t failed to remember.

“She’s come such a long way in just one year,” she remarked.

“You’re right… just wait until you see how much she grows in first grade,” I said.

As we sat on the bus chatting about Sarah, I remembered how much help she needed back in August. I remembered writing her name with a yellow highlighter. I remembered holding my hand over hers as she practiced writing her name. I remembered showing her, over and over, how to hold her scissors (‘Thumbs up!’).

As we enter the homestretch it’s easy (at least for me…) to forget where many of my sprouts began… it’s awesome to witness just how far they’ve come.



In the interest of full disclosure, let me start by saying this post has nothing to do with kindergarten, teaching, education, or my classroom. I just spent the last three days with my ninety-year-old plus grandparents (yes, they’re both not only still alive, but quite spry) and while I almost never write about my personal adventures outside the realm of the classroom, I’m about too. Don’t worry, I’ll be back at school tomorrow and we still have a few weeks left… the sprouts shall return!

My grandparents live in a private gated community in Florida. Like all good Jewish folks, they headed straight for the Sunshine State to retire… for the record, my ninety-three year old grandfather swears he hasn’t retired, it’s just that nobody will hire him at his age… he’s quite correct on that matter, but for the record, his mind is still sharper than a tack and he could teach the business men of today a thing or two for sure (although I had to show him how to get all the features of his new HD flat screen TV - isn't that what grandsons are for?).

My grandmother, approaching her ninetieth birthday, has only begun slowing down because her body is forcing her too. Her mind is still going a million miles a minute and she still curses everything about Florida (sorry Floridians) and swears she will move back to New York City one day… the only REALLY great city in the world (her words not mine).

Last night, before leaving, I convinced my grandmother to allow me to cook for them. Something I’ve never done in my entire life… not because I haven’t wanted to take care of them, but my grandmother, like many, is the caregiver, the matriarch, the cook – she makes sure everybody eats what she considers to be enough and nobody else takes that role. For the first time, she stepped back and let me do a little work. It was almost surreal.

This morning, my grandparents dropped me off at the airport… I got a little sad saying goodbye to them. About halfway through my second connecting flight home today I got quite a startle. Without warning, I felt something warm and wet on the calf of my leg… it felt like, well, a tongue. I looked down between my legs and saw a rather large yellow lab licking my leg. I glance behind me and realized the woman behind me was blind and this was her Seeing Eye dog... taking a risk and saying 'Hello' to me.

Now I know you are supposed to ignore these small heroes if they approach or interact with you… after all they are working dogs and need to stay focused. Well this dog was clearly off duty for the time being. I leaned down under the seat and let her lick my hands and then gave her quite a few pets for good measure. I was feeling a little down and she made me smile.

My grandmother, in all her stories this weekend kept saying, over and over again, “We’ve been so lucky”… really, I’m the lucky one.



Jason has a new toy. Someone in his family gave him an old label maker… remember the old kind where you had to move the dial to each letter and then punch it onto the green sticky tape? Well this new device is quite thrilling for Jason.

He came in and gave Mrs. D. a bracelet with her name on it first. She proudly wore it on her wrist all day long… even though I’m quite sure it wasn’t comfortable and maybe even a little bit painful for her. That’s what you do when you get a gift from a sprout… you wear it with pride… even if you need a band-aid or get a rash.

When Jason promised, “Yours is coming tomorrow,” I got nervous.

Unlike Mrs. D., I’ve got hair on my wrists, and that bracelet was going to hurt. I devised a plan… the label would go on my glasses instead! Genius!

When Jason presented me with my own label (with my last name misspelled, but naturally not mentioned by me), I proudly placed it on the arm of my glasses. As everyone arrived, they commented on my label.

As the day wore on, I forgot about my label. Always there to remind me of anything out of the ordinary, the other adults in the school all commented on my label… No, I didn’t forget my name… No, I don’t need my name on my glasses in case I get lost…

When I got in my car to go home, I saw my reflection in the rear view mirror and removed my label… I proudly put it on the dashboard of my car. I don’t usually like to be labeled as this or that, but when the label is from Jason, I’ll humbly accept it.



One of my favorite parts about teaching kindergarten is sharing my love of books with my sprouts. Everyone has favorite authors and stories, but sometimes an older book comes seemingly out of nowhere and catches you by surprise. Today, Maybelle poked me on the shoulder and said, “Hey, here I am!”

Last winter we read Katy and the Big Snow by Virgina Lee Burton and did some amazing map projects with it. We’ve slowly been reading through her books and Maybelle the Cable Car is one I’d personally never read. As an afternoon treat, we read it and had the most wonderful time.

The story of San Francisco’s unique cable cars and their struggle to stay running in the face of the newer, trendier busses, Maybelle the Cable Car is a charming tale about honoring what makes a place (or person) unique. Maybelle and her sister cars fight the buses and eventually have the entire city behind them. Told with a rhyming verse and Virginia Lee Burton’s charming illustrations, Maybelle the Cable Car had my class cheering.

Now, unless you teach kindergarten in San Francisco, most kindergartners don’t know what a cable car is… we had a wonderful chat about them, the city, and I pulled up some photographs online to show them what a real cable car looked like.

We also talked about how as the world progresses and newer and cooler stuff come along, it’s always good to honor and cherish those things that we truly love. Video games are amazing, but we still love our Lego’s. DVDs (and now Blu Rays) are awesome, but there is something special about sitting in the theater and watching a film on the big screen with an audience. A Kindle is cool, but nothing beats holding a picture book in your hands and sharing it with your class.

Thank you Maybelle for helping us see that sometimes a classic shouldn't be forgotten.



This morning, in the quiet hubbub of arrival time, Penny came up to me with her hand out, holding something precious.

“Mr. ______, the back of my earring fell off,” she said.

Uh-oh. Another area of expertise I’m quite lacking in. The last time I tried to fix Nicole's hair, she looked like she took a very long ride in a convertible on a windy day.

“Um, hold on a second,” I replied and walked over to fetch Mrs. D.

Mrs. D. calmly fixed the broken earring for Penny.

When she finished, I remarked, “It’s a good thing you’re hear Mrs. D. – I am no good at earrings.”

“Girls simply cannot be without their earrings, Mr. ______,” she smiled.

With that, Penny skipped off to begin her reading. Another disaster averted.


Root Beer.

Well, I suppose I’m getting older. Yesterday I did something at school (I’m not sure what) and hurt my back. I was in pretty bad pain last night and this morning, while a bit better, I was still not myself. Before leaving, I popped more than a few Advil, and then placed one of those Ben-Gay patches on my back to provide heat to help the muscles relax.

I was wondering if my sprouts would notice the smell of the patch. It’s not super strong, but I can certainly smell it. All day long, not a word. Then at bus time, as Alexander was chatting with me, he apparently caught a whiff.

“Mr. _______, you smell like… like root beer,” he said.

“Hmmm – I guess it does smell a little like root beer,” I replied.

When the last children left, I headed to the nurse and asked her to remove my root beer patch. Hopefully, I won’t need it tomorrow… although I do love root beer.