This is my vision board for 2011, featuring my Word of the Year: SHINE.
Here are the areas in my life I hope to work on buffing and polishing to shine over the next 12 months:
1. Career: Improve punctuality; grade papers and assess students fairly, accurately, and timely; plan engaging lessons; spice up homework.
2. Diet: Eat healthier.
3. Exercise: Move more. Get heart really pumpin’ fast 3x per week.
4. Personality: Work on being less sensitive in relationships. Be more mindful of victim mentality and self pity. Go with the flow more. Live in the moment.
5. Family: Be an awesome auntie.
6. Reading: Consume a book a week. Track progress.
7. God: Talk to him more. Seek opportunities to strengthen relationship with Him.





I recently used the facilities at the local movie theater and was delighted to discover the following pictures on the baby- changing-table-thingy. I’m considering making one my Facebook profile pic. Awesome.



It’s 5:49 am and I just ate breakfast: A king-sized Hershey’s Milk Chocolate with Almonds bar. NOT one of my proudest moments.


grading by fire

my 2011 word of the year is SHINE. but today i just feel FLAT. emotionally flat.

i miss my dad. i didn’t want to start a new year without him but here i am.

went back to work today after winter break. yikes. longest. day. ever. it was really great seeing my students and i did feel a lot of pride and happiness flood me when i opened my classroom door but…i don’t know. it was exhausting. and it’s only monday. and nothing about what i’m teaching at this particular moment stirs me in any way. i need to shake things up somehow.

could this be january syndrome? i can’t remember january last year. and i don’t want to remember the january before that, as a first-year teacher. *shudder*

a good friend/coworker of mine started writing on her blog again. that inspired me to write some tonight.

i have a fire blazing and a stack of papers to grade. but i crashed on the couch when i got home tonight and i dont really feel like doing anything but eating a stack of oreos.

and reading on my NOOKcolor. i LOVE my NOOKcolor. such a great Christmas gift. thank you Santa.

Entries must include:

  • Title, author, publisher, and copyright date (2000-2010) (If you are including a book by one of the guest speakers you may include books with copyright dates prior to 2000.)
  • Short summary of the book (in your words, not Amazon’s).
  • At least 25 entries included in the bibliography must mention another book that would be worthwhile to use in conjunction with the book included in the bibliography. These connection books do NOT have to have been published betwen 2000-2010.
  • Specific instructional ideas for using the book in the classroom must be included for all books listed in the bibliography. Reading aloud may be used as an instructional strategy for no more than ten books included in the bibliography.
  • You may choose books by any author. You are encouraged to use materials in the Smith Library at Shenandoah University (on third floor), John Handley Public Library or your school library.
  • Mail a hard copy by August 30.

65 Picture Books

I have until August 30th to compile a list of picture books to use in my classroom this school year. That’s not a long time. And I’ve been researching the many ways one can use picture books and I feel all-over-the-place and overwhelmed. But what’s new? The problem with the Information Age is that it’s become the “I Google Therefore I am Buried in Websites Age.”
I plan to add the books I select to this blog as a way to create a running annotated bibliography.

So little time…

Well, the first nine weeks of this school year have flown by. I am currently ill with bronchitis and missing my students. Hopefully I will return the day after tomorrow.
So much has happened since I last blogged.
The writing class I’m taking is wonderful and I’m currently reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird for that.
I met author Scott Westerfeld (The Uglies Trilogy) while he was out promoting his new book Leviathan.
I am currently trying to participate as much as I can in the National Novel Writing Month’s Young Writers Program by attempting to write a novel this month. I have slacked today but so far I’m doing well with that (If you could call no plot, no main characters, and no real theme an actual novel!). But the goal with that is OUTPUT so I’m churning out as many words as I can each night.
I’m also trying to start a classroom blog for my students. I was inspired by a coworker. I hope to get that up and running.
Kudos to Nancie Atwell for her New York Times article video rebuttal (to people who sent in negative feedback)that defends the reading/writing workshop! Check it out on the Heinemann website if this following video link doesn’t work:

Nancie Atwell defends the Reading Workshop