First day of school

Can you find me? This is my sixth grade class.

Can you find me? This is my sixth grade class.



I’m trying to remember my first day of sixth grade in 1982. I attended Holy Cross School (a private, Catholic school) and Sr. Mary Lou was my English teacher. Even though I teach English today, I dreaded it in sixth grade. Can you guess my favorite subject? 

One thing I did love about sixth grade was going to the library. Sr. Helen was our librarian and the library was in the building next door to the school. We got to leave the school and go across the playground to the basement of that building to our library. I enjoyed that freedom. Sr. Helen recommended the best books and I always left with an armful.

I wonder what your memories of sixth grade will be when you look back. My hope is you will look back on our time together with laughter and lots of good memories. Let’s start those today!


Here I am in sixth grade, 1982.

Here I am in sixth grade, 1982.

Slice #23 One quarter to go

As I begin spring break, I reflect on this year. Three quarters…finished and one more to go before these students move on to seventh grade. This year has been a year unlike any other. I’ve never seen my students read and write so much. Proud…doesn’t even begin to describe what I’m feeling.

Writing! I’ve loved reading what you write. It’s like having a microscope to see inside you. Your writer’s notebooks are treasures! This month of slice of life has made such a difference! I’ve seen improvement in the writing technique of many students. Additionally, this has been an opportunity for me to get to know my students as people, not just students. What a privilege!

Reading! This year, we’ve welcomed authors into our world. We’ve skyped and tweeted authors. We’ve read and talked about ARCs. And we’ve read and read and read. Proud! This spring break has been earned by each of us with hard work. After I finish this blog post, I’m off to finish my first book of the break.

To my students: Enjoy your break! Blog, read, write! Have fun! Come back to school in April ready to take on the world.

My plan is to complete five books over break. Anyone care to take that challenge? Can you beat me? Happy Reading!

Wow! Wow! Wow! And I miss you!

Hi Sixth Graders,

All the way from Las Vegas, Nevada!

I miss everyone A LOT, but I’m having a great time at the conference! I’m meeting lots of  interesting people, teachers and authors mostly. Hey, did remember Knucklehead ? Who wrote that???  Hmmm…oh that’s right it’s Jon Scieszka, yeah, I met him today And I have some proof. I’ll show you when I return. I told him about you guys and he thinks its great how much we love Knucklehead! 

Please make good choices in class! I can’t wait to see you guys and tell you all about the conference! Be good and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Please comment and let me know how you’re doing! (I mean it, I really, really, really miss you guys!)


Stomp Out Bullying

Today we celebrated Stomp Out Bullying Day. Students were asked to wear blue to declare their support to “stomp out bullying”. Looking down the hall and seeing a sea of blue brought a smile to my face. In class, we continued to think about bullying when we listened to Patricia Polacco’s new book called Bully. We talked about what a bully is and we came up with a list of words and phrases describing a bully: Bullies are mean, selfish, hurtful. Bullies are unhappy themselves and that’s why they are mean to others. Bully’s hurt others physically, emotionally, or virtually.

The book gave us an opportunity to discuss our own experiences with bullies. We came up with some ways we can stop bullying…

Be nice. Stand up to the bully. Use humor. Ask an adult for help. Kill them with kindness.

We decided that we really liked Edmund Burke’s quote about bullying. He said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” We will not stand by! Bullies beware!


Bullying is...

Bullying is…





Illustration of bullying




Miss you

In my job, I am lucky enough to get some opportunities to work with other teachers in the county. For the past two days, I’ve been out of the classroom working with a group of amazing and inspiring English teachers. We’ve spent our two days sharing ideas and asking tough questions about the best way to teach reading and writing to our middle school students. The middle school-ers in this county are lucky to have such talented, kind, devoted teachers in your corner.

A drawback to this is I am pulled away from my students. I miss them. (I miss you guys!) Spending two days talking about how much fun we have together makes me miss you even more!

How are you guys? If you are reading this, please comment and let me know how things went these past couple of days. I’ll see you tomorrow!