Busy, busy week

Is it Friday already? This week, we took a standardized reading test. The next two days there was a substitute teacher. Finally, we spent our next two days wrapping up learning about genres and pre-writing. Happily, we returned to the read aloud. Hearing about Melody from Out of My Mind inspires us all. Finally the week ended with some recess we earned. I can honestly say that we are all looking forward to getting back to our routine next week.

Reminder: Scholastic Book Orders…extended one day. Orders will be submitted Monday after school.


We tested today, so there isn’t much to report. We spent the entire block in the computer lab. We did get a chance to read through Friday’s post and the many, many comments. We are excited and overwhelmed and planning on how we can top that. We want to say thank you for taking the time to read our writing.

Also, I am not going to post again until Thursday. Please come back. It pains me to break for a few days, but it’s unavoidable. Enjoy the next couple of days.

Writing like Hemingway


We’ve spent lots of time prewriting. Today we searched through all of our prewriting efforts to fish out just the right topic. We wrote today. We wrote about ourselves. We decided to take the same challenge that Ernest Hemingway once took…write a complete story in six words. Our six word stories will be about ourselves, so of course they are memoirs. The writing impressed me, made me laugh, and brought tears to my eyes. We will post our finished products very, very soon!

Please come back soon and read our writing…

Can you tell your story in only six words? We’d love to hear it! Please add your six word memoir to the comments on this post!

Coming attractions…

OK, here’s the good news: I am blogging on a regular basis and the even better news: students (and hopefully others) are reading this blog. That makes me happy. Writing for an audience makes this more exciting. I’ve had some requests from students to begin their own blogs. That will be coming soon…

Bad news: I didn’t take any pictures today and even worse news, I’m so tired that I don’t have much to say about today. It was a blur! Many different things are happening in each of my classes. We discussed golden lines and searched for them in our read aloud. We wrote again. We talked about what good writers do. I have more to say about each of these topics, but not tonight. Tonight, I need a break. I need a rest. Before I go, there are a couple of things I’d like to preview:

Coming soon…

For my student authors, check this out:    Northern Virginia Writing Project Saturday Workshops for Young Writers

For my readers: Are you looking for books? Try    Scholastic Book Clubs

Good writers…

Golden lines…

Heart maps…

more from Writer’s Notebooks…


Thanks for your understanding! Have a great night!


Library! HOORAY, we get to go to the library!

First of all, let me apologize for not blogging yesterday. I was home sick and did not get a chance to get on the computer. Happily, I’m feeling so much better today. Today was a busy day in room C10. We visited the ERMS Library for the first time this year! Woo Hoo! Students got to meet our two librarians…


Mrs. Bryden-Miller

Mrs. Bryden-Miller


Mrs. Sabik

Mrs. Sabik

We learned about library procedures and got our first chance (as a class) to search for books! We will go to ERMS Library every week. Thank you to our enthusiastic, kind, and knowledgeable librarians. This will be a great year!

The Case of the Classroom Clock

During first block today, I noticed a strange occurrence. There was a clock hanging on the back wall.


When did this clock appear?

As I sat up front and monitored the class working on finishing up some assignments, I gasped, “Where did that clock come from?” Abigayle looked at me with a puzzled expression and asked, “What do you mean?” I explained how that clock hasn’t worked for the past two years. Earlier this year, I tried unsuccessfully to get it repaired again. Instead of fixing it, someone decides to put new batteries in and within two hours it’s stopped again. So I did what I did last year, I took it off the wall and hid it. This year, I hid it on top of the wardrobe under a beach ball and papers. “Oh, I know! I bet someone replaced it. The broken one is probably still back there.” I stepped to the wardrobe and…the clock was GONE!  What happened? I couldn’t figure it out. It’s the case of the classroom clock.

In other news, we are getting into Out of My Mind. This is our read aloud by Sharon Draper. It’s the third year in a row I’ve read this book aloud. Melody is the main character and narrator of the story. She’s one of my all time favorite characters because of her strength and sense of humor and her perseverance. I can’t wait for the students to meet other characters like Mrs. V and Dr. Hugely!

Thank you for continuing to read the blog!

P.S. I spoke to Mrs. O’Brien after school (She teaches Language Arts in Room C8.) and I was telling her about the clock. I noticed her clock was not working. She said it was working yesterday. Hmmm, do you think someone switched our clocks? Can you solve the case of the classroom clock?


Where have I been? Have I been on tropical beaches relaxing with ice cold lemonade? Have I been traveling the globe in search of exciting new adventures? Sadly, no. I’ve been at home….avoiding writing. (See, even teachers do this sometimes.) It’s been a tough summer. My dog had a malignant tumor and needed surgery. He is home recovering. Happily, he will be back to his old self soon.


Leo recovering from surgery


So that’s where I’ve been and now I’m back! Currently, I’m working on my bibliography for the Shenandoah’s Children’s Literature Conference and I’m beginning to plan for 2012-2013 school year. I’ll be around more often, I promise. I’ve missed writing.

Happy Summer!

Making Time to Write

I have to say I love the fact that we are making time to write as opposed to finding time. Lack of time is such a common complaint, especially with teachers. This has been on my mind all day. Another camper talked about going to the library in her town. I adore my town library and rarely go. That’s what I’m going to do. Find time to go. I’m still in school this week (and part of next), so I am finding time to schedule my summer: writing, walking, reading, pool time, etc. Being thoughtful and purposeful in planning my time will help me use it wisely. Thanks, for a great first post!