If you want to teach me to write, first you have to love me. ~AVI

Friday, January 28, 2011

Poetry Friday ~ My Book Spine Poem

For a while now I have wanted to play around with book titles to create a poem, aka a "Book Spine Poem". I may have first read about them at Elaine Magliaro's Wild Rose Reader one of my favorite blogs. Here is my first attempt. It is really quite fun even though it feels a little like cheating. Next time I will compose my book spine poem at school where most of my books live. Our classroom is in need of a bit of a make-over especially the class library. It will be the perfect time to try these poems with my students. Can't wait! I am bound and determined to keep up with at least Slice of Life Tuesdays and Poetry Fridays in 2011. It's been a busy week, so here's my Friday contribution. Head over to(just realized the round-up is at the blog mentioned above - perfect!) Wild Rose Reader for this week's gathering of poetry. ~Theresa

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Slice of Life Tuesday ~ My "OLW"

We are approaching the mid-year point in the school year. It's a good time to reflect, review, and reach new heights. We dust off the anchor charts from September and revisit those routines that have gotten a little rusty. After a refresher mini-lesson, most students are back on track and as I look around I realize many never veered off the path. This is what I need to do whenever I am feeling and sounding like I am singing the blues. Sure there are a few students who need a nudge or perhaps something a bit more intense. Today I completed my 24th benchmark assessment gathering new information that will guide me in my teaching, getting to know each of my readers a little better, celebrating each learner's growth.

Earlier in the month I choose my "OLW", one little word for 2011, a word that will guide me professionally and personally. As a lover of words this idea intrigued me. I pondered the possibilities as words tumbled around my mind. I narrowed it down. It needed to be effective. It should lead me on a journey. It needed to foster growth. I should select a verb. Grow, balance, focus, give, learn...Others were saying, my word chose me...hmmm, it wasn't happening. I was on my own. I needed to choose. I decided on reach. Sometimes I really do blow up a reasonable task. Hence the late night posting. It's time to tuck-in my tumbling thoughts and my tired self; tomorrow is another day to keep reaching.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Spaghetti Night

Really all I was wishing for last night was spot to plop down on the couch with my warm rice pack and blanket, but I had already postponed my cooking plans one day. The kids were coming for dinner tomorrow and were expecting sauce and meatballs. Once I got started, I was fine. I really do love cooking. There is something about putting on an apron and making a mess in the kitchen. Creating something that others enjoy eating gives me a sense that all is well in the world. I can comfort and nourish the ones that I love the most is nourishment for my soul. The wonderful aroma, the simmering, the stirring, ah… home cooking.
I was elbow deep in meatballs, kneading in the spices and parmesan cheese when my mind wandered back twenty five or more years. When we were first married and lived near our families, Sundays meant spaghetti and cards at my mother in laws. It was a group effort with the Italian aunts coming over early to help with the meatballs and sausage. There were discussions about seasoning, how much bread to add, and what size should we make the meatballs. It was a loud and lively setting. Each aunt had her own little trademark, a slightly different zip in the meatballs. Aunt Carmela even pinched off a smidgen and tasted the raw mixture. Raw hamburger and raw eggs in the same bite! That is where I draw the line. The meatballs and sausage had to brown, but not burn. This browned meat especially good HOT sausage gave the sauce the right flavor. The giant pot simmered all day with an occasional stir or sample taken. There was always plenty to go around and the dinner invitation was open to anyone who stopped by.
Today I am thankful for all I learned from these good cooks. I loved the ease and confidence to add a dash of this and that and lots more garlic. I grew up in house with lots of home cooked meals and opportunities to help out or try a recipe on my own. So I was comfortable in the kitchen, but it was my mother in law who taught me to experiment, to kick it up a notch. I like to bake also, but with baking following the measurements are much more critical. Cooking comes with a certain amount of creative freedom that empowers the cook. Bang, I’m Emeril!
Today I am thankful for spaghetti night at our house. Today I am thankful for five of us gathered around the table. Today I am thankful all I have learned and continue to learn. I didn’t take a bite of raw meatball mix and the sauce didn’t simmer all day, but I believe the aunts would be proud of the “Italian” in me.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Poetry Friday!

I was anxious to try the Monday Poetry Stretch from The Miss Rumphius Effect. It only took me all week to come up with a first draft. The challenge was to write about things lost and found. Some of the lines in my poem titled "Hope" came to me while I was walking earlier tonight. Really my hope was to get home before I was frozen solid! Head over to Irene Latham's fabulous blog at Live, Love, Explore for the poetry gathering. Happy 1st Poetry Friday of 2011!

Where have you gone?
I know you’re here
Surely I’d recognize you.
Why did you have to go?
Please don’t stay away too long
or wander far from home.

Could that be your tiptoeing
in the hall?
Is that you whispering in my ear?
I’d know your song anywhere.
Was that you I saw blooming
in the meadow?
I knew I’d recognize
your smiling face.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Slice of 2011

'Tis the season to set new goals, to resolve to do better, or to start fresh. I like Ruth's twist - she decides on intentions for the different areas of her life. Resolutions can have such a dreadful sound or invoke a feeling of failure when one knows deep down that often times our lofty goals are unattainable or so overwhelming that they are difficult to maintain. This realization, coupled with the lure of just the right word or words has nudged me to give it a whirl with "One Little Word" for 2011! After some pondering and tossing around a few words, I have chosen REACH. It is a good word for me personally and professionally. I have a tendency, especially during the school year, to hunker down in my own little world. In the fall, I thought more about balance and the importance of making room for all the puzzle pieces of our lives. It sounds like balance may have been a good word too, but I am going to go with reach. Reaching out more intentionally to others. Striving to reach students that may be particularly challenging to reach. Reaching out and staying in touch with loved ones. Reaching out of my comfort zone. Heading down some new trails. Paddling down some new creeks. Here's to reaching new heights in 2011.