Friday, April 17, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter Pictures and Art in the Valley

We have another successful year of Easter pictures.

Lucy's artwork was selected for Art in the Valley.  She was last selected two years ago and Toby was selected last year.  It's always nice to get a chance to see the art that is being made at various schools.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Touching the Ceiling

The PE teacher sent me a picture of Lucy making it to the top of the gym by climbing a rope.  She's one of the few people in her grade who can do it.  Amelia was very much anticipating her first time getting to do this, but was disappointed in her abilities.  One girl in her class was able to climb half-way, but "that's because she's practiced in gymnastics." :)  Toby was happy to get a little above the knot on the rope this year.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Reading and Curiosity

The keynote speaker this morning was Stephanie Harvey.

Here's a list of some of the quotes/ideas I took away.

Imagination doesn’t appear in the standards.
Wisdom begins in wonder.

Instantaneous access really changes your life.  What never changes is the need for curiosity.  What you really need to do is teach people to be curious. – Eric Schmidt

Schools drive the curiosity right out of them.

The more kids learn, the more they wonder.

I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious. – Einstein
It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry. - Einstein

Interaction is at the core of engagement. – Harvey and Goudvis

Whoever does the most talking in classrooms does the most learning.
Receive info, then process it.  Four minutes at the longest between turn and talk. 

Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder. – E.B. White

Inspire curiosity through images. 

Content changes. Evidence changes.  Pluto, for example.

The questions a student asks after reading a text are a better assessment than the questions that a student can answer about that text. – P. David Pearson

Why is it that the kids who need the most time to read get the least?

For every year kids are behind they need to read twice as much.

Thursday, April 09, 2015

MRA Conference

I am at the Massachusetts Reading Association Conference in Quincy for the next two days.  Attending some sessions as a teacher, some as a principal.  I've only been here listening to the keynote address by Georgia Heard for 45 minutes and already feel inspired.  If only all teachers could attend things like this, I believe it would lead to an increased enthusiasm for teaching.  It's hard to come back and try to inspire people with what you heard, first person is much better.

Tonight I get to see my brother also, which is great, and I'm spending the night at Lowell and Barbara's!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015


It's 2am in the morning and I just got home from work.  I was home from 4:15-5:30 this afternoon.  Then I headed out for two interviews followed by doing the report card comments for my class which are due in 7 hours.  I couldn't find my house key and Sam had locked the door so I had to knock on Lucy's window, but she let me in which is great and a definite advantage to having her downstairs.  When I forgot my key once before it took over an hour for me to get in the house because Sam sleeps so soundly.

I'm excited about the interviews.  It's great to have a good pool of candidates.

I'm also tired, yet feeling energized, probably because I had a coffee at 10:30. :)  But also because my third quarter report card comments are done, which means I only have one more set of report cards to do in the foreseeable future.  I'm looking at everything in my classroom now, as this is my last time to do it...sometimes that brings a feeling of relief, depending on the task/item, but mostly it makes me a little sad.  I'm thankful for this class of students.  I couldn't have asked for better ones to end my teaching career with.

I'm also discovering that I have much to learn about being a principal. I am not eloquent.  I am direct and logical without a lot of need for extraneous speech.  I think being eloquent as a principal is a good trait to have.  Is eloquence something one can learn?

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Grandparents' Day

Every two years our Elementary school has a morning where grandparents can come and hear a musical and then spend some time in the classrooms.

 What Amelia thinks she will look like when she is 100...

Monday, April 06, 2015

Happy Easter!

We had a wonderful Easter weekend, full of family.  Multiple egg hunts, delicious food, and a church service where we were able to proclaim that "He is risen!"

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Seelos Film Series

Have you heard about this?  Seelos Film Series at Holy Cross  Our neighbors told us about it.  Fairly recent movies shown for free, bring in your own snacks and enjoy the movies in an auditorium at Holy Cross.

Friday, April 03, 2015


Here are the books I have read recently:

The Art of Hearing Heartbeats I'd give this a 3.5/5.0.  I think the author tried too hard to create a surprising plot.

Yes, Please - This is Amy Poehler's book.  I don't know her at all and I didn't think the book was that great.  I read Tina Fey's book a long time ago and while I don't know her at all either, I thought her book was much better.

All the Light We Cannot See - I almost didn't finish this book because I really don't like WWII/Nazi books, but I did finish it, and it was excellent.  I'd give it a 4/5.

Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look - This was my favorite, definitely a 5/5.  Barbara originally loaned it to me and I ended up buying it for myself because there were so many pages I wanted to highlight.  I read it in one night and cried my way through it.  I think this will be a book that I take out occasionally just to read over the parts that I marked.  I don't think it was spectacular writing, it was just a book that I needed to read.  So if you read it and say, "Wow, that was awful", keep in mind I didn't recommend it for others. :)

Here's one part that I loved:

But what I needed was love, to wrap me up in its arms and tell me how beautiful I was and to make me laugh.  I needed a love that smiled.  And I needed to know that God was't my dad or my mum, but when you're little, he is.  He is the face of your loved ones.  But your loved ones make mistakes. And God doesn't.  That isn't something you can see, though, when you're nine years old.  Yet there are always glimpses.  There are those nights when your dad reads an extra story or sings one more song.  There are those thunderstorms when your mum lights candles and you all stand on the back porch and count the Mississippis after the rumble until the sky cracks with light.  There are fresh homemade carrot cakes baked for your birthday and homemade stockings stitched with your name on them and home-sewn dresses out of red velvet and there's your dad making you and your sisters a playhouse in the woods.  There are family trips in the tent trailer to the Maritimes and there are pets; Misty, my cat, and then our dogs: Argus, a yellow lab, and Christy, a quiet black Newfoundland who laid down when she ate.  There is cross-country skiing and tapping maple trees and going square dancing.  There is hot maple syrup on snow and there's the Harvest Festival.  But when you're young, you see the gaps more than you do the glimpses.  You see the hole more than the donut.

I am thankful for the glimpses my parents came me as I was growing up...

Thursday, April 02, 2015

April Fool's Day Pranks

Yesterday was an exciting day for me.  I love April Fool's Day!

Lucy slept  over my parents' the night before and I had promised not to do any tricks on Toby because he is still scarred from a few years ago, so that only left Amelia.

I put food coloring in her cereal bowl (under the cereal) so when the milk poured in it would turn blue.  This totally escaped her notice because we eat sugar cereal (gasp!) so the milk is normally some interesting color.  Then I put paper towels in her shoes.  This just made her angry because she's not really a happy person in the failures at home.

At school in just the first 10 minutes, I was able to get 22 people with the "Your shoes untied."  But again that's just boring.

One of my students brought me in a bag of pistachios that was actually a can of tuna.  Fun!  Then they put plastic bugs around the room which I pretended to be horrified about, and then they stuck on sticker on the back of my pants.  That one, I really was horrified about, so good for them. :)

My main trick for the day was I told my students that our classroom was special so the school was giving each of my students their own ipads to use for home and school.  I said I had a cart of them in the hall and I would call them out one by one to get it and put it in their backpack.  As each child came out I gave them an "Eye Pad".  Haha, I thought it was hysterical. Only one child in tears...

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Sixth Grade Invention Fair

Lucy participated in the Invention Fair this past week.  Her invention was the Book-Bright, books that glow in the dark, so you don't need a book light and you can read all night.

When you looked in the box, there was a glowing page of a book that you could read.  She created it by painting glow-in-the-dark paint onto the page.  She tried a variety of glowing materials and this was the best.

Monday, March 30, 2015


I worked over 65 hours last week.  By the end, I felt like I was in a fog.  This weekend was a much needed time of rejuvenation, no spas or massages, but rejuvenating just by spending time with my family, and not thinking about work.  I went to bed at 9:45 on Friday and didn't get up until 9:45 Saturday morning.  I woke up with a new appreciation for the world.  Do I sound dramatic? ;)  It felt dramatic.

This weekend Sam worked on Saturday, while the kids and I attended the Suzuki concert.  It's exciting to see Lucy moving up through the songs, she played all but two this time around.  Toby on the other hand played the same songs he's been playing for the past 3 years...I think he might be done cello at the end of this year, but don't tell him!

We went to West End Creamery for ice cream because it was opening weekend, even though the snow was falling.

Sunday Toby played at the DCU center one last time this season.  He had his personal best game, with an almost assist. :)    Lucy, Toby and Sam went to the last Sharks game they will probably ever go to because the Sharks are moving.  Toby got to skate out of the Shark head at the beginning of the game and fist pump the players, which seemed fitting, since that is one of the first things he did at the beginning of this season.

Now I'm getting a roast chicken ready for dinner, Lucy will be going to youth group, I'll be grocery shopping, and maybe Sam and I will watch a movie later.  Ah, normalcy.

I'm going to strive for better work/home balance this will be helped by having Friday off.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Lucy and her Great-Great-Great Aunt Myra Jane

Lucy was able to meet Myra Jane while she was on orchestra tour in Lancaster.  Myra Jane came to one of her concerts!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rock Climbing

This is apparently what happens in my home, when I'm not home.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


On Sunday I went to see a movie alone, the second time in my life.  I actually really enjoy going alone, part of it is the superiority feeling I get that I can go to the movies alone without dying of embarrassment. :)

I loved the Divergent book series, and really loved the movie.  (Thank you, Theo James.)  I thought Insurgent was just as good, if not better, and I'm looking forward to the final movie whenever it comes out.

Shailene Woodley & Theo James Get Ready to Wrap 'Insurgent'

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Providence Children's Museum

On Friday I took the kids to the museum.  This is my favorite museum, along with the Discovery Museum in Acton, if you haven't taken your children to either of these, you should.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Harry and David

My cousin sent me a surprise package of bakery items from Harry and David to congratulate me on my new job!  I loved the beautiful box and presentation, and the food was delicious.  The raspberry galettes were my favorite.

Friday, March 20, 2015

The American Girl Experience

On Wednesday, Amelia and I headed off the American Girl store in Natick for Amelia's first American Girl experience.  We had been planning this event since June so both of us were excited.

 Caroline got her ears pierced.  Amelia picked out the hair style she wanted her to have and the color of the ribbons.

 Amelia had to sign the form when it was all done to get her doll back.

 Looking through the menu she told me, "I feel like a grownup, looking through this menu...even though I can't read it."  She picked a root beer float, fruit fondue, and butterfly pasta.  We didn't have room for dessert.  They bring dishes for the dolls that you can keep and the napkin rings are hair ties that you can take home.

 The flower gets to go home too.  It's a set price menu, 16.95/person, which isn't bad for the amount of food and the experience, of course.

Then we did some window shopping in the store and came up with some things to add onto Amelia's wishlist.  She wanted to go to the mall also, so we walked around there a bit (saw the Easter Bunny) and headed home.

You don't have to hold your doll while you go!

We had a great time!