What I Learned in March SOL #31

  1. I use too many adverbs in my writing.
  2. Life isn’t fair.
  3. Books and reading are the answers to most problems. (This one I might have known already but it is important.)
  4. I have enjoyed the process of blogging everyday.
  5. I enjoyed commenting and receiving comments.
  6. The consistent writing has kept me motivated for other writing projects.
  7. I will continue to read other bloggers that I have come to rely on for daily inspiration for thinking and writing.
  8. Having a regular time that I post on my blog was good for me. I will continue this practice.
  9. My job is inspiring to me in many different ways.
  10. I have support for my writing.
  11. I can ask for help.
  12. Podcasts give me writing ideas.
  13. I need to be more concise with my words.
  14. There are other people who enjoy the quirky topics that float through my head!

In My Purse SOL#30

I remember the magazine spread in Seventeen magazine where someone’s purse contents were arranged by a designer to get a peek into their life. I always had wished that it would look so artistic when I dumped my purse, but of course that never happened! My husband says he is afraid to go in my purse  – that something will bite him. 🙂 There are no live creatures but right now it contains:

-my wallet (of course) with all the necessities including pics of all my kids and my husband but no cash

– my phone

-my Kindle

-3 other books

-3 notebooks


-new earbuds

-gum, Rolaids

-a Lanyard from a TED talk event

-old jewelry I have been meaning to sell for the gold


-my lunch for today


Now that could be a story!

Normal? SOL #28

At lunch yesterday the topic of normal came up in conversation. The idea of normal and what it is has come up for me over the years many times.

I am not sure what normal is. Is normal a real concept or an illusion? I suppose normal is real to some degree. There is normal “for me”. I do not see myself as normal. I see things differently than other people and I have come to accept this fact over the years. 

I enjoy the alone time and solitude and that is normal for me, but sometimes hard for other people to understand. Ultimately it makes me recharged so I can continue to battle the world. I also need (lots of ) books and time for reading and writing. I need inspiration. This is normal for me. But then again, maybe typical is the right word.

Normal sometimes feels like only the setting on the dryer. Many events and rituals have changed for me over the past couple of years including major holidays. Those events have NOT been normal at all. There was a Thanksgiving I didn’t spend with family and I didn’t cook. The menu for Christmas Eve dinner changed 3 years ago when it had been the same my entire life – and I really needed it to stay the same that year.

Is normal a feeling? A set of events or patterns? What is normal to you?





Dreams SOL#27

I am fascinated by dreams. The dreams of the nighttime variety that is. I love to hear about what runs through peoples’ minds during the night. I used to be able to remember most of my dreams and would write them down. Many have become the nuggets of short stories lately since I am trying to create more. The weirder the better in my mind.

Sadly, the last few weeks I have not been able to remember any dreams at all.  They have been unsettling because I wake up with that strange feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Not a nightmare necessarily.

I pay attention to the lightness or darkness of the dream. I  have only dreamed of flying once. I have a reoccurring dream of witches that I have had since I was about 7. I have only dreamed about my Oma (grandmother) twice.

Do you remember your dreams?

ish…dot…ADHD SOL#26

After listening to the Scholastic Reads podcast with Peter Reynolds I have found a new way to amuse myself with acronyms.

His new book is called Happy Dreamer. It came from him listening to a panel of CEOs who didn’t fit in school and may have had ADHD. Peter changed it to Amazing Delighted Happy Dreamer…wrote a poem that turned into a book. I love these types of stories.

I cannot think of an acronym right now but all this week I will change the ones I come across into inspiring phrases!

Workshop Wednesday SOL#23

As a coach, part of my responsibility is to provide professional development to my teachers. Due to scheduling issues and other unforeseen circumstances my PD time has been consistently cut over the course of the school year. The conversations at school have centered around thinking ahead to next year and I was thinking how I could solve this problem. My solution became WORKSHOP WEDNESDAYS.

I am fortunate to be in a middle school where my teachers have TEAM time and also individual plan time. I decided 2 Wednesdays a month during team time I would offer a workshop and let the teachers know the topic a few days ahead. Attendance is completely voluntary. In my past job, I did weekly mandatory PD and learned to love it. I thrive on professional conversation and truly enjoy it when it is with the people I work with everyday.

This week’s topic was Standards and Objectives. I work with a lot of veteran teachers so this information was review but it is nice to get a refresher and to also have action based conversation on what is going well, what the struggles are and then what next steps are. I have found that someone sharing an idea can jump start a teacher and lead to AH HA moments.

I started with a Braindrainer  – as I always do: you have to defocus to refocus.

The braindrainer was a short teach like a champion video and then a cartoon.

Image result for i've lost my mind and I am pretty sure the kids took it

The trends chart was next: what the teachers already do well with objectives and what the struggles are in reference to objectives. We briefly talked about next steps to use while moving forward based on this information.

I always include a slide about what I am reading. I feel that if you want the students to read you must share your own reading life. If I want teachers to do it, I need to model for them just like I would do with students. If you don’t read books, then it can be articles you read, websites, journals, etc. They just need to see that you are reading. I talk about e readers and “real” books as well.

Of course, I had a clear objective for the teachers and what the evidence would be of their learning after the workshop was over. I always have research and data. Then I had a model lesson and some student work from students in my building. It was even mentioned in one session that I drop Marzano’s name…a lot! I have the tendency to drop researcher names like I truly know them – many I have actually met, but I don’t text them!

I always talk about CRITICAL ATTRIBUTES as well – those things that if you do nothing else MUST DO. There are usually about 3 of them for each session.

Handouts included the exit ticket, examples pages for the modeled lesson, and a handout with the 4 M’s written out.

The conversation was fantastic and I am hopeful for great things moving forward. My plan was to do these workshops bi-monthly, but the emails have already started to come in for weekly.

Today is one of those days I love my job!



Word Wednesday SOL #22

I annotate my own reading and especially like to make lists of new vocabulary.

Some favorite words that I have come across and I am trying to incorporate into my personal vocabulary are:

  1. alacrity – cheerful readiness/ promptness or willingness
  2. pontificate – to express your ideas in a way that is pompous
  3. elucidate – to make clear, explain

Vocabulary is fun! Do you have favorite or new words you are trying to incorporate?