Sunday, April 28, 2019

Short/Long A Word Sort *FREEBIE!*

Just a quickie today to say my HUGE Word Sort Bundle just got WAAAAY more organized and easy to use on TpT!

If you check it out and download the preview, you can get the short/long A sort for FREE!

All is on sale for 20% off until Tuesday too!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Relationships Matter!

Relationships matter.

We all know this.

"Kids don't learn from people they don't like!" is one of my favorite quotes from Rita Pierson.  Relationships matter!

And, even though we all know this, sometimes, in the heat of a stressful moment (or even just the stresses of the day-to-day!), frustration shows or we just can't hold that smile another second.  The relationship doesn't go away, but it gets strained or in need of repair.

I've been in education for a long time.  I've been the teacher for a lot of kids.  And I know relationships matter!

BUT- that was made so clear to me this week with one of my sweeties.

This is a little one with a personality very similar to mine.  We're both strong, independent, with a dash of sass and stubbornness.  It makes me happy for her, because I know she's going to grow up to be outspoken, confident, and able to make good decisions for herself.  But... sometimes, our personalities aren't in sync and we butt heads a little.

Earlier this week, we were sitting on the floor in our little math group.  Me, her, and a handful of other students.  The other students were working hard, pencils flying across their pages.  She was sitting there, book closed, singing.  And I was tired of asking her to follow expectations.  So, I just joined in with her song.

Her face lit up.  (Probably shocked her teacher knew the lyrics!  But, this teacher is hip.  And really in to music.)

She scooched a little closer to me and we just quietly smiled and sang that song while our other friends were working.   (Incidentally, it was a great song- "Talk" by Khalid.  What can I say?  The girl's got taste!)

The song ended.  The math round ended.  I gave the signal for all to pick up and transition to the next activity.  The day went on.

A little while later, she came to me and told me she was going to follow expectations for the rest of the day.  That, when we walked to the buses for dismissal, she wouldn't climb on "that black thing" (a bike rack) or walk in the grass like she usually does when I ask her to walk with our class on the sidewalk.  She said, "I'm going to listen to you for the rest of the day and I am going to follow all of the expectations."  I hugged her.  Told her that she should feel proud to for making such responsible choices.  I told her how I couldn't wait to see her following expectations tomorrow too.  And she said, "Yeah.  I think can do that!".

I'm already thinking about the next song I can sing with her so we can keep building that bond.

If you've never watched the Rita Pierson TED Talk, please watch it!  So powerful and so true.

Think of that kiddo with whom you may need a relationship boost.  How can you do it?  Something so small as noticing a new haircut, a sports rivalry (I had the BEST rivalry with some kiddos who are now in middle school!)... even joining in to sing a song because you just don't want to argue anymore.  Little things make a difference.  And little differences add up to big changes!

Never forget the power you have build that relationship.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

When Someone You Love Dies {Personal Post}

I usually like to keep things school related over here on the ol' blog.  But, this post is on my heart today- the 13th month since my dad has died.

My dad passed away last year in March, completely unexpectedly.  And, to say that the last year has been hard, is an understatement.  When someone dies, we naturally search for the "WHY"... knowing WHY this happens could at least help rationalize it.  And, when a death is unexpected, a WHY is even more important... especially when there absolutely isn't one.

I'm a reason seeker and a symbol holder.  I like to say I'm not superstitious or one who looks for "signs" everywhere, but I am and I do.

If you know me or my family personally, you know that the number 13 is kind of our "family number" and the number 413 is especially significant.

When my dad died last year, it was on March 13.  My dad liked to do things his own way.  He and I are very similar in that aspect.  I would never let him talk about him dying with me because, well, he was always going to be here- heck, he was only 61 years old.  Every time he would bring up any talk of this or want to talk to me about it, I would change the subject right away.  And my dad would always say, "When it's my time to go, it's my time to go."

So, him dying on the 13th, since it's our family's number... well, to me, it was his way of saying, "See?  I told you when it was my time, it was my time!"

Every month, on the 13, I think, "This is the __ month since my dad has gone," and I recently realized that on April 13, it will be the 13th month since he's been gone.

13 on 413.

You see, my dad's father was a prisoner of war during World War 2.  He escaped from the POW camp and was found and rescued by American soldiers on April 13.  So, this date (4/13) has always been significant in my family, started by my grandmother.  Her favorite Bible verse was Philippians 4:13, she wore jewelry with the number 13 on it, and took every sighting of 413 or 13 or any combination of those numbers ("Oh my!  Our dinner bill was $42.52 and 4 + 2 + 5 + 2 = 13!!!!!" <----- seriously, we all do it.) as a sign of love from God and her beloved husband.

So, this year, the fact that his 13th month gone falls on my grandmother's most celebrated day, 4/13, brings me more comfort that I can express.  There is no searching for a "why" when someone you love is gone.  There are no answers that can soothe the soul and no words that can explain away such a tragedy.  Nothing that stops the heart from aching or takes away that feeling of missing.  But for me, knowing my dad and how he always got the last word, the last laugh, and that stubborn smile... 13 months gone on 4/13 is just his style.  And it makes me feel a little better.

On this day, his memory burns a little brighter and the tears sting a little deeper.  But,  I think if he could have planned things like this, he may have.  He would have gotten a good smile out of it.

And, here's my tribute to him... he loved music.  He wrote it, sang it, played it... lived it.

So, last month on my spring break trip to Vegas, I got this for him.  The notes are D A D.

Here's to you, dad!  Love and miss you more than I can say!
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