Monday, April 5, 2021

Summer Reading List

I learned to read at an early age, but I was a reluctant reader in school. I don't know why, I resisted reading a chapter book and I always used the book jackets to write book reports. In elementary school I scored in the upper percentiles on achievement tests, but my grades did not reflect that. Teachers would write comments on my report card, "must work harder". I didn't know how to work at schoolwork. I remember how much my Mom helped me study geography when I had chicken pox, missed a week of school and got behind. Now I love geography, but in 3rd grade, it was hard.

My sixth grade teacher brought me adventure comic books to encourage me to read. I read the adventures of Robinson Crusoe and "Last of the Mohicans". But I didn't pursue other opportunities. The first summer, I actually was engrossed in a long book was the summer I was 12 or 13. I remember laying on  a pallet under the big oak tree in our back yard, reading and crying as I read. The book was "Gone With the Wind". It seemed to be the perfect timing between my age and the sweet summer to read a conflicted love story. Now I have shelves filled with books I love and have read most of them. There is still an occasional book that I start, but don't finish.

So you can understand why I was successful working with reluctant readers and writers. I know their frustrations of starting and reluctance to finish a task. Whenever I have the opportunity, I encourage teachers to include writing tasks with lessons. Project Learning Tree compiled a short list of books to encourage kids to read during the summer. I would like to share the link in hopes that the reader is challenged to encourage kids to use some of their time this summer to fall in love with reading in a way that I finally did.

Here is the first book:


Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Slice of Life 4/14/2020

I’ve missed the camaraderie I feel when writing the daily Slice of Life during March and it’s so much more. Today as I began reading the Tuesday slices, I realized how much I’ve also missed being involved with teachers in the learning process. It’s free professional development that keeps me coning back. Today I followed links to new sites. I was encouraged to began writing a short story after reading about the latest kid lit challenge. I’d put off writing the story since Sunday when I created the painting.

But this challenge required using a gif and included links to make a gif. I have never done this. On Twitter I see other gifs and I’ve wondered where to find them but I had not asked anyone. So I followed the links and attempted to make a gif using my painting. It’s crude but it has movement!

So, thank you to everyone who participates in Tuesday SOL challenges! Thanks for allowing me to be current in my learning. Thank you for allowing me to be involved in the learning process. Thank you for sharing your stories.

If you want to read my short (150 word) story and view the painting and gif I created you can visit my other blog here:

Tuesday, March 12, 2019


I stopped using Blogger because I was having too much difficulty commenting on the slices of others. I created a Word Press site, that works wonderfully until I try to comment on a site that uses Google. Arg. I type my comments, try to sign in with my name and url for the Word Press blog and attempt to post the comment. I get error messages that I don't understand how to correct. I try again. I know, doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity. It is making me a bit crazy. I try a third time and completely lose my comments. Finally I give up, knowing full well I can't meet the comment challenge. Oh, well, I'm doing the best I can.

I miss this blog. I will try to use it more frequently and reserve the other site for my professional writing activities

Saturday, March 31, 2018

#SOL 2018 Day 31 Thank you, slicers.

I am enriched by this year’s SOL writings.
I missed writing a few days because I was host to cousins for a week.
Reading the posts gave me so many great ideas for writing.
People shared books that I want to read.
I’ve learned about teaching strategies I’d like to apply.
I’ve enjoy reading about teaching from different perspectives.
I’m reminded how difficult it is to raise a family while working full time.
And how much that wonderful struggle really is what life is all about.
Thanks goes to all the creative slicers.
Thank you for thoughtful writing.
Thank you for the inspiration to write.
Thank you for comments.
I’ll try to participate weekly.
Because I enjoy the rewards of being a part of the writing community.

Friday, March 30, 2018

#SOL 2018 Day 30 Family reunion by the numbers

25 immediate Family members visited with
10 extended family members during 
7 Days in March

10 Meals were shared at my house
1 meal at a cousin's house
1 meal at a sister's house
1 meal eaten at Mel's Diner

250 miles traveled
Visited 2 schools, 6 cemeteries and 3 old home places

2 thirty-four inch diameter tree cookies collected from a red oak
10 ten inch diameter tree cookies collected from a poplar
2 eight ft. red oak logs collected, loaded and then 1 unloaded

0 slice of life posts during that week

Thursday, March 29, 2018

#SOL 2018 Day 29 Homework

Apple released several new educational products this week. My son (computer engineering degree) was so excited. He couldn't wait to tell me about the products. They were about managing student learning, ideas that he talked about when he was in 5th grade. We finally watched the release video together. The products were enticing me, I want to teach again. I want to work for Apple, promoting the educational products to educators in rural schools around me.

But I digress.

The end of the presentation included an advertisement Apple created to promote these new products. In the background a man is reading the poem, Homework. We have that very poem still taped to his old desk. He copied it during a 3rd grade handwriting lesson. It can't be just a coincidence. I believe my son really was a forward thinking child.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

#SOL 2018 Day 22 Borrowed idea from another slicer!

Thanks to this blogger for an excellent idea:
Stopping by an English class on a random day

My childhood tasted like
Corn, green beans and tomatoes fresh from the garden
Strawberries picked from the local strawberry farm
Cantaloup and watermelon from our truck patch
Chicken and dumplings or fried chicken on Sunday

My childhood sounded like
Pigs squealing, cows bawling, push mower cutting grass
Sisters singing in church, Grandma praying, Gramps telling stories 
On the road with Charles Curalt, sounds from the Vietnam War, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan, Marshall Dillon on Saturday nights at Grandpa's in the dark

My childhood smelled like
Fresh cut grass, cotton blooms, and milkweed pods
Mom's oatmeal cake baking, catfish bait, cow piles and hog troughs
Hollyhocks, peonies, zennias, milkweed pods, surprise lillies 
Bunny Bread baking as we drove past, grilled onions on hamburgers at Kirby's

Summer Reading List