Thursday, March 31, 2016

#31 Twain's trunk

SOL #31 OUT OF 31 (yipee!!!)
Out of Twain's Trunk

One of my 5th graders was quietly reading a magazine which I noticed he pulled from a large manila colored envelope. I instantly knew it must have been a special magazine and was intrigued to find out more about it.  He nonchalantly explained that his grandfather gave him this envelope with a magazine inside to read. "Incidentally", there was an article in this antique magazine featuring his grandfather.  I quickly flipped to the article to read it.  It was titled, "Unpacking Twain's Trunk". Poised next to the title was a picture of this boy's grandfather posing with an old, large, antique trunk.  Inscribed on the top of the trunk were the words "Property of Samuel Clemens" (of course, we know him as Mark Twain---from our home state of Missouri) It seems my students grandfather had recently acquired a trunk thought to be the property of Mark Twain! Wow!! I stood in awe as I read and reread this article. The article claims there was even a stray gray strand of hair (with the picture to prove it) left behind in the trunk.  Forensic experts are analyzing it now.  They have had professionals examine every nook and  cranny of this crate.  They were able to trace the manufacturer back to the St. Louis are  in 1867.  Guess who was living in St. Louis in 1867. Yeap, good ole Samuel Clemens. 
So it seems this man has his hands on history. Oh how I would love to get a whiff of the stories this old box holds.  
Hey, maybe my student will bring it for show and tell!!
 I can only dream about that....or at least use that for a story idea!! 

(Sorry I didn't include my pictures of the magazine, article and other pictures of Twain's trunk. I wasn't prepared to write about this tonight and I left them at school)  

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

#30 Tired

#30 out of 31

Realized this challenge just about got the best of me

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

#29 Lullaby

S.O.L. # 29 out of 31

(Thank you to Joyce Sidman for the Lullaby poem idea)

My Little Girl's Lullaby

Now that the school day is done,
The other kids have all gone home
I wait for you.

The swirling letters in my head settle 
like quiet books on a shelf
My little legs can run no more
I sit and rest
I wait for you

My mind stops singing
My eyes stop blinking
I wait for you

My head is heavy
My body curls up like a snail in its shell
I can wait no more…..
This is how I found my tired Kindergarten daughter after school today.  
She had fallen asleep  as she was waiting for me to finish up in my room before we could go home for the day. 

Monday, March 28, 2016

#28 My Water Bottle

S.O.L. #28   out of 31

Since I am on Spring Break, I have been reluctant to write about topics too deep or  delve into a something too serious, or even think about something related to school. So when I saw Natasha post about her beloved water bottle, I unearthed my thoughts about my own water bottle.
 I borrowed the Best Thing Poem format from Joyce Sidman.

My Water Bottle

The best thing is its size;
not too big, not too small.
I don’t even know how many ounces it holds 
but size doesn’t matter anyway, right?

No, the best thing is it has a loop at the top
to clutch with only one finger as I rush out the door.
No, the best thing is its double wall
so doesn’t leave a puddle on my desk.

No, the best thing is its straw and spigot.
No  need to tip it up to take a sip.

No, the best thing is its plain, blue color.
It doesn’t pay homage to the “home team” nor
claim allegiance to a college
but everyone knows it’s mine.   

Sunday, March 27, 2016

#27 Time to Reflect

S.O.L. # 27 out of 31

Ahhh..Time to Reflect
A new wine from our local vineyard was released today. It is called Reflect.

Connect with a friend.
Deject the thoughts that I am not good enough.

Expect to relax.
Reject the idea that I should be doing something else.

Disconnect from all the chaos.
Re-set my mind.

Collect the tranquility.
Protect the peace and quiet.


Saturday, March 26, 2016

#26 Tantrum Trials

SOL # 26 out of 31
Tantrum Trials

I am dumbfounded at the tantrums our 5 year old has been displaying at home lately.  I am talking about  reverting back to the terrible-two phase, yelling and screaming, demanding and commanding, I -didn’t- get my- way tantrums.  I hear word from her teacher that she  studiously listens, learns, pays attention and maintains her composure all day long (even when others do not)  Then she gets home and some days she “loses her cool.”  However, my husband and I are trying a new approach her to meltdowns.
 It seems as soon as a child raises their voice, clenches their teeth & shouts loud commands, the adults respond the same way. They shout, “How dare you raise your voice at me”.   They command, “Go to your room young lady” and expect  for the child to magically change their behavior.

If our little one fell down, skinned her knee and was crying. We would rush to her side, ask what happened, offer to kiss it, apply a bandaid or whatever else is needed. Of course, we would acknowledge the hurt and give her  what she needs.
So that is the approach we are now  taking with our daughter. When she has an  upset or angry outburst, we stop what we are doing (generally we are occupied with a different task-cooking, phone, computer, etc)  We acknowledge feelings...frustrated, mad, upset.  Then ask, ‘What can I do to help?” Finally we try to provide her with what she needs. I’m not talking about caving in and giving her what she “wants” (ie ...the candy before dinner, to go to a friends house, etc) But realizing that she has some big feelings that she is having trouble dealing with.  Sometimes she just needs the adult brain to process though the problem with her or an offer of  other appropriate options, or a way to calm down,  or sometimes just a minute to be sad...or feel angry. Knowing that we all have these feelings and these feelings are ok to have.  

Oh believe me, in the heat of the moment, it is hard to control your own emotions and hard not to react and hard not to want to "make" her behave. But we know that none of those ways will give us a meaningful connection with our daughter nor will they teach her the skills that we want her to ultimately obtain so she can deal with big issues.
Wish us luck!

Friday, March 25, 2016

#25 Stingbug Book

S.O.L. #25 out of 31
The Stingbug Book
Stereotyping a Book; I judged a book by it's cover

Before bed, I tiredly asked my daughter to pick out a book to read.  She has a ton of books on her bookshelf in her room so I fully expected her to bring one of  her favorites, Dr. Seuss, Pete the Cat or If You Give a Dog A Donut or even Pinkalicious would've been fine (for the 1000th time).  But she was standing there holding a bug book. ?? What?? Yeap, a book about bugs. 
I know where she got it. It was from her brother's room. I had ordered the book from the Missouri Conservation Department when my son was  interested in identifying some of the strange bugs he had  captured a long while back.  But now she has it ? and wants to read it? before bed? really?  It even has a stinkbug on the cover.  ewww!!
All of these thoughts quickly flooded my head.  Even though I am sure my face and eyes held a sour grimace, I'm so glad I didn't let any of these words slip from my lips because we actually had a fabulous time reading this book together. 
At first, I thought I could get away with just thumbing through the book, looking and talking about the pictures. But no...she insisted I read the words to her. We read the fun fact and we read each section about the species, habitat, life cycle and food. There was even a ruler at the bottom of each page that indicates the relative size of each bug.  So we had an impromptu lesson on measurement that I was completely surprised she comprehended as well.  All in all, I am glad I didn't squelch her desire to learn about these bugs as much as I am glad I resisted the urge to squash the bugs that my son enjoys capturing.  

P.S. This spawned a trip to the local library in which she picked out more non-fiction books. This time about sports, space and dogs! Why not!?!