Saturday, January 25, 2014

Celebrate we will because life is short but sweet for certain

Discover. Play. Build.

For the first time, I am linking up with another blog! I will be joining Ruth Ayers and her weekly link-up, Celebrate this week. Check out all the other celebrations HERE!

As I was scrolling through the other Celebration posts, I came across this quote on Mrs. Knott's Book Nook. These words resonated with me and thought they were a perfect way to start this celebration post. 

"It's always good to end the week on a positive note.  Sometimes we concentrate on the negatives.  We have a choice.  Choose positive.  Choose to celebrate."

Here is what I am choosing to celebrate this week:

Celebration #1: My mom to the rescue! My boys were sick all week with a yucky virus that included runny noses, congested coughs and sleepless nights. I had to take Tuesday off from work and my husband took Wednesday off to care for the boys. And my mom, the saint she is, offered to watch the boys on Thursday and Friday. She made our lives so much easier for those two days. I want to celebrate the fact that she left her house at 6am to be at our house for 7am. She then proceeded to not only watch and spoil the boys, but fold 5 loads of laundry and put the laundry away! She cleaned up the playroom, put dishes away, and had dinner waiting for me when I got home. My mom, or Nonni as my boys call her, played all day with Drew and Nolan. They made tents on the floor, nests in their beds, and had dance parties. I don't know how she had the energy to do that all!! I would be lost without her! Family is everything. My family is so blessed and lucky to have my mom to support us and help when sicknesses invade our home! 

Celebration #2: On Friday, I got to spend the day with four fabulous ladies to revise Unit 4 for our ELA curriculum. Usually these days are long and can get a bit monotonous- but not with these four amazing educators. We found a great balance between tweaking the curriculum and telling funny college stories! But what was most amazing, was the way we all collaborated. We shared resources. We thought deeply about what we wanted our students to understand by the end of the unit. We read aloud from the following picture books: Nelson Mandela, Brick by Brick, and Brave Girl Clara. We read aloud from novels, such as One for the Murphy's, and  The Great Wall of Lucy Lu. We wanted to find the perfect books, and passages within those books, that would have an impact on the students as readers and help them understand how characters are changed by conflict. We also scrutinized the photography in Little Rock Girl 1957:How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration to develop ways to incorporate these powerful pictures into our instruction. We thought about ways to incorporate specific strategies from Notice and Note and Falling in Love with Close Reading. Together, we chose specific short stories, poems,  historical fiction and information text to use to teach these strategies.  It was also so cool to really dive into Lucy Calkin's Units of Study and align some of the writing lessons and resources into our curriculum.  I feel so lucky to work with such a great group of colleagues that truly want to do what is right by kids. They want to push the kids, but all the while encouraging them to take risks and love their new learning. When the unit was done, we looked at our work and said, "Wow! This is a really long unit. It is jam packed with so many rich learning objectives and activities! We love it! The kids are going to love it!" I think I echo the sentiments of the group by saying, we all can't wait to start teaching this unit next week! 

Celebration #3: My youngest still likes it when I rock him to sleep at night when he has trouble sleeping. Nolan is going to be two in a few months and is still my little peanut. I love the fact that when I hear "I want my momma!" coming from his room, I magically forget what I need to get done as far as chores and school work, and I melt when I pick him up. He snuggles onto my chest, sighs and says, "Momma!" Tonight, I just stood in the middle of his room and rocked back and forth, holding him tight, as he fell back to sleep. It is these small moments I will treasure forever!

Celebrate #4: Drew, my oldest, is overcoming his fear of skating. He always gets nervous when he is going to try something new. He started ice skating lessons a few weeks back. The first lesson was a disaster- but each week has gotten progressively better. And this week-  according to my husband- he has gotten so good- he actually falls to get attention from the skating instructor! I am so proud of Drew for not giving up and really trying his best! I am also proud of me and my husband for not giving into Drew when he screams, "I don't want to go to skating! Nooo!" The will power of a 4 year old is amazing! 

Celebration #5: I get to go back into my colleagues room on Tuesday to finish my last lesson with Falling in Love with Close Reading. I was able to go back in this week to visit with the students and check in with them. Meetings, trainings, and my sick day kept me out of their classroom this week. :(  I felt so guilty about that because I did not want to leave them without having a closure to our time together. However, one student Kyle, who was a reluctant participant in the lessons at times, shyly said, " When are you coming back to teach us? That was AWESOME!" All the kids wanted to share with me the songs they were listening too, the books they were reading, and the commercials they had seen. They all wanted to show me their work using the different reading lenses. These students are absolutely amazing and I cannot wait to join their class again! 

Celebrating the positives we experience during the day and the week is important. We can get lost in negative energy. I feel better about my week having written this- and I hope to carry the same positivity into the new week! 


  1. There are so many celebrations that slip through the cracks of a busy life. It is a great feeling to reflect on the celebratory moments of the week. Welcome to this Saturday fun! Keep celebrating!

  2. Welcome to join the celebrations! Your week had so many celebrations! When my daughter was young, I was always so grateful for family and friends who came to my rescue many times when she was sick or did not have school when I did. Here is to more celebrations next week!

  3. Welcome to Saturday Celebrations and to the blogging world. I enjoyed going back and reading your "beginning." I look forward to reading more for you!

  4. Thank you all so much! Have a wonderful Sunday!

  5. Yea for concentrating on the positives! When you refocus like this it always makes you feel that the week ended well. Thanks for the shout out!