Tuesday, April 2, 2019


After several days of research, I decided to try
Genius Hour
in my first-grade class.

The plan: Told them on Wednesday morning- we will each think of a topic we're interested in/ would like to learn about, then on Friday we'll have time to learn about whatever we want!
Told them again Wednesday afternoon and again Thursday morning...building the hype!

What actually happened: Made a chart while asking each kid individually because I wanted their real thoughts, not "He took mine" as usually happens in whole group. Got some great questions/ topics and a few from a previous Growth Mindset activity- I want to learn to do a backflip/ cartwheel type things,

The plan: We will have a themed Show and Tell (more hype!) and bring something that shows we are a genius. This is not an opportunity to bring a toy to school. Repeat: Do not bring a toy!

What actually happened: One girl brought a toy, of course.
     Only two other children (out of twenty-six) "remembered" (written in their agenda- parent's sign each evening) to bring anything- a hand-drawn picture of Slenderman and a picture of Gravedigger.

The plan: I displayed a large selection of nonfiction books on the carpet.

What actually happened: I called them in "weekly order" to choose a book. The Slenderman artist was very excited about a large picture dictionary but someone else chose it so he threw a major fit. He had to leave the room for the next 20 minutes. I gave their purpose for reading- learn something interesting! After nine minutes of incredibly focused Read-to-Self, they each wrote a sentence about their learning and illustrated it. Except for the guy who chose the picture dictionary. He didn't write anything.

The following Friday

The plan: No hype. I put animal nonfiction books, a space book and the picture dictionary on the carpet. 

What actually happened: Someone else chose the picture dictionary, T started to throw a fit but I explained that he would not get his popcorn treat. He calmed right down and chose a dolphin book. They were really interested AGAIN, wrote a sentence and illustrated.

Next Friday
The plan: We're having a Art Genius Hour! Watercolor paint, Bingo daubers, mosaic shapes, stickers and markers. Can't wait to see what they come up with!

Friday, March 15, 2019


     My regular exercise routine includes Leslie Sansone's Walk Away the Pounds videos with weights, laps around school on my breaks and my favorite- walking around our community trail. It helps maintain my weight loss from a few years ago, but my waist is still thicker than I'd like.
     An ad popped up while playing Candy Crush and instead of ignoring it as usual, I installed it! Eight-Minute Abs- a twenty-eight day program with 11 different toning exercises- 30 seconds each with 15 second rest breaks in between. It seemed easy-ish on Tuesday, but the past two days have kicked my tail. Planks, lunges and squats. Squats where you jump.
     It also has a pedometer. I carried my phone during my laps. Before lunch, it said I was 200 steps away from burning off calories equal to a hamburger. Pretty cool.
     The next program I plan to try is supposed to make your hiney look like a peach. We'll see how the abs turn out and go from there.

Saturday, March 9, 2019


We're celebrating my mom's birthday today. Which reminds me...

Since last March I celebrated my 50th birthday.

My 50th birthday like all previous birthdays, the big one,
     highly anticipated, best day of the year
My 50th birthday during which I attended a funeral so I dressed up
     wearing a shorter than usual dress with 3/4 length sleeves
My 50th birthday when unfortunately I came in contact with bedbugs
     which ate me alive but only on the back of my thighs and wrists-
     the exposed areas from the aforementioned dress.
My 50th birthday. The one where my mom says I get a do-over.

Follow-up: The school nurses looked at each other knowingly when I named the funeral home, as if they'd dealt with this before. But in their defense, I also hugged a lot of people, rode in a rental car and ate at a church dinner. A few uncomfortable, itchy days and a prescription of steroid cream and I'm good as new!

I borrowed this awesome Since last March...format from fellow Slicer Elizabeth and have many different topic ideas. Just you wait and see! I think it would be a perfect pre-writing activity with my kiddos for a 1.4 paragraph.

First-grade teeth...2018 slice
Slices 2016 and before

Friday, March 8, 2019


Yesterday I woke up at 4:00 for school.
Today I slept until 5:50 when the call came for a snow day!

Yesterday I rushed around getting ready.
Today I fried bacon and French toast and ate in my jammies slowly.

Yesterday I read with 20 kids (five were absent)
Today I read by myself slowly.

Yesterday my friends and I talked face-to-face and laughed.
Today we texted and laughed.

Yesterday I folded laundry.
Today I folded laundry.

Link to last year's slice
And previous years

Thursday, March 7, 2019


Frozen pizza and Diet Coke for breakfast
Twelve computers logged in
RtI cancelled
Read The Dot
Practiced /ea/ words
Sorted /ai/ /ay/ /a_e/ words
Peanut m&ms and water for lunch
Playtime in the gym 
Counting, addition, subtraction, missing addend,
graphing, shapes in Math
(Love my new book- spiral review like Saxon)
Wrote a sentence
Computer time
Weekend food bags sent home today 
in anticipation of snow
Happy regular Thursday!

Wednesday, March 6, 2019


     We're reading Wild Robot Escapes, the sequel to Wild Robot which I discovered during Global Read Aloud a few years ago. My kiddos and I are extremely attached to the characters. As a Before reading activity, I suggested they decide whether this story touches their heart or their funny bone. We sort our #bookaday read-alouds this way often, so I knew they could handle it.
     Here are my two favorite journal entries:
     The sentiment is there- they agreed about how sweet the story is, like the original and playing hide and seek. Both boys ALSO thought the story touched their heart, literally. If you haven't deciphered first-grade handwriting lately, it says "Gross," "Skwert," and "This is weird," while actually touching a heart. They crack me up. I love my job!
Previous slices featuring a favorite format- Yesterday, Today!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019


     Back to school after a five-day weekend! Caught up on stuff from last Thursday. Felt like Monday so forgot ice cream twice- didn't take up money until after Block, then didn't eat it. Thank goodness, there's always tomorrow.
     Proud to say my middle readers are building skills and improving. Still concerned about lower readers- more than usual. Lots of absences, sleepy, low motivation. But we'll keep at it for 55 more days.
Meal-prep Slice I'd forgotten about the Safety PD. 
Good stuff to learn but thankfully, haven't used it.
Links to previous Slices 

Sunday, March 3, 2019


Memories and Moments

I'm enjoying looking back at previous slices from each day.
Wonderful memories! 

     My Operation Christmas Child Shoebox theme this year is Fun! I'll still include a few useful items like tote bags but emphasize toys and novelty stuff. 

     Colton plans to participate in Track this Spring with Special Olympics. Anything to keep us moving, especially outside. He started Bowling earlier this year, but we didn't finish out the season. 

Today's moments that will become memories...

     After church, we went to World of Wheels Car Show in Huntington, WV.

     Then, Red Lobster! Bill ordered Coconut Jumbo Shrimp as an appetizer. It came with the most amazing Pina Colada dipping sauce- sweet and yummy. I found the copycat recipe online.

     It snowed all day today and started sticking about 3:00. Big pretty flakes. Maybe one more snow day tomorrow?

Saturday, March 2, 2019


Happy Saturday!
Why is it such a Happy Saturday?

We slept in until 7:00 am!
As I'm aging (50!) I'm sleeping less and less,
often awake by 4:00 am.
Makes for a long day...

My mom made Mexican food for lunch!
Chicken fajitas, beef nachos
and homemade salsa.

Dad and I went to Mardi Gras Casino 
for about an hour. 
I had $5 free-play and won $80.

Friday, March 1, 2019


     Still in our jammies! A rainy, cozy day. So much flu/ strep in our county that school was cancelled again so everybody can recover. No sickness at our house so we're just enjoying! Planning to take some stuff to Goodwill, get a few groceries and maybe a haircut.
     Here's a pic of my Temperature quilt so far...
January and February's weather
in Grayson, KY
according to accuweather.com
March is certainly coming in like a lion!

Link to seven years 
of starting strong with Slicing