Posts filed under ‘Teaching’

Health & Wellness

One of my favorite jobs at my school is my role of “Health and Wellness Coordinator.”

Here are a few things I’m proud of:

2010/2011: We had our first annual “Family Fun and Fitness Night.”  We have been going strong with one or two of these nights a year for the past 3 years now.

2011/2012: We added our first “Walking School Bus.”  Students and parents joined staff to walk to school from “bus stops” around our neighborhoods.  We are now up to 2 of these events a year, and many parents talk of these days as reminders of how great it is to start the day with a walk to school.  It has reduced traffic in our busy neighborhood and promoted healthy lifestyles.

2012/2013: We added a “May Marathon.” For 2 weeks in May, students clocked minutes of exercise.  Every 10 minutes of exercise was equal to a mile.  For every five miles exercised, students earned a charm on a necklace.  If a student earned 5 charms, they were celebrated as having completed a marathon.  Many parents wrote or told stories of how well this initiative worked to remind the whole family of the benefits of exercise.

Planned for 2013/2014: All of the above, with the addition of a teacher file in our school server of websites, apps, and ideas for promoting healthy lifestyles in the school.  We would also like to establish a bulletin board for photos of students and staff engaged in healthy habits.



July 31, 2013 at 9:25 pm Leave a comment

Graduation Quotes

Yes, I have no pictures. I have no pictures today! (only words!)

Here are some quotes from our graduation ceremony (it’s not the most significant of graduation years, but it was nice nonetheless).

There are shortcuts to happiness. Dancing is one of them. – Vicki Baum

Don’t let education get in the way of your learning. -Mark Twain

You gotta have fun. Regardless of how you look at it, we’re playing a game. It’s a business, it’s our job, but I don’t think you can do well unless you’re having fun. – Derek Jeter

And, said by the light of our classroom, “I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.” -The Little Engine that Could. (This student has autism. He has many special learning needs, and he reminds me constantly that so do we all. He has taught me more in this year than I could ever hope to teach any student).

A room without books is like a body without a soul . – Cicero

Money doesn’t make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million. – Arnold Schwarzenegger

Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened. – Dr. Suess

These children who recited these words tortured us for weeks in rehearsal, but rose, as they always do, for the occasion. It was a lovely ceremony and their words were so well suited and chosen. I will miss this crew.

June 25, 2008 at 12:27 am 2 comments

Poetry Inspiration

More poetry to come! 6 comments – I’m probably going to get picked up by advertisers now!

Em was even moved to share SPRING poems – check out the comments for poems you can really relate to this time of year.

We’re starting our poetry unit in school so stay tuned. 11 year olds have terribly angsty voices in their own poetry, but love to read poetry that makes them laugh. We have a reader a day come in and share a favorite. I’ll fill in the gaps (didn’t get many volunteers yet) with ee cummings and Em!

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with Baba Israel!

May 3, 2008 at 11:35 am Leave a comment

National Poem in your Pocket Day

They did it! My students really showed up with poems in their pockets!

Ok, so I assigned it for homework. It wasn’t an option. They’re too cool to do anything like that on their own right now. Everything must be forced, like spring paperwhites.

My favorite was this one: it suited the boy who chose it so very perfectly:

GARDENER by Shel Silverstein
We gave you a chance
To water the plants.
We didn’t mean that way–
Now zip up your pants.

April 17, 2008 at 11:25 pm 6 comments

How Bad Could It Be?

 . . . to tell a work story now and then?  Goodness do I have stories. All I really seem to do is work these days, so it’s all I have!

Nah, It’s just not worth it.  I would be tempted to add pictures, and that would be a gateway drug to angrams of names . . .

But I did go to a conference on Saturday that had a session on blogs that I will write about.  The presenter was pretty low-tech.  She admitted to only texting herself.  But she had learned from blogs the way kids will write in the future.  It won’t be in a “report” “narrative” “memoir” kind of box, she said.  Their writing will have links to songs, artwork, videos, poetry, friends, research.

Unlike this entry.

My job, to start to find ways for them to do this in school.  Again. . . how bad could it be?


Back to writing about food and books and Long Island.

March 31, 2008 at 12:05 am 1 comment

First Cold of the Year


Sorry so MIA.

I think moving exposes me to a whole new set of germs. Downstate germs. After 9 years of teaching, do I have the immunity of a brand new teacher again? Perhaps these germs are different? Do they talk with funny accents, cutoff other germs while traveling to my sinuses, or call me ‘hon’ while pounding on my head?

Ok, truth is, things are great here. My students are smart, my colleagues are welcoming, and my car lives on. Oh, and I have the husband of my dreams.

I’m reading: magazines and the Sunday NYT (it takes me all week). No time for books. Soon, LLL, soon!

Trading UpI’m listening to: Candice Bushnell’s “Trading Up.” Guilty pleasure. Men need not try. It’s no SATC (ok, I didn’t really read that), but it drops designer names while doing a total send-up of NY society. Fun.

Speaking of designer names, has anyone else watched Tim Gunn’s new show? If you haven’t, don’t. Wait for Runway.

October 5, 2007 at 12:48 am 1 comment

EWMM on This I Believe


I had the nicest coffee last week, with my cousin EWMM. She is an English teacher in our fair city. Her school has never sounded like a fair place, and the grind of it would have most teachers running for stay-at-home something or other. She had some serious sparkle, however, as she slid her notebook of student essays across the table. Beautifully bound with pride, inspired student-drawn cover artwork. Her project studied essays from “this i believe” – reading & listening to the NPR files, then writing their own.

(The following is from the website)

What is This I Believe?

This I Believe is an international project engaging people in writing, sharing, and discussing the core values that guide their daily lives. These short statements of belief, written by people from all walks of life, are archived here and featured on public radio in the United States and Canada. The project is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name hosted by Edward R. Murrow.

(Mary Chapin Carpenter, one of my faves, is the banner author of the week.)

She wrote one herself, “Drive Therapy.” “A good long aimless drive can cure a lot of ails.” (Go to Rusharaound link for a hilarious story of a good long aimless drive. R, hope it cured a lot of ails.)

This is great teaching, and I am filled with admiration.

I will use the links on these home pages – see the left column – “For Educators.” Thank you EWMM for the inspiration and a great read.

June 28, 2007 at 12:25 pm 5 comments

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