Friday, March 14, 2014

I Went Viral, Jessica Simpson, Pi, Kindergarten Smorgasboard Interview, and a Wine Country Escape

Happy Pi Day and Albert Einstein's birthday!  

Pi Day is a big deal in fifth grade, much like Dr. Seuss Day is a large celebration for the younger grades.  

Pi Day is an annual mathematical celebration of π (pi).  This symbol is used to represent the ratio of the circumference of the circle to its diameter which is approximately 3.14159.  This event is always celebrated on 3/14.  

The pi-ssibilities of Pi Day activities are endless.  Here are some of my favorite pi-ctures from the day.  Okay, okay, I know.  But look at the PI-E!  

A new series, "Teachers We Love," is premiering TODAY on my Teaching YouTube Channel! 

I had the pleasure of chatting with Mr. Greg from Smedley's Smorgasbord of Kindergarten.  He is the first (of hopefully many more to come) of the "Teachers We Love" interviews.  

Many times I read a teacher's blog posts, flip through their Instagram pictures, purchase their products on TPT, and wonder 'What they are really like?  Why did they become a teacher?  What is the secret to their success?' I often think…  'If only I could fly them out to the wine country.  With a little chat fest and some wine country adventures, I just KNOW we could be the best of friends.'  Tell me I am not the only one?!?!?

After wasting months of my time watching "The Bachelor" (BOOOOOOO JUAN PABLO!),  I am ready for some quality video-viewing.  How fun would it be to cozy up on a Friday night and watch a teacher talk show at your leisure?

Let's just be honest.  Brutally honest.  We are all a bit nosy.  There I said it!  Nosiness is not a bad thing.  It means that we want to connect, collaborate, share, and get inspiration from one another.  Then it hit me.  Why not reach out to the favorite teachers we LOVE and chat.  Chat about our classrooms, our goals, our blogs, our favorite teacher products and more.  To see one of our favorite bloggers jump off the blog page and in to "real life" allows us to put a personality to a name.  

Mr. Greg and I chatted like two peas in the teaching pod.  He is SUCH a genuinely positive teacher.  We established why he decided to become a teacher, the meaning behind his blog name, and how he stays positive.  The conversation flew by and I think we could have talked "shop" for hours and hours. Please enjoy and make sure to visit his blog, and YouTube channel

Here is the short preview commercial:

Here is the full length interview with Mr. Greg!  Enjoy!  Be sure to pop on over to my Teaching Channel and click the 'subscribe' button.  This way you will stay up-to-date on more teaching interviews and fun to come!

Hey YOU!  Yes, YOU!  I need your help.  Are there any teachers you would like to see me interview?  What questions should I ask?  Would YOU like to be a part of my new series?  Email me at:
This week, a letter I wrote was posted on the Autism Speaks website.    W.O.W.  The inspiration for this letter came to me suddenly.  I sat at my computer and the words flowed quickly.  I had no idea my love letter would make such an impact!   I am truly touched by the outpouring of love this letter has helped spread.  Click this link to read my love letter to children with autism.  

Weekends are all about exploration.  Mr. Winemaker and I love scoping out new restaurants and places to take our friends in wine country.  Here is our latest adventure.  


Mr. Winemaker writes blog posts over on  Check out what he had to say about Francis Ford Coppola Winery and restaurant.  The man can write!

This week I signed up for Weight Watchers online.  I couldn't help it.  Not only am I frustrated with the weight I have gained since I first started teaching but Jessica Simpson is my girl. Love her.  Yes, I own every season of the Newlyweds.  No shame. I embrace my inner Jessica Simpson Number One Fan status.  She looks good!  I will keep you posted on my journey to healthy.  
Happy Friday and have a wonderful weekend!  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dear Child with Autism...

Dear Child With Autism-

You brighten each and every day.  You may not know this but I look forward to school because of you.  I know school is hard.  Every day I see the worry on your face.  School goes quickly.  Daily changes throw you off-course.  You worry.  About yourself.  You cry because you have no friends.  No one invites you to their birthday party.  You worry about the weather.  In a drought, will the animals suffer? You obsess.  

I don’t even mind that you blurt out.  I walk in your shoes.  The idea explodes to the surface and you can’t contain it any longer.  I am patient and smile.  We will work on this.  At least you have interest.  At least you participate.  At least you are taking a risk.  

You have talents and wisdom far beyond your years.  I don’t think you realize this.  That is my job.  You have enthusiasm for science, word play in poetry, and mythical creatures.  I can’t teach creativity and passion.  You got it.  Others may brush you off. There he goes again.  I smile.  You were given a window into this world that not a  lot of us have.  You have the power to get so wrapped up in what interests you the rest of the world disappears.  

Throughout the day students see how special you are to me.  I model how to treat you with respect and dignity.  I model how to talk to and appreciate you.  Your classmates observe and follow my lead.  The classroom wouldn’t be the same without you. There would be a void.  Too quiet.  Too blah. We need you in our patchwork.  I see your classmates look out for you.  I see protectiveness grow.  We are a unit and team. We have your back.

You have your days when the tears come fast.  When you blink rapidly and try to stand strong.  These are the days when you have missed the social cues.  Social cues.  Little things we take for granted that are land mines for you.  I assure you.  I remind you of powerful affirmations you can repeat. Take deep breaths.  I listen and help you to navigate the confusion.  I try to provide the best Cliff Notes I can so that in the future, an encounter with your peer may come easier.  

Thank you for your honesty.   Your bluntness. Thank you for coloring outside the metaphorical lines.  Thank you for being in my class.  My heart has grown so fond of you.  You push me to be a better and more patient teacher.  You push me to develop new and innovative ways to meet your needs.  You make me laugh.  There are times when you say things and I shouldn’t laugh.  But I can’t hold it in.  You make me laugh so hard that it echoes off the walls of our classroom and fills the hearts of all my students.  My mission every day is to make you smile.  You approach life with a furrowed brow and seriousness.  I make little silly sounds and shoot funny faces just for you to see.  I send you a wink.  If I am lucky, for a brief moment, I see the glimmer in your eye.  Maybe we have connected.

I am your teacher, and I will fight for you every day.  I just see you. Thank you for being you.


Your Teacher

Saturday, March 1, 2014

March Currently: Tony Bennett, Flock of Seagulls Hair, and Rainbow Rosemary?

Happy March and Pay Day everyone. Oh, the possibilities of a new month!  I love a fresh start.  Plus, March is Spring Break time. 2 more weeks and counting.  Then just a hop skip and jump away from summer vacation.  Time to link up with Farley from Oh Boy Fourth Grade for another installment of Currently.  

Listening:  Music does the soul good.  I forget.  Go through funks.  Then I realize if I just turned music on, I may feel happier.  When I get home from a long day of work, I usually put on my Tony Bennett Pandora station.  Sometimes I mix it up and need some B.I.G.  Once the music is on, my inclination to plop on the couch subsides.  I bustle around the house picking things up and putting the dishes away.  I sing along and my mood is uplifted. 

Loving: There. Are. No. Words. Enjoy.

Thinking: About how much I loved filming my latest teaching video.  (seen below)  March just screams RAINBOW month to me.  Now I am pondering what my next Teaching video should be about… Help me brainstorm ideas in the comments.  Have you subscribed to my teaching video channel?  I would love to have you stop by and visit.

Wanting: I caved.  I folded. I succumbed to the Erin Condren planner hypnosis.  All it took was one little look-sy over on her website.  Soon I was picking out colors, and covers, and had a Life Planner in my cart.  Not sorry. one. bit! My planner arrived this week, and I am wanting some time to start filling it in: my exercise plans, meal plans, and day to day goals.

Needing: Mr. Winemaker and I have recently become obsessed with Open Houses.  It all started when we were out on a walk and the smell of freshly baked cookies tempted us towards an open door.  Like Hansel and Gretel being led to the Witches lair we were soon chatting it up with Realtors and getting a tour of a million plus house.  We were hooked.  Cookies.  YES!  Cool houses.  Yes!  The House Hunting obsession grew when my mom subscribed to the local paper for us.  Did you know there is an Open House pull out section?!?!?!  Now our Sunday routine is munching our way through beautiful Open Houses.  We also love to discuss what we would want someday in our dream home.  My request is a pimped out bathroom.   Picture this.  A claw foot tub.  Diptyque candles.  Bubbles.  Wine. And ALLLLL the relaxes.   Needing This NOW!

??????- Rosemary????? Try guessing in the comments what Rosemary has to do with anything and everything and me!  Muahahahahahahahaha!  I love a good guessing game.