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Presidential Hodgepodge

Whew!  I can’t believe it’s Wednesday already!  These weeks are just flying by!  Our State reading assessment (FCAT), to be administered in April, is coming quicker than I can teach everything I need to teach, so the race is ON!  Fortunately, Joyce’s questions provide me with an excellent excuse to take a deep breath and step away from the lesson planning…if only for a few minutes.

1.  This week marks the beginning of Lent…will you be giving something up or adding anything to your life during this season of the year?

I am not giving up anything for Lent this year.  Two years ago, I gave up TV.  That was huge!  I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve been a bit bad about attending church lately.  I’m exhausted by the weekend and use the non-alarm-clock days to catch up on rest.  I must rectify this.

2.  The day before Lent is Shrove Tuesday… tradition states you eat pancakes on this day. In some parts of the world Shrove Tuesday is actually known as ‘pancake day’. How do you like your pancakes? Or don’t you?

How funny that this question pops up today!  Just yesterday, my students were querying me about my vegan diet, and one of the boys asked if I eat pancakes.  I replied that I do not.  In the past, when I did, I preferred them with syrup and that was it.

3.  I’m sure there are many, but what’s one love song you really love?

I’m going with something a little different by posting the following song, which I started singing in church in my early 20’s and taught my Chicky to sing when she was a wee thing.  To this day, when I hear this song, I am taken back to the evenings when I rocked her to sleep at night.  As we rocked, in her room lit only by a night light, I sang, at first, until she was able to talk.  It wasn’t long before she had memorized the words as well.  Her sweet, childlike angel voice singing these words will always live in my memory as one of the most special sounds I’ve ever had the honor of listening to.

4.  What are some things you do to let others know you love them?

I send texts to my kiddos whenever I see something that makes me think of them.  I also post things on their Facebook walls…reminders that I’m thinking of them and love them.  For holidays they spend away at school, I like to prepare surprises, which I mail to them.  They are never far from my thoughts.

5.  Roses…red, pink, or do you prefer another color? Can you recall the last time someone gave you flowers? Given your choice would you like to open the door and see a dozen red roses, a dozen purple tulips, or a dozen pink peonies?

Roses are pretty, I’ll give you that, but quite honestly, I like wildflowers.  My favorite flower, though, is the sunflower.  Though its aroma is nothing like a rose, its bright, sunny beauty is.

6.  President’s Day will be celebrated in America next Monday. Does US Presidential history and trivia interest you?  Many Presidential homes are open to the public and offer guided tours…Monticello (Jefferson’s home), Mount Vernon (Washington’s home), Montpelier (James Madison’s home), Hyde Park (FD Roosevelt’s home) and The White House (home to the sitting President) to name just a few. Of those listed which would you be most interested in touring?  Why?

I love history, including presidential history.  I really enjoy reading biographies and have two at school right now although I can’t say that my students are fighting over the privilege of reading them.  LOL

I’ve visited Monticello and Mount Vernon.  I did not get to visit the White House during that same trip and wouldn’t mind, maybe, if someone else was president.  It would be just my luck to run into him during my tour and be forced to pull out my compare/contrast, problem/solution, and cause/effect graphic organizers to point out some issues I have.  (Can you tell I teach reading strategies?)  No offense to those who like the guy who’s there now.

What I’m trying to say, in my roundabout way is that I would probably enjoy visiting James Madison’s home more than the White House.

7.  Are you good at keeping secrets?

If asked not to repeat something, I don’t.

8.  My Random Thought

Last Friday, I got very frustrated.  Nearly half of the students in my last class were not wearing clothing that followed the dress code.  Sending one person to detention resulted in others complaining about people I’d missed, so I wound up sending two while two other students changed into the shirts that were in their BACKPACKS!


It was a huge disruption in my class and resulted in a lot of anger and resentment.  Honestly, I lay the blame fully on those kids.  We’ve been in school since August.  They know the rules.  The fact that they bring the correct clothing is evidence of that.  I suspect that they leave home with the right clothes and change into something else when they get to school.

To minimize large meltdowns in the future, I created the following form, which my para copied on yellow paper (four of these fit per page).  I deleted my school’s name.  It would be super easy to insert your own.  Click the picture to view a larger version of it.

I like the form because it requires students to take ownership of the infraction.  It will also serve as documentation of repeat offenders.  I’m hoping it persuades kids to follow the rules, even if they don’t like them.

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