Sometimes, A Few Teacher Moments

I love my job.
I feel like what we do is important.
I feel like we make a difference.
I feel like I'm pretty good (not great, but pretty good) at it too.

But sometimes, that one student you have spent the most time with teaching that one thing over and over five different ways, still doesn't get it.

Sometimes a former student comes by to tell you that her mom lost her job and they have to move in with her grandmother in another state.

Sometimes you find out that a student has not been honest with you and your heart breaks into 1,000 pieces and falls all over your primary colored carpet. 

Sometimes you teach this most amazing lesson with Minion type dancing, Taylor Swift like singing, and visuals that rival Google! The kids are applauding, you are bowing, and your brightest kid comes up and says, "What are we doing? I wasn't listening." 

Sometimes you look at the calendar and see that your days are numbered with these most amazing children who sometimes don't listen and sometimes don't follow directions and sometimes don't get it and sometimes break your heart and all the time remind you why you chose to do what you do. 

Sometimes teaching is hard.

Listen To Your Mother

One year ago this week, I was preparing to step on the stage in front of friends and strangers to tell my story-my story on motherhood, my story on sisterhood. 
My fellow writers (that's right, I call myself a writer these days) included storytellers, published authors, comedians, a childhood friend, moms, daughters, and even one amazing man. We became friends this group and I. We shared this common experience. We shared our stories and created our bond. We were brave.
In a few days, people from over 30 cities will take the stage and share their story with Listen To Your Mother.  I'll be attending the one here in Atlanta on April 25th and if you are local, I hope you will, too! 

I'll also be sharing my story again. When the videos were published in July, I was trying to decide if I would watch it. Here we are nine months later and I'm still trying to decide. In the meantime, here it is-my moment of brave, my story, our story, the story of my sister who I miss a little bit more every single day.
Here's to being brave.

Mental Math Excitement!

Prepare yourself for some good news, friends! Wait for it....I had an idea and it came to life! Poof! Magic! Fairy dust! Bippity Boppity Boo! 

Well, kind of! 

While helping A with mental math, I drew a train track and wrote a number in the first box. I then added an action to every other box. It might be +4 or -6 or +10. I told her to solve the number track and she would know if it was right or wrong if the number she ended with was the same as she started. I got the idea from an old worksheet but thought it had way too many steps and it was also way boring. I gave A 4 or 5 steps, told her little stories, changed the ending, and it was perfect! This is confusing, I know, but keep reading! She LOVED it! She wanted to do more and more!

Months, maybe a year or two go by and I decided to share the idea with Really Good Stuff. I mean, if A liked it, other kids might too! 

Months went by and I received a letter. Really Good Stuff wanted to turn my idea into a game for grades K-6. WHAT?!? Wait, WHAT?!?

I spent a few days over the summer writing tracks and quickly realizing I would be of no use to them for writing the fraction game, decimal game, etc. I love math as much as the next girl, but this aunt stopped helping A when she hit 3rd grade!

More months went by and a HUGE box arrived on the doorstep. It was surreal! Computation Trails were born!
Not only that, but the smarties at Really Good Stuff even made trails for addition and subtraction to 20, mixed operations, powers of 10, addition and subtraction of fractions and decimals, and 

You can buy them separately or even in a little bundle! There are 32 double sided mats in each set. They are dry erase and would make a great center! Go ahead, buy one of each, I know you want to! I'm so excited! 

I took the addition and subtraction set to school and my kids went nuts. In full disclosure, I should tell you-this class would tell me if they didn't like it. That's how they roll. :) They could not get enough of the games! They were trading and helping each other and asking for the next level! I felt like a proud mommy~2 boys and a dry erase game!

Here's how to play.....
Click on any of the pics or highlighted words to check them out on Really Good Stuff! Thank you for letting me share my geeky happiness! Have a great week!

If you have an idea, consider submitting it here!!

What We're Reading Sunday

Thank you for checking out our (almost) weekly post, What We're Reading Sunday!

I finished Brain Rules! I finished Brain Rules! I know I usually start with what T is reading, but I'm so thrilled to have finished Brain Rules! Such a great read friends! Now mommy is moving on to this little treasure.....(while waiting for Brain Rules for Baby)
I've worked with many children diagnosed with an auditory processing disorder and it fascinates me. I am hoping this book will answer some of my questions.

So what about T? He's reading a little Junie B at bedtime and some nonfiction with Rainforest Animals.
We are reading to M, too. Of course, we are reading whatever we want just in a sweet voice. T has figured that out and it is pretty much cracking him up! 

Speaking of M, I was quoted in Yahoo Parenting this week about the age gap between children. Check it out here

What are you reading?


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