Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Let's Get It Started! Weaving Digital Literacies Into Your Classroom

Today our district will participate in in a very unique and amazing professional development day. We call this day Hilliard University or Hilliard U. Hilliard U will offer a plethora or professional development opportunities, from key note sessions, break out sessions and for lunch... food trucks! All sessions are lead by Hilliard Educators. What could be better than sharing and learning with teachers in your district?

Today Marie Nixon and I will offer a session tilted- Let's Get it Started! Weaving Digital Literacies into your Classroom. In this session we will share some of the first steps to weaving technology into your day. Come to explore and envision the integration of technology in your classroom if you're here with us today! Can't be here or having trouble choosing? Browse our slides and links below.  

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book moments -Slice of Life

As a first grade teacher I feel my greatest responsibility is creating readers who read for life and not just for school. In this effort I add drama and excitement to all things books! Just this week I paused before reading a special book. I wanted the kids to know the story behind this story. I wanted them to know this was one of my daughter's favorite stories. Lexi fell in love with this story the first time Miss Bonnie read it at our library story time. I shared this story, and all the feelings a mom has remembering her grown daughter as a toddler with the kids. I asked them about favorite stories they have, I asked them about attending story times and reading in their mommy's lap.  The kids awed and smiled at all the right times. We were having a book moment.

Taking advantage of this moment I dramatically explained how books and stories become a part of us. The characters of the story, the phrase and the feelings of a book stay with you long after the book has been closed. I explained how I miss the characters of a story when the book is finished and how I make friends when I read.

With this I opened Little Rabbit Foo Foo, Michael Rosen and Arthur Rosen and began to read. We weren't
even done with page one when I could hear the kids beginning to sign the song. I stopped and smiled, this is a story that must be sung! The kids saw it right away and they were  a step ahead of me and already hooked!

After we finished the book we talked about how fun the story was and how we would be hearing the song in our heads all day! Then, the book was put away and the lesson faded into the day and I hoped I had set the expectations that books live within us forever.

Fast forward to the next morning. The bell rang, and I stood at the door waiting for kids to arrive. In the distance I could hear two voices singing "Little Rabbit Foo Foo I don't like your attitude..." I looked in the direction of the voices and saw two of my girls skipping (yes, skipping) toward our room singing our book and holding hands! (Yes, I am paid for this!  Can you believe they pay me to witness this joy?)

This book moment will make me smile for ever more. Not only do I have the memory of my daughter in book love, but now I have memories of these two and there book love! I know this book will be with them forever too.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Three Scoops of Summer: Slice of Life


Three Scoops of Summer 

1 scoop for porches…

1 scoop for patios… 


1 scoop for amazing friendships! 

Join us at Two Writing Teachers and share your Slice of Life ! 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Watch Out! First Grader's are Honest...

As a first grade teacher everyday is full of stories and when I share these stories I hear, "You should write a book with all the things kids say." There's no doubt the book would be a laugh a minute! Some stories are about the bathroom, body functions, stories from home and many others. One thing true is the stories are ALWAYS bluntly honest!

First graders really don't understand or even know they should filter their thoughts. What they're thinking is what you'll hear!

A few years ago I had a student we'll call Trey. Trey is the son of a close friend. Trey's family and my family were close for about 4 fours prior to having him my class. I had also met and become friends with the extended family and even visited his grammies house and his aunt Linda's house WITH TREY. One morning Trey came in to school bubbling with a story.

"Mrs. Frazier, this weekend I am going to my aunt Linda's house, she's my mom's sister and her husband is my uncle Phil. I am going to see my cousins Stew and Aaron! We can go boating and we can go swimming in my grammies pool. They live about 2 hours away we are leaving right after school."
It was so hard to listen without smiling and pretending I didn't already know all about his family!

A sweet girl we will call Isabella came into the classroom and wrapped her arms around me excited to to be at school. As she hugged me she sweetly commented,  "I love your tummy, it's squishy like my mommy's." What better compliment can you get from a 6 year old!

There are so many stories between these stories and today's, but today's comment really was a barrel of laughs and 100% honest.

At the end of the day as we were lining up to go home I noticed 2 boys pushing each other around in line. As the class began to leave I stopped these 2 boys.  As we chatted it became clear some hitting had also been involved. Who did the hitting was a bit fuzzy. After a few teacher tricks and one last chance to be sure we were sharing the events as they happened, Cam said, "OK, I hit him." I thanked Cam and we talked about the importance of being honest. I looked to Oliver and asked one final time, "Oliver, did you hit Cam?" Oliver replied, "NO, I didn't have a chance." That was it, nothing more simply, I didn't have a chance.

Kids will share more than we expect. Trust me if you read the newspaper or a book in the bathroom, your child's teacher probably knows!

Join us for Slice Of Life over at Two Writing Teachers. Share in the gift of story.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Slice Of Life~ THE Shelf

THE Shelf~

As we embark on the adventure that was moving our youngest daughter to college 5 states from home we have many stories to tell, but of all the stories, none of them TOP the story of THE shelf!

The story actually begins back on our first campus visit in January. While touring the dorms we noticed the beds had a headboard shelf much like you might see in a popular home decor catalogue for teens. The whole family thought these shelves were very stylish and functional and how cool is it that the university provides such nice furniture. They don’t provide a microwave nor a refrigerator, but THE shelf makes up for all!  

Fast forward 6 months, the setting- student and parent orientation business fair- the revelation- these businesses are SELLING THE shelves!  THE shelf isn’t provided by the university?  Once this shock settled in I began to ask questions about the delivery and found out the company will deliver and install the shelf. Being from out of state I was beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel! So I gathered cards from all the vendors so I could visit websites and compare.

Here’s where the real story begins! THE shelf ranged in price from $350-$400! Being the daughter of a carpenter I knew this shelf had maybe $80 worth of material and, to an experienced builder, maybe an hours work. My husband began his research and realized we could buy the material at the local Home Depot for $40 and build the shelf in our hotel room! This was the plan for about a month.

Then an offer we couldn’t refuse came about! Olivia found a shelf for $100 on the school Facebook page! I figured an extra $20 was worth the trouble of labor. arrangements were made, payment was sent and THE shelf would be delivered by the seller to Olivia’s dorm! PERFECT!

Fast forward to move in day- Van packed tight, but efficiently with overflow space available via a car top carrier. Two hours into our ten hour drive and Olivia says, “They can’t fit THE shelf into their truck, they ran out of space!”

Ok, now is NOT the time to panic! The sellers house is 2 1/2 hours from the university, but it is on our way and we have overflow space!  Quick adjust navigation and reroute to THE shelf!  Operation shelf is now in full motion as we plot packing adjustments for THE shelf.  (You may be starting to see how the became THE when referring to THE shelf.)

Arrive at the seller's beautiful lakefront home- Ok, everyone has a job in repacking and making room for the shelf and everyone is busy. Finally, we are ready to load THE shelf! My daughters and I (hubby has had back surgery and isn’t permitted to lift)  struggle to bring THE HEAVY shelf to the van. Now is when it REALLY became THE shelf! after all the planning and repacking THE shelf WILL NOT FIT and now, it's raining!!!!!

Hurry---- REPACK THE VAN!!!

Time for plan C! 
My oldest daughter and TIm will return tomorrow after the van is unpacked. Olivia is now in tears of frustration, Tim is feeling helpless (and most likely wondering why we changed his plan and why we NEED THE **%& shelf) and I am sitting in a seat that is no longer attached to the hinges on the floor of the van. It’s a quiet ride for the next 2 1/2 hours to our hotel.

The next day Tim and Lexi make the 2 1/2 hour drive (5 hour round trip) to get THE shelf!
When they arrived back at the dorm with THE shelf I recruited a few college guys to muscle the shelf up the 2 flights of stairs and into place where THE shelf now rests adorn with….decorations!

Join us for Slice Of Life over at Two Writing Teachers. Share in the gift of story.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Slice of Life ~The Twist and Turns of Life

Please join us at Two Writing Teachers to share your slice of life or to enjoy the slices of others. Comments make all slicers happy, happy happy and build relationships and community. So if you have time please leave comments as you visit. 
You can follow the Slice of Life on Twitter @SOL15.

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Life is full of crazy twist and turns and no matter how much you prepare for them you just can't be ready for them all.  Some are small twist and some are life changing, some are good, some are great and some are just too darn overwhelming.

This week our family is facing one of it's most overwhelming twist yet. This week we live our week of lasts. Our last Sunday dinner on the patio with the grandparents, our last  BBQ Chicken pizza dinner prepared by Olivia and the last night our family of four sleeps under one roof.

Because this week we move our baby girl (O.K. she's 18, but you have to expect this, she's our youngest) off to college…all the way from Ohio to Alabama!  How many miles is this anyway? Ten driving hours. By plane….11/2 flying hours (direct flight) plus airport navigation, plus rental car, plus drive from air port to the university= 5 hours by plain, train and automobile (yes, it takes all three modes of transportation when you fly).

Well, I sound like a sad sap. Sure this is eating away at me, but it's not like she is leaving forever! She's going off to college, a typical transition in life, albeit several states away.

And if we think about this really carefully---- with parents weekend, holidays and spring break we will be together almost every month! (Please donate frequent flyers miles in the comments.) There will be more nights when all four of us sleep under one roof, other family dinners on the patio and opportunites for Liv to cook are certain to reappear. These next nights will just be Livi after dorm life.

And let's not forget about Face Time, Skype, and Google Chat. We can connect e-v-e-r-y-day, eye-to-eye! Liv can keep me up on all the urban slang, latest styles, what to wear and tell me of all the things I am doing wrong (according to the book of Livi). I mean how am I am going to pick out my own outfits, use popular vernacular, and plan my days all by myself? I will be a mess!

But, this isn't about me this is about Liv,  I will have to find my own way. This is her chance to take off  find herself, rehearse her independence and grow!

… but one last thing to make sure she's all set to be MISS INDEPENDENCE...

 *Make a note- iron and layout her first day outfit before I scoot back to Ohio! Besides, I won't even be out of the state before Livi calls to say she misses me!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Slice of LIfe ~ Flashback- Childhood Friends & Gifts

Please join us at Two Writing Teachers to share your slice of life or to enjoy the slices of others. Comments make all slicers happy, happy happy and build relationships and community. So if you have time please leave comments as you visit. 

You can follow the Slice of Life on Twitter too #SOL15.


Recently on a road trip I spotted these large wooden spools. The minute I saw them memories began to flood my mind and spill out to everyone in the car. I knew then this had to be my Slice Of Life post. My very skilled and conscientious driver slowed down just enough for me to take this picture.  Thanks Cathy!

Do you remember these large wooden spools?  I do and they bring back fond, fond memories of friends, an elderly neighbor and jewelry making.

I grew up in a house that seemed to be the hub for all of the telephone wires in our neighborhood, back when telephones had wires. I remember watching the repairman from Ohio Bell attach the metal spikes to his steel toed work boots and jam his boots into the pools as he made his way up to the top where all the wires met.

Cam, Rachel and I would watch all the time crossing our fingers, hoping there would be left over phone wire for us and our fine jewelry making. And sure enough each time he would stop just long enough to supply us with all his scraps and have a cold drink.  (Remember when we offered the mailman or a repairman a cold drink on a sunny afternoon? I do.)

Fist full of colorful wires my friends, Cam and Rachel and I got right to work on our creations. We would make rings, necklaces, and bracelets.  The rings were grand in size and looped colors on top of colors before making their way back into the band creating a large flower, they were beautiful in a child's eye. And, we had a customer just waiting for our gorgeous designs! Mr. Dever.

Mr. Dever was our elderly neighbor. His wife said " He just loves to sit outside and watch the girls play." So each hot day there in the shade sat silent Mr. Dever. He rarely (if ever) spoke. He watched the cars go by, he watched us play and he waited. He waited for us to adorn him with our colorful telephone wire jewelry.

What we didn't know then is how much he and his wife enjoyed us accessorizing his daily outfit. My mom stills shares her fond memories of Mrs. Dever laughing about how the girls made jewelry for Mr. Dever.

I makes my heart smile to think back on these days, the sun, Cam, Rachel, Mr. Dever and telephone wire....