Friday, October 12, 2018


Sunday, September 23, 2018


Friday, September 21, 2018

Newsletter for nex week

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Getting Into the Groove

The school year is feeling a little more natural now that we have 2 weeks complete.  We've done a few assessments to start things off.

Switching classes is going pretty well, too.

Each week you can find our newsletter here.  It includes spelling words and a summary of things that are happening. 

We also use many different websites to practice our skills.  Students can use the sites at home, too.
Spelling City is a great one.  Students just log in using their google account.
XtraMath is another favorite.

Any time that you'd like to know more about classroom happenings, feel free to message us or give us a call.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

The New School Year has STARTED!!!

All of the things about new school years have happened this week.  I had a night of little sleep because I was SO SO excited for the first day.  I had a night later in the week of little sleep because I was worried that everything wouldn't get done.  I went a whole school day without eating because the first day was so busy ---- please know that doesn't happen after the first day.   I like to eat too much ;-)  I cried.  I laughed.  I learned about my new students and I already know that I can't wait to learn along with them this year.

Along with all these new things this school year, I have focused on #classroombookaday and I am LOVING it!  We have 4 school days in and 8 shared stories completed.  Our focus today was a book trilogy that focused on names:  Chrysanthemum, The Name Jar, and Alma.  We talked about the meanings of names and we did a little research about names.  It was so interesting to me.  I truly love learning about names and I have to share a little bit about names from my family.

My first name is Margaret.  I was given this name in honor of my dad's mom who was the oldest daughter in her family just like me.  I have an Aunt Peggy (whose name was Margaret) and a grandmother named Margaret.  My dad's cousin was Margaret but we always called her Marge.  On my dad's side of the family it was a tradition to name the oldest daughter Margaret.  If you can imagine that, then you can picture how many Margaret's that would really be so many of the oldest daughter's went by nicknames or used their middle name.  I always loved my name and part of what made it special to me was that it was given to be my dad. 

My middle name is just as important - Katherine.  It is the same name as my mother's mother.  While I don't remember too many people calling her Katherine, my grandmother signed her name in a way that I idolized.  Most people called my grandma Kay.  The name went through generations in our family.  My cousin Kathy was named for my grandmother and I just knew I wanted my own daughter to share their beauty and grace and CONFIDENCE.   

Names are important.  As a teacher I always hope that I spell and pronounce my students' names correctly.   Because I was a teacher, I really struggled with deciding on my son's name.  When I first found out I was having a boy I thought I was going to name him Kyle because I would have "all" (hahah I only had 2) the kids' names begin with the same letter.  As it got closer and closer to my due date, I knew that Kyle just didn't seem like the right name.  We went with William instead.  It's a family name and held great meaning.  I often tease Will that his name is Kwill and that the k is silent like in knife....

 So much thought and planning goes into a name.  I have loved learning about names this week with the 5th graders and I hope you will take some time to talk with others you come in contact with about their name. 

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Feeling Tired at the Same Time as Energized

Today I had the amazing opportunity of attending the Scholastic Reading Summit in Rosemont, IL (near Chicago).  It was everything I had hoped it would be!  I woke to a 3 am alarm and was out the door and headed to Illinois by 4 am.  The drive was uneventful for the most part....rain on and off but that was about it.

I parked easily in the parking garage and took a picture of where I was so that I would be able to find the little black beauty at the end of the day.  Would you believe that as I was snapping the pic of 1B, so was another person who I quickly learned was also a 5th grade teacher heading to the reading summit (Katie).  We immediately started talking and walking as we made our way to the convention center.  By the time we'd made it inside, registration was open.  Check in went smoothly and it was super exciting to get a heavy bag filled with all different books including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (released 20 years ago!!!  YEP.   J.K. Rowling's world of wizardry entered the world of print the same year that I started teaching.) 

The convention center was buzzing but I knew that I wanted to be front and center to see it all so Katie and I found a table near the stage.  Moments later I was able to greet Donalyn Miller and snap a quick selfie with her before the breakfast session kicked off the day. 

The Breakfast Session featured Donalyn Miller and Mr. Schu along with Colby Sharp (whose birthday was today!).  They were sharing snippets and details from The Creativity Project.  Katie was able to get her copy of the book autographed.  

The energy and excitement for reading was A M A Z I N G!  Part of the excitement was because they were giving away some amazing new books but also because they were sharing pieces of The Creativity Project in a way that we could return to our classrooms and add pieces of it to our practices. 
During that short amount of time I had added 5 books to my wishlist:
The Way to Bea
Orphan Island (which I already have)
Me, Frida, and the Secret of the Peacock Ring
Drawn Together (which I got to read today---I'll be using it early in September)
The Itchy Book

There was a little time before the main morning session so I headed out to check out the book fair.  I was able to say hello to a teacher idol of mine:  Pernille Ripp.

The morning session keynote was Malcolm Mitchell.  While many know him for his career with the New England Patriots, his message was about the magical experience of reading.  

The realization that Malcolm Mitchell had that his success on the football field wasn't matching up with his success in the classroom pushed him to WORK on his reading.
My favorite thing he said today was, "In order for us to be the best person we can possibly be, to grow and succeed, we have to read."

Donalyn Miller returned to the stage and shared her family's first experiences with Harry Potter in 1998. 

--Good Can Conquer Evil
--Loyalty Matters

It's not just the magic in Harry Potter.  It's the messages --- how to be a better human.

Entertaining us next was the fashionable and motivational Byron Garrett.
His words were about being wired for success.  
Preparing Young People for a world that does not yet exist.

My takeaway quote from this compelling speaker was, "You nurture the creative spirit even when young people don't know they have it."

I would encourage you to check out his ABC book:

I had gleaned so much from the start of the day.  It was only 10:30 at this point!   I have so much more that I want to share and reflect on but for now I am headed to bed.  

Friday, June 1, 2018

A Time for Reflection

As the school year and the month of May end, I'm reflecting on some things---mostly running related ;-)

I am leaving this school year with 20 years of experience under my belt.  This school year has provided me with knowledge that I will definitely take with me into the fall.  My lessons in running often help me with my work as a teacher, too.  I learn that not every day can be a great day but I show up again and again.  I'll be back in the fall with new excitement and energy the same way that I return each morning for my runs.  With the school year over and wrapped up neatly, my attention will turn to my family, my personal goals, and my running adventures.

So far in my quest to run 2018 miles in 2018 I am not quite where I should be....

I am over 600 miles and I'm averaging about 125 miles per month.  I am hoping that I can boost miles over the summer.  Goal for June --200 miles.

My favorite run happened near the end of May (May 30).  It was a HER Madison training run.  If you are interested in a June race, register for HER and use coupon code MARGARET for a discount.  Have you seen all the great things that are planned for the weekend experience?  Check it out HERE

It was a hope of mine that I could run a sub 2 half at the HER event.  It's going to take some serious work on my miles and my food plan to make it happen but I am putting it out there and pushing for it.

I've finished up my work at school and closed out the 2017-2018 school year.  Great things will be happening in the fall including a grade change for me.  I'm moving up to 5th grade....  In the meantime when you have a few minutes (or 42), please watch my little video memory book from the year:

And now let the streaking begin!  I'm joining up with Pink Cupcake Girl for a month of streaking.  #streakingwiththecoolkids