Category Archives: Random Thoughts
I haven’t declared my New Year’s resolution this year because, for me, this practice has become redolent with the stink of failure. I look back on the resolutions I’ve made these past five years and I haven’t successfully achieved any of them. Continue reading
When mom came back with the bottles, she took Ryan first. Feeling the difference between the weight of the two when I handed Harper to Danielle, my wife said, “Hey, you had the lighter one.” So funny. Continue reading
Whenever you ask young adolescents about the adults in their lives, their teachers, administrators, their bus driver, the lunch ladies, they always focus on some quirky detail that is the part that becomes the whole. Continue reading
For years I’ve had a sneaky suspicion that I was a horrible parent. It wasn’t anything obvious. I never left my children in a car with the windows rolled up on a hot day. My kids always have money in their lunch accounts at school. We have a pool in our backyard, that’s something. We’ve even driven to Disney with them, in Florida, twice. Nevertheless, I have a nagging thought in the back of my mind, or in my horribly dark soul, that I’m really not cutting it as a parent. Fortunately for me, I have discovered a book that has helped me to understand that I actually am a horrible parent. Continue reading
Remembering Dates I share a birthday with Ludwig van Beethoven, December 16. That’s probably why, when I want to play classical music on my Amazon Echo I normally ask, “Alexa, play my Pandora Beethoven station.” Of course Beethoven is awesome, … Continue reading
Any middle school teacher knows that one of the most exciting but challenging aspects of the job is the frenetic pace of life with the kids here. The executive function portion of the adolescent brain, the part that slows things down so we don’t make poor decisions, hasn’t fully developed. As a consequence, middle school kids seem to be operating at 78 rpm while the rest of us are at 45rpm. The engines in their brains have more acceleration than brake.
You’ve all been to conferences. You sign in. Get a name badge that was printed for you in advance. Everyone has a neatly prepared badge — with their name — title — school district — all proudly displayed on their badge, neatly protected in a plastic case — hanging — from a lanyard.
And there’s Sharpy-Boy over there with his sloppy sticky label Continue reading
We guide students to use “mentor texts” in their development as writers. Ralph Fletcher explains that mentor texts are, “…any texts that you can learn from, and every writer, no matter how skilled you are or how beginning you are, encounters and reads something that can lift and inform and infuse their own writing. I’d say anything that you can learn from – not by talking about but just looking at the actual writing itself, being used in really skillful, powerful way.” Continue reading
Somebody recommended this idea as a cure for writers block. Amy Krause Rosenthal wrote a neat little book titled Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life. The book flap states that she “ingeniously adapted the centuries-old format of the encyclopedia to convey … Continue reading