Everyday Art

In my classroom there are long rows of hanging shelves containing multiple copies of different novels for my kids to read. Next to my little brown desk, however, I keep single copies of various books that I am reading with students one-on-one or, in my “free” Time at the suggestion of various students. My little stack of books is a colorful sculpture, an homage to the conversations I have...

Self Schooling

My favorite picture of the Big Guy and Thing1 doesn’t show their faces. To the casual observer, it’s a picture of them replacing the radiator on our 20 year old Volvo wagon. for me, it’s the moment when our oldest kid learned that sometimes you get the best education when you roll your sleeves up and learn how to figure things out. Yesterday Thing2 got started on that same path. Time and...

The Absence of Sleep

Two years ago we were celebrating April Fool’s Day digging out from under a thick blanket of snow. We were closing out in March but had seen four major snowstorms--one each week. Our family was closing out a winter of worry marked by Weekly hospital visits and a nearly fatal flu for Thing1. Now, as I stare at the ceiling, trying not to be wide awake, that winters like that never really melt...

Gallery Management

I've been pretty faithful about protecting and curating the figurines my kids have made over the years. I keep them on the shelf least likely to be jumped on by the cats. In my new office I’ve added another shelf -- the one I use to display greeting cards at art fairs. Right now it's holding a different kind of greeting card, the kind you only get when a student says goodbye and lets you know,...

Feline Friday

My classroom is just across the hall from the science teacher's. We’ve become good friends because we have similar senses of humor, and I have found her to be a fountain of good ideas to make learning fun. One of my and the kids’ favorites is Fun Fact Friday which is just what it sounds like. Of course, I can’t let those kids get all jazzed up with a bunch of new fun facts and then come to...