Grow Things you can eat

I learned many things from the pandemic. I learned that buying groceries would be a dangerous prospect if you are in a vulnerable category. Some of the online “shoppers” were not careful to check expiration dates, leaving me with food that wasn’t fit to eat. Prices were inflated. My ability to buy fresh fruits and […]

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If Only

If only we saw each other’s hearts, minds, souls……

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The Four Winds Book Review

If you love Historical Fiction, or books that highlight the grit and determination needed to deal with hard times, this is an excellent choice. This is not a “feel good” book. It captures life during the Dust Bowl era with such detail that you can feel bits of dust on your teeth. Kristen Hannah puts […]

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Take Me back

If I could go anywhere in the world, I would choose Wales. Hands down it is the most magical, natural, serene land of peace I’ve ever visited. When I read Tintern Abbey by William Wordsworth in college, so long ago,I knew that one day I had to see this inspiring place. Little did I know […]

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GRATITUDE

I have many reasons to be grateful. It’s been a tough year, but at times I see glimmers of hope that we may all be on the road to living whatever our normal was, only stronger, better, more resilient. A trip to the grocery store, then my favorite cafe took on a new ambiance. I […]

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city of girls- a review

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert is set in New York during the 1940’s. After flunking out of Vasser, Vivian is sent to live with her aunt, the owner of a shabby theater, The Lily, to repair and create costumes for showgirls. The cast of amateur actors and dancers perform melodramas for the locals who […]

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Tradition

One of the pleasures of summer is that I usually travel to visit my darling granddaughters in the UK. I established a tradition of buying new shoes for the girls at my favorite shoe store, Clarks. Once they were able to walk, we would go into a city center to get their feet sized properly. […]

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To My Grandchildren

Dear Grandchildren, I see your tiny bodies and I am grateful for every breath you take. Each of you are the greatest joy of my life. Holding you in my arms takes me back to when your parent was my baby. I had no experience or guide, but a heart full of love. I learned […]

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A Much Needed Drive

The sun broke through the clouds turning a dreary morning into a prelude to the perfect spring day. I knew I had to get out into nature. My husband and I have had both vaccinations, so we decided to take a drive up Hwy 1. We were 10 miles from home when we realized that […]

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Dreaming of Paris

Paris is my kind of city. The people, the food, the sights live in my memory. When I saw all the locks on the Ponts de Arts Bridge, I thought of all the lovers whose hopes and dreams were placed there, likely with good intent. In my mind I likened the locks to graffiti. While […]

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Learning Apps

Due to the pandemic, teachers and parents are scrambling to provide educational opportunities to children. I compiled a list of great learning apps. It is my hope that they help during this difficult time. I compiled a list of great learning apps: Learn With Homer Price: Free  Grade level: Pre-K, K  Skill: Comprehension, Phonics  Device: […]

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Have Golf Cart, Will Travel

I saw the ad for a used golf cart in my Nextdoor app. There were two available, a red and a blue. The owner was storing them in a horse corral. I was saving money for a golf cart (even though I don’t golf) because I live in a small beach town with one main […]

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Grandma’s First Contact

Featured Post My youngest daughter lives in the UK. I live in California. When she shared the news of her pregnancy, I began a series of Letters to My Granddaughter. I felt the urgent need to capture all my emotions and keep a living record of my joy and hope for the future. I wanted […]

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CLOSE READING

Close reading is thoughtful, critical analysis of a text that focuses on significant details or patterns in order to develop a deep, precise understanding of the text’s form, craft, meanings, etc. It is a key requirement of the Common Core State Standards and directs the reader’s attention to the text itself. The skills gained from close reading help […]

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Dreaming of Costa Rica

The pandemic has made me a shut- in and I hate it. I am a traveler forced to travel only in my mind. Lately I have been dreaming of Costa Rica. I’ve only been there once, but it left such an impression that I find myself daydreaming of being there. I went with 22 avid […]

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A Man And his dog

I have to confess that I am a little bit jealous of our dog, Max. He visits the salon more than I ever have.He is a rescued Great Pyrenees who stole my husband’s heart with his sad eyes and beautiful white fur as he sat in a too-small cage at the animal shelter. Max ate […]

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Book Review

I knew I would love this book when the author made reference to Dr. Victor Frankl’s book, Man’s Search For Meaning. This book takes a candid look at the negative self talk and endless bombardment of thoughts that contribute to our emotional state.  We can choose to tackle or tame them.  Even one negative thought can morph […]

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Multi-cultural children’s books

Teachers should carefully select books for their classroom that teach about other cultures. USE  The Horn Book Guide to identify the right books for your age group.  Click on the links to explore. Horn Book Guide Online       http://www.hornbookguide.com/cgi-bin/hbonline.pl   CCBC = Cooperative Children’s Book Center https://ccbc.education.wisc.edu/books/multicultural.asp These are a few samplings of my favorites: Favorites for Ages 2-5 Favorites […]

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Rhyming

Rhyming is a foundational skill for reading. Research tells us that children who have a good understanding of rhyme do better in literacy than children who have poor skills in this area. Including a regular routine of songs and rhymes into a child’s day supports early speech and language development. It is a foundational reading […]

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Neighborhood Library box

I am a book lover. I wish I had a library next door. My dream is to someday own a bookstore, or work in one. While driving in my golf cart I passed by a little library box next to the parking lot for the beach. I had to take a look. Some thoughtful person, […]

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teaching Vocabulary

•Students must learn 3,000 words per year by 3rd grade. •Only 400 words a year are directly taught by teachers. •Academic demands are high •Everyday speech consists of only 5,000- 7,000 words.  The books that young children are able to read are intended to help them practice their reading skills rather than build their vocabulary. While we can […]

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Reading FLUENCY

•Fluency is the ability to read a text accurately, quickly, and with expression •A fluent reader reads smoothly and is interesting to listen to. Ways to Foster Fluency: Repeated Readings Readers Theater Shared Reading Parner Reading Choral Reading Books on Tape Echo Reading Fluency video

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My English roses

When my daughter asked me if she could be a summer camp counselor in the hills of Santa Cruz, at first I said no. The distance from our house to the camp was too far and I was not keen on letting her go by herself. She approached me again, this time she had a […]

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Differentiated Instruction

Students have different learning styles. It’s vital that instruction meet the needs of all students. Using a one size fits all approach is not best practice. Differentiation means tailoring instruction to meet individual needs.  •Research shows differentiated instruction is effective for high-ability students as well as students with mild to severe disabilities. •When students are given more options on how they […]

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Early Literacy Resources

Check out this video to help your child with phonemic awareness. Many struggling readers lack knowledge of sounds (phonemic awareness). Children have better success with phonics once they have experience with phonemic awareness.  Phonemic awareness may be the component that will help fill that gap.  Children must be able to segment words into individual sounds […]

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After The Rain

There were 60mph winds and torrential rains in our little beach town. Tree limbs blocked roads, lawn chairs flew to a neighboring yard, and birds found refuge anywhere they could. I know the thirsty earth needed the rain, but it made the pandemic isolation even lonelier. Today the sun is out and the birds are […]

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Living in a beach town

I am one of the lucky ones who has a view of the Pacific Ocean from my living room window. Our home was purchased 22 years ago when it was doable on teacher salaries. I sit out on my upstairs deck and watch the waves curl angrily on windy days and gently on mild spring […]

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Son of My Son

I had my son when I was still a teenager. I had no idea how to raise a child. I only knew that holding him was the best feeling ever. I knew that loving him would be easy. I had the luxury of staying home and caring for him while his dad went to work. […]

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Reflections

The day I became a grandmother I began evaluating my life, or I should say reevaluating it. I realized that this beautiful child is not mine and I am a part of a much bigger picture, yet only a part. What part do I play? As a retired elementary teacher I know the joy of […]

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Name Calling

Children will own the names you call them. Choose your words carefully. This is good advice for teachers, but especially important that parents know this too. They are a child’s first teacher. Call them scholars, call them friends, call them writers, call them mathematicians, call them scientists, call them teachers, call them helpers, call them […]

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This and That

The day I became a grandmother I began evaluating my life, or I should say reevaluating it. I realized that this beautiful child is not mine and I am a part of a much bigger picture, yet only a part. What part do I play? As a retired elementary teacher I know the joy of […]

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My Daughter

I don’t know how many people can say that their daughter is their best friend, but I can. Katie was a quiet, loving little girl who collected rocks that caught her eye. Her bedroom closet was home to an assortment of rocks that very quickly became a quarry. I used to beg her to clean her […]

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My Surf Adventure

The palm tree out my window reminds me of my trip to Hawaii almost ten years ago. Two weeks before our planned adventure my husband bought me my first surfboard and wetsuit. Being an avid surfer himself, he wanted me to know how thrilling it can be to ride the waves. He made it look […]

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Loved these books

These are some of my favorite books: Educated by Tara Westover. The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl The Beauty in Breaking by Michelle Harper The Honey Bus by Meredith May The Answer Is by Alex Trebek Think Like a Monk […]

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Dyslexia

http://geon.github.io/programming/2016/03/03/dsxyliea ALWAYS HIGHLIGHT WHAT THEY CAN DO. COMMON MTYHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS; People with dyslexia do not read backwards.  Their spelling can look quite jumbled at times not because they read or see words backwards, but because students have trouble remembering letter symbols for sounds and letter patterns in words. Dyslexia is not a disease and, therefore, there is no […]

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Resources For Early Literacy

Phonemic Awareness A child may be able to recite the alphabet, but they need to first learn SOUNDS. Most of reading problems come from a lack of phonemic awareness (knowledge of sounds). When teaching this skill you would not introduce letters yet. Sounds first! There are many ways to do that. The following items will […]

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Sight Words

Sight words comprise close to 70 of the words we read. For a child to be a fluent reader, it is important that sight words are stored in long term memory. That requires practice through games and engaging activities that activate various parts of the brain. Sight words are often words that cannot be sounded […]

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About Me

I am a mother of three who are all grown, and a grandmother to four. As a retired elementary teacher for both general and special education, I quickly learned that sitting at home watching Dr. Phil wasn’t a good fit for me (nothing against Dr. Phil). Seeking ways I could remain connected to education, I […]

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Pandemic Woes and Ways

July 21, 2020 March 15th 2020 is the day the COVID 19 pandemic turned into a lockdown. Schools closed, we sheltered in place and learned that toilet paper would be more valuable than gold. The first death in SLO county was an elderly person and it was thought that only old people would die from […]

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