search :
join the conversation
  • register
  • or
  • subscribe to posts below

Posting tweet...

tag cloud

Portraits of the Teacher

Today third graders wrote self-reflections after a lesson was derailed by inadequate attention and failure to meet my standards of decorum. (It’s all part of the process!) A few included some awesome drawings, including portraits of the teacher. Enjoy.


Mysterious Requests

Anyone have a good quality knitting machine I could borrow for a project? I also need your yarn leftovers in any quantity. Also anyone have a grandfather clock or similar that you want to repurpose? More details to follow as this project evolves…

Ed tech + Jewish ed = ?

What happens when educational technology meets Jewish education? I’ll find out on my epic journey beginning tomorrow. Look out Teaneck, here I come. Looky here.

Third Blog is the Charm (cross-posted on FB)

This blog goes out to my Sewing/Fabric friends:

Hello! I’m planning a project to make “book bags” for my third graders, with the help of some parents. These would do the job of protecting books as they travel back and forth to school each day and housing reading logs and post-it notes. They need to fit picture and/or chapter books. I don’t think handles are essential.

I am in need of the following:

- fabric
- bias binding
- strategies for doing this project

Do you have any stash to contribute or ideas to help me do this properly? Right now we are using zip-lock bags and I anticipate they won’t last long. Wouldn’t personalized bags be cute?

Some Ideas:
Some schools buy these type:
Or these:

Thank you for your suggestions!

The Legacy Of Lloyd (a work in progress)

In honor of my dad’s birthday, which was yesterday, I bring you a re-post of “The Legacy Of Lloyd”. This is a compilation of my dad’s wisdom. I think some additions have been made since its last posting. If you Lloyd Fans think of any that I have forgotten, please let me know so I can update the Master Document.

Happy Birthday, Dad. You bring wisdom to all you encounter, and your breakfasts are filled with so much love.

The Legacy of Lloyd

(A Work In Progress)

1.      Always ask for the person’s name.

2.      Always pay your credit card bills in full – otherwise it’s just crazy.

3.      Avoid big doors when parking in the lot.

4.      Be alert, you may have to rescue things from the trash.

5.      Being nice to people pays off.

6.      Bring something for the kids.  Like candy.

7.      Carry your insurance card in your wallet.  Unfortunately, one day you’ll need it… that’s why there’s insurance.

8.      Concentrate on the road, don’t be preoccupied with where you are going.

9.      Don’t fill up on bread.

10.  Don’t use felt tip marker on the outside of an envelope (especially if rain is in the forecast).

11.  Erase completely.

12.  Everything has its own place.

13.  Folding boats and paper balloons is great fun.

14.  Go out to the driveway and wave goodbye.

15.  How to balance a check book.

16.  How to drive.

17.  How to hold a prayer book.

18.  How to play sports.

19.  How to use a highlighter.

20.  How and when to use a ruler.

21.  If it is worth doing something at all, it is worth doing it right.

22.  If someone you love wants something, bring it to them.  That makes them happy.

23.  If you are going on vacation, put your lights on timers and hide the jewelry.

24.  If you say you’re going to do something, do it.

25.  It doesn’t hurt to ask.

26.  It doesn’t matter how you dance, as long as you have fun.

27.  It feels great when someone brings you a little present.

28.  It’s always nice to have a good pen.

29.  Leave plenty of time to get to the airport.

30.  Make a copy of whatever you send… it’s important to keep a record.

31.  Make neat piles of things.

32.  No reason to answer the phone if it might be an… undesirable caller.

33.  Park on the end, if you can.

34.  Pay the toll for your family members behind you.

35.  Pin your socks together!

36.  Plan ahead.

37.  Plan to sit on the side of the bus where the sun won’t hit you.

38.  Put some of your money in savings.  Even just a little bit.

39.  Put your stamp on straight

40.  Sandwiches made by someone else taste better.

41.  Save the cartons!

42.  Save your receipts.

43.  Say thank you whenever someone does something for you, even if they had to do it.

44.  Separate your photo doubles before showing them to others.

45.  Slow down before the turn.

46.  Stack from the back, to avoid re-stacking.

47.  Take good care of your stuff and then it will last forever… but, if you lend it to your kids, forget it.

48.  Tape things off radio and TV for future enjoyment.

49.  Tennis is a good social sport.

50.  There is no reason to get a new dishwasher if you can fix the old one and it works just fine.

51.  Treat other people’s children the way you want others to treat your children.

52.  Use a letter opener.

53.  Use a sharp pencil.

54.  Use coupons.

55.  Use different color markers to encode things.

56.  When people like you, they are nice to your children.

57.  You can park in any spot as long as you go slowly.

58.  You can write the color of your suit/socks on the hanger to avoid confusion and possible embarrassment.

59.  Don’t use your car as a table.

60.  If you want to get mail, you have to send mail.

61.  Even a single dollar is a special present because it shows someone is thinking of you.

62.  Put your car keys right next to the stuff you don’t want to forget.  For example, put your car keys in the fridge with the special lunch you packed.

63.  Get your stuff ready to go the night before so in the morning you are all set.

64.  Do it now, because later you will forget.

65.  Post-it notes are helpful when you want to remember things.

66.  Write down the important details so you remember them.

66.  Your family is the most important thing there is.


Knit-Along with me at Serial Knitters Yarn Shop

Hello Friends,

This fall I’ll be leading a knitalong at Serial Knitters yarn shop. The dates are three Sundays: October 27, November 3 and November 17. Time: 1-3pm.

All you need to do to register is purchase your yarn at Serial Knitters and let them know you want to be in the class.  Plus, you’ll get a 10% discount on your yarn for taking the class.  Hooray!  You’ll also need to purchase the pattern, available here

Need inspiration? Click here to take a look at some of the gorgeous projects on Ravelry. Click here for my project, which you can also see hanging in the store: 

Serial Knitters Yarn Shop on Rose Hill in Kirkland, WA
8427 122nd Ave NE
Kirkland, WA 98033

 Come and say hello on Ravelry, here.  I’ll be posting additional instructions and tips on that thread on the Serial Knitters forum. You’ll get three, live, in-person help sessions with me and extra virtual hand-holding as you progress through the piece – just for the price of the yarn. Wow, what a bargain!

Bring your friends, the more the merrier.




New sweater for Eli.

Today I bought Eli a sweater.


I think it’s going to look great on him!

Yesterday’s blog post is still in draft form. It needs a little more time. Will get back to you.

all I want is what I have coming to me. all I want is my fair share.

This is what my brain hears when my child complains about the things he wants me to buy for him, the things his friends have and his awful deprivation. I say, “All I want is what I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.” Then I laugh at him when he looks at me confused and agrees. Is that wrong? Honestly, even if it is wrong, I don’t think I’m gonna stop doing it.

At dinner tonight I showed my family the clip and read them the context. (Thank you imdb.) I’m still pretty sure they have no idea what I’m talking about. It’s probably for the best.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965) (TV)

Sally: I’ve been looking for you, big brother. Will you please write a letter to Santa Claus for me?
Charlie Brown: Well, I don’t have much time. I’m supposed to get down to the school auditorium to direct a Christmas play.
Sally: [hands a clipboard and pen to Charlie Brown] You write it and I’ll tell you what I want to say.
Charlie Brown: [sticks pen in his mouth] Okay, shoot.
Sally: [dictating her letter to Santa Claus as Charlie Brown writes it for her] Dear Santa Claus, How have you been? Did you have a nice summer?
[Charlie Brown looks at her]
Sally: How is your wife? I have been extra good this year, so I have a long list of presents that I want.
Charlie Brown: Oh brother.
Sally: Please note the size and color of each item, and send as many as possible. If it seems too complicated, make it easy on yourself: just send money. How about tens and twenties?
Charlie Brown: TENS AND TWENTIES? Oh, even my baby sister!
Sally: All I want is what I… I have coming to me. All I want is my fair share.

without saying too much…

One of my babies really needed his mommy today. My heart hurt for his pain, but at the same time I was acutely aware that in his suffering he reached for me, actually called to me and let me in. Despite his independence and growing maturity he let me help him, wanted me there. And as I plodded through the awfulness of the day, I carried a glowing warmth, an awareness of being needed, loved and truly appreciated. It was really something.

summer dreams

So last night I had my first teacher anxiety dream of the summer. It may have been inspired by all the reading I’ve been doing about setting up a compassionate and carefully-structured classroom. (See: Responsive Classroom) In my dream I was teaching in a city classroom in a public school somewhere. It was the first week of school (maybe high school?) and I had forgotten to do all the great set-up routines, teach the signals, etc. The kids were crazy and I was scared of them. Me? Scared of children? In all my years of teaching, this has never happened in real life. I’m not even scared of middle-schoolers. Despite this, it’s a recurring nightmare that’s been haunting me in various incarnations for decades.

In the daylight hours I’ve been supercharged with enthusiasm, making new posters and themed color-coded materials for my classroom, developing routines and even buying potting soil to re-pot my classroom plants. I’m ON TOP OF IT.  People are wondering why I don’t “take some time off” or “relax”. (Like staying home and doing laundry is relaxing for someone?) I don’t want to take a single day away from thinking, planning, creating.  I’m staying up late at night getting (p)inspiration from the clever strategies other teachers have shared on the internets. If I stop rolling around in these ideas, will I lose my train of thought and forget something essential? I’m immersing myself in creative possibilities and it’s thrilling and possibly somewhat manic.

So is my subconscious dream-self telling me to keep up the exciting work, or warning me to take it down a notch?

Yes, I did make tiny little targets and arrows with the students' names on them, to match our "Hitting the Target" classroom theme.