workshopHow do you encourage writing outside of the classroom?

Growing up, I loved both reading and writing. Reading allowed me to become someone else while writing allowed me to decide how the story would end. When it came to reading, I did not have many choices. My great-grandmother was not very proficient in English and struggled with helping my sister and I with homework assignments. She tried her best to read, but would often resort to having my sister or I read written notices to her. I did not have a library. Instead, I had my basal that came home 5 days a week. I would sit and read the stories that we had covered in class and move on to the stories that were coming. I remember begging my teacher to let me move on to the next book in our sequence. Of course, she would let me. She even gave me a latter basal and workbook to complete at home. I loved the writing prompts and would often assign them to my sister when we would play school.

Later, I moved on to general writing. I would write poems, love letters (of course), and diary entries. Diary entries were my favorite. I would often take those entries and turn them into mysteries…especially after becoming hooked on those old time T.V. classics (Reading Rainbow and Ghost Writer). Every Friday night, I would stand in front of my great-grand and her company and read my stories to them…followed by jokes, singing, and acting. Every Friday, my great-grand would say how proud she was of me.

This year, I have been blessed with 30 amazing kids. Out of the 30, 5 write at home faithfully. As for the other 25, I wish they knew the power of both reading and writing. At the same time, this is their generation. In this generation, texting and sending messages via social media are forms of writing. I am not going to force kids to write at home, but I will continue to encourage it.



One Last Go!

Thus far, I have nothing packed for my spring break trip. Suitcase (check), neck pillow  (check), clothes????

Today, I give this shopping thing one last go. I will hunt for a dress or two, one pair of comfortable sandals, one workout outfit (just for looks, not for working out), a pair of jeans, and functional socks. If I am unable to find these items…I might be shopping for clothes on a day-to-day basis in Vegas.

Hours pass…

Nothing fits! Either I’m I  love or the lack of humidity in this condo hss somehow caused all my clothes to shrivel up. Yeah! That’s what hapoened. I went through everything that I own hoping to find something that will get me by. Four hours later… nothing. On to Plan B. Plan B?


Walk A Mile in My Shoes


Today, Meadowview School celebrates World Down Syndrome Day! Our theme is “we are more alike than we are different”. I think this theme truly reflects the students and staff at Meadowview.

I started this morning off by reflecting on my journey “my shoes” with my students. My teaching partner (always thinking on the go) brought in a box of shoes so that our students could write from the perspective of the shoe. Of course, many students struggled with this…they wondered if they needed to know where the shoe had actually been. I explained that the students could make up their own story about the journey of the shoe or they could write about their own personal journey. Many students chose to write a poem, while others chose to free write (there is truly no right or wrong).

Well… It is only right if I reflected on my shoes… 

If you could walk a mile in my shoes you would see my struggle.

You would know that life is not a fairytale (though I imagined it was).

My shoes have earned their right to claim what’s rightfully theirs.

They have fought a battle that no shoe should ever experience.

They have came, saw, and conquered…in such short time.

My shoes, torn, battered, and well experienced at this thing called life,

but not even halfway to finish line…they await wanting to know and see more.

Somedays, I wish that my feet would grow just a bit longer so that I could switch shoes,

but we all know that that we are given that one pair and it is up to us to continue to walk a mile in them.

If you could walk a mile in my shoes, you would become a strong person who overcomes adversity, accepts people for who they are, and knows the importance of being kind.

My shoes were not made for walking, but I move forward ready to face any challenge set before me!



Music Monday


Have you ever heard a song that makes you want to call up all of the people you lost contact with? What about a song that makes you forget all of your troubles…have you found that one? Ooh…what about a song that takes you back to one of your favorite places (Hello Florida!…. Hello San Diego!).Well, as many of you may know, I’m in love with music. Especially, chillwave, indie (everything), some rap and hip-hop, and rock. This weekend, I had the opportunity to run away from home for an hour or two. I turned on my Google Play Music (favorite playlist), rolled my sunroof all the way back, and took off into the darkness. I remembered how much I loved driving. Better yet, I remembered how much I love music. My favorites are a mixture of songs from way back when… and then it slowly transitions to all over the place.

This weekend, I had the opportunity to run away from home for an hour or two. I turned on My Google Play Music (favorite playlist), rolled my sunroof all the way back, and took off into the darkness. I remembered how much I loved driving. Better yet, I remembered how much I love music. My favorites are a mixture of songs from way back when… and then it slowly transitions to all over the place. Some songs made me remember the hard times while others took me to a place of ultimate relaxation (I liked those songs). The places that the music took me…some new and others old.

I drove in circles for two hours. I returned home with an appreciation for my older music as well as many new hits that I can’t seem to get enough of.


SOL17 Student Writing


Meadowview is a great school

Meadowview has awesome teachers

Meadowview is a great place to learn

Meadowview is fun

Meadowview helps kids

Meadowview also takes care of our safety

Meadowview is the best    

Meadowview is a  fantastic place where I learn ~ Victoria



Hoping for my family

Hoping for my teacher

Hoping for me

Hoping for my brother

Hoping for gladness

Hoping for health

Hoping for God

Hoping for my life

Hoping for love

Hoping for greatness

Hoping for laughter

Hoping for beauty

I hope

By: Fauna Franciose

On an empty stomache…

I woke up this morning feeling great. I watched a few YouTube videos, compared rental car prices, and researched cookie recipes. I decided that breakfast would be a great start. I cleaned the kitchen, took a zinc pill (staying healthy before spring break), and began my journey to cooking one of the best Sunday breakfasts ever.  Part way through,  I started to feel sick. I figured it was normal… as a woman… I’m always feeling a certain way. I decided to eat an orange (not a huge fan) and drink some OJ (huge fan). Everything seemed fine for all of five minutes.  It hit me like 40 going north… (whatever that means). My stomache started to turn, I felt nausea unlike any before, and I started to sweat. Rule #1… never take a vitamin (especially Zinc) on an empty stomache.  It took me six hours to recover from the needle like pain. Thank God for ginger ale. 



What girl doesn’t love shopping? Today, I came up with the genius idea to go shopping with hopes of preparing for my spring break vacation. I woke up this morning, threw the covers off of the bed , and put my spirit fingers in the air. It literally looked like a scene from a cereal commercial. I threw on my “I’m going shopping” clothes and my  “I’m going shopping hat” and some gym shoes… I didn’t even bother to put on makeup. I knew today was going to be one of those days. Of course, I did not take my boyfriend. He absolutely hates shopping and tends to bother me as I go through each and every sale rack. I left at 10 o’clock this morning, artived at my first destination at 10:15am and made it home at 4 p.m. I didn’t stop to have any lunch or use the bathroom… Today was one of those serious shopping days. You know, ths ones where you mean mug people app are sifting through the same rack that you are. 

The best thing about today was that I did not find a lot of things for myself. Go figure. I am in between sizes again… I wish they were smaller sizes but unfortunately, they are not. I found a bunch of digs for my boyfriend. I found a few items for my best friend’s baby shower. I found a new beer… of course I got it on sale. I even picked up a lemon and lavender cupcake mix.

As for my boyfriend, I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he finds out that I purchased a nautical shirt for him. I almost got him matching anchor socks, but I figured that would put him over the edge. Now the good part… watching him try on all of this stuff and complain. I can’t wait. 

Actually, now that I really think about it, I’m REALLY glad that I didn’t find anything for myself. Wouldn’t want to ruin the delicious lemon lavender cupcakes that I plan to make. 

Until then…


It’s Friday…again!


Happy Friday! More importantly, Happy St. Patrick’s day. We never really celebrated St. Patty’s day growing up, but I enjoyed celebrating this super green holiday in college. I mean, those were those days. The days where my energy levels were sky high and I had not a care in the world (besides classes). I was asked by a few colleagues and friends about how I would celebrate this year. I replied “I’m not” to many and “I’m tired” to others. This totally goes against my “let it go” post, but I truly am tired.

Last night, I took a relaxing bath (I gave in) and drank the best Hot Toddy I’ve ever made. Next thing you know, 1 hour turned into 3…you have to love an oversized jet tub. I went to sleep semi -relaxed and won a battle against my headache using a mixture of clove and spearmint essential oils. Speaking of clove, I accidently rubbed my entire face with it the night before mistaking the clove essential oil for tea tree oil. I was sure that I would look into the mirror and see nothing but red chemical burns. Luckily, a few cold towels did the trick. I am still working to get clove out of my face towels, bath towels, and pillow cases…(don’t try this at home).

Where am I getting with all of this…I’m tired. Today, I want to just sit around like a bum (like yesterday), get a few things organized for spring break (yes, I’m counting) and sleep.  We will see what tomorrow brings.Until then, have an amazing Friday/St. Patrick’s Day!


Student SOL17

slice-of-life_classMy partner, Mrs. Maggie Nickels, had two students write for the Slice of Life Challenge…

I Don’t Understand

Natalie Lamar

I Don’t Understand,

Why Is Life So hard,

Why Dogs Bite On Rainy Days,

Why People Pass Away.


But Most Of All,

Why Is Math So Hard,

Why Are friends So Difficult,

Why Life Pulls You Back.


What I Do Understand Is,

Why The Sky’s Blue,

Why Fun Fuels Life,

Why friendships are broken.


I Don’t Understand

By Baraka Mujtaba


I Don’t Understand

Why stars don’t have the confidence to appear in daylight

Why time flies by as if it is light

Why it seems like all the doors are closed


But most of all

Why friendships are so difficult to maintain

Why we have curiosity

Why miracles happen


What I understand most is

Why karma is for our good

Why we take one step at a time

Why the moon has the courage to appear in daylight