Monthly Archives: May 2014

Life’s All About The “F” Word!

Memorial Day was a day to stand at attention and salute all soldiers who fought on or continue to fight on the battlefield of war, risking their lives to bless us with the greatest gift of all—freedom! Thank you, Veterans, for giving that right to us! We esteem you so!

National Cancer Survivors’ Day is Sunday, June 1st. It is a day to salute our brave friends—Erica, Sharon, Erin—warriors who fight on a different battlefield. The battlefield of cancer!

Erica, who continues to fight colon cancer that has spread to her liver.

Sharon, who fought breast cancer and is three years victorious.

Erin, who was recently diagnosed with melanoma again…clean for over a decade…and so her battle begins again.

Life is so precious! As Erica always says about treatments, “Let’s get this show on the road,” and as Sharon always says about life, “Life’s all about the “F” word.” So, without further ado and in honor of Erica, Sharon, and Erin…and can’t forget the guys, Carter and Papa (although Carter would be ticked that we were considering him with a list of girls…although these ladies are warriors so it’s just not the same!)…let’s get this show on the road and remember that life IS all about these “F” word(s):

Faith: “Faith makes all things possible…not easy!” Author Unknown

Family: “Other things may change us, but we start and end with family.” ~Anthony Brandt

Friends: “We’ll be friends forever, won’t we Pooh?’ asked Piglet. Even longer,’ Pooh answered.” ~Winnie the Pooh

Food: “Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.” ~ Jim Davis

Fun: “I know it is wet and the sun is not sunny, but we can have lots of good fun that is funny.” ~Dr. Seuss

Fairway: “As you walk down the fairway of life you must smell the roses, for you only get to play one round.” ~Ben Hogan

Fashion: “Lace-trimmed socks do help me play soccer better.” ~Fancy Nancy

Forgiveness: “Forgiveness is not an occasional act, it is a constant attitude.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

We thank you from the depths of our souls, Erica, Sharon, and Erin (…and Carter and Papa).

Thank you for showing us steadfast courage.

Thank you for showing us remarkable determination.

Thank you for showing us unwavering faith.

And most of all, thank you, gals, for showing us how to truly fight like a girl.

Happy National Cancer Survivors’ Day, girlfriends. We love you and we salute you! Stay calm and FIGHT on!!


Stay Calm & Lead On!

Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.



Readers Are Leaders

Okay…so they graduated last week and are now ready to conquer the world. Okay…so maybe there is a little time for that for our newly graduated kindergarteners, but what do they need for the next step in their lives? What will they need to be dynamic first graders? READ! Readers are leaders! Here are a few reading ideas that we have used in our teaching careers and reading life (but really—what other kind of life is there?! 🙂 ).


Putting a book into the hands of a kid is a sacred act. #IRA14 @wimpykid

Reader Warren


Here are just a few ideas for our young learners and teacher candidates:

Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. No matter where we live or what we do, we all will have a bad day now and then. And that’s okay because tomorrow is a new day. Alexander will be coming to the big screen in October!

Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. This is a great book for rhyming and choral reading with your first-graders. Read it early in the day then serve green scrambled eggs. Visit to fill your toolbox with Dr. Seuss ideas.

Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert. Warning…this appetizing book may leave your first-grader hungry after reading it. One simple way to satisfy this hunger could be to go on a scavenger hunt looking for foods in the newspaper. Find more activities for this cute book at Fabulous First Grade.

Max’s Words by Kate Banks. This is an enjoyable story about Max who collects and organizes words. Have your soon-to-be first graders collect and organize words that they enjoy and then put those words in a book just like Max’s.

Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes by Eric Litwin. The moral of this story… no matter what you step in, just keep on walking along and keep on singing your song because life is good.

Frog and Toad Are Friends by Arnold Lobel. Even though two people may be very different, they can still be friends forever. Follow Frog and Toad on Pinterest.

More books to share with your students: IRA Teachers’ Choices Project shares those great books that reach out and tap us on the shoulder to get our attention as author Chris Van Allsburg illustrates so well for the 2014 Teachers’ Choices.

And just because we LOVE books…here are a few more for you to check out:

The Day the Crayon Quit by Drew Daywalt

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett

The Dot by Pete Reynolds

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

Happy Summer Reading! May you find the sunshine on your back and a book in your hand (and probably sunglasses would be helpful along with a glass of lemonade) this summer! 🙂

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

Graduation Day – Friends Forever

   Image    2014 Graduates     Image

Graduation day… whether it’s from kindergarten or from college, it is a day filled with emotions: happy, sad, excited, scared, proud.  It is not goodbye though!  It is a day to find your wings and fly! To remember all the exciting times you have had together with friends.

Each kindergartner starts out on his or her own…finding friends along the way.  Kindergarteners are just beginning to find that one person (or two or three or more 🙂 ), who will end up being their best friend…a friend forever, who will be on the journey through childhood and beyond with them.  Likewise, college students have developed friendships that will last a life-time. Those friends who will…
Stand up for each other at weddings…
Support each other if cancer strikes without warning…
Stay by each other’s side no matter how far apart the future takes them.

Today…Remember it is okay to start a journey on your own.  Remember to embrace special friends made along the way.  Remember to never take these special friends for granted.  When we remember these pieces of wisdom, it makes the world a happier place. For this week, that is our only goal…to be happy.

Congrats to all graduates! We are proud of you. We wish for you what Mark Harris sings in his song Find Your Wings: “It’s not living if you don’t reach for the sky. We’ll have tears as you take off, but we’ll cheer as you fly!” Find your wings and fly!

Stay Calm & Lead On! Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

100 Years

It is Teacher Appreciation Week this week, and we certainly appreciate our teacher candidates!! It’s hard to believe another academic year is coming to a close with finals week and commencement this weekend.

This is always a bitter-sweet time for us ol’ profs. We are elated to have “passed” yet another year. We are excited for all of our teacher candidates’ accomplishments and for them to begin their next chapter. On the contrary, we are sad to see our seniors go! During the busyness of the end of the semester, it is easy to get caught up in our to-do lists and forget what this means.

What does it mean? It means it is time for us to take the next giant leap. It is time to get ready for the next set of intriguing minds. It is time to shape yet another bunch of teacher candidates to work hard and do their very best.

One way our teacher candidates showcase their very best is through an Action Research project— a project carried out over the course of the academic year. Our teacher candidates were paired with area classrooms, selected a topic of study, thoroughly researched it, carried out the action for a specific outcome, and then reported their findings in a poster presentation grand finale. One of our teacher candidates stated “these poster presentations are like the Emmys of our education program.” Yes, we rolled out the red carpet for our kids. 🙂

Action Research provides our teacher candidates opportunities of growth and change based on literature and research. It involves meeting students where they are, and helping them to learn and grow. A few of the Action Research topics this spring included:

The Effects Recess has on Fifth and Sixth Grade Students’ Behaviors
~Researched by: Tyler Glynn

The Impact Written Feedback Has on Student Improvement in Mathematics
~Researched by: Ms. Katie Kienitz

The Effects of Teacher and Student Feedback on Lessons and Homework
~Researched by: Ms. Morgan Peterson

The list of great research goes on…. Great job, Action Researchers!


Action Researchers

Keep on keepin’ on, action researchers, and keep on keepin’ on graduates. Every day is a new day…a gift! Each day brings us a chance to change and make improvements in our teaching. The journey lasts a lifetime, and the future is counting on all of us. “100 Years…there’s never a wish better than this.”


Stay Calm & Lead On!

Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.