#3 Wind vs Windbag?

Last year when teaching a nonfiction writing unit, my students loved researching animals and then comparing them. They asked: Who Wins? using the Who Would Win series as a mentor text and then they wrote, using their research notes. Here’s an example of a page (on right) based on the book (on left):

Last night, the wind outside howled. It howled so loudly. It howled causing branches to fall. It howled keeping me awake on and off all night. As it howled, I cringed and pushed away the image of a large tree falling onto my house. The weather forecast stated winds of 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 70 mph would happen all day and night. And I listened to the howling all night long.

Also last night, before heading to bed, I listening to the news. On and on, media hosts talked and talked and talked. About current government problems. About the 5-digit amount a government committee was going to pay for furniture for its new government office. About kids and guns in FL. About trade issues.  About kids dying due to bombs in Syria.

Who wins?              Wind…..vs……….windbags?
Who wins?             Nature issues…vs……..man-made issues?

Wind wins, in my opinion. There is no controling Mother Nature.
However, it was hard for me to pick a winner. It feels like my current government and my current world can’t be controlled either at the moment. But I remain hopeful. I write my congressman and Senators and I vote. I keep believing in my fellow man to be upstanders, not bystanders, two terms my 6th grade Social Issues Book Club members are using as they discuss their books and their world. Wind wins!

PS: I hope all out there are safe from the wind and storms and headaches caused by wind and windbags.

Today, Amtrak is taking me to NYC for a day of magical learning with the smartest literacy minds on the planet at TCRWP. I predict that on March 4th, my slice will be all about it!


Free Land!

As I sat eating my lunch in the Faculty room last week, a substitute teacher mentioned there is an island in the Pacific giving away land. Really?! I got to thinking, maybe this is an option! I looked it up. It is called Pitcairin.

Screen Shot 2018-02-25 at 5.40.59 PM

According to Wikipedia, it is a group of four volcanic islands in the southern Pacific Ocean that form the last British Overseas Territory in the South Pacific.” When I read more, I discovered it has internet and a shop opened 3 times a week. And the supplies ordered from New Zealand only take 3 months. The temperature is in the 60s all year long and the island is surrounded by the bluest water! And a big plus for someone like me who doesn’t know other languages, English is spoken by the 50 current residents.

With the recent news, escaping to an island sounds refreshing. I can’t understand the people who think school teachers or administrators should have the right to carry a gun at school. And if this ever becomes a rule where I work, I’ll need an exit strategy. So moving to a remote island where the land is free, might be my option. For now, it is a pretty place to dream about visiting at least for a vacation, if not for my next act.


Scratchy, the squirrel


Such a pretty afternoon. The sun was shining, the temperature had reached an unseasonably 70 degrees for the end of February and it sure had a feeling that maybe spring really was on the way. It was too pretty of a day to stay at my school, in my windowless classroom and input grades into the electronic grade book and post the 3rd quarter interim grades. So I walked home, sat at my dining room table and worked. I love my dining room because the one long wall overlooks the backyard and is all windows. If I had to sit and do mindless data entry, at least I could do it is a comfortable space.

As I typed away on my MacBook Air, I heard it. “Scratch. Scratch.” I looked up and out and scanned the backyard. I heard it again and noticed something moving on the large oak tree out back. It was grey and had a bushy tail – a squirrel. What was he carrying? It looked like a large leaf in its mouth. The scratching sound was its feet as it climbed up and around the trunk. I kept my eyes on this squirrel and saw him pause as he reached the halfway point of the trunk. Then he disappeared into what looked more like a leathery, brown balloon stuck to the side of the tree trunk. The he reappeared, without the leaf in his mouth. Scratch, scratch. He scampered down the tree, onto the grass and hopped across my backyard and into my neighbors yard.

Five minutes later, he (or maybe a she) was back. Again with a leaf in his mouth. Again, climbing up the oak tree. Again making a scratching sound as he climbed to the to that leafy brown balloon-shaped spot. Again he disappeared and reappeared.

I guess this is how a squirrel makes a home, his drey. I think I’ll call my construction working squirrel, Scratchy.

What creatures have YOU enjoyed watching lately?

PS: I didn’t film my squirrel but this person did!


Getting Ready for March!

I started writing a story about the squirrel I watched in my backyard today. But then I decided I’d wait and use that story as my March 1st Slice. So today, I’m writing about getting ready for my 5th year of participation in the TwoWritingTeachers March SOL Writing Challenge.

I scrolled through this PADLET that I made last year. I was reminded that a while ago, I had added links to writing prompts. I usually don’t like writing to a prompt. But if I get stuck, I made this list after looking through the padlet links:

  • Write about your favorite childhood toy. 
  • Write out the best or the worst day of your life. 
  • Five years from now, I will be… 
  • Which character from a book would you most like to meet and why? 
  • Who is the person from literature that you would most like to meet and talk to?  Why?  What would you like to ask? 
  • Compile a list of inanimate or animate objects to which you might compare yourself metaphorically.  (I am a windmill.  I change direction or my thoughts whenever someone talks to me…) 
  • What is your favorite kind of weather?  Why? 
  • Be a building you know well.  Talk about your life and memories. 
  • What is your hobby?  Why do you enjoy it? 
  • Write about an experience in a hospital. 
  • Write about mowing the lawn, burning leaves, or weeding the garden. 
  • If you could only speak twenty words for the rest of your life, what words would head your list and why? 
  • Write a short biography of your mother. 
  • Write a short biography of your father.
  • Write about two things that your family has taught you.
  • If you had to work in any store at your favorite mall,  which store would it be and why? 
  • Write about your favorite sport. 
  • Attach a photo and write about it
  • Bucket List for the next 5 years
  • Remember a favorite book from childhood
  • Create a menu from a fictitious restaurant. Make sure the restaurant has a theme, such as Classic Books, and the food should all be given appropriate names (e.g., “Mockingbird Pie”).
  • Make a soundtrack for your life so far. List songs that describe you or different times of your life. (Make the actual soundtrack on Spotify, etc. too!)

I also reached out to teachers I’ve worked with in the past and encouraged them to join the challenge. And told them to SAVE THE DATE – I’m planning a Slice of Life Orange Writing Celebration on Thursday, April 5th after school. If you are in Arlington, VA on the 5th, YOU are invited, too!! (Email me and I’ll send you my address!)

Why wait until the 5th to celebrate with a party? Because I’m heading to France on March 21st and I don’t return until April 3rd. My daughter, Anne who is also a slicer  lives in Marseilles, France and my husband and I are spending my Spring Break with her!! Because of this, I’m only able to post until the 22nd. Then I plan to hand write my stories while traveling. (So I guess I’m not able to participate fully this year but I’m committed to writing every day in March!)

So on Thursday, I’ll post my 1st March SOL, my squirrel story. And daily I’ll either write a slice of my daily life or use a prompt to help if I get stuck or write in my journal using my pen as I explore France. Also, I’m looking forward to reading other Slicers’ posts and leaving my comments. So much inspiration comes when I read and write lots!

What is your writing plan for March?

The 10 Good Things About Barbara

Barbara is was my next-door neighbor. Yesterday I found out that she passed away on Sunday. I’ve known this was coming. In fact, I’d known it for the past 5 years, the length of time she has been fighting cancer. Who takes chemo meds for 5 years? Barbara does. She is such a fighter. Ironically, once she started being treated by Hospice, she had a bad reaction to the morphine pain killers and they moved her out of her home and into the Hospice facility just a mile from our street. They kept her comfortable and provided space for her family to gather and keep her company which was expected to be just days. But a week went by and I joked that maybe she just wanted to watch one more Super Bowl. Then another week went by. I told her family how much Barbara taught me about fighting hard to live another day. I told them how glad I was that if she couldn’t be right next door, at least she could be down the street, comfortable until the end with Hospice care.

As an elementary teacher I discovered Judith Viorst book The Tenth Good Thing About Barney and recommend to families when they are dealing with a family death. I even envision having it read-aloud at my funeral, one more read-aloud shared with my friends gathered. Today I reread this sweet book about a family who has lost a cat. As I walked to school today, I began making my list about the 10 Good Things About Barbara.

  1. Barbara was a good resident of 12th Street.
    • My street only runs one block and has only 9 houses on it. When we moved in 18 years ago, both Jack and Barbara lived next door. We in our 40s with 2 school-age children, they both in their 60s, Jack’s health failing. Barbara always shared smiles, gave a wave, and stopped for short chats as we stood in our adjacent yards.
  2. Barbara was a storyteller.
    • I started getting in the habit of stopping by every few months once she told me she was fighting cancer. I’d ask how she was doing and I’d hear her latest medical plan. Then she’d tell me stories. About her kids and the teachers they had. Thinking back, a few of those stories she told me more than once but I didn’t care. She enjoyed talking and reminiscing and I enjoyed the peaceful conversation as I sat in her living room.
  3. Barbara liked my cooking.
    • I am not a fancy cook at all. I feed my family using easy-to-make recipes. Over the past few years, I’ve made extra on some Sundays and took Barbara a serving. She raved about my chicken salad I made. I had to laugh when I admitted to her the recipe. “Take 2 cups of chicken salad purchased from the grocery story deli. Add sliced grapes and chopped walnuts.” I’m glad she liked how I “cooked”!
  4. She taught me how to prime her lawn mower and let me borrow it all summer long for the last five summers.
    • My lawn mowers seemed to be cursed. One stopped working. We bought another and it stopped working after one mow. After getting it repaired, it again stopped working. Barbara kindly allowed me to borrow her very basic and very reliable mower. However, the first time I could not get it to start. I sheepishly knocked on her door to explain my defeat. “Did you prime it?” I looked at her blankly and she came outside and showed me this red rubber button on the front of the mower. She pushed it three times. I pulled on the mower cord. It started right up!
  5. Barbara was a reader.
    • Barbara spent lots of time reading when she first was diagnosed with cancer. As a reader myself, I asked if I could get her books when I visited the library. I brought her mysteries and a series about ladies who met and quilted. She loved to read!
  6. Barbara stayed current by daily reading the newspaper.
    • Both Barbara and I receive home delivery of the Washington Post. Each morning she’d read. To help her, I got used to throwing her newspaper on her front porch. And for the past year, using the plastic bag it comes in, I hung it from the screen door handle so she didn’t have to bend down to get the paper. Last week, I was leaving my house as the paper was being delivered and no paper was delivered next door. Barbara’s imminent passing started to sink in as I realized her family must have cancelled her Post subscription.
  7. Barbara loved her cats.
    • I don’t have any pets but I always enjoyed Barbara’s cats when I stopped by for a visit. I especially liked watching how they sat, with the front door opened and stared out through the screened door. It was especially fun to watch when the chipmunks were out and would scamper in front of the door, teasing the cats.
  8. Barbara quilted and knitted and croqueted.
    • Keeping her hands busy was important to Barbara until the very end. She made so many beautiful things. But my favorite was the adorable knitted coat she made for her great-granddaughter this past summer.
  9. Barbara knew Arlington as she had lived in our county all her life.
    • This year I am teaching at Swanson MS, just up the street from my house. When I told Barbara about my new job, she proudly told me she attended this school in the 1940s! She told me lots of stories about so many places in Arlington and what things used to be like. As I approached the Hospice facility to visit Barbara, I smiled thinking how she could tell me all about what this building used to be. Instead, she was resting peacefully each time I stopped by. At least if Barbara couldn’t be in her own home at the end, she was in a familiar Arlington landmark.
  10. Barbra was the matriarch for 84 years of a good, strong family.
    • As one exits the physical world, it allows time for reflection. Barbara met Jack and happily married her. They had lovely children that had lovely children and some of them have had lovely children. One life leading to some many more lives. And all have Barbara’s strong character and perseverance. She lives on in her family.

I’m lucky to have lived next door to Barbara.
I will miss her.



The Fur Coat

Screen Shot 2018-01-02 at 5.34.07 PM

Lotte sat in front of her vanity mirror and admired how her new hair comb pulled her hair back so well, revealing her forehead and bright brown eyes. Then she arranged the gold bows to be the same length on either side of her head. Now for earrings. In her jewelry box were the pearl earrings, a Christmas present from her parents. And gold earrings, a birthday present from her grandparents when she turned 10.

“Pearls,” she thought and quickly attached one to each ear. Then she stood and walked to her wardrobe. Opening the door, she saw it immediately. The sheen of the coat glistened in the morning sunlight, streaming into her room from the window. She reached out and ran her fingers across the fur collar, so soft like the barn cat’s kittens. As she slid her arms into each arm, she instantly felt like a real grownup. Turning, she walked across the room, stepping slowly with toes pointed. As she walked, she felt her shoulders shift and it became more of a strut across her bedroom floor and out the door.

Just last week, she was just Lotte, the youngest of Mr. and Mrs. Hansen’s 3 daughters. As youngest, she didn’t have many demands. Mostly, she played outside and got dirty. Her only chore was to help feed the chickens and put milk out for the barn cats. Her older sisters instead, sat inside, making lace and playing the lute and reading books. Then Aunt Maud arrived for a visit. And she had a big box with her  – only one and it was for Lotte. “I feel awful that I missed giving this to you on your birthday, Lotte. With all that was going on, I forgot. Can I celebrate your birthday today, a few months late?”

Lotte immediately thought back to her birthday, three months ago. She recalls a cake the kitchen maid had made. Yet no one else made a big deal on her day. Understandably, all were preoccupied with her sick mother. In fact, it was that very day that the doctor told them there was nothing more he could do. Lotte recalls how she spent the day praying so hard. She also remembers feeling a little selfish about her prayer, “Please don’t take her today…it is my 11th birthday.”  Her prayer was answered. Her mother died, not that day, but the next. Of course, no one took time to celebrate her birthday and Lotte didn’t complain. Now here was her Aunt, her mother’s oldest sister. She traveled by barge and then carriage from Rotterdam to Delft with a belated birthday present just for her. “Can I open it now?”

“Of course.” Lotte slowly removed the ribbon and bow and lifted the lid. Inside was a coat, unlike any Lotte had every worn before. It reminded her of a similar coat her mother and her older sister’s wore in the winter when they attended grown-up parties. The collar was lined in white fir with golden spots. And each arm had more fur around the edge. Lotte pulled it out of the box and tried it on. It was way too big but she didn’t care. And her aunt didn’t laugh or comment about the size. She just smiled at her. Lotte knew she would grow into it with time and wearing it reminded her of her beautiful mother, attending parties with father. Walking elegantly out the door, pointing her toes and stepping up into the carriage. The fur coat of a princess and now, thanks to Aunt Maud, she had one too.

As Lotte entered the study today, she sat down at the desk by the window, dipped the feather quill into the inkwell and started writing. Dear Aunt Maud.

Once her thank you note was written, she sat on the lounge chair, opened a book and read. Holding the book in one hand, she stroked the fur of her new coat with the other. Nothing would replace having her mother sit and read to her but somehow sitting in her new coat made it feel bearable today.

Story inspired by A Lady Writing (1665) Johannes Vermeer

Thanks to feedback from my writing club, I researched names HERE and HERE to make it sound more Dutch! Also, I highly recommend visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. to see the visiting Vermeer exhibit. It closes January 21, 2018. I visiting over Winter Break and created this story based on one his painting I saw on display.

2018 OLW

As I reflected last week on my 2017 OLW (routine), one of my commenters (which I value so much) wrote “They speak to me and say live actively, be present.” (Thanks MaryAnnRiley). So I began thinking that ACTIVE, ACTION, or PRESENT could become my 2018 OLW.

I always like to look up my word in the dictionary and thesaurus.

Synonyms of action – act, deed, doing, feat
Words Related to action – accomplishment, achievement, attainment, experience, initiative, undertaking, performance, dealing, move, procedure, proceeding, step

Synonyms of active – alive, functional, going, living, working
Words Related to active – effective, employable, usable, viable, workable, performing, serving, busy, dynamic, flourishing, humming, roaring, thriving

Synonyms of present – current, immediate, instant, on-going, present-day
Words Related to present – contemporary, modern, new, newfangled, recent, breathing, existent, living

I am also inspired by a quote said by Cornelius Minor (awesome TCRWP Staff Developer): “We are not who we profess to be. We are how we spend our time.”

Reflecting on this:
I don’t want to just say, “I like art” but I want to spend the afternoon at an art gallery.

I don’t want to just say, “I like to read” but I want to join or start a book club and read and discuss in the company of others. And have a stack of books ready to read next and the pile of all I have read, just as high. And my thinking recorded in my Reading Notebook.

I don’t want to just say, “I want my health numbers to be better” but I want to daily eat and exercise so my numbers naturally get better.

I don’t want to just say, “I see there is a new restaurant/museum exhibit/play in town” but I want to regularly go to “it”.

And I don’t want to become what the antonyms for these words suggest:
Antonyms of action – inactivity, passivity, hesitation, reluctance, laziness, lethargy
Antonyms of active – asleep, dormant, lifeless, inert, dull, idle, inactive
Antonyms of present – absent, away, missing out

Now with just 12 hours to go in 2017, I should pick my word…

In the spirit of focusing on how I will spend my time, my 2018 OLW will be….

I will be active in my personal life – actively eat well and exercise often and I won’t just SAY it, I’ll DO it! I’ll keep walking to school daily. I will look into an exercise or yoga class and join it!

I will be active in my teacher life – actively DO all that I teach my students to do and reflect on it often in the new club I am forming called the Reflect Often, Then Act Teacher Research Club #ROTATRClub 

I will be active in my writing life – actively meet monthly with my writing club, actively reflect on my MSblog each Sat and actively posting a SOL each Tuesday and every day in March.

I will be active in my reading life – actively find and join a book club (how crazy that I am a Reading 6 Middle School teacher but I am not part of a book club right now!) and I will actively add my thinking to my Reading Notebook after each book read.

I will be active in exploring my world – over Spring Break, I’ll do this by visiting my daughter in France – each month my husband and I want to  will explore a new restaurant for dinner, something we can easily do because we are empty-nesters – I will take advantage of living in Arlington, just across the river from D.C. which offers so many cultural experiences, most for free!

Tomorrow starts 365 days of an ACTIVE life for me because I believe I am HOW I spend my time. I am an active writer, an active reader, and an active explorer.

Can’t wait to see where this takes me!

What is your OLW?
How did it find you?
Where will it take you?

Final 2017 OLW reflection

My 2017 OLW is ROUTINE.
How did this word help me?

I wanted to have a reading routine just as strong as my writing routine is.
          I am proud that since this time last year, I have read much more. It helped that I switched jobs and now am a Reading 6 teacher in MS! But looking back over the whole year, I am proud that I did a Mock Caldecott in January with my 3rd graders and am getting ready to do a January Mock Sibert (best non-fiction) with my current 6th graders. Both surrounded me with loads of picture books that I read and read. I also did the MARCH BOOK MADNESS where we read 2 books and voted on book to go forward! I’ll do that again this coming March. I am reading and adding scrapbook-like notes about it into my Reading Notebook. And just yesterday, I noticed my local library has book clubs. I do think I will look into join a club in the new year. So, as the year is ending, my reading routine feels strong!

I wanted to have an exercise routine.
I had a fun, active summer. My husband took me to Mexico and we snorkeled and took walks on the beach. I returned and got ready for a new job – Middle School. And the school is just down the street. So I am walking to work – about a mile each way, each day. I like it when exercise is built into my day. I also am ending the year inspired to do even more. I get home from work by 4pm. My husband isn’t home until 7pm. I think I’ll renew my gym membership and look into taking a spinning class. I am happier when I fit into my clothes so I am motivated to move more!

I wanted to have a healthy eating routine.
I eat fruit and cereal every morning. Then pack a healthy lunch and take it to school to eat. It is just my husband and I at home now so I try to cook us a healthy dinner. I could lessen my white wine intake. Maybe more salads in 2018, too!

Now what will my 2018’s OLW be?
The idea of planning adventures comes to mind. A friend told me years ago about a night tour of the National Arboretum on the night of a full moon. I want to do that. There is a visiting Vermeer exhibit at The National Gallery of Art. I want to go see that. My husband and I talk about eating out once a month to try new restaurants. But then months will go by and we didn’t go. Maybe my word can connect to planning and implementing outings/adventures….I think I’m onto something…I’ll keep pondering as I have 6 more days to pick my word.

How did YOU do with your OLW?
Do you have a 2018 OLW picked?

December, 2017

My daughter send me a text with the link to this poem by Ken Nesbitt:

Screen Shot 2017-12-12 at 12.54.16 PM

She is teaching English to students in France so the list poem can give the kids a laugh, as well as teaching them vocabulary. This poem gave me the idea to change the last lines to:

So that’s my list
of everything
I love about

Here’s my Poem…

December, 2017

Neighborhood houses aglow with lights.
Roofs outlines and door frames wrapped.
Porch rails draped with pine branches.
Some have elegant, simple wreaths at windows.
Others have over-the-top giant, inflatable characters
squatting on their lawns.

In my kitchen, dough is mixed and dropped onto the tray.
Then red and green M&Ms added on top and baked.
Cream cheese is mixed with chopped green pepper and pineapple
and rolled in pecans, making the best holiday cheeseball to spread on crackers.
Both pair nicely with hot chocolate, stirred with peppermint sticks.

On the radio, carols stream 24/7
from Thanksgiving to the 25th.
Yo-yo Ma’s Dona-Nobis-Pacem instrumental
reminds me of singing this song as a three-part round
during my Catholic Elementary School Carol Night
40+ years ago.
I can see the church lights turned low
and the tinsel sparkling on the altar.
And feel the student body and myself
transformed to angelic beings,
at least for the hour performance.

On a brisk morning, the search for the tree begins
walking the lot on a farm, hours from the city.
Gloves used as spotters for the ones liked best.
Then a decision and a signal to the farmer.
His ax cuts the trunk
and the tree is secured to the car roof
and home it goes.

This year, an asphalt lot is walked
just ten minutes from my home.
The tree fills the living room corner
and a scent of pine fills the air.
White, blue, and green strings of light
Weave throughout the tree.
Some twinkle.
Then balls are added and ribbon, too.
And the angel is placed on top.

Now I am ready.
Ready to plug in my porch lights.
Ready to hang my wreath on the door.
Ready to share cookies and cheeseball snacks.
Ready for gifts to cover the tree skirt.
Ready for family and friends to gather.

So that’s my list of everything
I love about Christmastime.



Hour of Code

In 2014, when President Obama was in office, he supported hourofcode.org. It is a non-profit that supports the celebration of Computer Science Education Week through the encouragement of kids learning to code and through the celebration and encouragement of schools teaching computer science classes. Yesterday was my 4th Hour of Code celebration, this time with 6th graders in Arlington County Public School where I teach Reading to 116 eleven year olds.

I learned about Hour of Code from my daughter. She can write code and has a Masters degree from the University of Chicago in Public Policy and Computer Science. Now she uses big data in the city of New York to help improve the public policies issued through the mayor. She made a point of telling me to remind the girls in my class that they should get good at coding because this field, her field, needs more women in it.

So yesterday, as each Mod entered my room, I told them to quickly use their iPad (APS issues every 6th grader an iPad) and go to Google Classroom Reading and click on the attached link for Hour of Code. Then I dimmed the lights and played this one minute introductory video of former President Obama welcoming us to HOUR OF CODE!

Take a minute, click HERE and be encouraged by President Obama

(As the video was playing, I overheard a 6th grade boy say, “Obama, we miss you.”)

Next, I told the kids to go to the activity page link I shared on their Google Classroom page and CODE! The Hour of Code website makes it so easy. I remember in 2014, there were just a few tutorial choices. I remember I chose Angry Birds and spent time programming that bird to move left and right. This year, there are too many tutorials for me to even count. The header on the page reads:

Hour of Code Activities

Try a one-hour tutorial designed for all ages in over 45 languages.
Join millions of students and teachers in over 180 countries starting with an Hour of Code.

You can filter the tutorials by age – All grades/Pre-Reader/Grades 2-5/Grades 6-8/Grades 9+ and by Beginner or Comfortable. You can choose a tutorial related to a subject. There is a dropdown menu to pick a tutorial created by specific company. When I clicked this, over 100 companies are listed. No wonder there are now so many choices. It seems that the computer industry is fully supporting this celebration of coding this year!

I have my students for 43 minutes. So at the 35 minute mark, I stopped them and asked them to write down on a post-it note how many lines of code they wrote (many of the tutorials keep track) or list the tutorial they tried and to complete this sentence: Coding is ______. Then I showed them the 5 minute video shared on the website entitled, What Most Schools Don’t Teach –   5 minute video

This video starts with this quote by Steve Jobs: “Everyone in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think.”  Then leaders in the computer industry and a basketball player too, share about when they started getting interested in computers and how you do NOT need to be a genius to be a computer programmer. Lots of fun images are included showing the cool work spaces of facebook, etc. Then the video ends with this quote: 1 million of the best jobs in American may go unfilled because only 1 in 4 schools teach computer science.

I told my students how lucky they are. They go to Arlington County Public School, where they are given an iPad and can choose to take computer science classes.

I collected their Exit Tickets and now my door and bulletin board look like this:

I feel lucky to teach coding using the Hour of Code resources. Because if them, I easily encouraged the reading and writing of code! Can’t wait to see where my 11 years olds will go with this skill!