#CelebrateLu: A great July…

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Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!

The first day of August!  The last time I participated in the Celebrate community, it was the first day of July and I was celebrating the start of summer…and now that August is here, even though it’s still officially summer, I’m beginning to let my thoughts drift towards this place, my school (my classroom is on the second floor, the middle window):

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But, before I bid goodbye to July, here’s what I want to celebrate about this July:

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Moving to the farm on a rainy 4th.of July weekend with the entire family there to pack up the truck, unload the truck, unpack our “stuff”, and help us settle in.  That first weekend, the kids lined up their air mattresses on the living room floor and had a sleepover party that lasted until the early morning.  I will never forget coming downstairs in the morning and seeing their gently sleeping bodies in a cozy row – just like the old days.  So, I celebrate a summer of sleepovers with whichever of the children who happened to be there together.  This is what we had hoped for when we bought the farm: a place to gather and have times like the “old times”.

July was a mad cap busy month – painting, cleaning, weeding, from dawn to dusk.  Now, it feels wonderful to wander from room to room and see how this house has become our home.  So I celebrate the fact that all the “sweat equity” (in the words of my lawyer husband) of July has yielded a lovely place for us to enjoy, even though my back and knees will take some time to recover!

Even so, July was a month of learning to be still and in the moment.  Every time I looked up from weeding or painting to take in the sweeping views on all sides of our farm, I learned to be still and enjoy the moment.  On many an afternoon, or evening, when there were no other sounds save for valley breezes and every variety of songbird, I learned to cultivate the habit of being still and in the moment.  And on hushed nights, when there was only moonlight and stars to illuminate the front porch, I sat still and in the moment.  I am a restless person, so I celebrate what July taught me.

July was a month of reading and thinking about how to write about reading, thanks to the inspirational group  of #WabtR educators.  I have learned so much from all they have shared, and I feel, once again, so blessed to have such a generous and thoughtful fellowship with which to learn … even in the summer.

And, in the same spirit of learning and giving, there was the #CyberPD15 group with which I read this year’s book – Digital Reading: What’s Essential in Grades 3-8 by Franki Sibberson and Bill Bass.  I loved the way this group shared their reflections about this important book – this helped me figure out how I would/could change my own approaches to digital literacy.  It was powerful groupthink.

So, thank you, July – I celebrate all that came into my life last month, and feel all the better for each and every one of those experiences.

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Celebrate this week @ #clebratelu :August 16th., 2014

Discover. Play. Build.

Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because, we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get!

It’s back from vacation, back to school (or, getting ready to do so).  But, I wanted to take this Celebration Saturday to mark a few of my summer celebrations…before they fade into  all the “stuff” of my daily working/living  life:

I am so thankful to have been able to see my parents this summer: we live an ocean apart, and even though the phone lines are always buzzing between London and New Jersey, there is nothing quite like seeing them first thing in the morning and last thing at night again.

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After thirty two years, my husband Scott remains my favorite travel companion. Who else could be so much fun to be with, whether we are in search of  obscure but fascinating historic sites, theater in all its forms, perfecting the at of the selfie, or a morning spent looking over ancient manuscripts?  So, I celebrate Scott.

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And finally, I celebrate the fact that I will soon be walking through my classroom door, ready to greet another crop of sixth graders and begin a year of learning and growing together.  My room has a long way to go before I can sort the boxes and recreate our learning space, but I am ready. So, I celebrate that!

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Thank you, Ruth, for giving us this lovely Saturday event – check out other celebrations here!