This afternoon Stacey said to me, "You don't know what to do with yourself, do you?" She was right, I had no clue. Afternoons are the busiest part of my day. When I walk in my door at 4:30 I am completely consumed with family life. The afternoons with Stacey have been quiet and relaxing.… Continue reading Ruth’s SOLS: Away.
If you teach eighth grade or younger, it is highly unlikely that your students personally remember the events of September 11; many of our students weren't alive when the attacks occurred. For me, that's tough to get my mind around. The day burned a vivid memory on my brain. As teachers, it is our duty to… Continue reading Remembering September 11th
For many, today marked the start of a new school year. For my son, it marked the start of a school career. He went to school for the very first time today. I went with him. I was excited and nervous; happy and sad; looking back and looking forward --- all rolled into one big… Continue reading Ruth’s SOLS: Starting School.
Do you know the old saying, "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree?" I'm experiencing it first hand. My oldest daughter, Hannah, was given a writer's notebook by her third grade teacher. She is in love. Serious love. Last Friday she asked her teacher if she could bring her notebook home over the weekend… Continue reading One Time Stories
Slice 1: All morning I waited for Laurie Halse Anderson's post about the writing challenge for today. Although a little apprehensive about whether this would be worthwhile, I found myself writing interview questions and then answering them in the voice of a dad. Well past the required fifteen minutes, I was still writing, learning all… Continue reading Ruth’s Slice(s) of Life: A New Minilesson Idea
On Friday, after Andy and I spoke at Nate's funeral, the song "Photograph" was played as the service progressed. Although I've listened to it many times before, it now clings to my heart. I'm reminded how music can make us feel and remember and itch to write. A photo of Nate sits on our mantel.… Continue reading Ruth’s SOLS: Listening to Photograph by Nickelback
Less than 24 hours after eating gummy worm brownies with Nate, Andy and I found ourselves standing in a hospital room with his family. Although Nate was young and strong, he had a weak heart. On Saturday he was doing some back flips off a boat and had a hard time catching his breath. He… Continue reading Ruth’s SOLS: Nate
This weekend I went to a bridal shower and I was reminded of my own wedding preparations. Isn't it strange the way time plays with your mind? It seems like it was just a few months ago that I was the one opening presents, making final preparations, and counting down the days to be Mrs. Ayres. … Continue reading Ruth’s Memoior-ish Monday: Bridal Shower.
This is a common scene in my life right now. The shirt changes and the track changes and the length of train changes . . . the the hat + the hobby + the sounds all stay the same. Sometimes I get tired of stepping over tracks. Sometimes I want to play something other than trains. Sometimes… Continue reading Ruth’s SOLS: “Play Trains, Mom”
Sitting on the floor of a primary classroom, watching Debbie Miller lead a reading workshop, I am reminded of the importance of a student-led classroom. It all comes down to either embracing the thinking and work of students or embracing standardized test prep. It's either empowering students or it's empowering the test. I am renewed… Continue reading Ruth’s Slice: Debbie Miller Observation!
His loud wailing sobs broke into the serene morning. Our mornings are peaceful. Always. (Usually.) Right now it isn't quiet. The sobs are echoing through the entire house -- bouncing off of the floor; binging off of the walls; filling the house. In my mind I growl my five year old's name. Certainly she did… Continue reading Ruth’s Slice: Morning Tea.
When I giggle at my goal as a fifth grader to write a story a day, collecting thick purple folders of words and pictures, stapled into books, I remember the process of learning to live a creative life. It was then that I realized the more I wrote, the more I had to write. The more… Continue reading Why Memoir Monday?