Tag Archives: holidays

Happy New Year Tic-Tac-Toe

We’ve got about 36 hours left in 2017 and less than 4 days left of break, so it’s lesson planning time…

We start back on Wednesday, which I know will be rough. (Better than a Monday though!)

For my “First 15” (i.e., bell-ringer, bell work, seat work), my students will have a special Tic-Tac-Toe board to tell me a little about their break. (Download the PDF at the end of this post.)

I want to hear about everyone’s break, but I also don’t want to stress any of my students out with a standard journal prompt about their best gift or favorite part of being away from school.

Shortly before break, I saw a quote on Instagram (which I will paraphrase here): The best part of the holidays for some kids are the days leading up to break.

That spoke to me.

Not everyone had the best break. Not everyone got trendy clothes, cool shoes,  expensive gadgets, or a wallet full of gift cards. Not everyone had family surrounding them. Not everyone had delicious meals around a big table.

I’m asking my students to respond to just 5 or 6 of these prompts, because then I will know how their 2017 ended and how our 2018 will begin.

Happy New Year Tic-Tac-Toe

I hope your holiday break was filled with rest, relaxation, and some fun.  I hope you are recharged and ready when that alarm goes off in a few days. May 2018 be your happiest Happy New Year yet!


Tradition Season

The last day of October already?! I can’t believe it’s over. It was a great month though…so I can’t complain. The month of October is the start of “Tradition Season”….my favorite time of the year!!

My community is big on tradition. We have one of the longest high school football rivalries in the country. We just had our 109th meeting. (We won!)

Tweedle Ian, the sports fanatic, and Tweedle Dee, the Princess of Tradition if I am the Queen of Tradition, love this spirit-filled week…..just as they should. It’s how we raise kids around here. I grew up in the opposing town and although it’s my alma mater and my family remains loyal, I have “crossed the river” and my loyalties have changed. I feel it’s only right to support my children and my students, much to my family’s dismay.

Two weeks ago we went to the 8th grade football game against our rivals. It’s always fun to see my students on the field and it’s especially exciting for Tweedle Ian, as he feels a “connection” with the players because I know their names. (To him, these 14-year-olds are celebrities.)

This past Thursday we went to the community pep rally and bonfire. We had our traditional kettle corn and hung out at our traditional spot waiting for the team and cheerleaders to set it ablaze. And then as the fire grew, we worked our way back from the heat, til we were on the very edge of the field…signaling it was time to call it a night and head back to the car.

Before the pep rally, we headed out for our annual candid picture photo shoot. There is a nice little park-like setting behind a nearby church and the kids and I have gone down there to take “Fall Pics” for a few years now. Tweedle Dee, who has gotten quite artsy with her iPod camera had some great ideas this time.

I “heart” tradition and beautiful fall days…which seem to be dwindling.

And then, since we could not get tickets to the Friday night game this year, we listened to it online while playing ping pong and Scrabble. Game updates via Twitter and Facebook, and the warmth and coziness of “watching” the game in pajamas could easily make this a tradition.

Saturday, we attended yet another of the biggest high school rivalries of all time with Admiral Bodee and all four kids. (A first for me and my kids.) He works for one district and his kids go to school in the other. It was rainy and cold and part of me did not want to go…but I did…because “it’s tradition” and it meant a lot to him.

I love tradition. It is comforting to me.

Traditions can start accidentally or be started deliberately.

Traditions can be ordinary or off-the-wall.

Traditions can make us laugh…and sometimes cry.

Traditions can be puzzling to others, but make perfect sense to those involved.

Traditions remind us of days long gone.

Traditions represent promises that will not be broken.

Traditions give us hope and make us look forward to the future.

So….singing/meowing “Happy Birthday” as a chorus of cats, going to one Ohio State game a year, staying up ALL night on Thanksgiving and going shopping into the early morning hours of Black Friday, taking the kids to a dog show at the IX Center for my birthday, Christmas Eve fondue with 20 people, having a candid fall photo shoot with the kids…all of these traditions are a special part of my fall and holiday season.

Tweedle Ian (with the football), Tweedle Dee (striking a pose in the middle), and me (taking the pic) on our walk home.

What are some traditions you’ve started with your family?

Do you have any traditions from childhood that you continue with your own kids today?

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