Saturday, February 28, 2015

Celebrate the Tiny Moments.

I'm linking with Ruth Ayres, and her weekly link up.  Read More about that here.  And then join in.

Some tiny moments from school last week that I celebrate:

1.  A moment where I walked into an inside recess.  (Have Mercy on the Middle of the Midwest!  Brrr...)  I looked around.  Everyone was engaged together and peaceful.  They were all playing/engaged in something appropriate.  It was that lovely buzzing sound that let me know everything was okay.  They are great kids.

2.  Some handwriting practice and a dance party.  As they are quietly engaged in some handwriting practice, music is on in the background.  I'm quietly observing work, and a student and I end up discussing quietly the "Sprinkler" dance move.  I look up.  They Are All Doing It.  Without making a sound.  :)  I celebrate these kids!

3.  Wednesday night church suppers.  It was snowing.  Lots of places around us were cancelling.  Just try to get between a Lutheran and their church supper.  :)  Great conversations with dear friends.  I'm glad we ventured out.  

4.  Wednesday also brought some time to reflect.  With a substitute in my classroom, I was able to spend time with some students, think and plan, catch up.  And all during working hours.  I'm thankful for a community that will provide that time for teachers.  

5.  This weekend, I start the Slice of Life Challenge, and I'm offering the Classroom Slice as a challenge to my first graders as well.  Stay tuned.  :)

tiny celebrations.  But we celebrated them all!  


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

SOL: Wait.

Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life on their blog.  Join us and link up too!
(A quick write from my notebook...)


We wait for Joy to win.  We're told suffering won't win.  Wait for Joy.

I wait.  My whole being waits.  I put my Hope in You.

My whole being is waiting.  Sometimes, when your Spirit is waiting for the Joy, it is a physical tug to be strong.  To have Hope.  To return to the Joy, even when it seems Hopeless.  

How do we wait?  Quiet moments in the morning.  Meditation.  Words on your Heart.  Lingering over Coffee.  A Run.    

When we wait; we find others waiting too.  There is Joy in Waiting together.  A chance to provide Encouragement.  A chance to share what's on your heart.  

I will continue to wait.  


Monday, February 23, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Books That We Are Using to Talk About Making Predictions.

Link with and  to share what you've been reading!  

Here are some books we are using this week as we talk about the idea of making predictions.  





Some new, some old on this list.  

What I'm Reading:

You Guys.  I finally finished this book.  It wasn't my favorite book, but as always, I invested in one of Rainbow Rowell's characters that I had to find out what happened.  It took a trip to the farm to finish it.  But I did.

So I started: 

And I put this one to be read next:


And after hanging out with all of you on your blogs, I've added this to the TBR stack for 2015:


Thanks for sharing your titles!  



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Celebrate like it's February 19,1999

I'm linking with Ruth Ayres, and her weekly link up.  Read More about that here.  And then join in!

(A story inspired by all the Valentine's Stories last week.)

A group of college students have been preparing.  

A dinner theater.  Think 70's Midwest Church basement.  Funny Songs.  Funny Skits.  Lots of spaghetti.  
All planned by college students; all in their early 20s.  (I couldn't type that part without laughing.)

I was totally clueless.  

I was focused on spaghetti and the upcoming trip to Florida.  Mission oriented with fun thrown in.  Habitat for Humanity and some other work as well with a home for babies who were HIV positive.    Even back then, I wanted to save the world.  (Still do.)

And my parents were especially attentive this week.  Calling me all the time.  "Dad took a week off work."  (A semi-driver.)  "Bill and Marlys are coming too."  

My 21 year old self:  "Mommmmm!  Don't come up here.  It's not that big of a deal."  

It was that big of a deal.  

So the theater went off without a hitch.  The dinner part...not so much.  I remember how long people were waiting for spaghetti!  It seemed like an eternity.  

I had planned the last skit of the night with my then boyfriend, Shawn, and that night I was insistent that we just cancel it.  Insistent.  Just let the people go home, we aren't doing it.  

If you knew me then, you'll know that it took Nathaniel and a "Dude!  You are doing the skit!"  to quiet me down.  Something in his tone.  I brushed it off, clearly he was just passionate about the people and their spaghetti and their dinner theater.  

It wasn't about the spaghetti.  

So we do the skit.  We mimic The Newlywed Game.  Old couples, Middle Aged Couples and Us at the ripe old ages of 21 and 22.  Of course we won the grand prize.  

It was supposed to be a care package for Florida.  Flip flops, a towel, sunglasses.  Cute right?  

It was an engagement ring.  

(Everyone else did.  They had been planning it for weeks.  And not one of them had caved and told me!  Traitors!)

Right there, in front of at least 100 people, my Shawn gets down on one knee.  I think he asks me to marry him.  I know I said yes.  And then yelled for my Mom and Dad.  :)  Who were in the back.  Because they knew too.  

16 years later, I'm thinking about how this just keeps getting better.  

He's simply the best.  The Best.  The best husband.  The best friend.  The best daddy.  The Best.  

Here's to many more years together.  Happy February 19th!  


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

10 for 10 Nonfiction. New to Me from the Library.

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I'm so thankful for a blogging community that continues to celebrate books.  It has really pushed me to stay current and excited about what continues to be published!  

Here are my 10 new nonfiction books to share, in no special order.  Books and Publishers and Series that are new to me. From the Library.  In February.  (I'll stop now.)  :)  


I had been looking at this book when we read for our Mock Caldecott this year.  I'm so bummed that I didn't share this sooner!  Beautiful pictures; accessible text.  I love biographies/any nonfiction that have that text for emerging readers to access.  


A Man and His dog.  This is a beautiful; heartbreaking story.  I love the story in History.  A great way to talk history with some younger learners who are interested in history.  Maybe get your tissues.

Easy, readable text for our emerging readers.  The text features keep this book high interest.  There are many interesting facts in this quick, easy read.  

Rain Forest Colors

I love what National Geographic has done for kids.  So many of their books have made their way through my classroom and home.  High interest, accessible.  (Sense a theme!?)  

Explore My World: Snow Leopards

Explore My World: Frogs

What I enjoyed about the Explore my World series was how the facts were written in more of a narrative form.  

The following titles are from ABDO Publishing.  I really enjoyed these books.  They were new to me.  

I'm always on the hunt for high-readability.  This publisher has lots of topics to choose from!
I'm thankful for the time to reflect on nonfiction in February!  


Slice of Life: Slicing with Firsties

Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life on their blog.  Join us and link up too!

So today's post is more of a "processing for the world to see" post.  If you have Sliced in your classroom I would love to see the links, ideas, etc.  Especially if you are a first grade teacher.  :)  

I've been thinking about it for awhile now.  

I have such voracious writers in my room this year, how do you extend this for students?  This has been mulling around in my head for awhile.

Enter...Slice of Life.  Stacey, Deb, and Cathy were so gracious in offering support when I thought (and mentioned) that I was considering this with First Graders.  I'm so thankful for a connected PLN that is quick to offer resources and help.

I absolutely think that I have some Slicers in my classroom!  So, my ideas for implementing #SOL15 with 1C:

1.  Slicing will be available everyday to those who are interested.  I'm still sketching some mini lessons and will share those out when I'm done.

2.  As a class, we need to talk about:  What is slicing?  What are the requirements?  What resources do I need?  (Great news--writing is authentic--bring on the books and writing tools.)  How will we celebrate our writing?

3.  On Tuesdays (of course) we'll have lunch bunch.  What will we do?  Eat lunch together, and then sit down and write our Slices together.  No lessons here, only writers modeling and talking writing with each other.  :)

4.  I'll do the tweeting and the linking up when slices are written.

5.  We will comment and look at lots of Slices as well!

6.  Of course a celebration when we are done!

So Classroom Slicers...what works?  Advice?  Tips?  (Especially with a focus on our Tiny Slicers.)  I keep thinking I don't want to make it too much of a "production", because I want the writing to stay authentic.  I'm excited to go on this journey with my writers!


Monday, February 16, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Link up with and to share with us what you've been reading.

After reading this book on Friday, I would really like to run out and buy a red cape!  And who wouldn't want a Nana like this?  Hooray for Nana in the City!

This book is wonderful for a discussion about sticking with your dreams.  I mean, the penguin wants to fly, and he figures out a way.  If he can accomplish his dreams, so can we!

This is such a beautiful book to linger in.  My insect experts will enjoy this accessible text as well as lingering over the artwork.

A lovely book on friendship and sisterhood.  Confirming if you are classified as a loud individual.  :)

A fun book to read aloud!  Bella's dog and the helpers disappear!  It takes the reader to engage with the book to get the dog back!

This past week I started and finished The Crossover:

Just hurry.  Hurry and read this book. It was not in my plan to read for 2015.  That's my favorite part of going to the library.

Also, I'm determined to finish FanGirl...yes, I have said this for like 3 weeks.  There are parts of the story I'm invested in and parts I'm not.  Stay tuned...

Happy Reading!

Joy!  --Kendra

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Celebrate! (It's Valentine's Day!)

I'm linking with Ruth Ayres, and her weekly link up.  Read More about that here.  And then join in!

Oh Friends! It is good to celebrate in the middle of the muddle.  Mid-February here in the Midwest can be described as just that--a muddle.  But there is beauty in it!  Let's Celebrate:

1.  This book:


I read this book in about an hour on Thursday.  And I had the chance to recommend it to a family on Instagram!  It's so powerful.  And I celebrate the chance to read for pure enjoyment...on a school night!  

2.  This Minivan:

Notice I appear to be parked in the middle of no where?  That's because I did.  Nothing "Mini" about these vans...just sayin...

Last week my "normal" car was hit in a parking lot.  We celebrate lots here:  no one was hurt, the driver returned when I thought she had left, her insurance appears to be covering everything, and I have this huge minivan to drive now as a rental.  Li'l T is convinced that this is what we need as a family...Me...not so much.  :)  I celebrate the positives that came with this situation.   

3.  These Students:

On Friday, of course it was party day!  They make celebrating so much fun!  They walked in and one announced, "We'll put First things First Mrs. Limback!  We'll do our work first and then we will play."  It just set a tone and purpose for our day!  They've grown up so much, and it's so fun to be their teacher.  (And the party was fun too!)

4. A Book Study:

I've had a chance to be reading this book with some amazing educators.  I celebrate the encouragement that comes with reading a book on Mindsets.  And I celebrate the wisdom that is in the people around me.  I really recommend this study.  

I cannot wait to celebrate with you too!  Joy!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Slice of Life-Maybe It's a Poem About Winter?!?

Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life on their blog.  Join us and link up too!

Joy in Winter.

Who can see the joy in winter?  

I looked.  

Encouragement allowed me to see:

Time to read.  There is joy in the story.

Time to write.  There is joy in the word.

Time to cook.  There is joy in the hospitality and nourishment.

Time to slow down.  Read.  Write.  Savor.  

There is joy in winter.  

Have a joyful Tuesday! 


Monday, February 9, 2015

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Link up with Jen at and Kellee at to share what you are reading with your students this week.  

I'm so excited to get in the classroom today.  Last week, when we were in the library together, my students saw me checking out the books that we were going to read this week.  Immediately, I started to hear, "Read That One first!"  "Read This One First!"  :)  Be Still My Little Heart.  We might read them all today.  (Just kidding.) 

I had this one in my pile a couple of weeks ago.  I went back and got it from the library again.  An adorable story and an adorable boy who is a hugging machine!

The problem is: they hate to share.  We are exploring the concept of "Think Win-Win" right now as we also study The Leader in Me.  This book is perfect for revisiting that concept.  

A beautiful book.  Not a lot of text, however, this is when my kids seem to do the best.  A perfect way to revisit the snow that we had last week.  

This wordless picture book is beautiful.  The story is lovely.  (No!  YOU had tears in your eyes when it was over.)  


Finally, some nonfiction to practice the skill of summarizing.  
Interesting facts in here.  I was most fascinated by how an ant bathes.  

What Am I Reading???

I'm still reading FanGirl.  I keep thinking I might abandon it, yet when I do sit down to read, it moves along quickly.  

I also have a book at school for me to read: 


Ta-Da!  This book is so cool.  I'm so glad I picked up this Newbery winner to read in all my free time.  Ahem.  Anyway, it's awesome.  I'll make time to read it.  

What are you reading?  Have a happy Monday!

Saturday, February 7, 2015


I'm linking with Ruth Ayres, and her weekly link up.  Read More about that here.  And then join in!

More than ever, I need to Celebrate!  I'm so thankful that I'm Called to see hope, and not pessimism when things get tough.  Let's start by celebrating that.  

Now let's get to the good stuff.  

1.  The photos in this book are amazing.  Not a lot of text, but the conversations we had this week around this read aloud were awesome.  Run right out and get this book!  My Firsties are really starting to look for meaning in a story.  I'm smiling and typing at the same time.  


2.  Meatless Tuesday
Food has become important to us as a family.  I've written about Li'l Ts Allergies before, so I'll spare you the details.  But on Tuesday, I was able to eat meatless all day.  I felt great!  The menu:
  • Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal
  • Vegetable Pizza (onions, peppers, olives, tomatoes); a mandarin orange; sparkling water
  • Potato Soup with a little shredded cheese; and a dark green salad with cilantro and avocado dressing.  
It was just a great reminder that a little self care goes a long way; and good choices aren't always hard.  


This is a photo with one of my sons.  I was shoveling on Wednesday when I saw this, and just started laughing.  Sometimes, kids are funny.  

I hope you are finding things to celebrate too!


Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Slice Of Life-Beekle and Thoughts from First Grader are Growing Up.

Two Writing Teachers host Slice of Life on their blog.  Join us and link up too!


In case you didn't hear yesterday--our Caldecott Winner this year!  

My class had chosen this book to be our Mock Caldecott:

Reading this book to them was amazing and provided more conversation than I had ever hoped for.  

However, to celebrate, I pulled out Beekle yesterday to read.  I had read it at the beginning of the year.  We looked that this book again yesterday as well.  Just this conversation alone has shown me how much they are growing up.  Thoughts from yesterdays read aloud:

1.  "Beekle really stands out in the pictures."  

2.  "This is a great book about finding friends."

3.  "He wrote this book for us about how to be a good friend.  Keep trying."  

4.  "Friendship is like an adventure."  

5.  "The theme of this book is great for kids."  

5 short statements I was able to capture in the reading that we did yesterday.  My take away from participating in the Mock Caldecott was the rich conversations that can happen around the books we are reading are a must.  I'm so proud of how these First Graders were able to think about the ideas from the Caldecott guidelines and apply them to our conversation.