Thursday, November 21, 2013


During the winter months I don't like to run! I think wearing all those heavy clothes is just too much for me. It takes the joy out of the experience. The ice and snow also makes running so much harder and even dangerous. However, since I want to be ready for the spring races, I have to train all winter. So, this is what I'm doing this year.

I am still using the elliptical every morning for 45 minutes and we walk two miles every day at 5:30 a.m.  I do the same weight training three times a week and also ab work for five days a week. All that is the same as I do in the summer. In the summer I can walk several times during the day with Dave, my golden retriever, but we don't do that as much in the bad weather. Instead, I have been using the treadmill to add to my mileage. That along with the daily walks I take in the evening before or after supper have been giving me the workouts I need to stay in shape.
I have been checking out races in the area as well as some large races around the country. If I have a race in the future, that helps me to stay focused and have a purpose for those long training sessions. Running is one of the most enjoyable things I have added to my activities since retiring. So blessed to have the ability and health to do it.  Not to mention how fortunate I am to have a husband that is not only my coach but also my running partner!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Writers Work Toward Ba-Da-Bing Sentences

Since I have been traveling again, it had been awhile since I visited this fourth grade classroom.  After being gone, it is amazing to see how much the students had grown as writers.  Today they were working on various genres and adding sentences that Barry Lane calls: ba-da-bing sentences.

Here's how it went.
The teacher talked to them about writing three parts to a sentence: Where feet travel; What eyes see; and What the mind thinks. By doing those three things, the sentence becomes longer and gives the reader more details.

Look at this sample:
Where your feet went:
"I tiptoed across the freshly waxed tile floor."
What you saw:
"half of the players were bear-hugging the volleyball, as they returned to the rack"
What you thought:
"Mrs. Gilbert is a master teacher, coach and organizer"
The new sentence:
"As I tiptoed on freshly waxed tile, I saw children bear-hugging their volleyballs and thought, Mrs. G. is amazing!"

The students were instructed to try this in their work today. 

After writing/conferencing time was over, several children shared their work.  Here is a sample of one girl's ba-da-bing sentence: