Monthly Archives: December 2018


Our week was not as expected.

My dear uncle, perhaps the smartest man I knew, suffered a stroke. When I saw him last he wasn’t the witty Uncle Pat I knew. He wasn’t leaning in to share a dry remark. He wasn’t curling or sitting watching sports or supervising the rest of us playing cards or Scrabble. There was no Guinness in hand.

Although not his usual self, one thing remained the same: he was surrounded by those who love him. This husband. Father. Grandfather. Uncle. Brother. Brother-in-law. Teacher. Friend. Sports fanatic. Trivia master. Food connoisseur. Wordsmith.

He took his last breath on Saturday. One of his last audible words earlier in the week after he was told he had suffered a stroke: “bollocks.” Fitting if you knew my Irish uncle.

Rest in peace Patrick. You will be missed.

A Season to Read and Write

This weekend December arrived and along with it some snow. A lot of snow, actually! We also put up our Christmas tree and decorated the house.

At this time of year in the classroom, I love to capitalize on the excitement of the season.

  • It’s time to introduce transformation stories using How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss and The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado. After exploring these books, students can write their own transformation stories.
  • It’s time to share Christmas poetry such as ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore.
  • It’s also time to have students write recipes. Find a picture of a non-bake Christmas treat; students have to list the ingredients and write the steps to create the treat!

Happy reading… happy writing!