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Category: Slices of Life by Ms. Bless

Cousin Time

“I’ll push you!” Brady says, jumping off his own swing to go behind Troy.

“OK?” Troy responds, doubtful of how this is going to work.

He “pushes” and Troy starts to move, in large part because Troy is making it happen with his feet. The swing and the much larger child start gaining some momentum. Unfortunately, Brady’s timing is a little off…and…Whack! Brady goes flying backward into the wood chips.

We all laughed and Brady picked himself up out of the chips. No big deal for this kid. But it did change his focus a bit…

“I’ll throw this at you,” Brady says with a mischievous smile, gathering dirt and wood chips in this hands…

Scare the Hiccups Away!

Hic.  Hic.

“These hiccups hurt!”  I complained.

“Should I text you?”  my fiance asked from the couch.

“Huh?……Oh…..”  I realized what he was asking…He was offering to scare the hiccups out of me.

By texting you ask?   Well…yes.  I am easily startled.   The school bell goes off.  I jump.  A chair screeches across the floor.  I jump.  My phones receives a text message.  I jump.

Turns out I didn’t need help.  They went away pretty soon after, but I guess that might work next time?

Helter-skelter Periods…

I love strong, stubborn kids – and my class is full of them this year!  However, it can be exhausting trying to change the way they do something…example:  periods.

“The ideas are great.  It’s a slice of life.  But, you don’t have any punctuation.”

“Aghh…fine.”  She skips away to add punctuation and then comes back in minutes.

I reread the slice and there were periods now, but they seemed to be randomly placed throughout the piece.  “Achoo, (her nickname…)  it seems like you just put periods in random places…”

“Because that’s what I did!”

“Hmmm..Well, that’s not how punctuation works. ”

“But people reading it need a breath.  They’ll get tired.”

“You are very right about that, but not in random places. The periods need to be at the end of sentences, so your story makes sense.  You can’t just put them wherever.”

“Ms. Bless, that’s just who I am.  You can’t change that.”

Oh boy…

I honestly don’t remember the continuation of this specific conversation, in large part because I just couldn’t move past, “that’s just who I am.”  And also, because before and after this, Achoo and I have had many conversations about punctuation. I know she can find the right places for them, once I can get her to accept that it does matter WHERE you put them…

I stepped into the recycling bin.

“Yes!  It’s time!”  Two girls knew exactly what it meant because they had been waiting all IMG_3230day for this.  They made confetti at home to throw at me and I promised they could at the end of the day.

The kids gathered around the bin, excited as the two girls threw their homemade confetti.  And then threw some more confetti.  It was in my hair, in my face, and all over the room.  I’m not sure that standing in the recycling was effective at all…

I love these strange, creative children.  I have no idea where they come up with some of the things that happen, but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

I’m writing it down…All of it…

He put on my apron before starting to chop the veggies.IMG_3242

“You look good in pink,” I complimented him.

“I look good in every color,” he replies.

Chop. Chop. Chop.


Veggies are sauteed and the steak gets dumped into the hot pan.

“The sounds of a thousand screaming souls,” he states, referring to the sizzling steak.Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 6.21.17 PM

Sizzle.  Sizzle. Sizzle.


“Are you writing down everything that I say?”

I sure am.  It’s March!





Answer to a Question I Never Asked…

We stood on the stairs, waiting for the bell to ring. It was 2:59, the end of a very long day. Their excited speech echoed through the stairwell. It took all the energy I had left to keep them in line and not screaming.

I was talking to one student when I looked up a few steps. Ms. Fruity (self-proclaimed nickname of one of my third graders) turned and pressed her face against the cold white stones of the wall and sniffed. “The wall smells like fart.”

“Who wants to get wet?”

“Who wants to get wet?”

It didn’t really register right away. I was across the room at my table finishing taking attendance and UnicornGirl was sharing some tiny dolls during morning meeting. I heard her say it, but it didn’t register until…


I looked up and UnicornGirl had the tiny doll in her hand, squeezing it as her arm swung from left to right. As her arm moved, a steady stream of water hit everyone sitting in front of her. I got up, moving across the room to stop the water. But, she was ready. Before I could get there a second doll, a second stream of water, more screaming.

Surprisingly, not one child moved or complained. She did, after all, ask them first… “Who wants to get wet?”

Island – SOL #1

Merriam-webster defines island as, “a tract of land surrounded by water and smaller than a continent” or “an isolated group or area; especially: an isolated ethnological group.”

In my family, island describes the place where everyone congregates.  That place in the middle of the kitchen that is always crowded, the opposite of isolated.  The island is the setting of so many slices of life, including today’s…

“I have so many blackheads!” my sister complained while sitting at the island.

“Well, they say that you can put egg white on your face, then cover with tissue, it will dry and pull out the blackheads,” my grandma said.

“Oooo…Can I put egg whites on your face?!” As an older sister, of course I was jumping at the chance to put eggs on my sister’s face!


Jackpot! My grandma got it a few eggs, cracked and separated the egg whites. I got the tissues. My grandma got me a brush and I got to work.

As I was painting and layering tissue, our other sister asked, “Have you tried this before, ma?”

“No, I saw it on Facebook,” our techie grandma replied.

Turns out you can’t believe everything you see on Facebook, it didn’t work. However, it was a lot of fun for me to put egg on my sister’s face! So it was a win! 😝

The Book That Changed Everything

Ring.  Ring.  Ring.


I saw Ja flash across the screen.  Why is she calling me?  What does she want?  She only calls when she wants something.


“Hello.” I answered.


“Guess what, Je?!?!”


“What?”  I was surprised at her excited tone.  What could it be?


“I finished Twilight already!”


“The book?  Didn’t you just start it the other day?”  That couldn’t be right.  She had barely finished a book in her life, let alone one for fun…and only in a few days!


“Yes. I couldn’t stop reading.  I was picturing Bella and Edward in my head as I was reading-  since I knew what they looked like from the trailers.”


“Wow…Wait, you didn’t usually see pictures in your head?  With other books?”




That was the first time I truly realized that the reason I loved reading was the movie that was happening in my mind as I read.  Ja never had that before.  But because of the movie trailers out for Twilight, she saw the “mind movie” and she enjoyed reading.      Because of this realization, visualizing became a much more significant part of my reading instruction.


The book changed everything for Ja as a reader.    The book changed everything for me as a teacher.

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