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Roses and Thorns for 2013 and Resolutions for 2014

For years I've been doing a little ritual at the end of the school day that we call High/ Low.  The children take turns telling their high point of the day and their low point of the day.

Read this blog post and this blog post to find our more about how I do High/ Low with the kids.

I saw recently that President Obama does something similar with his family at dinner each night, but they call it Roses and Thorns.  (I love being home during the day to watch The View!)

I think the end of the year is a good time to reflect back on the highs and lows of the year!
Plus, it's a great time to make goals for the future!

Let's start with the reflections:

There were a lot of highs this year!  Most of them were connected to my daughter, my gentleman friend, and my students, but I think the ultimate high of 2013 was the connections I've made with other teacher-bloggers, along with the trip to Las Vegas in July!

That was a whole lot of bloggers!
Unfortunately, my low of the year happened shortly after this trip.  While I was waiting in front of my hotel for the shuttle back to the airport, I got a call that my stepmother had a bad fall and hit the back of her head.  She was brought by ambulance to the hospital, then transported by helicopter to a hospital with a strong neurological unit.  When we visited that weekend, she was in good spirits, telling her great stories, and chatting away.  A few days later, she passed away.

Although she wasn't a young woman, she was young in spirit and very healthy.  
We expected her to be around a long time. She was a classy lady, and a big part of our lives.

For more reflections, see this post: 13 in 13.

Now for looking ahead!  There's a little linky going on at A Peach for the Teach, and it's all about New Year's Resolutions!

Personal:  I need to be spending less time working and more time looking out for me.  I resolve to go home a lot sooner than I have been.  I won't tell you how ridiculously late I've been staying, but it's got to stop!

Professional: Things are pretty stressful at school right now.  There is a lot of pressure on the teachers, and not a whole lot of support.  I resolve to be a positive influence to other teachers and keep smiling, no matter how tough it gets.

Classroom: I'm having a blast learning more and more about brain based learning and how the brain works by reading about recent research and how children learn.  I plan to continue to bring this into my classroom.  (There's a Whole Brain Learning Book Study coming up in January... I can't wait!)

Blog/ TpT:  I'm working to keep the quality of my blog posts professional and helpful. I think I have good products on TpT, but I need to get better at getting the word out.  I've never been good at self-promotion, but I've got to figure out how.  I'll start by more aggressive pinning! And of course, I'll work to get more good stuff out there!

Just-for-fun:  I definitely need to do more fun stuff!  I'll be making more plans to visit friends, go to the theatre, look for opportunities to sing, and I'll be visiting my other teacher friends in Vegas again this summer!

Be sure to check in on A Peach for the Teach to check out her Resolutions link up!

A Peach for the Teach: Behavior Supports & Multi-Age


  1. Hi Sally,

    I liked this post very much! It's great you help your students to realize that not all days are rosy but more days you can pick out the good things and the not so good things and it helps them to moderate their emotions. Love it!

    1. Shelley,

      Thanks so much! I agree, sometimes they need to get the tough stuff out, so they can move on!

      Sally from Elementary Matters

  2. Aww. Sorry to hear about your stepmom. Nice resolutions--I think many of them apply to me too : )

    FYI I’m having a giveaway at my blog for my 32-pg place value book (PDF version)--if there are enough entries everyone will be a winner! Feel free to share about it and enter. Have a great 2014!

    Lucy Kids Math Teacher

    1. Lucy,

      Thanks! I entered your giveaway!

      Sally from Elementary Matters

  3. So sorry about your stepmom! I really enjoyed reading your resolutions. Thanks for linking up! I base a lot of my posts on brain based learning, and I work with an emotional support population- so I think I should check out that book! Happy New Year!

    1. Glad you liked it! I'm fascinated by the brain and how it works. Happy New Year!

      Sally from Elementary Matters


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