Monday, November 26

Winner, Lola, Writing Workshop Freebie & Oprah (part 1)

 Here's a little random-sauce for ya...

Congrats to Laurie from Chickadee Jubilee! selected her comment number to win a copy of the sweet mentor text Ralph Tells A Story. Thanks so much for all your great comments! I got MANY wonderful ideas from all of you fabulous teachers and bloggers (and moms and wives and and and)!

TpT Sale:
LOVING my "round 1" purchases on TpT today! Ready to get more tomorrow. My items are selling really well, too! Every time someone purchases from me I'm so honored that they like my stuff enough to spend hard earned money on it. That's also why I love to give freebies!

Lola Schaefer:
Each year our school has a visiting author or illustrator. We are so blessed! It's always an adventure, though, because until the guest is actually there, you never know what you will get! Great books or pictures does not always equate to excellent speaking or crowd-management skills. :) We've had some absolutely terrific author visits and luckily just a few...well...interesting ones.

At any rate, Lola Schaefer was our author this year and she was terrific. Her website is: She spoke to different grade level groups, went into classrooms for demonstration lessons and met with the staff to discuss writing workshop. She's a former teacher and you could really, really tell. She's savvy in Common Core and her books are darling! If you're ever looking for an author to visit, add her to your short list.

One of the things she talked about is not new to writing workshop teachers...the best stories come from times you've felt strong emotions. Some teachers from my school reminded me about a planning web that I had made in fall.

When I taught it, we did one emotion at a time after reading aloud a related book...and had a GREAT time telling our stories to one another before adding the topic ideas to the web in list form.

Here it is...I added a second page with the emotions parts and pics blank so you can add in your own ideas. :) Click the pic to download.

So, apparently the Oprah's Favorite Things for Teachers was aired over the Thanksgiving break...I heard about it this morning from a sweet colleague. It's been a while since I saw it and I still can't believe it all happened!

Got me thinking it was about time to share. Thanks for all your comments a few posts back saying you wanted to hear about it!

Oprah - Part 1...How I Was Picked~
I live in suburban Milwaukee, which is 2 hours or less from Chicago...I had tried to get to a taping the previous summer but learned that they really didn't do shows in the summer. Bugger. Darn hiatus when summer was my only option.

So, when I was on maternity leave (Fall, 2004) I was DEEEEtermined to get to one. I'd be in my most comfy nursing position...recliner, Boppy, blanket, baby, drink with straw, remote control for tv and telephone in hand.

I called the studio literally hundreds of times a day while nursing and watching tv. Busy signal every time. Went on for several days. I tell you, I was determined.

After a few days, though, I started mildly complaining to girlfriends who would listen. One girlfriend (a college bff) mentioned her sister in law going to the taping the day or week before to see Brad Pitt. After he made Troy. Can you say buff?

At any rate I asked her how her SIL got to go to the taping and she mentioned a web link called Last Minute Email Reservations.

I tracked that page down FAST. Made it my home page so I could see if there was a link that I could get in on.

Since we live just a few hours from Chicago, I wouldn't have to worry about flights, etc.

So...most times I checked there were zero links. No opportunities. When there were links they would be soooo random and not related to me at all. One of them I almost clicked on..."Are you Kathy Griffin's biggest fan?" Being a rule follower and fairly literal I couldn't go through with it. I mean, my entire reason for clicking would be to get to the taping. And Kathy Griffin wouldn't be a bummer to see, but was I her biggest fan? No. super super early morning when my newborn was sleeping and so should I have been, I just had this weird feeling that there'd be a link that would work.

Headed to the computer. Sure enough. "Calling All Teachers."

Filled out a form, made sure I got the thank you screen and then sent the link to a bunch of teacher friends in hopes that they'd fill it out, get picked and maybe choose me as their guest if I didn't get picked. :)

Well, a week or so went by and my mom was in town (from the great state of Minnesota) and we were bummin' around my house. We decided to go shopping. Luckily, when we headed out, we both realized we'd forgotten something in the house.

Headed back in to retrieve whatever it was...and the phone rang. My caller ID said, "Oprah Winfrey Show!" Ahhhhhh!!!

I answered in a tither. My mom was in a tither, too. The lady probably was used to nutball reactions, though, as she was all cool and casual.

When they asked if I wanted to bring a guest I said I wanted to bring my mom. Of course!!! But, my guest had to be a teacher and we had to bring our teaching licenses. Sorry, mom.

Okay...I gotta go to bed...will write part 2 (The Pre-Show/Front Row Experience) soon-ish.




  1. Wow! That is VERY cool being able to go to the Oprah Show:)
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  2. Oh, how could leave us like that???:) I want to hear the rest! :)

    Granny Goes to School

  3. ALL that happened for a reason sweet Lisa. There were so many times when you just had a feeling, or you went back into the house to get something at just the right time. I LOVED reading this. I feel the same way I feel at the end of an episode of The Bachelor and I have to wait another week....ugh. Can't wait for the rest.

  4. SOOOOO jealous!!!! I can't wait to hear the rest!!!! :)


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