Viola Swamp and Tickle Spots

I can't tell you why... but once November comes around, I start to feel super overwhelmed... and that sticks around until winter break.

There never seems to be enough time.

So what am I so busy with?

I have no idea.

I really don't. I'm at work until at least 5pm each night, but find myself "behind" nonetheless. How does that happen?

Each year I ask myself the same question. I've decided I'm just not a fan of November.

So there's my excuse for being bloggy absent for so long.

It's lame. I know. But it's all I got.

Our poem this month is also lame. In my opinion. Which doesn't account for much, but I thought I'd offer that disclaimer. We are an excellent first grade team. We work together on everything and have the same expectations for our students. Our monthly poem is another thing we do as a grade level.

I didn't pick this poem. I stomp my feet about it a little. BUT - the kids seem to love it. I have no idea why. It is super easy for them to memorize - that may be part of it.

I don't know where it came from. We've been using it for years.

I've changed my cards for it so I can use them with those mini-pocket charts from Target. Turns out the kids LOVE practicing things on those wee pocket charts. Thank you Target dollar spot.

SO, Miss Viola Swamp was in my classroom today. No wig. No ugly black dress. No scary make-up... just me in strict mode.

It wasn't fun - but our morning wasn't fun. It was one of the most difficult, loud and disruptive days I can remember. SO, I had to pull out strict teacher. I know, I know! But teacher peeps, I swear, NOTHING was working. Not tile moving, not penny earning, not holding out on computer lab, not threats to forward movement of angry bird, not smiley/frownie points, not the music box, not missing recess, not candy... I mean NOTHING was working. So I said, "Sorry kiddos. I'm going to have to be strict "no fun" teacher."

"No!" they said.

"Sorry. I don't know what else to do. We have so much yet to do and we are not getting through ANYTHING today." I said.

So... I started our afternoon math lesson with a stern face. No fun. No silliness. No kids involved with teaching, demonstrating or explaining the lesson. No jokes. No goofy voices. No happiness.

They were quiet. They were watching. Listening. They sat straight. Not a chair was tipped. Not a desk was knocked around into another one. Not one child needed to get up for a pencil, a tissue, to throw something invisible away or to personally ask me to go to the bathroom while I was in the middle of a lesson.

They were solemn. No smiles. No happy to be here. Not from them. Not from me. It was horrible. I lasted all of 20 minutes as Miss Viola Swamp. 20 minutes.

"This is awful" I said. "Absolutely yucky."

"It is!" they agreed.

"I would like to enjoy my day AND learn - wouldn't you?" I asked.


So we took a couple deep cleansing breaths. We danced around a bit. Shook our sillies around. A few more calming deep breaths and then I sent them to recess.

They've learned their lesson, I thought. They'll come back in better behaved. Quiet. Ready to work.

Yeah, no. That didn't happen. {cue the whah-whah sound effect}

Like I told my kiddos - tomorrow is another day.

❤I LoVe your comments!❤


  1. I love your fun. Sorry it was one of those days. With 30 we are even more bound to have them. ;(. I was the real viola swamp once as a mystery reader. I may have to do a blog post about that,,,u inspired me. ;). Hope tomorrow is better. I have meetings at the DO all day for the common core. Luv ya friend.

  2. This made me laugh and I needed that so badly. I miss you Viola. I hope we see each other soon.

  3. You go Viola! I mean, Traci :) We had some serious bootcamp this week as well! Coming off of short days from parent conferences, following up by Halloween mayhem! It was back to business this week. Wondering how Tammy is fairing today in the rain. . .
    Good times, good times!
    ~Christy & Tammy
    Fluttering Through First Grade

  4. Oh dear! Days like that are rough, even tho' you make it sound so funny:)
    BTW, I actually like that poem! I've never heard it before, so maybe that's why. Here's to a MUCH better tomorrow!
    Grade ONEderful
    Ruby Slippers Blog Designs

  5. Oh...I remember those days, Traci! I remember being the "strict" teacher and it is no fun at all! Actually, we whine a lot here at The Moffatt house too! For example, today, one little Moffatt Girls had to wear last years Christmas dress for "school". I pick my battles. Of course we couldn't find it! So we had 45 minutes of being a whiney-butt! We finally found it:) Such a cute poem, too!!
    The Moffatt Girls

  6. I have been feeling just as "behind" this month. Seems like no matter what I do I can not get caught up!

    I have just started my own first grade blog. Feel free to check it out!

  7. I'm a little late, but I love the poem!
    and yes, tomorrow is ALWAYS a new day:) chin up friend!!


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