I cried today

I wrote this poem to express my real feelings, not to try to evoke pity. For those who have been through such an awful ordeal, know you are not alone. For those who have been through another tragedy, know you are not alone. Sincerely, Christine

I cried for all the day today 
for my son who passed away 
I can’t believe that he is gone 
I feel just like a useless pawn.  

I try to make some sense of this 
what ever happened to the bliss 
of being a proud mom of two 
now I am just mostly blue. 

My daughter is my saving grace 
each time that I see her face. 
I’m thankful that I have her still 
She acts just like my happy pill. 

No one knows the pain I feel 
unless they’ve been through this ordeal 
of losing one that was your own 
and being left all alone.  

©2020 CBialczak Poetry



My List

I had a list of ten 
yes, I do mean men 
who I thought someday I’d like 
I’ve told few to take a hike. 

I’ve met them all just once 
None I could call a dunce 
but most I did not think  
held me in any sort of link. 

I guess some day I will 
Find one who’s able to thrill 
Me in a way that I’d want 
and one that I could flaunt. 

For those on the list that I don’t 
want to call, well now I won’t 
I’ll use ghosting to say goodbye 
If not ghosted, then I’d have to lie.  

©2020 CBialczak Poetry

Crimson’s Creative Challenge #73

Thank you Crispina for hosting: https://crispinakemp.com/2020/04/01/crimsons-creative-challenge-73/

Every Wednesday I post a photo (this week it’s that one above.)
You respond with something CREATIVE

Danny didn’t know how long it had been since he had seen this place. He used to come here often when he was a kid. Always wanting to see where the door led. Maybe nowhere, but maybe to some tunnel that led to treasure or led to a new special place. When he had come as a boy the door wasn’t covered with weeds. It had been a door to another world.

Now, Danny looked at the door. He felt like he wanted to crawl in and just sit quietly, peacefully, by himself without the rest of the world bustling around him. He still wondered what was behind that door. Maybe nothing, maybe a whole other world. He figured he would never know and soon the door would be covered so completely by greenery that it would be lost until someday, someone decided to cut down this forest. He hoped he wasn’t around for that.

©2020 CBialczak Fiction

Fandango’s Provocative Question #63

When we finally get through this COVID-19 pandemic at some point in the future, do you think the world is going to change from what is was like before anyone ever heard of coronavirus? Or will things quickly return to “business as usual”?

I guess my answer to this question is a little of both! I think there are going to be the people who realize that life doesn’t need to progress at the speed it was and there will be people that are anxious to get back in the saddle.

I think for a lot of older folks, this is going to be an eye opener to how much we have lost in family ties and all that. Now that I can’t just fly to see my dad I wonder what he is doing and how he is much more frequently. Not just because of the virus but because I don’t know when I will get there again. That is a scary thought, which I don’t think I am alone in. There may be family members that we never see again or never get to say goodbye to. My father has dementia so trying to show him how to facetime or anything like that is an ongoing struggle. When I have showed him it was great until the next time… Anyhow, I think there will be a lot of people looking at their lives wondering what is really worth something.

I think for younger adults and kids, life will go back to their normal. Kids now don’t understand what it means to spend a night at home alone. If they aren’t in the physical presence of someone else, they are in the virtual presence of lots of people. I also think people want to move about and do what they please. That is why all the stores are open 24 hours and everything is accessible all the time, or so it seems. They have been growing up in a time where you don’t have to wait for things. You barely have to wait to buy something because someone is always offering a payment plan. Look at cars! I see young people driving super expensive cars. Yes, they pay out the ass every month but they get what they want. I don’t think this is a good thing, though. Many people don’t understand what it means to save for something.

Well, I shall step down from my soapbox and offer how I will be…I like the slower pace. I like being able to be home and busy at home without people wondering what is wrong with me! I like buying less and shopping less. I am actually running out of things that I have had for way to long. I also like the social distancing a little. I am not a fan of the proximity of people when I am out and about. “Please step out of my personal space!”

Thank you Fandango for making me think so deeply about something that is going to be reality eventually! https://fivedotoh.com/2020/04/01/fandangos-provocative-question-63/

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge: 04/01/2020 “A”

Activating Prior Knowledge to Promote Engagement 

What does this mean? Simply, help students remember what they know so they want to know more.  

Teaching students of all ages is difficult in the sense that they don’t necessarily recall knowledge the same way adults do. They need some sort of reference to help recall information and possibly a connection to turn to. What does this mean for the parent? It means to stay engaged in your child’s education, knowing what they are learning and connecting it somehow to life at home, as this can be a critical aspect in their success. By making connections you are making them a part of their learning, considered active learning.  

Often, we believe that students have the knowledge and experience, of going to school, to support their memory and recall. The truth is, children are so overwhelmed by educational and social expectations, that a lot of what we believe they should remember, they haven’t. This isn’t to say that they do so intentionally. Quite the contrary. Children and teenagers are learning new things all the time and this new learning overwhelms their heads, whether they are showing interest or not. The best defense is to openly get them engaged in their learning. 

What does it mean to activate prior knowledge? Simply put, help students recall what they have learned. What is the benefit? The benefit is showing students that they DO have knowledge of many things they don’t even realize. Trying to “jog” their memory shows them that the knowledge is there, it is just a matter of finding a technique to recall the information when it is needed. Teaching children that it is sometimes a lot of work to remember something, takes away that “adults know everything, and I know nothing” outlook.  

How does this promote engagement? It promotes engagement because it boosts self-esteem and shows them that they are smarter than they know. Often, children have the idea that adults just know everything. Almost every parent has heard this from a child at least once. “That’s because you know that already!” If they only knew that it isn’t the fact that adults hold information in a better brain, it means they have better memory and recall of that memory.  

What does this look like at different ages? Let’s look. 

Kindergarten to 2nd Grade: These students are learning about writing and using basic math. They know what they want to say, they just don’t have all the skills yet to get it from their brain onto paper. This is mostly because they don’t have the writing skills. Writing for young students is work, a lot of work!  Promoting writing is not easy for young or reluctant writers. A great way to get students to become writers, who like to write, is to show them what they can construct. Here are some great steps to do this: 

  1. Ask the student or the teacher what they are learning about in other subjects, most specifically science and social studies.  
  1. Talk to your student about what they might already know about the topic.  
  1. Tell the student what you know about the topic.  
  1. If you both have enough information to write a summary, do it together. The student tells the parent what to write and can also ask the parent questions. When it is written the way, they can say it to you, they see what their own thoughts are able to create.  
  1. If you both have only a limited knowledge of the topic, make a list together stating where you could look to find the information. It is okay to show students that you don’t know everything.  

By doing this kind of learning, not only are you learning together, you are constructing a situation that helps students to recall information. Let’s say a few years later that same topic comes up, you can say to the student, “Hey, we wrote a summary on that topic, remember when you were in 1st grade?” After saying this, go back and find that information. You have just activated prior knowledge. Even if you never got around to writing a summary, just the conversation can assist in recall. “Remember that time we were driving, and we were talking about that?” Students recall information much more easily and quickly if they can make a connection to it.  

3rd Grade to 5th Grade: These students are learning not only concepts; they are learning more of the details around the concepts. They are learning to write in a proper form and working more complex math. In science they are starting to not only conduct experiments, but also write lab reports about what they observe. As with the younger kids, show interest in what they are learning, let them know you don’t know everything about each topic, and allow them to see that you enjoy learning too.  

As students get older, they may be more reluctant to talk to parents about what they are learning. Why is this? One reason is they believe that adults know everything and that if a conversation begins, it will turn into a lecture with you as teacher, them as students. This isn’t any fun, especially when they just spent the day listening to multiple teachers. Instead, don’t monopolize the conversation. Listen to what they know, ask a lot of questions, and acknowledge their knowledge. Another reason is they might not know enough to make a real conversation. Let them know it is okay to not know a lot about every topic. Let them know that everyone acquires knowledge in different subjects to different depths. For example, you may know more about math but less about US History. That is normal for everyone. No one is an expert in everything.  

6th Grade to 8th Grade: Middle school students are learning independence. They want to be teenagers, even when they still act like children. What do you do with this age group? Make memories. Find out topics they are learning and have discussions or talk about a movie that might relate. Figure out places to go to together where you might learn more. “I wonder where we could learn more about this. Where do you think we could learn more about it?” They will say “I don’t know” but they do have good ideas, impress this on them.  

Highschool: This age group is typically independent in their learning. The teachers should be helping them with the resources. Conversations can still occur but may not be as effective as with the younger kids. Don’t ever stop trying to make connections! One way to promote their learning is to ask them about something you really don’t know. Let them find the information and teach you! Empower them.  

Making learning positive and making connections is huge in learning. Not only does it promote a healthy learning environment, it allows students to go back and recall the positive situation, which will allow them to recall more of the information that has been tucked away. Let students know that everyone must “think back” to remember things. There is too much knowledge in our world to know everything about every topic going back to all aspects of history. This is okay. Let students know this is normal.  

©2020 CBialczak Education