Life is short. And we are not promised tomorrow. I love teaching. I love watching a child "unlock" the "code" to reading English. I love the diversity that urban schools bring into the classroom for greater global learning. This will never end. EVER. 

A Break From Teaching
With multiple tragedies (psst...threatening a 'write up' because I want to go to Arlington to attend my Grandfather's service is cruel), traumas (psst...I will never grind my teeth and scare a child into submission EVER again-the eyes of that little boy still haunt me not to mention the little girl who OBVIOUSLY had emotion issues, sitting ALONE in a classroom) and harassment (psst...if you know your employee is suffering-saying "I understand you wouldn't want to you want hear voices in your head" is NOT the appropriate thing to say, and lies about my leadership position) my heart broke and I lost who I was.

And it just kept piling up through out the year-Was it me? Was it the administration? Was is the classroom environment? Was it the district? Was it my messy desk? Or was I just a number that had to be pushed out? I will never know. 

But I did know I had to rediscover the love of life in order to return to the classroom and sadly leave a community I was deeply involved with, loved, and wanted to stay with forever.

I was a glorified baby sitter, crying out for help and NOT teaching. I actually questioned MY ability to teach (pssst..when you focus on everything your employee is doing wrong-that is all the employee will focus on and their effectiveness will go down-studies prove it). But you know what? I AM AN EXCELLENT teacher. But I need finish healing from the tragedies, traumas and harassment I went through before I step back in the classroom. I want to be at my very best. Loving myself and loving life. Children need a teacher who is strong, capable and lovable, not a puppet following along with the most recent teaching strategy. Children need a leader. Children (especially in urban schools) need a soft spoken, patient teacher. Not a "yeller" I need to be ME. 

Grief and Healing
Healing means different things to different people. I recently read Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (psst....if you haven't read it-read it). The main character sees a therapist and they talk about the subject of grief.

"What is grief, anyhow? What does it even mean?" I'm being obstinate
 "I'd say it's a temporary derangement. Freud put it as something like a departure from the normal attitude of life."
I stare Jenny square in the eyes so she can see my annoyance. "One, my questions were rhetorical. I know what grief is. Two, thank you for calling me deranged."
Jenny smiles as if to soften her insult. "Grief is a pathological condition. It's just that so many of us go through it in life that we never think to treat it as such. We just expect people to go through it, endure it, and come out the other side."

Fortunately, I did come out the other side with the support of family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, doctors, my cats and the knowledge that I do love life and all the things I am grateful for. It is in there. And going through the healing process I am digging it out. Volunteering at hospice, the boys and girls club and helping an 88 year old man with day to day chores is bringing the ME back. 

What next?
So what happens when the next tragedy occurs? As Tony Robbins would say, that tragedy happened because it was meant to make me stronger and help others. What happens when the next trauma happens? First, if I can prevent it-I will. I will stand up and say "No, I will not do that to a child." If I cannot prevent it, I will stand up for others and take care of myself and the students in a healthy way, teaching them skills I have learned over the past year. And harassment? I won't allow it. I will call it out-and make it stop. 

I am excited and thrilled to return to the classroom. This school year, 2015-2016 was a bad year. But I came out stronger, full of life and energy, and eager to teach children again. 

Ultimately, I learned so much from the 2015-2016 school year. I am ever so grateful for that. 

In the meantime, you can follow me on my other blog: Check out my little hobbies! 


There is no school on Monday due to President's Day.

What can you do with your child on Monday?
The National Education Association has a lot of ideas!

Denver Activities:

  • Free day at the Denver Botanic Gardens: Don't miss the orchid showcase, on exhibit until Feb. 22. 
  • Last day to ice skate at Skyline Park: DPS students are eligible to skate for free with the My Denver Card. 
  • Last day to visit the Denver Dog Show: Tickets are free for kids 12 and under. 
Or watch Kid President!

You will find Ms. Feinman at the tattoo station!  

Click here for more info on the Sock Hop!

We need Volunteers!!!!  Click here to sign up for a shift to volunteer!

Dora Moore Happenings
February 8, 2016
Eventos en Dora Moore
8 de febrero de 2016
Picking Students Up During the School Day:
If a parent or guardian is in need of picking a student up during the school day, please call the office.  We will get the student or students out of class.  Please do not text your child while s/he is in class learning to let them know you are coming to get them.  We are not able to release children to adults who are not listed in Infinite Campus. 
Retiro de alumnos durante el día escolar:
Si un padre o tutor necesita retirar a un alumno durante el transcurso del día escolar, por favor llame a la oficina. Nosotros llamaremos al alumno o alumnos a sus aulas. Por favor, no envié mensajes de texto a su hijo/a mientras esté en clase aprendiendo para hacerles saber que usted pasará a buscarlo. No podemos enviar a alumnos a casa con adultos que no estén autorizados en Infinite Campus.
Sock Hop:
Mark you calendars for the Dora Moore Sock Hop on March 11th 5:30 to 7:30pm.  The DJ is taking requests for music online at:
Sock Hop:
Marque su calendario para el Sock Hop de Dora Moore el 11 de marzo de 2016 de 5:30 a las 7:30. El DJ está pidiendo que se elija la música en línea en :
Dora Moore Hoodie Envy:
The new Dora Moore Hoodies are a huge hit.  We are able to place a second order.  We only need an order of 25.  We will send an order form home in Thursday Folders this week.  Please send your money and form back so we can get you the very loved Dora Moore Hoodie!
La envidia de la Sudadera de Dora Moore:
La nueva sudadera de Dora Moore es un gran éxito. Vamos a poder realizar una segunda orden. Solo necesitamos ordenar 25. Vamos a enviar un formulario de orden de compra en la Carpeta del Jueves esta semana. ¡ Por favor envíe su dinero y el formulario para que pueda obtener la tan adorada sudadera de Dora Moore!
No School, Monday, February 15th for President’s Day:
Enjoy the long weekend!
No hay clases el lunes 15 de febrero por el Día del Presidente:
¡ Disfrute del fin de semana largo!
No School February 29th:
February 29th is a non contact day for students.  Teachers will be working on data and grades.  Enjoy the long weekend!
No hay clases el 29 de febrero:
El 29 de febrero es un día de no contacto para alumnos. Los maestros trabajarán en datos y notas. ¡ Disfruten del fin de semana largo!

Some students went to the parade! (Don't worry- Ms. Feinman has an assignment for the second grader to make up for it!)

This website has 20 great ideas to help your child with spelling words at home!

Click here for the homework calendar for the week of 2-8-16!

This week we are starting our new Literacy unit on Procedural Non-fiction. Students will be able to identify nonfiction how-to books, discuss the ways how-to books are used, apply their knowledge and create a how-to book of their own. Procedural Non-fiction is just one type of Non-fiction. How can you help at home?

I hope this provides you with some more information to help your child at home:

The genre of nonfiction is used to describe texts that convey true or accurate details about the world. This genre is pretty broad and includes types of texts such as biography, how-to, procedural, and informational. The genre of nonfiction is distinct because of the text features that are specific to each type of text. While text features are meant to organize the text and give more information, they tend to confuse young readers. Nonfiction text features may include table of contents, glossary, diagram, picture with captions, or headings. Nonfiction texts are also hard to understand for young readers because they are less familiar with this complex structure. It requires them to shift their expectation and purpose for reading, which is challenging without guidance. This genre is a powerful genre for children because it does encourage and promote wondering and inquiry. It allows them to continually ask questions and seek out the answers. It also empowers them with knowledge and the ability to discover information.

In the past, nonfiction was slowly introduced to students as they entered later grades. You may remember when you were in school that fiction with narrative structure dominated most primary grades until the introduction of nonfiction around grade 4. This dramatic introduction lead to a lot of students struggle in reading, which sometimes is referred to as the “fourth grade slump.”

Now, teachers are trying to introduce nonfiction at a younger age, even in Pre-K, so children are familiar with the genre. At home, you can do this too. Below you will find some tips for increasing comprehension with nonfiction texts.

Explore the nonfiction section at the library. See the Choosing Nonfiction Books for Young Readers  chart for tips on selecting good nonfiction texts. Be sure to choose something that has a catchy cover and illustration so your child will be immediately intrigued. Then, make sure the topic is something they are interested in learning more about.
Before reading nonfiction books, preview the book with your child. Look through the book to identify important text features (charts, graphs, section headings, etc) and highlight key vocabulary. This will set your child up for success before they read. Ask the question “What do you notice” to help spark conversation about the structure of the text.
Explore series of books. When children know there are many books to explore in a series, they are more often interested in reading. It gets them hooked in and they are eager to go back to the library or book store to see if they have any more. See this Informational Series Book Chart for nonfiction books in a series.
Find a nonfiction companion for their favorite genre. If your child really loves realistic fiction, find a nonfiction book that may keep that book company. For example, if their realistic fiction book was about a boy who experiences outdoor adventures like mountain biking, find a nonfiction book that provides information specifically about mountain biking. If your child enjoys historical fiction, find a nonfiction book in the form of a biography for them to read facts about someone in that time period, or an informational book to provide details about that time period. Providing a nonfiction companion book is a good way to help your child make connections across texts and spark interest in other genres. The Magic Tree House series has nonfiction book companions for many of their books. This would be a great starting point.
Remember the power of conversation after reading. Ask questions to help start conversation about the text and promote comprehension. Some questions might include:
What did you think about the book?
How did it make you feel?
What were your favorite parts?
What did you learn that you didn’t know before?

Did the book give you any ideas for writing or drawing?

We have been practicing the scientific method with some fun experiments!

These are pictures of our potato and apple taste test. Ask your child what they learned!

Use these to help your child at home with Unit 4 math sheets.