Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Thursday, May 21, 2015



Staring down
the barrel 
of red funky 
looking monkeys
trying to climb
get out of here
to where?
Lights flashing

 sling shot
not flinching
looking through cylinders so dark
not very amusing
stretching for miles
nape of my neck
 to my finger tips
losing feeling

in the periphery
out of nowhere
ready to pounce
on their prey
brakes failing
moving forward
G forces uncontrollable
slow motion

staring down
looking in
wondering where
it all began
so weightless

Thursday, May 14, 2015



by Maureen Ucles

Today is special
because of you
because of you

a day like no other
I became
your mother
Eighteen years 
so long ago--
seems like

Would I be a good mom?
Could I be a good mom?
What will you look like?
Who will you become?
Questions raised
 news of my pregnancy
ever so elated


Now eighteen
Wow eighteen!
truly you have blossomed--
hard worker
never giving up
not even once
simply you

All these years--
blink of an eye
now graduating?

making it
surpassing dreams--
more to be
future's bright
you got it right
 make me so 
insanely proud
to call you
my baby
sweet heart
my soul
you are
above all 
 hope and joy

Happy birthday!
young lady
eighteen years 
and counting...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

QEP Professional Books-Poetry Friday Anthology for Celebrations

Catherine at QEP Professional books showed me the new Poetry Friday Anthology by Wong and Vardell. I have shared some of these poems about holiday and celebrations with some of my students. They really liked them, along with the pocket poems.  This is another great resource from Vardell and Wong because the poems are in English and Spanish.  I have included QEP's link and a screenshot of their website.  I highly recommend this company. They have so many great resources for educators. The QEP ladies are always so nice and helpful. Anytime I have needed anything, they took the time to help me find things and guided me to newer resources.
QEP Professional Books

Jeff Anderson's Visit and His New Book Zack Delacruz-Me and My Big Mouth

I know this is a long time coming, but never late than never, right? I think it is about time that I finally posted some of my reflections about Jeff's visit back in 2014. Thrilled is how I felt when I heard that Jeff Anderson was going share his knowledge and expertise with many teachers and coaches. When some consultants visit, I can take them or leave them. Not with Jeff! Nope he is highly respected and regarded in the language arts community.  We were not disappointed in the least. He had so much to share about expository writing. Because we experienced the writing together, many of the things that he had taught us had a high stick factor. He was engaging, hilarious and nothing but fun!  Those are my kind of staff developments!

I really liked how he showed us authentic mentor expository text. We used these examples and tried them out on our own. This was very engaging.

Jeff Anderson and Maureen Ucles

In addition to that, I loved the idea of power writing. I have used this with my students. We used it the other day with our reading responses. They were so jazzed about it.

Overall, the day was great. I wasn't bored one time and I took copious notes. As I was going through my photos from my phone, I found a few that I want to share. It was an honor having Jeff join us in SBISD and to get to talk to him. He is a great guy and fantastic staff developer. His books are nothing short of fantastic. Now he is an author of a middle school novel. (See below.)
Jeff Anderson's new book to released in August, 2015

 It will be out soon and I will definitely buy a copy to read and share with my students. It's pretty cool to say that I know the author! Pretty darn cool!  Thanks Jeff!

For more information about Jeff Anderson, go to the link provided:

Ample Revised

I remember writing this poem after spending an evening with Alana Morris putting together stress balls at Panera. She was helping me make stress balls out of rice and nice balloons for my Abydos Writing certification presentation. We sat and put together a number of these rice stress balls that  evening. We received some very interesting looks from the people dining that night. Alana brought her rice tin. I brought a bag of brown rice. Alana didn't know if the brown rice would suffice because all she ever used was white rice. I am glad I didn't buy any Uncle Ben's Wild Rice. That would have been interesting. I wrote this poem (Ample)  after spending time with my good friend. I certainly missed working with her. We shared an office closet for 6 1/2 years. I never thought that there would be a day when I wouldn't see her daily. Now, when I get a chance to see her, I am overjoyed. The memories flood my mind. There are numerous memories. The fondest ones are the late evenings working on projects and eating Domino's Pizza. I also remember making numerous trips to Murphy's Deli and getting her the stuffed veggie pocket and Grandma's Peach Iced Tea. Those were the days. Who knows, maybe someday we can work together like that again. I certainly hope that we can in some form or fashion. I feel that way about all the people that I worked with at the SBISD's Administration Building. Many have moved onto places like Austin and  the Bayou with a cute little dog named Archie. They may even be from Michigan and that is okay. There is ample room...ample.

by Maureen Ucles

So nice
to hear your voice
Pick your brain--
Just be--

So nice
to see you
once again

Just plain relaxing
shooting the breeze
my brain
bouncing ideas
puts me at ease

Ya know--
we gotta
do this again

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ready to Roll

Ready To Roll

By Maureen Ucles

Ready to roll
down the road
 shake the dust
off my feet
to languish
in some other

Ready to roll
wipe the cobwebs free
bring creativity back
to me--
where it belongs

More than ready
seeing things clearer
deeper hues
sparking lights
more than ever before
simply ready


New Trail of Breadcrumbs Site by Gretchen Bernabei

Gretchen Bernabei has launched a new and improved Trail of Breakcrumbs site called Trail of Breadcrumbs-- Tools for Tracking the Movement of the Mind.  You really should check out her site. It is full of great writing resources!  I took a screen shot so you can see what the site looks like now.

I am going to peruse this site often.  I will post more, when I get some time to do so.   You can also find the site on Twitter at Trail of Breadcrumbs.  Hope you find it as helpful as I always have.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shake It Off!

I was driving to the bank today. I finally put on Taylor Swift's song Shake It Off. I had heard it a time or two, but not in its entirety. I downloaded it the other day from iTunes. I had such a great time listening and dancing to it in my car!  It was rather fun. I wish I had downloaded it when it was very popular about 8 months back. Oh, well that is me, always late to pop culture!  I downloaded Happy in the Summer. But...better late than never. I am going to make a playlist and put Shake If Off, Happy, and Ariana's Grande's Problem.  I can definitely see myself listening to these songs on my way home, especially in June, when traffic is horrible!