Tuesday, January 12, 2016


On April 23, 2013, I wrote about Reflecting and Re-evaluating your life ... when the New Year rolls around people look in the mirror and decide they want to shed a few pounds, quit smoking, spend more time with their kids ... all of those are GREAT but sometimes we need to look a little deeper -- the WHO we ARE and WHO we WANT to be part of us ...

Some things won't change ... but the way we look at life may change.  I placed a blank copy of the BIO POEM at the end of this post for you to use!  ENJOY!

Here is my BIO POEM from back in 2013 and I reflected on it the other day and have posted the 2016 BIO of me as well ...
pictures from 2013

Laura Wintczak Eckroat
Child of Henry and Agnes Wintczak
Who loves teaching, reading, writing, gardening, my husband, daughter, and Muffin
Who hates people who lie
Who wants to go to Italy again
Who wishes she could've met Benjamin Franklin, and Steven's father Jack
Who wishes she could meet George W. Bush, Robert Downey, Jr., and members of DA BEARS!
Who is scared of dying tragically in a car accident
Who dreams of what it would be like if my books were on the bestseller list
Who is determined to be the best mom and wife I can be and also never give up on any student in my classroom
Who values family, friends, and every student and every moment with my doggie and being a published author
Who is proud of her father
Who graduated from Regis University, Denver, CO and wishes she finished her practicum so she could have gotten her Masters from Elms College, Chicopee, MA (maybe someday soon I will finish!)
Who lives in Fort Worth, TX - but has loved living in Springfield, MA; Woodstock, GA; Denver, CO; Whiting, IN
Laura Wintczak Eckroat
Some Pics from late 2015

Laura Wintczak Eckroat
Child of Henry & Agnes Wintczak
Who loves nature walks and absolute quiet and also the laughter of children
Who wants to go to Italy again and also to witness the Redwood Forest
Who wishes she could've met, Walter Payton and many of the first settlers in America
Who wishes she could meet, George W. Bush, Johnny Depp and the POPE
Who is STILL scared of dying tragically in a car accident 
Who dreams of going on a World Book Tour in a really COOL TOUR BUS!
Who is determined to be a teacher kids always remember!
Who values family, Muffin, Shadow, friends & my students!
Who is proud of her father, Ashley & my former students!
Who graduated from Regis University and STILL wants to get that Masters in Education!
Who lives in a house that she will hopefully NEVER move from again, but cherishes her experiences in Massachusetts, Georgia, Colorado and Indiana
Laura Wintczak Eckroat

 Here is the Bio Poem that you can complete yourself to reflect on your own life - ENJOY!

Your name
Child of ...
Who loves ...
Who wants to go to ...
Who wishes he / she could've met ...
Who wishes he / she could meet ...
Who is scared of ...
Who dreams of ...
Who is determined to ...
Who values ...
Who is proud of ...
Who graduated from ...
Who lives ...
Your name again 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

All Work & No Play???


Back in October, I was honored to be chosen to attend the EL Conference in San Diego representing my school. I attended with another teacher (who is one of my FAVES!) and our Principal ... who is really FUN!!!   I was very excited that I learned quite a bit!  AND ... got to see some of this beautiful city and dip my toes into the Pacific!

It was crazy HAT day back at school ... so we had to join in!!

One of the first things I saw as we started walking around to find something to eat. This tree had the coolest flowers on it. I had to stop quickly as everyone was on a mission to find food!  We found a great restaurant that had a patio & had a ocean view. It was so beautiful and peaceful and the weather was perfect to sit outside and eat!  

 Lobster bisque ... mmmmmmmm

Cerviche -- OMG!!!!!
 This little guy sat down in the chair next to me ... I gave him two tiny pieces of bread. He at the first one right there ... gave a couple tweets, grabbed the other piece and flew off ...
Beautiful tree right near our hotel ...
I was pretending to be JOEY on Friend's -- behind me is the Mr. Beaumont!
This is MY night cap - YUMMMMM...

They had these all around the pool area -- it was so relaxing -- I could have slept out there!

Our HOTEL-it was like 5pm! Can't believe how early it gets dark here!
My first Workshop -- it was about Noticing(s) and Wondering(s)
Everyone had a different item set at their place, with a workbook ...
 We emptied our mystery bags -- we were trying to figure out what we were going to study ... it was a whole "element of surprise" and mystery ...
We went on a MINI expedition to part of the BAY ... we were looking at all the trash that collects in part of the bay ...

San Diego is a beautiful place ... it's a shame that the bay, close to the shoreline collects so much GROSS trash ... it really made an impact on me -- each time we walked past this spot for the next 4 days -- I noticed it -- most people stand and look OUT and the Bay and the Ocean so you miss what's right in front of you!

When we came back to the class -- we talked a bit about what a classroom of kids could do to make a difference ...
Another workshop -- given a bunch of clay and told to make something! I decided to make "Daisy"
 We then found out we were studying ducks and were charged with making a FIRST DRAFT of a clay duck .... it was really difficult! We had no duck to look at ...
The challenge is to then learn more about ducks and keep making better and better sculptures ...
After a few more workshops ... it was evening -- time to go find EATS and sight see a bit ... even though it was already DARK when we got out!!!!
The Midway! We just happened upon it!  It's a museum - but was closed when we got there! 

This statue is REALLY REALLY BIG!!!

A memorial to Bob Hope ... there's audio of his many shows entertaining the troops.

Listening to the audio ... I actually was very moved by this memorial ... Bob Hope brought so much happiness, laughter, and a little bit of HOME to so many!
Thanks for the memories ....
Another very memorable and cool workshop -- how to incorporate Math into Art and Science ...

Telling us about their expedition about the Toy Hall of Fame ... we were then trying to come up with a whole Paper Airplane Airport ... with working paper airplanes ...  

 An intense discussion on how to incorporate imaginative play into learning at all ages!
We then had to attempt to make a "timeline" of rigid play to imaginative play ...
Many yachts -- this is actually a SUPER Yacht and I'm not sure I would ever be able to afford one -- even if I won the lottery!!!!  We spoke with one of the engineers and it is CRAZY how expensive these are!!! 

 S U P E R     Y A C H T S!
On our last evening there ... we took a quick 5 minute ferry ride to Coronado Island ...
A great picture of the American Flag that was on our Ferry!
Amanda, Alisha & Me ... on our way to Coronado ....

 We walked about 3-1/2 miles to get to the ocean before the sun set!

 You know me ... I had to take pictures of interesting OCEANIC items that were washed up on the shore!!!! 

Me on the beach!  It was funny ... the teacher I was with said "we've never seen your legs!"  lol!!!!
I guess it's good I don't wear shorts to school -- but I wore them under my pants on purpose so I could dip my feet into the ocean and not get my pants all wet!
The waves were really BIG while we were there!
Night Night SUN!
On our last morning there, Amanda and I walked down to have breakfast ... this guy was just hanging out on the dock ...
He was one of the final speakers -- from the Renaissance School in Springfield, MA my old stomping grounds!
Big, goofy chair at the Marriott!

Greg ... all dressed up ... us ... in COMFY clothes!

This cone has NO CALORIES!!!!  It's amazing I actually gained NO weight on this trip! We did so much walking ... This was sooooooooooooo good!
 The Conference is OVER .... we are ready to go home!

Flight delayed -- bad weather in TEXAS so might as well chill by the pool instead of sitting at the airport!
 On our way home -- very tired ... we didn't get home until after MIDNIGHT!!!!!!!!!!
The EL Conference was wonderful, the company fabulous and San Diego weather is PERFECT! It was a great trip!!!!