Shelly Lyon
Apple     This is Shelly ’Klingensmith’ Glennon. Shelly teaches fourth grade at Tularcitos Elementary School in Carmel Valley, California. Leslie volunteered in Shelly's first grade classroom for 14 years.

All of this exposure to the first-grade classroom has had a lasting effect on Leslie’s books, not just providing a setting but also making the books very curriculum friendly. Albert’s Field Trip was a direct result of a class field trip. Ms. Klingensmith (Shelly) can be seen (in her Pleasant Valley/rabbit persona) working with the first-graders in Albert’s Birthday. Shelly created these materials and used them in her classroom with great success.

Process = Success

By Shelly Lyon

As spring envelops us, our lives always seem to get busier. There results, I believe, a need to ground ourselves a bit. One of my favorite refocusing strategies is to notice and really study some of the things we normally take for granted. Children can sometimes forget to appreciate the many steps that occur before a simple event can be realized.


We notice, appreciate and list those steps or processes that lead to an event. In other words, we acknowledge how the process leads to success.


"How many things can you think of that don't require process or planning?" I ask the gathered class. We see if collectively we can come up with anything. It never fails that whenever one child thinks they have an answer, another can challenge their idea and expand on the process that leads to it.

"Cookies have no process, they just taste good," suggested one student. "Yea, but you have to make them. You have to grind the flour, or buy the ingredients, and bake them!" challenges another.


How about breathing out? How about sleeping? Walking? We have never found anything that doesn't have a process. But challenge your class to see if they can be the first.


The hands-on part of this project is to come up with a project, list the steps, and carry it out.

My school has a weedy old stone planter with a lovely, but ignored Pepper tree in it. My class decided to clean it up and plant a garden in place of the weeds. We listed the steps, we are following the process, and in the end we will have a lovely spot to rest our eyes as the spring rages on around us.


The garden itself will be a treat to see everyday at school. Additionally, we realized was that even on busy days, having a list of steps to keep us focused on our goal can keep us from feeling overwhelmed. Now somehow it seems easier to appreciate the things we had taken for granted, like that old tree, which will soon be growing from a bouquet of our efforts.

Until next month,