John Travolta, rings, and other things

I can't remember the last time I woke up on a Sat. Morning
yep a SATURDAY MORNING (5:30 people)
so excited
to head to a PD
I have been waiting for this PD
since they announced it like 4 weeks ago!!!
I heard that Jeff Anderson was a phenom presenter
and my ears didn't lie to me...or my friends!!!
My friends (Kenoyer and Itty Bitty (yes her nickname is my dog's nickname..i didn't nickname her I can only take credit for my dog... both are cute as the Itty Bitty name indicates))
anywho... my friends and I left early to get a GOOD seat
we got there and to our great surprise
we got a FREE (HOLA) book
not just any ole book
his NEW book
HOLA again!!!

10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know

I won his other book at an on campus PD
and read it right away
do I need to say it again to get the point across
changed my life as a teacher...
I carry it with me constantly...
in my purse and read it all the time
I refer to it constantly in class
I tell my hubs about it
even if he is not really listening

it is dog eared, sticky noted, written in, & loved!!!
I have even slept with it :)
Everyday Editing

and so back to the PD
Jeff went through his book in the most entertaining way
and talked about teaching
TEACHING writing
focused on Expository
sounds boring?
it takes a lot to entertain this chica (pretty sure that means hot chick in the Farley Dictionary)
he used songs and hand movements
and jokes and facts and clever sayings like
* you have to catch them on fire
* you can't make anything if you don't throw the clay on the wheel
* if you want the correct answer give a worksheet but if you want them to learn have a discussion (this is not his quote he was quoting someone else but he said it and I wrote it)

It was unreal
I was in LA LA Land
which usually only occurs when I am in the presence of an unbelievable sale...
like take another 50% off
at Nordys...
or when I met John Travolta and his hair was in my mouth
because that is how close he was to my face
and for a second or two I thought I might be able to bite a piece of it off
without him noticing
but decided against it
I was in that kind of LA LA Land

I don't want to give all of the PD details away
because I am pretty sure it is all in his book
which I will start reading TONIGHT and
might have to sleep with it too!!!

He was so sweet at the end of the session
which was only half a day
THO SAD it was only half a day
at the end he signed every single person's book
and I got a picture too!!!!
you can tell I am in that JT moment...
I mean am I cheesing it up or what!!!

I did want to leave you with this...
at the beginning of his session
Jeff talked about tree rings
and how during a drought or rough conditions they are small
and during favorable conditions they grow thick
he said we all have rings too
and our rings show what we have experienced in life
and your experiences are forever in your rings
he related this to writing
but I took it to heart as a TEACHER
what I do in my class will forever be with my students
am I giving them the right environment to grow?
Jeff told us that 91% of what we teach is prepared or worksheets
he encouraged us to read and write more

this comparison and fact led me to come home and of course make a poster...

toodles (my new sign off... my aunt says this when she gets off the phone...cute?...let me know!!!)


  1. That sounds like an amazing PD, and a great presenter!

    cute pic!

    im having a giveway on my blog for 200 followers, if you feel so inclined, id love for you to check it out!

    toodles ;). (its super cute)

  2. WOW!!! SO jealous you had the opportunity to partake in PD that moving (though not jealous of the 5:30 alarm). You've made me feel compelled to check out his books right now (even with the stack of PD reading already staring at me from my side table).
    And your poster is FANTASTIC! FANTASTIC!!! (it deserved saying it twice)

    Runde's Room

  3. I'm pretty sure we work in the same district...

  4. I have been teaching just math to second grade for four years. This year I'm back to teaching all subjects in second...I feel so inadequate about teaching reading and writing...I'm going to have to get this book!
    Btw...."toodles" comes from a tv show from my childhood, called Gidget. She was played by Sally Field and she always said "toodles" whenever she said goodbye! It was cute then and is still cute now.
    Patty from Michigan

  5. Ok I can't get past John Travolta's hair in your mouth. LOVE HIM...TOO MUCH...I can't get past it. I just can't.

    Ok I am going to move on...because your tree ring poster might be even more incredible than John's hair.

    Someday I want to be as cool as Farley.

  6. Giggles and laughs and then a wowza!! What a power packed punch perfect ending!!! Ok, so now my dear need to Farley up a poster to share because EVERY teacher needs that in their room or as a tattoo on their bodies or on their desk....ok, maybe the tattoo is a little extreme.....maybe...I say ta ta to your toodles:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  7. What?! I need to hear more about this John Travolta meeting!!

    Sounds like the perfect workshop...thanks for telling all about it, I am checking those books out right now. Happy Weekend!! :)

  8. Thank you so much for this wonderful post!! I loved it, as well as loved your poster. So very true of each and every teacher!

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. When Jeff said that our students spend 91% of their time either listening to the teacher or completing prepared materials (i.e., workshits) I wanted to cry. We need to provide much,much more authentic reading and writing. He just reinforced everything I stand for as a writing teacher.

  11. I love the tree ring idea!! Sounds like an awesome PD.

  12. I LOVE Jeff Anderson! LUCKY you!
    Now I have to scoot over to Amazon because I am so excited to get his new book.
    Great post, as always, Farley!

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  13. I like toodles. CUTE.
    This is so cool - what a fun day! Love your picture!
    PS Do we know this John Travolta story? I feel like I need more details. Must have them. :)
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  14. Good for you! Inspiring post!

    *hugs* Kat

  15. I tagged you in a post! come over and check it out

    Twins, Teaching and Tacos.

  16. Just pinned your tree ring poster.
    I subscribe to your blog and seem to get it "late." As in just now. Any reason why?

  17. Sounds like you had a great day! I was lucky enough to see Jeff Anderson for a THREE DAY class two summers ago and he was amazing. I was never so happy to get to a class in the summer. I still use so much that I learned from Jeff in those 3 days - including the amazing pointer/clicker thing he used for his slides that I rushed out and got for my starboard.

  18. You are just awesome!! I LOVE reading your posts!

    TAG....your it!! Head over to see what I mean and join in the fun!

    2nd Grade Paradise

  19. Love that poster you made... looks beautiful !!

  20. Hi -

    I tagged you. Please view the post at

  21. I saw Jeff this summer at a PD in Indiana he was the key note, THEN he and Lester Lamnick were standing beside me while I was browsing books...trying to talk me out of buying Lester's newest..they were teasing..I It was THE BEST PD I have EVER been to. PERIOD! BUT standing that close to John Travolta?!!! I'm with Kristin I need more info!!!

  22. love "toodles" cute :)
    and I love love LOVE the tree ring poster- very inspirational!! :)

    and I was the same way when I went to a PD with a science lady named Lisa Murphy - she was so great!!!

  23. You've been TAGGED Farley:) Come by and see...
    1st GRADE ROCKS!!!

  24. Tag! Come on over and check it out. You can get details at

  25. Okay I love that tree ring poster.
    and I tagged you! - along with apparently many others.

  26. I {PUFFY} Heart you and this post! I am loving the tree rings! Thank you for sharing your greatness with me and for making me laugh!


  27. Is it bad that I'm stalking your blog for your next Currently Linky Party? Haha. I love seeing everyone's!

    Mary Beth
    Run Teacher, Run

  28. love the toodles. :)

    I tagged you in a post on my blog! Check it out! :)

  29. Love this poster...such encouragement! Thanks!

    Kindergarten Is A Hoot


~ I {PuFFy} HeArT comments!!!! THANK YOU!!!