#SOL17: First Day


Screenshot 2017-08-22 at 11.17.55 AM.png

The bus turns the corner.

My last check to see that everything is in my car.

One picture down.  It’s kind of gloomy.  No sunshine for this auspicious day.

The brakes squeak as the bus pulls to a stop in the road.  I hear the stop sign pop as it is extended.  “Smile!  Just one more picture!”

He takes three steps, turns, and looks.  I snap the photo. He starts up the steps.

I’m sure it’s blurred.  Tears stream down my cheeks.

This would not be the day to take a lousy picture.

I watch as he walks down the aisle and chooses a seat.  Third row. Behind his friends.  He looks happy but he was so quiet this morning.  Only the top of his head is visible from outside the window.

The driver looks down.  Closes the door and the bus lumbers down the road.

  I hop in my car.  Five miles and I will be at school for my son’s second “First Day of School” picture.  It’s 1995.  The First Day of School. No digital pictures.

As a teacher, how do your own personal “First Days” impact your attention to detail in your classroom?

What are you planning for this year?  Why?




Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.                                                                                                      slice of life 2016

#SOL20: Keynote speeches


Screenshot 2020-07-07 at 8.06.39 AM

Inspirational?

Motivational?

Aspirational?

What are some characteristics that you expect from a keynote speech?

Last week I had the distinct pleasure of seeing/hearing five different keynotes as a part of the TCRWP June 2020 Reading Institute. Each had its own distinct features due to the knowledge base and presentation styles of Lucy Calkins, Katy Wischow, Sonja Cherry-Paul, Michael Rae-Grant and Sarah Weeks as you can see in the keynote titles below.

Titles:

  • An Opening
  • You Never Read Alone: Community, Identity, and The Power of Talk
  • Radical Teaching: Reading Workshop as a Powerful Space for Transformation and Liberation
  • I Know, Therefore I Am: Why Nonfiction Reading Is About So Much More Than Extracting Information from Texts
  • A Few Choice Words

Some common themes I found:  Communities of learners and stories draw us together in these turbulent times.  The texts of our lives ARE our lives:  Are we living them? We are the sum of our experiences so we need to make sure they reflect our lives. If not you, then who?  Readers are never alone!

But the surprising commonality for the five keynotes was the deep emotional connections:  the tears, the laughter, and the joy of learning in a community. And yes, even through Zoom/electronic devices, the stories were that powerful.

If you would like to learn more about “keynotes” here is a great source from the business world.  Link  Tips 1, 3, 7, and 10 are my favorites. Especially 10. Always 10.

What will be your keynote for the 2020 school year?

How will you focus on priorities? 

What are your expectations from a keynote?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#TCRWP Reading Institute 2020


I miss:

  • the participants
  • the staff developers
  • Riverside Church
  • Horace Mann
  • the up close and personal feel of the FRONT row of the auditorium
  • the subway
  • being asked for directions on the subway
  • living out of “carry on”
  • coffee meet ups
  • packing my lunch
  • dining out on the NYC cuisine
  • the bookstores
  • the impossible and usually untimely return trip home (AKA stranded in NYC on the 4th of July)
  • the conversations as we walk past our location, to the wrong Starbucks, or just wandering
  • meeting up with #TWT friends
  • meeting up with #Voxer cousins
  • squeezing in a #G2Great chat (and what time zone am I really in?)
  • meeting up with #CuriosityCrew
  • and leaving the world behind for that short interlude . . . no TV, few phone calls, few emails.

Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 9.21.09 PM

Thanks to the pandemic, it’s truly a Brave, New World.

Conversation and chatter seems non-stop . . . even if it is typed into a box! Or in a break out room!

It’s Wednesday night. Past the mid-point. My brain is full.  It’s leaking. Time to let something out!

My choice session today was all that I envisioned. (Envision- my #OLW)

And then some.

Grand slam?

Winning game of the World Series?

Kentucky Derby winner?

Gold Medal at the Olympics?

30 minutes of pure bliss.

Head nodding,

Amen-shouting,

Fist-pumping,

Zoom waving,

YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!  YES!

Title:  The Six Most Important  Things You Can Do with Your Students Who are Reading Below Grade Level Benchmarks

Find some paper or point to your fingers.

What are your 6 Most Important Things?

1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6

You don’t have to fuss over the order.  Look at them.  Are those the six most important things you believe in?

Are you sure? 

Are you really sure?

I had a difficult time choosing this session. There were three choice sessions that I needed to attend according to the titles.  This session was not #1. However, I made a guesstimate on the “Six Most Important Things” and I wanted to know if I was right. So I chose this session.

Here were my six:

Know your students / Relationship

Feedback, Self-assessment & Goal-setting

Talk about reading / Rehearse

Stuff to read

Reading, Reading, Reading every day

Was I close?

No bets.

No money.

30 minutes invested in checking my understanding.

Thoughts?




Here were Hannah’s Six Most Important Things.

Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 8.32.59 PM

One small corner of my brain organized and ready for tomorrow’s learning.

So by tomorrow night I can be back at one of these stages . . .

Screenshot 2019-09-29 at 8.07.11 PMScreenshot 2019-06-17 at 6.04.46 PM      Screenshot 2020-07-01 at 9.36.24 PM

Summertime,

Summertime,

Sum, sum, sum, summertime Learning . . .

It’s the best!

 

 

 

 

 

#SOL20: Patriotism


Basic Theme:  Red, White and Blue

Secondary Theme:  Stars

Thirty six squares beginning at 2.5 inches each form the basis.  Thirty six different designs with and without stars as well as a sashing of white on white stars and even starts stitched as a part of the quilting. Thousands of stars.

More importantly, my first patchwork design. Hours selecting. Hours laying out. Hours sewing and then the picture in my head did not match the final design. And then rinse and repeat times three.

A noble goal. A gift times three. Completed. Mailed. Ready for the holiday.  The red, white and blue of liberation.

Table runner – left half

20200629_2050205884427886062288493.jpg

Table runner – right half

20200629_205044220269025330346273.jpg

Which was emphasized:  process or product?

Had you guessed from this post? Link     

How was this process like instruction?  Education?

How will you share your patriotism on July 4th?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#SOL20: #BookLove


 

Are you ready?

What is one of the best books in the world?  What is a book that will surprise you with each reread?  What book will nurture your soul?  What book will allow you to write beside the poems and unwrap your own stories . . . your own life?

I believe the answer is found in this book that is the initial book for elementary teachers participating in the Summer Book Love Book Club!

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 9.15.12 PM

Franki Sibberson wrote about this book by Irene Latham and illustrated by Charles Waters in her blog post here. As I read Franki’s post, I was nodding my head to every statement. And like Franki said, this week’s discussion in Book Love Foundation’s Summer Book Club is already underway. (Seriously, go read what Franki said!)

You could still see these amazing speakers.

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 9.32.02 PM

And interact with the almost 1,000 folks in the Book Club.

You might write or see examples . . .

Like  my first draft poem for the beginning of #BookLove.

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 9.07.41 PM

Week 1 has begun.

We wrote poetry Monday.

#BookLove learning has begun.

What is on your learning agenda? 

What is your favorite poetry book? 

Is there a book club in your summer plans?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

Addendum:  Amy Ludwig VanDerwater Resources  bit.ly/2YU6Ifi

#SOL20: Conditions for Success


 

Suitable for a beginner.

Approximate time to completion = 1 hour

I’m still steaming from those two labels.  It was NOT a beginner’s project and it took over 10 hours to complete.  I will concede that the accompanying pictures were XERO help. Yep. Tiny. Confusing. 

I’m still working on the series of projects from last week but I won’t be returning to that topic for public announcements until all are made and distributed.

Today’s project:

I guess-timated approximately one hour to completion and it was satisfying to meet that goal completely in an hour.

Conditions for Success:

  1. Concise Materials List
  2. Picture of End Goal
  3. Step by Step Instructions
  4. Video Available
  5. Already Have the Product so I know what it looks like
  6. Choice in completing the project, choosing materials, and time to complete it!

And YET,

it was the first time that I had completed the process by myself.

I began confidently.  60 minutes (or less) to success.

After the first 10 minutes, I was ready to pause and pat myself on the back.

It seemed like success was within my grasp

Sitting on step #8.

Quickly repeating.

Marking.

Stitching,

Trimming,

Turning inside.

What was I constructing?

A soup bowl microwave caddy.

Screenshot 2020-06-15 at 11.51.27 PM

Is it the “conditions” individually or all together? 

How do the conditions impact our lives? 

 




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#SOL20: Planning


 

I have a pattern and this basket of fabric.

Time passes by. I complete project #2 and #3 and assist on another gift.

Time passes by.

I’ve studied the pattern three times and have a copy on my phone on the event I run into a “quilting shopping emergency.”

First steps today.

Four hours of planning.

When I hit this “shredding” stage with the rotary cutter, it was time to quit.

But I am probably only 1/ 3 of the way towards completion of the planning stage.

Can you name these three stages of progress?

A.

\\3

 

 

B.

 

C.

 

Thoughts?         A.  ____________   B.  ____________ C. ____________




I am estimating another hour to finish this “part” up.  Then I will need to cut out 30 rectangles to attach to the 2.5 inch squares in B and C.  All this is a part of planning.  The cutting.  How many? Which patterns?  A balance of colors. A balance of designs.

And always considering the reality of assembly . . .

where the project will take shape.

White on white.

Rectangles.

Something to hold all these pieces together.

Searching for time.

Time to develop  layout.

Time to study the layout.

Time to revise the plan.

Time to complete the accompanying tasks.




GASP!  Revising during planning?

Of course.

Re-visioning!

Re-envision


Where in your life are you re-visioning?

What events take more planning than than the execution?

Does your planning take two or three sessions before you can begin the task?

Does planning ultimately save you time?

Does your planning always require a written component?

 



Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#SOL20: Silence


 

Screenshot 2020-06-02 at 12.36.28 AM

Simon & Garfunkel, 1964               Sounds of Silence

 

Hello, Darkness, my old friend,

I’ve come to talk with you again,

Because a vision softly creeping,

Left its seeds while I was sleeping. …

I still recall writing that first dreaded college term paper about the role of imagery in this song as it related to The Graduate. It took forever with numerous false starts and many teacher conferences as I had ZERO clue about what the instructor wanted.  At that stage, writing was all about meeting the perceived needs of the instructor.

Silence at church was a requirement or knuckles were rapped by a ruler-wielding nun who was confident of her identification of the chattering troublemaker (s).

More recently discussions among friends have focused on Catholic guilt and silence. The expectations. The dynamics. Problems that were not aired publicly. Often not even aired privately.  Suffering in silence was a reality.

Growing up and silence was a tool of punishment.  “Be quiet” often buzzed in my ear as I opted to study in “my room” (a room always shared with either a sister or multiple sisters).

Silence.  Friend or Foe? Maybe I should have questioned the evidence and the “cause of death” . Mistakes happen. I do wish I had queried the ever-changing stories. Hindsight is often noisy.

Today,

Now,

I know.

#BlackLivesMatter

I must use my White privilege to listen.

I have much to learn. Two books that I am studying in book clubs this summer are:

Screenshot 2020-06-02 at 6.36.35 AMScreenshot 2020-06-02 at 6.38.46 AM

I need to understand my biases.

I can rely on friends, family and teammates to support me and call me out on this learning journey.

I have to raise my voice to question and call out White privilege where I see it/hear it.

I will amplify IBPOC voices and support their work.

I must speak up in order to see justice. To remain silent is to be complicit.

I must do this work myself and commit to a lifetime of  anti-racist work even though I don’t know exactly where that journey will take me.

Silent, no more!

Envisioning 2020:  A Year of Action

How will you avoid “silence” in your future?

What actions will you commit to undertaking?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

31 Days of IBPOC posts – Link

https://www.leadingequitycenter.com/

Sheldon Eakins – “Framing Brave Conversations about Race and Ethnicity” – Link

 

#SOL20: What If?


What If?

What does it look like if/when students resume classes in school buildings?

China Link

Denmark Link

Maybe this?

Screenshot 2020-05-25 at 9.15.19 PM

Or this?

Screenshot 2020-05-26 at 11.18.46 AM

Or this?

What will school look like?

What will students look like?

How will everyone be safe? secure? and ready to learn?

Who makes those determinations?

From Sarah Gross and a superintendent in New Jersey: Link 91 questions.

What If?

It’s hard to plan for the future

So many uncertainties

So many possibilities

So many paths

Too early to choose

So many uncertainties.

Rest.

Rejuvenate.

Dream of “best case” solutions.

What is your plan?

What will you do in the interim while waiting for decisions?

What questions are swirling in your brain?

What if students, communities, and school staff planned collaboratively?

What do you envision?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#SOL20: Perspective


Opportunity?

Panic?

Which will prevail?

After seven years of blogging every Tuesday, I totally forgot this was Tuesday. After at least 350 Tuesday posts, I simply forgot.

What was the cause?

Pandemic brain?

Loss of time?

Loss of schedule?

In part, it was a combination but mostly it was eager anticipation. Today’s the day.

Goodbye patio door. Hello, new exterior door.

From this to this . . . today. The first door is out. Second door is in progress.

A midpoint?

Demolition?

Home improvement?

Which perspective?

The patio door had stopped working. Years of being slammed shut. In and out. IN and OUT! Not helpful to have a method of egress that was basically unusable.

Progress?

Noise. Screeching of nails and screws being removed.

A variety of tools.

Early arrival.

Job underway.

Cannot wait to see the finished product . . . product over noisy progress.

Today I choose product.

Which perspective?

Screenshot 2020-05-19 at 9.04.32 AM

Half Empty?

Half Full?

Which do you typically choose? When is one prioritized over another? What pattern do you follow?

Considering schools and re-opening next year . . .

So many perspectives

Not simply black and white

Student safety? Student learning?

Transportation safety? Health and welfare of all?

School staff safety? Parental and community needs?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

Postscript . . .

Product matters!!!

Everything completely finished or vinyl clad. No upkeep!

#SOL20: A Milestone


Plan

Work

Plan

Work

Revise the Plan

Rework.

Check the Plan

Work

Celebrate

A PROCESS!

Sound familiar?

It was birthday time on Sunday. Back on Mothers’ Day when the story began. The big 5. And the big reveal.

In the beginning . . .

It began with a panel. Then a bigger envisionment and new learning.

Several artists represented . . .

Envisioning a goal, gathering resources, making a plan, checking in along the way and my grandson now has a glow in the dark dinosaur quilt.

In the midst of the world chaos I was able to learn a new skill and create some beauty.

What have you created?

What will you create?

What are you learning?




Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this weekly forum. Check out the writers and readers here.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

Previous posts about the birthday quilt are here, here, here and here.

Teachers | Books | Readers

Thirty-One Educators Connecting Students and Books

Educator *Speaker *Author*coach

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them. www.carlambrown.com

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.

doctorsam7

Seeking Ways to Grow Proficient, Motivated, Lifelong Readers & Writers

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

Leadership Connection

from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together

arjeha

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.