#SOL17: First Day

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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

#SOLSC23: Patterns

Technology has definitely not been my friend lately with errors in Word Press and the printer refusing to scan the alignment page. Today, it was another machine.

I’m feeling a time crunch with a gift I am working on. No, not the grandson one. T’he celebration in April. I waited …. not very patiently as it seemed to be shipping from the moon. Self-pressure. I could revert back to the original plan, but I don’t want to … not YET!

But ….

Strike 1

Strike 2

And . . .

And Strike 3.

That would be an “out” in baseball.

In all three cases, the piece with the “woodgrainy” look, needs to be horizontal. It was a fairly quick fix for Jack. Jack the Ripper. A bit of time, three new blocks and it was time to have another go. The pieces were not hard to replace, just a bit time-consuming.

Another “go” today. Hopefully no errors this time.

When has time not “been on your side”? How did you handle “righting the errors”


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

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#SOLSC23: Choices

Drive time Sunday gave me time to think, organize, and ready my brain for blogging this week on the downhill side of the Slice of Life Challenge.

What can I write about?

  • Lady Hawkeyes win and advancement to the Sweet Sixteen
  • Driviing Conundrums
  • My uncle’s story about the river flooding so quickly that he had to watch his brother dive underwater to unhitch the horse from the wagon so it wouldn’t die stuck in the river bed. Literally watching his brother risk his life for the horse.
  • Current quilting projects
  • Formatting issues with my blog posts
  • “Response-ability”

Each of these bulleted items could be a slice or two or three. What to do? Start writing and see what surfaces? Take a walk and narrow down the topics to just two or three?

So I started typing. And here is my draft.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Saturday I spent five hours in Zoom PD. Willingly. By choice. In years past I’ve wished for Saturday Reunions to have remote access to save time, $ and resources required to travel. Saturday I was grateful for the learning! There was a theme across the sessions whether it was Lucy, Amanda, Brooke, Rachael, Janet, Phillip, Gene or any of the other sessions I attended.

Response – ability

That was the theme! Not to be confused with “responsibility”. In education, responsibility typically deals with accountability and fidelity. Responsibility makes me think of more of a teaming, “We are in this together approach as we work on common goals in similar ways.”

Response – ability

This word conjures up possibilities. Possibilities in the way I respond to students. In the way I respond to parents, teachers, community, and administrators. It also conjures up choices. I’m thinking that this is “freeing” as I can be “responsive” both to and for students.

Responsive to students is a common discussion thread in our #CuriosityCrew group from #G2Great. Our roles deal with students, teachers, and administrators from PK – college. We collectively believe (like many others) that our fidelity is to the students sitting in front of us, first and foremost. Our goal is learning. Students learning.

So what does it take for students to be learning?

Instruction needs to meet student needs. It’s not “everyone on page 40”. Instruction is explicit. Instruction is differentiated. Instruction is designed to move at a pace that ensures students learn and also close gaps where necessary. This is instruction that is “response-ability” for teachers. Teachers are expected to as well as able to “respond” to students. If 75% of the class doesn’t understand concept x, we can reteach and check for understanding again. We make sure that learning and not “coverage of content” is the focus.

Response – ability

New concept

Old belief

Values students.

Values learning.

Embedded in a sense of urgency

But not limited to a pacing guide.


To students.

Response – ability.

Additional Resources:

“Recall that response-ability, in its most succinct iteration, is “an ability to respond, to respond to the world beyond oneself, as well as a willingness to recognize its existence” (Kuokkanen, 2007, p. 39).”

link – https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-030-61299-3_7#:~:text=Recall%20that%20response%2Dability%2C%20in,39)

Poetry: “Response-ability” https://powerpoetry.org/poems/response-ability

What does response-ability mean to you? How does it fit into your life?


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

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#SOLSC23: 182

I had begun composing in my head.

“Unexpected” might be the title.

Meandering thoughts. A bit of March Madness. More bracket busting. A quirky Saturday that began online.

No, 182 fits best.

My OS updated today and the Chromebook has not been the same.

Today, I received 182 emails from Two Writing Teachers. Every comment that added a blog post for the #SOLSC resulted in an email in my inbox. I’ve checked my settings. Nothing’s new. In over 10 years of slicing, this is a new “unexpected” happening. An email for every slicer posting their slice. It was a bit exasperating as that’s not a typical number of emails for me – especially not on a Saturday.

I can’t blame it on Friday the 13th.

I can’t blame it on anyone else as I’m the sole user of the Chromebook.

I can’t blame it on a housepet as there’s not one of those in residence.

So I’m choosing to blame my influx of emails on the OS update.

What’s your “go to” blaming situation for technical glitches? How do you resolve them?

Possible solutions?


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

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#SOLSC23: Respectful

It was a typical Friday afternoon at almost 5 pm CT and we were closing out a Slicer Zoom when one of the hosts checked in with, ” Is it ok if I send out your emails to each of you to keep in contact?” After a round of thumbs up, she added, ” And is it ok if I take a screenshot of you all?”

What a model of respect.

What a model of graciousness.

What a model of a thoughtful human being.

The people in the Slicing Community are the best. i knew the two hosts: one in person with multiple encounters IRL and online during personal and professional lifetimes and the second on line. A third person has commented on many of my posts this year and the others were new to me. But no longer.

And before that, I was following my Iowa Hawkeye Women’s BB team in their opening NCAA game. It was going well. I was both relaxed as well as confident that the team was taking care of business on the court.

And before that, I was packing up from two days of quilting retreat. A bit low-key. No overnight stay. Just time in fellowship with other quilters and tie to dedicate to sewing. Putting everything back in its place. Oh, yeah, except for that presser foot that I stuffed into the magnetic pin holder. I’m sure that I’ll have a temporary lapse in memory (Sometimers not ALLtimers forgetful).

And before that, I was sewing. Matching corners right side to right side as I worked on the paperpiecing that will become my grandson’s birthday present (if all goes well).

And before that, I was eating lunch. All was right with the world. I had a short date with Jack the Ripper (seam ripper ) this morning before I made forward progress. I did NOT have a big flashy pile of sewn pieces but I was steadily marking them off my list. It was a mental break that I desperately needed.

And before that. I was admiring the work of the other quilters. So many pieces being joined together. So many terms that I had never heard before I began quilting during the pandemic.

Just a quick glimpse into my day in this “And before that” format/ story structure, also seen here and here.

And in Sally Donnelly’s blogging here last year as well.

How does the “reverse chronology” impact your understanding of the story as a reader and as a writer? What “story” might you tell with this format?

To spark your thinking, a link for a “Before” poem here and “the name before the name before mine” https://www.poetryoutloud.org/poem/the-name-before-the-name-before-mine/ .


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

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#SOLSC23: Ancestry

Perhaps today, the wearing of the green will remind you of someone in your family history who loves green and St. Patrick’s Day. What stories can you share with others to keep those memories alive?

Perhaps today, it’s remembering someone who came to the US as a child. We’re remembering a great-grandfather who arrived in the US at the age of two. That’s a pretty specific number that we didn’t know this morning. While a nephew was at Ellis Island, we were trying to remember who and when our ancestors passed through. And was it at the age of two, eight, or twenty? Details matter but the story remains the focus. Why did they come to the US? Where did they settle? When did they become citizens? Were they also farmers?

Just a glimpse of our conversation today as we “wondered” what we knew and what we perhaps thought we knew. The family history books are dated. But so are our memories.

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day,

I remember the Chicago River

Irish green;

The parade in Chicago,

So many costumes,

songs, and floats;

growing up in a house

with interior walls all green;

school days while wearing green t

o avoid the dreaded pinch.

It’s not just “the wearing of the green”

But the pride

of belonging

to a group

with ties to a geographical region,

a time,

a moment

suspended in unity.



100 Quotes ( https://parade.com/1172685/jessicasager/st-patricks-day-quotes/ )


St. Patrick’s Day Poems and Poetry ( https://www.theholidayspot.com/patrick/poems.htm )

And a previous blog post: https://franmcveigh.wordpress.com/2018/03/16/sol18-march-17/


What will you celebrate today? What stories will you tell?

___________________________________________________________________________________Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC23: Iowa Women

It’s finally here. The big day. The day the tournaments begin. Three Iowa universities have both men and women’s teams in the “Big Dance” – the NCAA Tournament: the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and Drake University.

Is that a common occurrence in other states? Three schools in the same state with both men’s and women’s teams?

But wait . . . it’s even better!

The University of Iowa women from Iowa City won the Big Ten Conference basketball championship (for the second year in a row). https://www.thegazette.com/iowa-basketball/iowa-blows-out-ohio-state-for-big-ten-womens-basketball-tournament-championship-repeat/

The Iowa SU women from Ames, Iowa won the Big Twelve Conference basketball championship. https://www.kcci.com/article/joens-iowa-state-beat-top-seed-texas-to-win-big-12-tournament-cyclones-basketball-champions/43283141

The Drake women from Des Moines, Iowa won the Missouri Valley Conference basketball championship. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GLzKMwOxfJA

Three conference championship teams represent Iowa in the women’s NCAA Big Dance. We don’t yet know how far they will go but with All-American Caitlin Clark and Ashley Joens . . . we will have fun following the excitement.

In this month of celebrating women, we would be remiss if we didn’t mention equality.

What’s the salary comparison between the men’s and women’s coaches as those six individuals prepare their teams for the NCAA postseason? What’s the payout for NCAA appearances? What’s the payout for conference championships? (Questions for a year that celebrated the 60th Anniversary of Title 9 for Iowa women)

As a Hawkeye fan, I’m excited that the University of Iowa Hawkeye women as a #2 seed will play their first two games in Carver Hawkeye Arena. I’ve personally seen how the team can fire up the fans. Venues matter. The tickets for both days were sold out in 53 minutes. Carver will be electric.

Is it just in person?

Number of hits from google for these winners:

U of Iowa 27,400,000 results (0.48 seconds) 

ISU 23,100,000 results (0.68 seconds) 

Drake 8,120,000 results (0.88 seconds) 

I like this shirt that Raygun has for sale.

Source Link

Have you filled out your brackets yet? Basketball, Wrestling, Books, Poetry. Where will the “bracket busters” be?

2 part bonus: What state am I from? and how many times did you see Iowa in this post?


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

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#SOLSC23: Cowlick

I stare at the mirror. I really don’t have time for this. This unmanageable hair. It’s too cold and time’s too short to wet down my entire head of hair. Maybe I can splash a bit of water in this one spot and flatten it …

Unsuccessful. Now it’s a wet clump of hair sticking out.

I comb through the wet spot and then dry it briskly with the towel. Neither seems to help.

Again I stare at the mirror. This time my hand is flattened against my hair. Literally holding it down. Not cute. Not clever.

I slowly let go. About half stays flat and the other half returns to “sticking out.”

This is nothing new. Today just has no time for messing with my hair. I’ve had horrendous haircuts in the past when a stylist was sure that “they could work around my cowlicks.

Actions don’t always speak louder than words.

It’s time to go and my hair is still a disaster. Will the third attempt be the “charm”?

Stay tuned . . . .

City friends, do you know the origin of the word cowlick?

Source link

I attempted to take a picture of my hair but I was unable to take a picture that showed the back of my head.

Sandra Oh said this about her hair.

What if a cowlick were to suddenly appear on Prom Night?

Premium Member

Tales from Prom Night

… A cowlick springs up

right when it shouldn’t

Can a comb strike it down

I’m afraid it couldn’t”


My successful solution: I put on my winter coat and pulled my hood up. Out of sight; out of mind.

Problem solved.

When can a simple solution end up being the best solution for the moment?

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

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#SOLSC23: Food Insecurity

It was the 10th of the month and the shelves were bare much like Old Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. But she was trying to find a bone for a dog and I’m talking about food shelves for people in the community. A food bank with empty shelves on the 10th of the month with three weeks yet to go in the month. 21 days of empty shelves.

How does the USDA define food insecurity?

“a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. This can be a temporary situation for a family or can last a long time. Food insecurity is one way we measure how many people can’t afford food.

More than 34 million people, including 9 million children experience food insecurity in the United States.”


Where did food insecurity exist in Iowa in 2018?

305,100 people 9.7% of the population

These were the statistics in 2018 … pre-Covid when the average cost of a meal in Iowa was $2.79. The counties in darker green had more than 10% of the population that was food insecure. The data is not yet available for 2022. But we do know that 10,727 people are listed as dying from Covid in Iowa.

What are the food insecurity trends?

Food insecurity decreased when all students had free lunches across the state. Food insecurity decreased when food was available in the summer – often picked up at school. Food insecurity decreased because folks were worried about the health and welfare of children across the state. 80,160 children under 18 were food insecure in 2020. (source: https://map.feedingamerica.org/county/2020/child/iowa)

What’s the current status?

122,000 children in Iowa are food insecure. The numbers are going the WRONG DIRECTION!

What can you do?

Take action:

Donate to the food banks

Encourage the legislators to take action (Use some of the $2 B state surplus)

Volunteer at the food bank

Ask community organizations what their plans are to help folks who are food insecure

Mahatma Gandhi:

““There’s enough on this planet for everyone’s needs but not for everyone’s greed.” “There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” What is this? “Poverty is the worst form of violence.”

March 3, 2022 Quote Source
The Borgen Project has quotes on world hunger here.

There is enough food to feed the folks on the planet 1.5 times. So how can we ensure that food insecurity and hunger decreases? Check out this site for ideas.

I knew the facts in the opening paragraph. One simple statement about the 122,000 hungry children in Iowa sent me on this search and began this draft of a post.

What will I do? Find a local community group to support and continue the conversation. Our children cannot learn when they are hungry. What will you do?


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

#SOLSC23: Computers

How many computers do I use on a regular basis?

My Chromebook is where I am composing this post (although I do draft posts on my phone occasionally).

My iPad mini fits into my jacket pocket so it’s readily available.

My Kindle Scribe that allows me to use a stylus for notetaking.

My smartphone which some days seems like the only brain I have.

All four of the devices above are portable so they are not always tethered to electricity. All four can easily access the internet without direct wiring. All four have a bit of memory attached so they don’t lose their minds if off for awhile. And at some point I’ve used each of the four for some form of Zoom or Skype meetings. The best feature is the fact that three out of the four can use the exact same charger!! That’s definitely a WIN/WIN when traveling.

Lonely, and yet proud, my 512 K Mac sits on the shelf. My first computer. As expensive as my first new car. So revolutionary. Hard disks. No more floppy disks. And the word processing capabilities. No more correction fluid or tape. Of course the errors didn’t end, just the means to fix them were so much simpler.

What is the history of computers?

A visual infographic might look like this.

Source Link

What do you notice?

Or another view . . . watch the time spans!

Source Link

Computer quote: (engkatta.com

Image result for computer quotes

The computer was born to solve problems that did not exist before. Computer science empowers students to create the world of tomorrow. Computer science is the operating system for all innovation. Computer science is no more about computers than astronomy is about telescopes.Jun 7, 2022

Computer poems: Link

Premium Member


My finger hovers
Shall I turn you on today
You lie there tempting me
I need to know what buttons to press
But when I press those buttons
You respond...   (Jan Allison)

What are your predictions for the possible uses and/or sizes of future computers? What new features would entice you to change computers?


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

#SOLSC23: Piecing

My confidence is soaring. My FirstThhe Log Cabin looks great. My Round the World is ready for the quilter. And I just ventured into a new territory – Paper Piecing. It was only 12 pieces. Slow and steady meant it turned out okay. Two hours for an eight inch square.

What is piecing?

The pattern

Possible fabric

Voila! Two hours later . . .

A great deal of trepidation. New concept. Paper piecing is sewn through the paper and the fabrics are all below the paper.

12 pieces correctly joined together. A border was added. Ready for quilting and binding.

Definitely more practice is needed as this center with 12 pieces was a five-inch square. My project will end up being 50 x 60 inches or more!

Quote about piecing

Poem about quilting:

Fabrics of all hues,

Voices celebrating JOY!

Quilters planning

Ideas posted on design walls.

Quilters sewing

Matching fabrics and points.

Quilters sharing

Tools, patterns, and flimsies.

Quilters quilting

In all shapes and sizes.

Besides quilts, what else do we “piece” in our lives? How do we “join as whole” or “repair, renew, or complete?


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

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