Category Archives: Slice of Life 17

#SOL17: Advice


April is fleeting.  May will soon be here.  How has your year gone?  In retrospect what advice would you give yourself for this year?  What advice do you have for the remainder of this year?

Here is some of my thinking . . .
advice.jpg

First Year Teacher:

  1. Ask for help; don’t twist in the wind when you are stuck! Find someone you can trust to help with day to day questions.  Find someone you can trust to help with instruction/curriculum issues.  (Double bonus if one person fits both.)
  2. Have a Plan A; be ready with Plan B and all the remaining letters in the alphabet!  Plan to learn as you go! Remember that FAIL is First Attempt In Learning and is not permanent.  Learning = growth.  Plan to grow!
  3. Stay out of the drama. Avoid the locations that are filled with drama each day.
  4. Try something new!  Surround yourself with innovative thinkers and doers.  Their creativity and willingness “to do/learn” will be contagious!
  5. Communicate, communicate, communicate!  Use transparency as a cloak that surrounds you.  No teacher has ever over-communicated!
  6. Build a PLN!  Locate like-minded individuals for conversations, collaboration and coaching.  
  7. Reflect daily on your learning.  Plan for each day to build upon the day before!
  8. Do what you ask your students to do:  Read and write daily!
  9. When in doubt ask your students; it’s their classroom!
  10. Be professional . . . in your words, actions, and intentions!

Veteran Teacher:

  1. Write out your mission/vision statement.  WHY are you teaching?  Be honest.  Make it personal.
  2. Figure out when and where were the last three times that you laughed with your students about something silly you did.  If it’s not in the last month, you need to lighten up and take yourself less seriously!
  3. Name three things that you have learned this last week from your students.  What have they taught you?  Or reminded you of?
  4. Check your positivity meter.  Do you hang out and learn from positive people?  Change your audience/PLN/cultivate new friendships!
  5. Do you have a growth mindset? What would your fellow teachers say about you?
  6. Be passionate. Love what you do and don’t be afraid to let it show!
  7. Find your tribe. It’s always easier to build common understanding collaboratively.  Find a group where you can problem solve, share, read and write together!
  8. Do what you ask your students to do:  Read and write daily! Make the time!
  9. Be a life-long learner! For REAL!  
  10. Practice revision in your life.  Know what it feels like to revise thoughts, plans, and actions.

The waning moments of the school year . . . what advice do you have?  

What would you add?




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

#SOL17:  Structure


I had to go back. my fifth time to reread the opening chapter.  This is the first paragraph:

” She stood at the window of the Manhattan apartment, peeking through a slit In the drapes. Her hands trembled.”

I knew the “she” was Gabriela. That was obvious from the first reading. But what did I know about Gabriela. Or more importantly, what had I MISSED about Gabriela?

MY task . . . Self-imposed . . . To make sense of Jeffery Deaver’s The October List. 

I had already read the preview on my kindle. I was going to check the library for a print version, but there it was at eye level at the Dollar Store with a $3 yellow sticker.

The inside flap:

“Gabriela waited desperately for news of

Her abducted daughter.

At last, the door opens.

But it’s not the negotiators.

It’s not the FBI.

It’s the kidnapper

And he has a gun.”

How did Deaver create suspense?

He chose Structure.

He began with the ending and went backwards one scene at a time.

As a reader, I had to figure out which details were important in the past and where were the red herrings that led me off the path? Rocket science? No! BUt I was reading this book as I began Vicki Vinton’s,  Dynamic Teaching for Deeper Learning, and I did not want to merely read it as a “plot junkie” as mentioned in chapter five.  I wanted to consider HOW I deliberately made sense of this text in order to better inform my reader lay self (and perhaps borrow the idea for a longer writing task).

I started a list. Basic jots of key details.

I wished for a talking partner to share ideas.

I made some oral notes on my phone.

I began to look for patterns.

How much time and how many chapters elapsed between key details?

Tally marks were replaced with questions

And then with possible solutions.

But how could they be solutions when I already knew the ending?

Events revealed.

Important?

Too soon to know.

But the compelling story line . . .

Two days,

A mother, a kidnapped six year old daughter,

A half million dollar ransom

And “The October List” to be delivered within 30 hours

OR . . .

Narrative Structure?

Typical structures include:

Plot Line

Story Arc

Story Map

Sequential

Flashback

Episodic

Scene by scene

Beginning, Middle, End

How does an author decide?

And even more importantly, how does a reader make sense of the structure?

What works for you?

And thanks to fellow slicer”Arjeha”, I already knew the key to the Structure, but not the key to the kidnapping!  Check out additional slices at TwoWritingTeachers.wordpress.com

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

#SOL17: Service?


“I can understand complete sentences.  Please speak in complete sentences.”

Please connect me with a service representative.

“I can help you with that.

I need your first name and last name.

I’m sorry, I didn’t understand that.

Would you please repeat your first name and last name?”

First name. Last name.

Slower and Louder the second time.

“What is your billing address?

Please include your full address:

Street,

Apartment number,

Town,

State,

Zipcode.

Please clearly state your full address now.”

Full Address

“Please tell me the first name and last name of the person on the account.”

First name. Last name.

“And who am I speaking to today?

Please tell me your first name and your last name.”

First name. Last name.  A.G.A.I.N.  Seriously?

“What is the phone number associated with your account?

Please state the entire 10 digit number.”

Phone number.

“What is your account number?

This is the 10 digit number associated with your account.

There are no letters.

They are all numbers.

Please tell me if you need time to get your account number.”

Account number.

“How can I help you today?”

I have no phone or internet service.  Please connect me with a service representative.

“I can help you with that.”

Today is DAY NINE.  One service tech visit later and two hours of working internet.

One brief interlude.

Now gone.

Anatomy of phone calls . . .

The shortest time from a call to a “real person” is five minutes and two seconds.

And guess what that conversation is once I am connected to a “live” person:

“Could I have your first and last name?

Could I have your 10 digit phone number?

Can I have your address?

. . .

What is acceptable in terms of service response time?  

A lack of internet is a HUGE problem for me.

(Teaching an online class, work tasks, twitter, messages & pix from all) 

To Windstream?

Apparently not!

On the upside, I have read more in the last week.

On the downside, my patience with any technology issues is now -10 and dropping rapidly!

Advice?  Suggestions?  Similar situations?



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

#SOL: Palindromes & Learning


And the landscape has changed:

I saw 15851 roll over today.

I did a little “cheer” as I traveled down the road.

But wait, you just cheered  167761 in this 13.31 post here.

“How did that work?”

Well, Friday afternoon after a week filled with 8 different PD sessions . . .

I stopped by my favorite car dealership just to see what was available.  I rode in one, contemplated several others, thought about my needs  . . .

And today I am back to new learning . . .

My Questions are many!

Which side has the gas tank?

How big is the gas tank?

Why doesn’t Toyota make headlights turn on automatically?

How do I sync my phone?

How does GPS work?

Where will I plug in my phone charger?

Where will I put my ID?

How will I organize my stuff?

And then my list:

sunglasses (HA – rain in the forecast for all week)

umbrella

electric wheel

speaker

insurance

At 15851 it still has that new car smell.

How long will it have that new car look?

How long will it have that new car clean?

(And as far as I know . . . it does not TALK to me!)



Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: It’s Time to . . .


time

It’s time to . . .

Write a slice and post it before the sun comes out.

Reflect on 32 straight days of blogging.

Read and comment on some student slices.

Add a video reflection to Kathleen’s flip grid.

Take a breath and choose one task to complete – something left to slide!

Comment on fellow “slicer” posts

Loudly and vociferously say

thank you pic

To fellow “Slicers” for their love and support this month.

Bid Adieu to daily blogging but not to daily writing in order to keep those writing muscles in shape.

What will you say “goodbye to on this last day of slicing?  

What will you say “hello” to ?  

What will you be continuing to do as a result of this new and yet “different” writing for a month?


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: And before that . . .


 

 

deer deer deer

Three deer strolled casually across the road.  I breathed a sigh of relief.  No slamming of brakes.  No sliding bags.  No coffee spilled.  I had already hit my brakes when the rear outer red lights flashed on the car in front of me.

And before that, I had just mentioned to a friend on Voxer that it was either

  0: dark : thirty OR

0: deer : thirty.

I guess I knew the most accurate time.  No rain so deer were moving.  Slow and steady for the next four miles down Deer Alley.

And before that, I had just commented on an open gate:  “Will those cows be out on the road, in the ditch, or behind the house?”

And before that, I was driving down the road en route to the office for my early morning appointment in the tech department.  I was sick and tired of issues with posting my slices 3/4 of the days of the March SOLSC.

And before that, I was racing Mya to the end of the driveway and amazed (daily) by the fact that her four legs regularly beat my four cylinder Vibe.

And before that, I was packing my work bag.

  • a Dell laptop
  • a Chromebook plus
  • an iPad mini
  • a Samsung phone

“Did I have all the necessary devices for the day?” I wondered.

And before that, I was enjoying a peaceful second cup of coffee.  Silence.  Coffee.  Peace. Thinking time.  No noise.  No devices.  No conversation with Mya.

And before that, I was packing my lunch of a granola bar and a turkey and jalapeno cheese wrap.  Plus a travel cup of coffee.

And before that, I was drinking that first cup of coffee for the morning. Savoring the smell of those coffee beans.  Hearing the drip.  And waiting eagerly for that first jolt of caffeine!

And before that, shower . . . shampoo . . . and the rest of the story is not available for print.

Do you always tell a story in chronological order?  

Have you tried reverse order?  

Does it feel uncomfortable to you?  

What structure might you try as an innovation?



Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: Memories


memories

Memories

Moments in time

Preserved

Perhaps captured with a camera flash

Or the stroke of a pen.

 

Memories

Moments in time

Experiences shared

As families, as friends, as spectators, as coaches

Preserved

Perhaps a story told

Or laughter shared.

Memories

Moments in time

Voices murmuring

Beckoning here and there

Preserved

Shared out loud

Multiplying our love!


How are you storing up each moment?  

How do you capture that smile, that glance, that word, that memory?


Thank you, dear friends, for all your kinds words, support and love these past few weeks,  There.are.no.words.to.express.the.depth.of.my.appreciation.

thank you pic


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: Procrastination City


Today’s idea and format is borrowed from Liz Garden’s Post “Procrastination Queen” here.

Procrastination City

I should work on my PD presentations.

But let me read one more section of the Writing Strategies.

I should work on my PD presentations.

Oh, is it raining out?

I should work on my PD presentations.

I need to respond to my “Slicers”.

I should work on my PD presentations.

Just one more cup of coffee.

I should work on my PD presentations.

Mya is ready for a walk now.

I should work on my PD presentations.

What’s happening on Twitter now?

I should work on my PD presentations.

Just a quick snack now.

I should work on my PD presentations.

I’ll just check my email quick.

I need to work on my PD presentation for tomorrow.

But . . .


Do you have those times when work is calling and any excuse will pull you away?  

How do you focus?  

What’s your secret?  

How do you teach “Focus” to your students?


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17 and #DigiLitSunday: Learning?


 

Screenshot 2017-03-26 at 8.34.52 AM.png

Today’s Topic: A Burning Question

 

 

 

digilit Sunday button

More posts with Margaret Simon here

 

Who is learning and how do we know?

Are the students learning?

How do we know?

What can they tell / show us about what they can do NOW that they could not do before instruction?

Is the learning important enough that the student will use “this” the rest of his/her life (beyond school)?

Am I learning?

How do you know?

You can search my blog for the following topics and see my learning:

TCRWP

NCTE

ILA

Shouldn’t our learning be public?  

Shouldn’t we have multiple pieces of evidence about our learning?

(Hint:  It does not have to be a number.)  

How are you sharing your learning?

What is your “Burning Question”?


Learning a new device has kept this post brief, but I conquered “Where do downloads go on a chromebook?”, inserted a picture, and posted it all with this new chromebook!


Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

#SOL17: A Box


Brown cardboard box.

Inside the front door.

Big enough?

Ah, small package in front.

Another book.

Not unusual.

The bigger box?

4 x 18 x 12

IS IT?

My arms are full.

Mya wants in.

The ground is wet from the steady rain.

What do I do?

The Amazon delivery at my door?

The bags in my hand?

Major decision.

I want to rip the box open.

I need to set other bags down.

Is it possible to handle all simultaneously?

Nope.  Only two hands!

Push the door open, set down bags in hands inside the door, pick up Amazon items, carry in, and open, ooh and ah, YES!, open, open, open, plug in, wait,

NOT PATIENTLY WAIT,

MUST WAIT . . . .


This morning,

Joyfully,

With occasional twinges of anxiety-

All that newness,

Crafting my post

On my new chromebook plus.

Bells and whistles not understood

But adjusting to the new keyboard

A new “touch feeling”

A new sound to my fingers pressing the keys

More of a thud.

Not a click, click, click.

Celebrating double clicks.

A new language on the tool bar.

Learning

AGAIN!

chromebook-plus-open-pen_675403

learn more about chromebook plus here

How do you merge anticipation and reality?

How do you learn new things?  

Just dive in OR read all the materials first?

What are you looking for in your next NEW device?



Thank you, Betsy, Beth, Deb, Kathleen, Lanny, Lisa, Melanie, and Stacey for this weekly forum and the #SOLSC that runs from March 1 to the 31st. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.

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