Category Archives: #SOL21

#SOL21: Autumn


What are the signs of Autumn that you watch for?

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#SOL21: Patterns


A chorus repeats

Poems often include rhyme or repetiition

I’m on record as abhoring cookie cutter work

What’s the difference?

How are these two blocks the same?

How are these two blocks different?

# 1
#2

The blocks are a part of KISS blocks from Quilt Club. The requesting member shares a pattern, and fabric possibilities, or perhaps provides fabrics to use in the block construction. The next month everyone brings back their square to share with the “requester.”

Same: These two blocks are both from the Jacob’s Ladder pattern.

Shapes are either squares or triangles.

All shapes began as squares.

Both have 3 rows of squares.

5 squares are the same; 4 other squares are the same.

Both squares have stars printed on the fabric

Different: #2 is comprised of batiks and #1 is general fabric.

#1 has 3 fabrics; #2 has 2 fabrics.

#1 has squares and hearts in the fabric; #2 has rectangles and swirls.

What else do you see?

How many squares do you see?

Do variations of a pattern create more interest rather than cookie cutter sameness?

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#SOL21: Good Enough?


I’ve heard this phrase for years, decades even.

But I’ve been wondering lately what a person is to do if the quality of the lemonade is dubious, not up to expectations, or perhaps not even fit for consumption.

Do we politely sip it anyway?

Do we question the source to attempt to determine why the quality seems to have slipped?

Do we just say, “Oh, it’s for a good cause. Suck it up! It’s good enough!”

Colleen Cruz offers us much wisdom in her book, Risk. Fail. Rise.

What are mistakes? Are they “missed takes”?

During our #G2Great chat in February of 2021, Colleen defined mistakes for us.

Surprise! We thought it was going to go one way. But it went another!

And I was ready to talk about tons of mistakes.

Two real-life examples

Gravy too thin? A secret ingredient for quick thickening might be two tablespoons of instant mashed potatoes.

In quilting: A narrow seam might “fix” a seam that is pulled too tightly.

But the subtitle of Colleen’s book is:
“A Teacher’s Guide to Learning from Mistakes”

Recounting mistakes is not the end goal. My list could probably be a mile or two long.

Learning from Mistakes.

Where does the learning come from?

I liked the element that Jill added:

The learning begins with reflection and knowing a bit more about the types of mistakes that occur.

Getting beyond mistakes are “good” or “bad” takes some work or study. Not all mistakes are equal. Four kinds of mistakes include: stretch mistakes, aha moment mistakes, sloppy mistakes, and high-stakes mistakes.

McVeigh, https://literacylenses.com/2021/02/risk-fail-rise-a-teachers-guide-to-learning-from-mistakes/

The life mistakes with gravy and quilting were/are not earth shattering. Annoying? Yes. Easily rectified? Yes.

But they do require an awareness of the end product. A road map of our destination. An expectation or approximation of that end goal/ success criteria!

Who decides what is good enough? What if we set the bar too low> What if “any lemonade” becomes our goal and the quality drops off? Will we continue to make lemonade? Are we willing to adjust/adapt to maintain a certain criteria of excellence? Who determines the criteria?

Do give yourself grace.

It’s going to be another wild year.

But continue to have high expectations. Your life will be richer for all that you maintain high expectations. It will be up to you to determine where and how many mistakes you want to share. (Many folks won’t notice them. Others will notice and name many.)

The key is being willing (#OLW) to reflect on the “fails” in order to learn and grow your own list of accomplishments.

You get to set the criteria! Go for the Olympic Gold! Set some worthy characteristics!

Be flexible. Grow and learn. Don’t settle for making lemonade. Make the best lemonade possible!

When is “Good Enough” really Good Enough?

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#SOL21: Point of View


About five months ago, we “seemed” more optimistic. Some pandemic numbers were headed in the right direction. There were more mandates and then evil seemed to form this schism wider and deeper than the Grand Canyon.

Black or white

Empty or full

Nothing seemed quite so simple.

I blogged about point of view here.

As school begins/continues/or is perhaps even delayed . . .

here’s some food for thought.

Give yourself grace. Pause. Think. Take a deep breath. Listen to understand.

Is it really this simple?

It’s not easy. There are multiple “sides/views” of every interaction.

Solutions require us to look each other in the eye.

We must let go of the old and ineffective beliefs and practices.

We cannot grab onto the “new and shiny” promise dangled in front of us.

We must center students and their identities in all that we plan and do.

We cannot let fear keep us from embracing the work needed for our students to flourish.

We must stand together in unity.

We cannot stand by when loud voices take over the bully pulpit.

What can you personally do? What are you WILLING to do?

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#SOL21: Slicing Inspiration


Where do ideas come from?

It depends.

Do I already have an idea in my mind? Do I like that idea? Or is it my “I’ll settle for that idea if a burst of inspiration does not hit me before it’s time to push the publish button.

Today felt different.

I didn’t have an idea in mind. (I had many ideas circulating but no ONE idea.) I didn’t have a draft written before the “call to slicers” was posted. So the inspiration came from sleeping on/with this idea on my mind.

Writing . . .

Stepping back

Looking

Admiring

Celebrating

And therefore, being most present.

Examples from this summer include these two volunteers in my sister’s garden. . .

Unexpected

Silently growing

And then blooming

Proudly

Claiming space

Stretching, growing

Volunteering to create

Beauty

In unexpected spaces.

Today a petunia and a sunflower are the same.

Volunteers!

When have you been most present? How do you KNOW? What is your plan to be MORE present?

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#SOL21: Internet


Really.

Sixty.

Sixty minutes.

Sixty minutes of turning off and on. Unplugging. Timing for at least two minutes. Turning back on. Reconnecting. Next device up.

No time for foolishness.

Long list to accomplish.

Three devices later, I’m ready to toss all three devices.

N.o.t.h.i.n.g…c.o.n.n.e.c.t.s…NOTHING!

I begin this post on my phone. The WordPress app seems to work. I push publish. It spins.

I gently close the lid to my chromebook. I power my ipad mini off. I restart my phone.

I find a stack of post its and begin a manual list.

What do you do when technology fails? How do you work through the frustration with tech and the loss of time?

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#SOL21: Books Make Me


On Thursday, July 22nd, Penny Kittle interviewed Kwame Alexander for BookLove. It was a feast of:

joy,

love,

mutual admiration with

Penny reading poetry and

Kwame reading poetry.

AHHHMMMAAAAZZZZING!

One of the ideas shared was the community poems that Kwame has written/curated recently. You can hear “This is Our Dream” at this NPR link.

We were challenged to write our own lines to a prompt proposed by Ann Marie Stephens . . .

“Books Make Me”

Books make me

Soar high above the clouds

Drifting along, tugged by the wind, escaping gravity.

Books make me

Crawl into the shoes

And psyches of characters as they live in their stories.

Books make me

Respond. I might:

Cry, Scream, Laugh, Pound, Question, Wonder and Think.

Books make me

Rush to collect those “just published” ones

That entice me with the fresh ink and new learning!

Books make me

Yearn for conversations

With authors, readers, and writers to pick up on nuances contained.

Books make me reread

Slowing down

Savoring the ideas, thoughts, and words of the author, both spoken and unspoken.

Books make me curl up on rainy days

To maximize every second

Of freedom to read and relax with my choice of text.

Books make me travel to places

Near and far

In my imagination and other times and places.

Books make me swoon

A well-written phrase

A well-developed character or even an old friend who is captivating.

Books make me aware

Of just how much I don’t know

And encourage me to dig in and satisfy my curiosity.

But most of all,

Books make me . . . me!

What line(s) would you add? How could you use this format? What will your prompt look like?

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“Poetry is literature’s multivitamin . . . ” https://www.npr.org/2021/07/26/1020612153/joy-why-traffic-on-poetry-websites-has-increased-during-the-pandemic

#SOL21: Summer Learning


Reading. Wriing. Thinking.

So many great books out there.

What am I reading this summer?

Here are some of the professional books that I shared with the “BookLove” community last week!

What I am rereading . . .

RereadsThe Responsive Writing Teacher, Grades K-5 : A Hands-on Guide to Child- Centered, Equitable Instruction by Corter, Kelsey Marie (9781071840641) |  BrownsBfS

New Reads . . .

    August

Speakers that I am listening to . . .

What are you reading? writing? thinking? What are you listening to? How is your plan working? Are you working your plan?

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#SOL21: Choices


dough crust?

graham cracker crust?

fruit filling?

creamy filling?

baked?

refrigerated until set?

heat up the house?

just stir up the treat?

Tart?

Sweet?

How do I decide?

Flip a coin?

Choose a number?

Buy the ingredients for one?

Buy the ingredients for both?

But I don’t really need two desserts

Although the choices are not even similar.

Which would you choose?

Gooseberry pie or cheesecake?

What guides your summer food choices? The weather? Availability? Ease of preparation? What criteria carry over to other decisions?

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#SOL21: A Simple Plan


A simple plan: A six store drive through south central Iowa.

Up. An early departure.

Obstacle 1: First shop closed today.

Keep moving. Five more to go. A simple plan.

One day of shopping. No major needs. But my first AISH. AISH is the All Iowa Shop Hop that consists of 86 stops. 86 stops in a two month period – June 1 to July 31st.

Truth be told. I’m not a shopper. Never have been. Book stores? Yes. Lumber/fix up stores – Menards, Home Depot? Yes. Otherwise, not so much.

I’m not planning on all 86 stores. I was thinking of starting small. The 17 shops in southeast Iowa. This has been my corner of the state all my life. There are some shops I have not yet visited since this quilting bug bit me last year. (Sound interesting? Link) Visiting all the shops in one region makes one eligible for a regional grand prize. One small goal.

It won’t be easy. Some shops are rural. One in my region has this posted under updates:

DIRECTIONS: Our address is 1949 110th St, Salem, IA 52649, but we are not in the town of Salem, we are about 5 miles from the town and about ‘ONE country mile’ off the 27/ 218 four lane Highway.
From Mt. Pleasant, where Quilters Paradise is on the square; Take Hwy. 27/218 South for about 12 miles, to 110th Street, just across the Henry/Lee county line. The street numbers go from 330th street in Henry county, Instantly to 110th street in Lee county. (Look for the “QUILT” signs.)

The first road in Lee county is 110th Street & is our road. Turn to the Left or East, we are about a ‘Country mile’ down the road and at the top of the hill on the Left or North just before the crossroad, Pilot Grove Road.

If you miss 110th street, the next highway crossroad is the Junction of Hwy 16 & 27/218, which is about a mile farther. If you get to the Junction of 16 & 27/218 you can make a U-turn, or turn Left or East onto Highway 16 and go to the first gravel crossroad, which is Pilot Grove Road and turn Left onto gravel headed North. Go a ‘Country mile, ‘ at the stop sign, we are on the corner. You can see the driveway where to park to the Left, the ‘RED’ door is on the WEST SIDE of the building is the Shop door. If you go through the STOP SIGN, the road is a Dead End and coming back we are on the corner.

If ALL Else FAILS… Call our phone number, 319-850-0524, and we will get you to us from wherever you have gotten lost.

It will be interesting to see if GPS and Google Maps play nice on those directions. Surely one will be close . . .

So back to the simple plan for today. Drive approximately 30 miles, shop, 30 miles, shop, 1 hour, shop, 10 miles, shop, 15 miles, shop and return home with “free stuff” from AISH as well as any purchases along the way.

There was a surprise at the first town. A collection of farm equipment at the fairgrounds and then these signs along the road.

The fairgrounds was packed.

Lawn chairs lining the sidewalks. Vehicles in the shade facing the parade route. Pickup trucks with tailgates down at the corners of rock roads. These folks KNEW there was going to be a tractor parade. And they were prepared for the sun with hats, umbrellas, sun shades, and awnings.

“A few tractors. A few miles. No big deal.”

We were traveling at 10 mph. Ten miles per hour. If the tractors stayed on this road, we would share it for 30 miles.

How long would 30 miles take?

Your answer?

And then for the reality . . .

Exactly how long would you travel at 10 mph or less? Willing? Able? Settling for?

Highway 92 is a state highway. Two lanes. Asphalt. Two lanes. With no passing zones every mile due to hills. Hills that meant slower uphill travel.

Google Maps told me there would only be a 6 minute delay.

(I saw that major eye roll.)

To believe or not to believe . . .

The good news was that we followed for 10 miles before the tractor parade left Highway 92.

Revising and changing plans.

When have you had to adjust your daily plan? What variables mattered? What variables were completely beyond your control? When were you willing to go “with the flow”?

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