Category Archives: #SOL23

#SOLSC23: Memories

“I remember when I was five years old. My big brother was returning from our grandparents’ house where we did our laundry. That day the creek was flooded but my brother didn’t notice how high it was until he tried to cross it.

As he got into the water, the horse and wagon got stuck in the mud, and the water kept rising. He jumped into the water to free the horse, but I watched from the safety of our barn, feeling more and more afraid.

Suddenly, the wagon started to tip over, and he was thrown into the water. I thought he was going to drown, and I felt helpless. But my brother was so brave. He swam underwater to unhitch the horse. He held onto the horse’s reins.

With all his might, he pulled the horse to safety, and they made it safely to the other side of the river. When he came back to the house, I ran to him and hugged him tight, feeling relieved and grateful that he was okay.

That day, I realized how brave my big brother was. He wasn’t perfect but I was lucky to have him as my brother.”

Recounted by my uncle


Hero worship




Through thick and thin

Brothers forever.

Additional resources



He ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” by the Hollies LInk

What memories stand out from your past? Was it something you witnessed yourself? Or a story you were told?


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

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#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 –,39)

Poetry: “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.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#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.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#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” .


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

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#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).

The Iowa SU women from Ames, Iowa won the Big Twelve Conference basketball championship.

The Drake women from Des Moines, Iowa won the Missouri Valley Conference basketball championship.

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.

Screenshot 2019-01-29 at 3.12.16 AM.png

#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:

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: 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.


The oil is hot,

The chicken is sliced,

And like a needle scratching across a vinyl record,

I stop.


I shake my head and mutter

“Shrimp today and chicken Saturday.”

Friday’s plan was shrimp fried rice

and crab rangoon.

Saturday’s was chicken … something.

So I cooked the chicken,

bagged it,

and refrigerated it.

I began again.



cole slaw mix,

soy sauce,


and my fried rice seasoning.

Just another seafood Friday in Lent!

In November of 2020 I began a blog post with this quote from Collen Cruz.


So much wisdom in Colleen’s book.



Rise. (Book link)

Mistakes can be fixed and there may be multiple solutions!

During a #G2Great chat in 2021, Collen defined “mistake” in a tweet.

That blog post titled “Good Enough” can be found here.

That definitely reminds me of my sloppy mistake during lunch prep today. I was following the package directions even though I had planned ahead, thawed out the shrimp and yet I also sliced up the chicken and had it ready to stir fry. Silly, fixable mistake.

I’ve written about them in other posts and I also often talk about mistakes or “missed takes” with students and teachers. I’m very human! It’s so nice to get that first mistake of the day in early so I don’t have to worry or fret about WHEN it will occur!

You might like to explore these 15 poems about mistakes. (link)

How do you respond when you make a mistake? When others make a mistake? Do you give yourself and others “grace”?


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

#SOLSC23: Currency

Do you agree with the quote above from BrainyQuotecom?

Time? Money? Limited?

What are your priorities and how do we know?

Where do you spend your time, your energy, and your money?

If you had more currency . . .

Where would you choose to place more time or money?

Right now I would invest time and energy in my oldest grandson’s birthday gift. I have over two months, but I need to allow for some prep, a new process, and a gazillion pieces. I have the pattern, I’ve studied it some but not enough to tackle paper piecing with confidence. Whatever made this a good idea?

Additional resources:

Poetry About Currency – Link

31 Tunes About Cash – Link

What is your major currency? Time or Money? What’s your supporting evidence?


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

#SOLSC23: Meaning

“Sign, sign
Everywhere a sign
Blockin’ out the scenery
Breakin’ my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?” – Five Man Electric Band

It was one of those days. Disaster to the left. Disaster to the right. Disaster in front of me. Disaster behind. A choice of 360 degrees of disasters. But I digress.

Signs come in many formats. Literally roadside signs. Road marking signs. And today was filled with signs.

What does this mean for a driver?

What should a driver do?

What should a driver NOT do?

Driver’s Ed 101 taught this but I already knew it from my bicycling days.

Important meaning for anyone “out on the road”.

So why was it an issue today? Well, it was a day when twice the same vehicle passed me in a double yellow line situation.

To be crystal clear. . .

absolutely no passing

The first time I was proceeding down the road with my cruise on 59 in a 55 mph zone. I noticed the vehicle due to some unusual markings. I had planned to stop at the next Casey’s but I refrained as I perhaps would have too much fun determining the fool-hardy driver. And then within city limits, the exact same vehicle passed me again in a double solid yellow line area. Twice? I was tempted to record the license number and submit them anonymously to some vehicle enforcement group.


But I refrained.

My curiosity was high. This was a fairly local vehicle according to the county license plates so the vehicle was local. Maybe the driver was not. Maybe they were from New York or Florida.

But a quick search on the internet found that pavement markings are consistent across the US so any licensed driver would be aware of the meaning of two solid yellow lines.

I’ve been playing with words, definitions, visuals, quotes, and poems this month during the March Slice of Life. There are many shades of meaning . . .







Round Robin


So what if?

The yellow double line means, “Hurry up and pass before you get to the end of the double lines.”

The yellow double line means, “Go fast, before you get caught passing in a double yellow line zone.”

The yellow double line means, “Try not to pass a vehicle where you will cross double yellow lines.”

Those possibilities seem a bit silly but so did the vehicle that crossed double yellow lines TWICE in passing me within 20 miles.

So WHAT meaning matters in life? The most obvious? The loudest? The one where you get caught and try to construct a narrative?


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

My Zorro Circle

it is what it is

Steph Scrap Quilts

"Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads..."


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Tim's Teaching Thoughts

Ideas and Reflections on Teaching

Hands Down, Speak Out

Listening and Talking Across Literacy and Math

Teachers | Books | Readers

Literacy Leaders Connecting Students and Books

Dr. Carla Michelle Brown * Speaker * author * Educator

We have the perfect words. Write when you need them.

Curriculum Coffee

A Written Shot of Espresso

Mrs. Palmer Ponders

Noticing and celebrating life's moments of any size.


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

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

adventures in multiple tenses

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


Smile! You’re at the best site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools