Tag Archives: routines

#SOLSC21: Fail

Impatiently, I listen. Silence surrounds me. I look at the clock. It’s moving slowly. I tell myself to take a deep breath and open up the computer.

Decisions. Decisions. Open up WordPress or jump to the Slices. Which way do I want to begin my day? Silly question, I already know the answer.

I listen again. Not a sound.

I promise myself that I will check as soon as I format my post. (Title and end tag line)

But then an idea emerges and I begin drafting. I’m through when my first draft when I realize that something is missing. Something vital. Missing.

I check. No lights. No smell. No warmth.

I filled the pot. Added the grounds. And promptly forgot to hit the button to start the process. Will I be able to wait the three minutes necessary? Not a choice. I must wait.

But I don’t have to wait patiently. I take the gift of time to put things away and study the contents of the frig as I contemplate a lunch menu. Time found? Maybe not that generous. Definitely not time lost.

It’s a different order. It feels uncomfortable. But the work has been accomplished. The post is drafted. I have a cup of coffee in my hand. I’m ready for a re-read.

All’s mostly right in the world. It’s hard to let go of routines and rituals that have worked so well for so long.

Well, maybe not a complete change to my ritual. Coffee, then writing is my preferred plan.

What is your response? How do you recover from failures? Do you change your actions, behaviors, or habits?


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

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#SOL20: Passage of Time

At 5:30 the first song is heard.

Within two minutes a responding chorus begins.

Within five minutes single voices are no longer heard above the cacophony.

No light on the horizon.

Slowly he dark sky fades to gray.

The wind chime begins its daily chant.

Squirrels race up the maple tree.

Chattering as they scamper

 From limb to limb and from tree to tree.

The aroma of coffee fills the air

The sun rises above the horizon

The new light shines in the windows

Time to explore.

Time to learn.

Time to begin again.

Chris Doyle has been the strength and conditioning coach at the University of Iowa for the past 22 years. Check out his “Best Practices” wisdom in this tweet.

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What personal “best practices” are keeping you “afloat” at this time? 

What routines are you noticing? 

Do you wake up before the sun?

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

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#SOL15: Routines

Routine:    a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

Routines:  Sometimes the very essence of our lives

Routines:  a blessing?  a curse?  How do you know your routines are effective?


What is your routine for writing?

Specific paper?
Specific pen?
Specific chair/desk?

How did you develop your routine?

Writing with friends?

Writing with students?

 Developed over time?

In search of a writing routine?

Here is a link to the routines of 12 famous writers.  Does your “routine” parallel any of those?  Have you maximized your potential and your mindset to truly be “All that you can be?”  Are there some personal, professional or fun routines that need a bit of sprucing up, spring cleaning, or rejuvenation?

How much do “routines” influence your life?


What is your morning routine?

Do you need coffee or tea in the morning?

Cold caffeinated drink?

What gets you up and moving?

routine  sodahead.com  abc

What are your daily routines?

Are you a creature of habit at work?

At home?

In life?

routine to do list

What about family routines?

For back to school days? (dinner out after that first day of school!)

Birthdays? (surprise / not a surprise party?)

Holidays? (pie at 10 am for breakfast; dinner at 2 pm)

Anniversaries? (Who plans?)

Vacations? (Location determined by – ?)

Routines?  Habits?  

Which ones do you value?

Which ones are REALLY working for you? 

How do YOU decide?


Check out the writers, readers and teachers who are “slicing” here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place to share our work.  So grateful for this entire community of writers who also read, write and support each other!

Maximize Your Time!


Several items in yesterday’s ASCD SmartBrief (June 4, 2013) caught my eye.  But the one that captured both my mind and my heart was the pdf available titled “Multiply Your Minutes” in  a preview from Great Habits, Great Readers:  A Practical Guide for K-4 Reading in the Light of Common Core by Paul Bambrick.  My first read was while waiting for an appointment to meet with a curriculum coordinator.  (With my iPad in hand, I even shared some sections immediately.) My second read was to consider which co-workers would get an email link.  My third read was after a co-worker commented on “I like the part about. . .”; I had to reread to find that “evidence.”  I wanted to make sure that we both had a common understanding and that my enthusiasm had not been misplaced.  Then I sent the link to another circle of co-workers.  My morning drive to work was spent rehearsing a title for this blog entry that I just had to write. And then before I began writing, gasp! I read the pdf AGAIN!

Time is one of our most precious commodities in school.  As a teacher and administrator, I was often cavalier when I would use the excuse, “I just don’t have time,”  so I did not have to change what I was doing.  It was a well-worn excuse!  But in my role as a literacy specialist, I see time as a critical factor that  with “better management” has the potential  to lead to increased student learning.  I find it incredibly hard to listen to conversations about how longer school days will improve learning when the day that we have just does not seem to always be used wisely.  Is this important?  Doug Fisher spends time on “Routines for the First 20 Days” and Daily 5 is all about the “routines” that need to be taught in order to allow students to become both independent and productive.

So what was so illuminating?  The 3 pdf sections available for preview are perfect for end of year reflections as well as August resolutions to “Maximize Time!” and increase student learning! (and to “tide you over” until your book arrives!) Check out these three GEMS!

1. “Core Idea: You can’t add more hours to the week, but you can add more hours of instruction; just build tighter routines.”

2. “Core Idea: Time lost to systems is time lost for learning.”

3. And the amount of instructional time gained if transition time was reduced from 4.5 minutes to just 30 seconds because of explicit instruction and practice.

use of time

Ten school days!  Wow! Have you timed your transitions lately? Maybe you are at 2.5 minutes. You could still gain five days in a year!

What routines do you teach your students in order to maximize your time?  What routines SHOULD you teach?

What are you thinking of changing for next year?

Please add your ideas below!

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