Tag Archives: Slice of Life

#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?

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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?

coffee

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?

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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!

#SOL14: Family Weekend FUN!



Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy for creating a place for us to work collaboratively.

It was a huge family weekend.  My youngest brother, the baby in the family, graduated summa cum laude with his BS in Business Friday night with Mom plus three siblings in attendance. We had a fabulous pre-party with food galore:  veggie and fruit pizzas, veggies and dip, sandwiches, cupcakes, pies, sweet potato cake, and a wee bit of Uncle Leo’s homemade wine.   Here’s a collection of photos from the festivities!

Wayne grad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone had read last week’s slice (Mom’s birthday post) except Mom so she read that later in the evening.  She wondered why I had left out the “riding the bull” picture.  That led me to wondering about the “Kiss the Blarney Stone” picture.  Darn, again. . . . all on an external hard drive at home – not where I am currently located.  I discovered this picture of orchids that Mom drew in a class on her Mediterranean cruise and decided to share it.  She has so much artistic talent!

Moms orchids

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday  was a fabulously great family day with our departure from Ankeny at 6:15 am for the Iowa Homecoming festivities. Drumline, Alumni Band, Hawkeye Marching Band – what a treat to see and hear so much great entertainment! And the “FUN that was had by all!  You truly can see just about anything and everything at a collegiate football game.  It was my sister’s first game sitting as a spectator in historic Kinnick Stadium, as well as niece Courtney’s first Hawkeye football game so the high-scoring first quarter and ultimate win were greatly appreciated!

homecoming game

 

 

 

 

Simple things like late lunch after the game, picking up Grandma and heading on to the next adventure occupied Saturday evening.  We watched nephew Josh’s high school band perform at marching contest at Muscatine.  What a pleasure to see and hear the pageantry that accompanies high school marching bands.  However, it was a bit nippy and the blankets to sit on and wrap up in were both greatly appreciated.

The big excitement from the weekend was skyping with my kids Friday afternoon.  It was so totally an “A-Marek-N” conversation with many people talking simultaneously and lots of laughter.  The seriousness was in this message!

Evan Julie and Coach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this one . . .

McVeigh pumpkin patch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So my final words for this weekend (courtesy of a vendor on Melrose Avenue), and I’m sticking to it . . .

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Newspapers: Are they biased / unbiased?


You may have an answer for that question in the title.  But do you know for sure?  Definitely?  Unequivocally?  How did you research this issue?

The possibilities for bias in text are endless because text is all around us.  Literally and loosely, text is the scenery around us whether it is print or not.  The texts that comprise our daily lives may include a variety of print or non-print sources including electronic emails, blogs, newspapers, magazines and books.  I want to focus on one of those – the writing found in news sources, typically in newspapers and how we can help students examine that question as they continue to build their reading skills for life.

Standards Addressed:

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.6  –  Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.R.9  –  Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.CCRA.L.5  –  Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
One event. Three articles. Three different stories.  

How do you know whether the news is being reported or if the news is being shaped by the authors and publishers?  Let’s investigate further!

To begin, we will just look at the pictures from the three stories:

la-afp-getty-obama-meets-with-leaders-of-honduras-20140725

U.S. President Obama disembarks from Air Force One as he arrives at Los Angeles International Airportfox pic

What do you know?  What do you wonder?  

(Questions from What Readers Really Do:  Teaching the Process of Meaning Making by Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton)

Hold onto those thoughts as you look at the titles.  (And the titles are NOT listed in the same order as the pictures!)

Titles

“Obama tells Central American leaders most children will go home”

“GOP lawmakers fight plan to bring more illegal immigrant children to military bases”

“White House pursuing plan to expand immigrant rights”

What do you know?  What do you wonder?

What theories are you now ready to begin building?

The sources in alphabetical order are:  Fox News, LA Times, and Reuters

Which sources go with which pictures and article titles?  Are you already considering revising your theory?  That process of continually questioning and researching based on what you know and wonder allows a reader to demonstrate flexible thinking.  Thinking really is one essential by-product of the “act of reading and understanding printed messages.”

What words/phrases do you notice in the opening paragraphs of the article covering the same event – news about immigrant children on this date?  Read and jot notes about those words.

Opening paragraphs in the LA Times:

 “Even as President Obama grapples with the crisis of immigrant children arriving at the Southwest border, White House officials are laying the groundwork for a large-scale expansion of immigrant rights that would come by executive action within weeks.

Officials signaled strongly Friday that Obama’s move would shield from deportation large numbers of immigrants living in the country illegally, as advocacy groups have demanded.” (LA Times, 7/26/14)

 

The same story from Reuters begins this way:

“President Barack Obama urged the leaders of three Central American countries on Friday to work with him to stem the flow of child migrants who have surged across the U.S. border and warned that most of them would not be allowed to stay.

In a White House meeting with the leaders of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, Obama had a tough-love message: his administration had compassion for the children, but not many would qualify for humanitarian relief or refugee status. Many of the migrants have fled poverty and crime at home.” (Reuters, 7/26/14)

 

And the third story from Fox News begins with:

“Republican lawmakers are challenging the Obama administration over a newly announced plan to expand the use of U.S. military bases to house illegal immigrant children, warning that it will put a strain on troops and threaten military readiness.

The Pentagon confirmed this week that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved a request from the Department of Health and Human Services to house an additional 5,000 minors at DOD facilities.”

 

Do you notice any patterns?  What are you wondering about at this time?

There are many ways to continue reading these articles.  The length is conducive to having each student read all three, but a student may only be an “expert” on the actual writing techniques used in one or two of the articles.  Do remember that it is sometimes easier to analyze two articles through simultaneous comparing and contrasting rather than just one article by itself.

 

I was wondering about the “experts” and the sources of quotes within the articles.  Who does each author use?

LA Times:

“Obama said last month that because Congress had failed to act on comprehensive immigration reform, he would take executive action to ‘fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own.'”

“When the decision is announced, it will ‘increase the angry reactions from Republicans,’ Peiffer said.” (White House senior advisor – two other quotes as well)

 

Reuters:

“‘There may be some narrow circumstances in which there is a humanitarian or refugee status that a family might be eligible for,’ Obama said after talks with the leaders. ‘But I think it’s important to recognize that that would not necessarily accommodate a large number.'” (plus two more quotes by President Obama

President Juan Orland Hernandez of Honduras,  “’They have rights, and we want them to be respected,’ he said.”

“‘The idea here is that in order to deter them from making that dangerous journey, we’d set up a system in coordination with these host countries to allow those claims to be filed in that country without them having to make that dangerous journey,’ said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.”

 

Fox News:

paraphrased information (no quotes in article)”The Pentagon confirmed that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel . . . request from Dept. of Health and Human Services. . . ”

Direct quote – “Donelle Harder, a spokeswoman for Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., told FoxNews.com.”

“Alabama lawmakers . . . ‘ongoing talks’ . . .  . . . “Alabama GOP Reps. Martha Roby and Mike Rogers ” . . . . ‘The housing, feeding and caring of immigration detainees would severely compromise the critical mission at Maxwell-Gunter,’ they wrote.” (also a second quote)

“Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., said the request poses a very real threat to U.S. military readiness,’ noting the base is the ‘primary artillery training center for troops before deployment.'” (second quote also)

 

What might instruction/inquiry look like at this point?  

I might begin to model comparing specific words and phrases that were used in the articles and also begin to discuss the sources. Which words/phrases seem to be the most simple form of reporting (without opinions/emotions) in comparison to words or phrases that seem to have been chosen for their emotional nuances?  What could those comparisons look like?

Paint chips, a visual way to show the progression of vocabulary words, could be used.  Students in 1:1 districts could simply create these using a chart and add color gradations to the boxes.  Or students could consider how to use “shapes” to show the different layers of word meanings / nuances or  phrases and words that explicitly provide evidence of the biases and or point of view of the reporters/publishers. Words could then be added as text boxes inside each color.

Screenshot 2014-08-03 07.20.46

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For additional discussion or to see an explanation of this vocabulary activity, see Sarah Brown Wessling, 2010 Teacher of the Year, at the Teaching Channel here.

 

If you have not yet googled the articles, here is the link to each one where all advertisements have been stripped courtesy of the readability app (with more information here):

Fox News

LA Times 

Reuters

 

So what are some other choices?

If you are a devotee of “Falling in Love with Close Reading” by Chris Lehman and Kate Roberts, you may have been thinking of all the connections between the lenses of text evidence, vocabulary and point of view!  That would be another way to conduct a close reading of these articles in order to see how they were “reported differently”.

Or, if you are interested in adding in some writing, you might have partner groups of students “summarize” their article in two or three sentences while asking them to include evidence that will help them “defend” their summary as “The Best Summary”.

OR you might consider this question – Can you predict how additional topics will be “covered/handled” by Fox News, LA Times and Reuters?  After making your prediction (and writing it down), pick a topic, pull up the three different articles and see if your predictions are accurate!

Or consider where your own local newspaper fits within this “range” or reporting!

 

Does every text that you read contain some bias?  What do you think?  What would you need to do to unequivocally answer that?

 

ImageTuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here.  Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsey for creating that place for us to work collaboratively.

#SOL14: Commencement


 

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

Verizon Foundation on 06.01.14 tweeted this link to the 25 Most Promising Graduation Speeches of the Year and I was immediately intrigued to think about “HOW” that rating would be determined.  After all, Commencement for me is all about the music.  It’s hard to imagine a graduation ceremony without Pomp and Circumstance played as the processional tune at graduation.  Majestic, inspiring, regal, stately!  That is my view as a “listener”!

 

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Pomp and Circumstance totally sets the tone for graduation ceremonies.

What does a musician need to know?

He or she would need to understand the sound symbol relationships in musical notations including:  time signature, “allegro con molto fuoco”, “poco allargando”,  treble clef, bass clef, notes, sharps, rests, crescendos, codas, etc. Could you pick this music up and play it expertly right now?  If yes, how many years have you been playing the piano?  If no, what would you need to learn in order to play this piece?  What knowledge gaps do you have?  Would you need to begin at the beginning?  Or with a little refresher or review of some basic skills and a piano to practice on, could you play one of the lines reasonably accurately?  Do you REALLY know Italian or do you just know some of the musical phrases?  And then what about the intricacies involved when multiple instruments have their own parts in the band or orchestra?  How does it all come together at that graduation ceremony?

Listen to a bit of Pomp and Circumstance:  Pomp and Circumstance for graduation

Expecting a novice musician to play this score well is like expecting a novice reader to read and understand the nuances of the Preamble to the Constitution.  Instruction is needed.  Appropriateness of the text is also a consideration.  Background knowledge and motivation come into play.  Depending on the age and experiences, some scaffolding may be necessary.  And then deeper understanding to be able to compose or improvise something similar involves understanding the mathematics involved in scales in terms of  the progressions in scales and the relationships between the black and white ivory keys.  Many, many, many layers of knowledge similar to reading a text . . .

What other connections to life can you make?

I can appreciate the beauty of this music without being able to play it all personally myself.  But if my passion is reading and writing music and reading and writing words, will I have to somehow learn the notation system in order to put it altogether?  When and how will this happen?

How many different “reading systems” are there in my life?
How did I learn them all?

How many systems will the kindergarten students need to learn in their lifetimes?

On the Importance of Listening


 

slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

As a literacy specialist, I so love the fact that the English/Language Arts Standards include, Reading, Writing, Language, and Speaking and Listening.  However, I am always amazed by the amount of “speaking” and the lack of “listening” found in daily discourse.

Calm, quiet, rational – it’s not about the loudest voice.  It’s also not about “Who talks the most?” and have they just worn down the listener who really is only listening with one ear? Or is listening and multi-tasking?  Is that really listening?  What should one really be listening for?

Are speaking and listening two sides of the same coin?

Is a monologue really communication?  How important is speaking if there is no listener?  And the flip side:  Can there be communication if there is only a listener who never speaks?  Does a “dialogue” always mean that the speaker and the listener are both equally invested in the communication?

Which of these quotes fits your schema about communication?

 

Source:  http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_communication.html#aWJ5O5Zkmvq5EKqt.99

Why is communication hard?

So why does “communication” break down?  Why is it hard to convey a precise meaning in words, coupled with our actions and emotions?  Is it complex or as simple as this quote?

Image

What message do you communicate?
Do your actions speak louder than your words?

When do you REALLY listen?

 

o5.13.14  Check out Julieanne’s post about a student conference.  This was totally about listening to understand!

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Showers and April Data Dump


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Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

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April Showers have been devastating in many regions of the United States this week.  Equally devastating is the April Data Dump that is happening in many schools across the United States.  Are you drowning in data?

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How many of these pieces of data have you accumulated for each of your students?

 

  • National Assessments
  • Local Assessments
  • Benchmark Assessments 
  • MAP 
  • STAR Reading 
  • STAR Math
  • NWEA 
  • Accelerated Reader Tests
  • Unit Tests
  • Screeners
  • Formative Assessments
  • Book Logs
  • Rubrics
  • Checklists
  • Running Records
  • Observations

Do you have others that are not on the list?  Does each piece of data match up and tell the same story or is there a dissonance from conflicting data including the student’s work in the classroom during reading or writing workshop?  What is the role of data in instruction?

Which assessments REALLY inform your instruction?
What do you change, today, in your instruction as a result of your assessment data?
How do you make a mid-class period correction to ensure every student is learning?

When you have data collected, it needs to be organized and then it needs to be USED to inform instruction. This sounds simple but additional ideas about data are shared by Brianna Friedman at her blog entitled “Adventures in Staff Development” and more specifically in her February 18th post, “What Does the Data Say?”  In today’s slice, Jana tells a story from the view of teachers reviewing the data in “Data Review – – Evaluation or Judgement?”

The number of days left in this school year are finite.  If you are counting those days, my hope is that you have set your end goal targets and are counting the days in order to allocate precious, finite resources that will help all students reach the targets. Every minute, hour, and day is an opportunity for student learning!  

How are you utilizing data to inform instruction and maximize student learning in order to meet your end of the year goals?

 

 

Know and Wonder Charts and Patterns


slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

Through Twitter and many Twitter friends, I have come to value charts.  If you aren’t familiar with @chartchums, you need to check out their blog here or their book Smarter Charts here.

Dorothy Barnhouse and Vicki Vinton have introduced us to Know and Wonder Charts in their magnificent text, What Readers Really Do:  Teaching the Process of Making Meaning.

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There is a Twitter Chat, tonight, April 22, 2014 from 8:30 – 9:30 EST (#WRRDchat) where many of these ideas including “implementation” will be discussed.  Our chat leaders include:  Allison Jackson (@azajacks), Julieanne Harmatz (@jarhartz) and Ryan Scala (@rscalateach).  Additional resources include these previous posts: “The Process of Meaning Making,”  “Beyond CCSS: Know and Wonder Charts” (July 2013), and our group facebook page where last year’s chats are archived.

 

What have I learned since last summer?  
Students must do the work!

Teachers cannot wait until their comprehension instruction is perfect. Students need to be “doing” the work of constructing meaning. There is a huge difference between students who “don’t understand YET” and students who don’t know what they are doing.

Here is some of our work from third grade last month.  Our book was Fifty Cents and a Dream:  Young Booker T Washington.

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Here is page 2 – the first text:

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After reading this page, students discussed with a partner both what they knew and what they were still wondering about.  So the picture below is what the first whole-class “Know / Wonder” chart looked like.  A lot of conversation centered around the word “longed” which JD so aptly told us “did not mean long like 2 feet long.” That discussion led to the inference (with evidence) that Booker “wanted to read.”

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As we read on through page 3 we were thinking about:

  • Were any of our questions answered?
  • Were any patterns beginning to emerge?

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Our question of “Why is Booker NOT reading?” was answered on this page.

Now our chart began to get messy as we used it to demonstrate how we were “making meaning” as our first question was answered with a bit of color coding for our question in the “Wonder” and our answer in the “Know.”

Image

 

One of our goals was to see how the character developed over time in this text.  How did the author reveal information about Booker? As students worked with partners, they crafted their own post – it descriptions (rewritten here –  😦 poor photography skills).  How could these descriptions show a progression of  “drafting understanding” that could be used to dig deeper into the author’s words?

Image Image

 

These first two were pretty similar and were easy for the students to think about as “evidence-based” descriptions with picture two adding the inference “be a reader.”  Picture 3, below, demonstrated students who continued on through the text in search of “MORE” ideas and evidence.  They wanted to know “WHY” reading was so important to Booker and they did not stop until they had drafted their theory.

 

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Because we have also worked with formative assessment and checklists, we tried another view of the same post-its in a chart with labels and descriptors so students could begin to “self-assess” their own work.  This was the FIRST draft – an additional step was later added between the “two stars” and “three stars.”

Character Dev. Booker

 

 

After discussion, students could perform some self – assessment to determine where they were at in their understanding.  This self-assessment allowed most students to answer the question:  “What would they need to do to ‘move the level of understanding in their post-it response?'”

But, we had to take a deep breath and stop and rethink here.  The ultimate goal is NOT to get the “top star” rating. We wanted to include some self-assessment so students could focus on the learning targets, but we wanted to be crystal clear in our ultimate goal.  This sent us back into the book to re-read to check what the text REALLY said instead of what we “thought” it said!

The focus for instruction moved to “patterns.”  Students begin to look for “patterns.”  This is the stage where the students were “reading forward and thinking backward” as they” tracked patterns to see how the patterns were  connecting developing, or changing.”  The “What we Know” changed to “ALL” about the pattern – What is the pattern?  How is the pattern changing?  and the “Wonders” shifted to – Why? What could the author be showing us?

This was hard.  It was tempting to set the students up with more modeling or even more scaffolding.  However, will more “teacher work” REALLY  increase the likelihood of “independence” for the students as they construct “meaning making?”

 

What do you think?  How do you help students  draft their understandings?  And how do you stay focused on the real goal?

Slice of Life 25: Are you in the pool?


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

I had my Bartlett’s out yesterday looking for quotes about writing.  I was hoping to find the source of “Teachers of writing need to write!”  Is there a single author that has been attributed to?

Instead I lingered over some of these quotes and actually added and tagged them in Evernote.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

 

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
—Peter Handke

 

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, WD

 

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

 

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

 

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
—Robert A. Heinlein

 

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll

I began this blog because I felt very strongly that as a teacher of writing, I needed to be writing. I needed to feel both the joy and the pressure of writing published for the world with that nagging voice, “Is this good enough?”  Will anyone read this?”

Blogs that spoke to me on this same message yesterday included:

  • Our real power – Authentic Writing  – Dana Murphy from Two Writing Teachers (You have to read this one as no summary will do it justice!)
  • To Be a Writer, You Only Need to Do Two Things by Joe Bunting       (and those two are – 1. Write your story.   2. Share your story with the world.)
  • And these quotes from Shana Frazin’s presentation Tips for Conferring with Writers at #TCRWP’s Saturday Spring Reunion –   “Tip No. 1 You gotta get in the pool if you wanna swim.”  “in other words, in order to teach writing, you need to do some writing. (The quote that began my search!)

 

Have you written your story?

Have you shared with your teachers and your students?  The World?

 

Slice of Life 17: Family


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My son Evan, his wife Julie and me – all thankful to have him home after his nine month deployment.

This has been a fun weekend With the kids.  It went by very quickly, 48 hours of family, food, movie, and shopping.

fun

altogether

mom and kids

important

life events adding to our

yesterdays!

(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)

Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

Slice of Life 13: From Challenges to Turning Points


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)

When tax time hits every year, I yell loudly that I will change my spending habits NOW.  And yet I recognize that with 25% of the year gone before submitting my taxes that would REALLY require about 200% effort.

How do I turn challenges to Turning Points (courtesy of Anna Gratz Cockerille) in my story of life?  Do I want to change?
Is the pain great enough?

Let’s review turning points (a la Lucy Calkins, Units of Study, TCRWP as quoted by Anna Gratz Cockerille 3/11/14 TwoWritingTeachers.wordpress.com):

  • “Times they learn something new
  • Times they change their routine or way of doing things
  • Times someone close to them (or they themselves) act out of character
  • Times they try something for the first time
  • Times they do something for the last time (last piano lesson, last page of a great book)”

So a turning point in my life to avoid the “pain I feel at tax time” could be attributed to the second bullet  “…change their routine or way of doing things.”  If I want the result to be something different, then I must change my behavior.  (I think I hear an echo in my head!)

I have had a second, summer job for 30 years. (No summers off for me!)  That “job” has always paid for my “book habit” and yes, I need a 12 step program to curb my work-related spending.  At tax time, I go on a rant and declare, “This year will be different.”

By the end of April, you may hear a whimper as I visit a bookstore and collect a stack of books.  I will mentally review the total and put at least three books back on the shelf.  Or it may be that app that I want to try that will “organize me!”   But by July, all thoughts of my “declaration” are out the window as I explore the school supplies on sale in every store!

Do I really want to change my routine?  Is this a turning point?
What turning point have you encountered lately?  Did you recognize it at the time?

Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna, and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers

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Sharing my learning experiences

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The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching

Books and Bytes

Exploring the best of literature and edtech for the middle grades.

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life

Raising Voices

Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, and Leading