Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Writing and Erasing Do Go Together {Slice of Life}



Paper.  Pencil.  Time at the airport.  

It's been a long time since I wrote anything in length without a keyboard.  My longest paper pencil piece of late might just be - "Mom and the dogs are out for a walk."  I had clearly decided to leave my laptop home for this trip and knew I had an article idea to play around with.  I found a comfortable spot.  I pulled out my new notebook, my mechanical pencil, and started writing.

The writing was flowing and then I needed a revision.  I saw a need to use different words.  This was a brand new notebook.  I didn't want to cross out and keep going.  I tell my students this all the time.   I know it's okay to cross out and keep going.  I knew I should practice what I "preach" but  I was actually quite proud how neat my handwriting was and I didn't want to change that look.  My problem wasn't going away, my words needed to be revised and moved around.   I decided this was my notebook and I knew how I wanted it to look so I used the eraser to revise my words.  This felt very awkward to me.  I had to remind myself an eraser is like the backspace button on my keyboard.  I consciously decided to use my pencil eraser a few more times and was very pleased with the results.  I actually liked using an eraser.  My writing was still neat, my thoughts were clearer,  and the eraser had become a great tool to have.

This may not seem like a big writing decision; erase vs cross out, but it was a struggle.   I encourage my students to cross out and keep writing; it keeps their ideas flowing, focused, and the erasers are used up really quickly otherwise with plenty of led to be used.  I never get out the pink eraser blocks from my closet because it's one more thing to think about, keep track of, and I think writing decisions can be made too quickly because erasing is easy.  However, on this day my ideas kept flowing, they were focused and the eraser was helpful.  Maybe my classroom writers need erasers as an option beyond the one on the pencil that gets used up too quickly.  

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers group for hosting our writing community and you can enjoy other slices from today by stopping by the link provided.  Thank you for stopping 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Ultimate Goal of Planning {Slice of Life}


"So, you're a teacher?"

"Yes, I am."

"Good for you," with a pat to my knee.

I shared I'm currently teaching second grade and the conversation went back and forth a bit in a predictable pattern of how cute the students are and interested in learning.  Then this dear, kind, older gentleman went on to tell me how much he liked learning math, especially geometry.  His teacher gave them an assignment one time to prepare a lesson to teach others.  He had fun doing this assignment and always thought fourth grade would be a fun age to teach.  

This past weekend at NCTE, Ernest Morrell encouraged a packed house to think about our planning. "Have you created that unit, where they will tell their grandkids."  He calls this the grandchildren test.  Maybe we should name it something more global.  I had a gentleman in his eighties tell a complete stranger about a math project from his own school days.  Not a story from one of his five children that are grown adults but from his own experience.  

Here are some ideas to ponder as we plan units...
Have you created that unit, the stranger test?
Have you created that unit, the airplane neighbor test?
Have you created that unit, that will make someone sixty years later smile and tell their story?  


Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers group for hosting our writing community and you can enjoy other slices from today by stopping by the link provided.  Thank you for stopping by.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Learning for Me! {Celebrate This Week}


Today I'm celebrating learning for me!  I spend a lot of time planning and thinking about the learning of others; this brings me joy, it brings me worry, and it brings me happiness.  In the past week, I've taken the time and participated in some learning for me.  Ruth wrote two weeks ago about taking time, not making time and that really spoke to me.  Luckily, I had a few things coming up and planned that brought me joy, simple worries, and great happiness without thinking about my students. 

1.  I took two GRIT exercise classes at the YMCA.

2.  I took a decorative/personalized sign making class with two friends to celebrate a birthday.

3.  I took a beginning embroidery class with my daughter for her birthday gift.

4.  I spent a Saturday with colleagues learning about making your own literacy tools.

5.  I took another class, a weaving class with my daughter to finish her birthday gift experiences.

Taking time this past week brought joy, simple worries, and happiness.  I find great joy in creating and making things.  My simple worries were about color choices, where to position a needle, and can I really do one more squat or burpee jump. All of these things brought me great happiness because I was working towards new learning and changes in health, knowledge, and creativity.  I also spent time with family and friends without worrying about my teaching.  I know I can't plan all weeks like this but I'm going to work on sneaking in some of this learning/work more regularly. 


                                               

Thank you Ruth at Ruth Ayers Writes for encouraging us to find daily celebrations in our lives.  If you want to read more positive things stop by this week's post, I get to be their mama.



Saturday, November 5, 2016

Writer's Feelings {Celebrate This Week}

This week I'm celebrating writing.

Sometimes when I think about writing I get overwhelmed and think it has to be big and grand.  Then I find myself doing a lot of self talk about just doing it.  Last week I attended our state math conference for teachers and my mind was swirling with ideas.  So many ideas that the writing just flowed.  Then when I wanted to capture a slice of life, the writing stalled a bit but I just wrote what I was thinking about and a piece was created.  While it wasn't what I intended I was pleased with this reentry.  Then last night I wanted to share some thinking for Poetry Friday and worked on making my writing small and to the point, remembering it doesn't have to be big and grand.  I timed myself and wrote two pieces in 30 minutes.  These pieces got my mind thinking about an article I might start drafting notes for.  I always find switching grade levels frustrating when it comes to writing articles for Choice Literacy because I worry I don't have anything new to add to the field at this grade level but I'm working on overcoming this.   I think all these feelings I had as a writer this week are natural and hopefully are a sign I'm back to writing with more consistency.


Thank you Ruth at Ruth Ayers Writes for encouraging us to find daily celebrations in our lives.  If you want to read more positive things stop by this week's post, Taking Time.
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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Writing - Waiting - Re-Welcome - {Slice of Life}



I've missed writing.  I sat down here tonight thinking I had an idea or two and they were just a spark; nothing I felt like developing beyond the sky was blue - the sun was shining - the temperatures were warm - I can't believe it's November 1st.  November is a month that often brings reflection and finding gratitude.  Reflection and gratitude shouldn't only be a November idea but if it takes a little jump starting then that might be what my writing needs.  I'm grateful this space has been here waiting.  I'm grateful this community lets members come and go.  I'm grateful this community will re-welcome me with ease.  Maybe there will be more gratitude slices this month.


Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers group for hosting our writing community and you can enjoy other slices from today by stopping by the link provided.  Thank you for stopping by.