Monthly Archives: October 2016

The Slices I Did Not Write Today

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This morning when I woke up the first time (at 3:15, ugh!) I knew I was going to be tired today. I decided while I waited to fall back to sleep that I would try a different kind of slice today- a list of all the slices I could have written today, just based on me trying to pay close attention to the stories I see in one day, so here goes:

  1. The jarring alarm at 5:15 (I was in a deep sleep then)
  2. The cat on the pillow next to my head
  3. How happy my cat gets when I get out of bed
  4. Purring- does it really not show a cat’s happiness?
  5. My kitchen smells like brownies (how I have a habit of saying “yes”, so last night was baking brownies for the Care Club at school to have a bake sale today- nothing to do with me, I just have a hard time saying”no”)
  6. “Wet” kitchens in Malaysia- explaining how most kitchens in Malaysia are in two sections, so my wet kitchen is behind a door, so smells linger there- for better and worse.
  7. My morning routines- including eating my overnight oatmeal at school
  8. P’s big yawn- you know others are tired too when our team collaborative planning time started with our math coordinator letting out a huge yawn
  9. “Give me fat and salt”- another funny quote Ellen called out when we were talking about her general dislike for sweets other than chocolate (as she ate a Kit Kat)
  10. Learning vs busy- a discussion at collab time about looking for learning and how we know that students are learning
  11. My words bouncing back to me- hearing some of my frequent phrases being used by my students (a reminder that I have to always watch what I say)
  12. S’s survey- during our afterschool activity, Book Love, a student wlaked around asking questions we could only answer yes or no to (one question was “What is your favorite color?” My answer was “yes” and she later remarked that me and the other teacher were the only ones that got that question right- I gave the other teacher the answer)
  13. J’s survey-also during our ASA Jake surveyed people on their favorite all time book- it was fun to see what a few former students picked
  14. Watching the U11 basketball teams play and being told I was the only spectator who was not a family member to only come

Realistically I could have stretched any of these into a slice and there were many other moments that I edited out of my list. It is a good reminder to me that I need to notice more as I try to live a more writerly life. There are many Tuesdays that I sit down sure that I have no idea what to write- what I am really saying is that I did not take note.

Why I Write!

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October 18, 2016

#sol- Why I Write!

As you will read in other posts Thursday is the National Day on Writing I have been lucky enough to be part of a Voxer group focused on promoting ways to share our love of writing as educators and Kathleen had us thinking about this day weeks ago as she wrote her own blog post about the day, so it is only natural that I have been thinking about why I write.

I write to…

reflect (to process what I am learning and thinking to make changes, so that I can learn and think some more)

remember (where I am, either physically or mentally, so that I can remember better in the future)

problem solve (things become so much clearer when they are written down)

plan (it is always a good sign when I think that a new project or time period is worthy of a new notebook, even when the old one may not be filled)

organize (I know I benefit from drafting, but boy do I resist it. I may also be the queen of lists)

model ( as a teacher of writers it makes my teaching better if I can speak from first-hand experience as a writer)

goal set (getting it is writing makes it more likely to happen for me)

understand (I seem to write more when I am feeling deeply)

share (I sometimes write specifically for others, but much more often it is just for me)

be a part of a community (one of my best decisions for me as a writer was joining the March Slice of Life Challenge in 2014- I have been inspired by so many writers here)

As I read this over I am thinking about to the winding path that my writing life has taken. I wish that I had some of my childhood writing- I remember some of it vividly. Flash forward to today- I know that this school year I have not been writing as much as I would like to, so I am always grateful for Tuesdays, the one day in the week when I know that I will write for sure. I am happy for the pressure I feel to show up and write at least once a week. I am excited that my friend, Gina, is almost ready to join this group too!

I am going to ask my third graders to share why they write on Thursday and I am curious what they will say.

Write About the Chocolate

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October 11, 2016

#sol- Write About the Chocolate

“Does it have to be about teaching? Just write about the chocolate, how it was just what we needed,” my friend (and colleague), Ellen, suggested when I asked for ideas about what to write today.

It’s true. Today is the second day back after a glorious break and as usual we have hit the ground running. We have already worked on reading and writing unit preassessments, a math chackpoint, with the social studies unit test still to go in the first day and a half back. During our planning time just before lunch we found out that the rubric we thought we were to use was not the right one (after Ellen had already eagerly completed most of hers). Ugh- some time “wasted” there.

We took a break for lunch and sat together and chatted, joined by two other teachers on our team. As Ellen ate a disappointing canteen meal I crunched my way through an endless salad. We laughed about the adjustment after break to eating on a schedule again and always feeling hungry.

As we finished up, Ellen said, “Well, what I really need to finish this meal is just a little bit of chocolate,” and away I ran. I scurried into my classroom, opened the closet and raided the “emergency drawer”. I ran back with this:

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Jamie asked, “Do you have a magic closet in there?” I laughed, but do appreciate the magic of a little something sweet at just the right time.

As we savored a square each we noticed the generous size of the portion, the slight saltiness enhancing the rich chocolate. In spite of our contentment, before too long we were passing it around for a second square each-ahhh! Luckily we knew when to quit- and we left the last two squares behind ( I later passed these on to a colleague who was not eating with us- turns out he had just been wishing he had some chocolate). As our lunch break was drawing to a close we were comparing notes about what our afternoon looked like. I suddenly remembered it was Tuesday, so my day to slice and wondered aloud what I could slice about, which is where the opening line for this post came from. Sometimes a bit of chocolate is just what I need, for writing and to get me through the day and chocolate shared with friends is even sweeter!

October Break, I Love You!

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October Break, I Love You!

October 4, 2016

True confession- I am writing this Sunday night (I never write ahead!).

Tomorrow morning I will not be at school- instead, I will be beginning a 4-day trip to Gili Meno, a tiny island off of Lombok, Indonesia. It is a small, underdeveloped paradise and I am looking forward to some relaxing time reading. This year has been super busy and the stress of visa complications have not helped. Last week we had our three-way conferences and had a day and a half of ISA testing- a break is just what I need. October break is one of the benefits of teaching at an international school, that I know many of you do not have. I am sorry- it really is the right thing at the right time.

To learn a little more about my escape, you can check out this link. My bag is packed and I am ready for my early morning alarm.