Sunday, April 8, 2018

ALL This #NPM2018

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts and arranges and rearranges them in a new way, creating a unique meaning.



Saturday, April 7, 2018

Walk This Way #NPM2018

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts; arranges and rearranges them in a new, creative way; and creates a unique meaning.



Friday, April 6, 2018

Ever Forward #NPM2018

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts and arranges and rearranges them in a new way, creating a unique meaning.



There are moments when I have been afraid of the unknown, of being outside of my comfort zone, and of going upstream, against the current when the rest of the world is paddling in another direction.  Last night as I was looking through my magazine clips, I began working with these words,

...and this is what I found.




Thursday, April 5, 2018

Show Up #NPM2018

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts and arranges and rearranges them in a new way, creating a unique meaning.



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Change #NPM2018

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts and arranges and rearranges them in a new way, creating a unique meaning.



Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Think Young #NPM2018

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts and arranges and rearranges them in a new way, creating a unique meaning.

We have started a health challenge at school which has me realizing just how out of shape I am and how I have neglected my health.  Today's found poem is advice I need to keep telling myself as I find this new me.



Real life -
wrinkles in time,
all in a woman's day.

Your secret weapon:

think young.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Bloom Town #NationalPoetryMonth

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts and arranges and rearranges them in a new way, creating a unique meaning.

It has been a very wet prelude to spring in my part of the world.  Spring has never been my favorite season because of the unpredictability in the weather; however, I love what becomes - due to its presence.


Hello, Spring!
Endless battle to
the perfect 
Bloom Town.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Way of the Cross #NPM2018

A found poem from Mornings Like This:  Found Poems
by Annie Dillard

April is National Poetry Month, a month to read, write, and celebrate poetry. My plan is to write found poems every day most days in April.  Found poetry is a type of poetry in which the poet takes words, phrases, and beautiful language from existing texts and arranges and rearranges them in a new way, creating a unique meaning.

I begin this month with a blackout poem. In a blackout poem, the writer uses an existing text and isolates words or phrases by blacking out the remaining text. For more examples of blackout poems, check these out from Austin Kleon.

This blackout poem comes from a newspaper article about a city-wide Stations of the Cross, a traditional Catholic meditation on the life of Jesus.






Way of the Cross

The true meaning of Easter
journeyed together,
celebrating and believing in one thing,
sharing in their faith of

Jesus Christ.

Saturday, March 31, 2018

Since March 1st #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March.

We did it!  It is hard to believe the month of March is over.  I took a form I saw at the beginning of the month and put a different spin on it and summarized my month.

It was certainly a full month of being a writer, a student, and a teacher.

Since March 1st, I...
  • co-hosted #TeachWrite Twitter chat
  • planned the April chat
  • started a grad class
  • finished a grad class
  • created and delivered a presentation at our faculty meeting
  • survived my son's college spring break trip to Myrtle Beach
  • started our middle school yearbook
  • finished our middle school yearbook
  • completed the first round of our standardized testing
  • started a notebook (trying to have something to say for our May #TeachWrite chat)
  • read Kate Roberts' new book A Novel Approach
  • read Reimagining Writing Assessment by Maja Wilson
  • joined a Voxer group to discuss it (brilliant minds in that group!)
  • said hello and goodbye to spring break
    • rejuvenated
  • watched the movie Wonder for the first time
    • cried
  • had lunch with high school friends
    • laughed
  • wrote 31 slices
    • celebrated
May we all continue to find the stories that make up our lives.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Reading On a Day Off #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March.

I just returned from Walmart where I was shopping in preparation for family Easter dinners.  As I was weaving between carts and customers and employees stocking shelves, and screaming kids, I saw the mother of one of my students.

I stopped to say hello, and in our conversation, she asked me, "So did you threatened them?"

I looked at her cautiously, thinking what did her son go home and tell her.  I was relieved when she told me he was up before her today (we are out of school for Good Friday) and he was reading - something he typically doesn't do.  Did I mention we are out of school today?

Inside I was doing a happy dance!  I started book clubs yesterday, and he was home reading his book club selection...on a day off!  This is why book clubs are an important part of my classroom. Student's don't need threats or prizes or points or pizza or competitions or consequences to motivate them to read.

They just need a great book, time to read, and someone to share it with.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Impression #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March.

Two more days until we cross the finish line.

The daily habit of writing, or better yet, finding a topic to write about each day is a challenge. But because of this challenge, I place myself into the heart of teaching of writing.  The excitement, the frustration, the doubt, and the celebration.

For me, this is one of the best experiences to understand...to really understand...my student writers and their experience of finding themselves as true writers. 

Today, I leave another snippet poem that I think captures the experience of writing, sharing and living within the slicing community. 

And hopefully words to inspire my students.




Make a memory box
make it yours
don't just live
give something wonderful
a lasting impression.

©Leigh Anne Eck, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Book Spine Poetry #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March

We are getting to the end, and today I was worried. I had no idea what I was going to write about.  Nothing was becoming an inspiration, a muse, an idea, a slice.  

Then I remembered I had not used one of my I-really-don't-have-anything-to-write-about-so-I-will-write-a-spine-poem slice.

I quickly searched through my box of books beside my bed, arranged, and rearranged until this "masterpiece" was created...and my slice was written!


The book thief
jumped in
between the lines...
Gone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Anything Can Become a Slice #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March

Megan wakes up and joins me at the dining room table.  "Are you working on the next class," she asks.

"No, I am commenting."

"Commenting?"

"Yes, you know it's March, where we post every day.  I am reading others' slices and commenting on them," I reply and return to my computer.

Fast forward to the afternoon.

Click.

"What are you taking a picture of?" Megan asks.

"The notification that they are evaluating my paper," I explain.  "Remember, it's March and anything can become a slice."

"I think I better keep my mouth shut," she says "before I become a slice."

Too late! Yes, anything can become a slice.

Monday, March 26, 2018

You look like... #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March

A former students walks in today with an office message.  He looks at me and says, 

"You look like they've been talking."

Not sure what that looks like, but he knows me.  He gets me.  And he was right.

It was one of those days.

Welcome back from Spring Break!

Sunday, March 25, 2018

I Wait... #sol18


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8:30 PM - I hit submit and wait.
129 and 75
and wait.

9:45 PM - I check it again before I go to bed.
122 and 68

8:30 AM - I wake up, check my email, make sure my scheduled post went live,
and check it again.
103 and 49
and wait.

Eat breakfast, shower, throw a load of laundry in.
and check it again.
73 and 27

11:00 AM - Yes! Made some progress this morning,
and I wait some more.

Go to Walmart. Come back and check it again. 
52 and 10

1:15 PM - They're getting closer,
yet still I wait.

I can't stand it, so one more check.
44 and 4
2:09 PM - Ugh! and still I wait.


When I submit an assessment for my graduate class, it tells me how many papers are ahead of mine.  Last night when I submitted my second assignment for the day, I had 75 ahead of me for the first one and 129 for the second one.

I like knowing where I am in line, but I get just a little obsessive.  I even keep track of the numbers on a sticky note and try to determine how many they score per hour. (Yes, they evaluate 24/7!)

And when I see this...



I know they are evaluating.

and I wait some more.

Until I see this!

Yes!  I passed.

And now,  

I wait for the second one - 39 more to go!


Saturday, March 24, 2018

Empty Nest #sol18

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If you are experiencing an empty nest or standing on the edge of one, I encourage you read this post by Ann Voskamp

I'll be waiting...


Love and pain are two chambers of the same heart
that pump courage through the aching veins. ~ Ann Voskamp


I'm glad you came back, but I must say, my words are not nearly as beautiful as hers.  

Her post must have lingered in my heart and in my mind because tonight as I was working on a "snippet" poem, these words found me.



Try to remember
the tug of love.
Suddenly...
It gets easier...
and then they leave
all grown up.

Give something wonderful
from old roots,
our most cherished values,
home, sweet home.

It's a guarantee.


The house seems just a little too quiet tonight.

Bloggers note: the idea of a found poem from snipped words from magazines came from Elsie.  The word "snippet poem" just evolved into my own repertoire. This is a great slice idea, and I have used it several times. Here is Elsie's slice, my original inspiration.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Five Books I've Never Read #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March.

I like to call myself a reader. But my daughter jokingly proclaims that a person is not a true reader if he/she has not read Harry Potter.

Not that I have ever questioned myself as being a reader, I know I am one.  However, there are books I have not read, and I am almost embarrassed to admit it.  Today's slice is a list of five books (although there are many more that I could add) that I have not read and have no desire to read or a series that I have started and have no desire to finish.

Harry Potter - I read the first three books because of my daughter's proclamation. I have no desire to finish the series or to watch the movie. I am eternally grateful J. K. Rowling for writing these books because I believe she created a whole new generation of readers and brought back the love of reading for many who became aliterate. For me, Harry Potter has too much make-believe that I need to keep track of, and it became too much of a chore to keep it all straight.

Percy Jackson - I started the first book of this series three times before I was able to complete it.  Again, I read the first three and have no desire to pick it back up. I do not have enough background knowledge of mythology to understand all of the characters, and I wonder if that is problem for my readers too.

The Outsiders - Honestly, I don't even remember hearing about this book when I was a teenager. Our 7th graders read this as a whole class novel, but it is just not one that has grabbed me.

Anne of Green Gables - Many teachers list this book as one of their favorites, but I have not read this one. I think growing up, the length was a deterrent for me. This is one I think I could pick up as an adult reader.

1984 - We read many class novels when I was in high school, but this was not one of them. I know this has also had a recent resurgence and would be one that I could pick up.  But it would be low on my list, as I am not much of a classic reader either.

I am sure many more books are out there that I have not read and people would gasp and say, "You've not read that one?"  But I'm OK with that because I know I am a reader...despite what my daughter says!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

One of Us #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March.


I have written about my high school friends in several posts.  Although we live in places throughout the country, we have been friends for almost 40 years. We get together every couple of years, and since I began blogging, I have documented our times together. 


I wrote about our Homecoming celebrations; how we recreated our junior prom picture - 34 years laterturning 50 together and the power of our friendship; and our social media of the 1980's - writing notes.

We began calling ourselves the EJDs, or eight jelly donuts, in high school, and we affectionately refer to that name still today.

A few years ago, one of us had a bracelet made with each of our birthstones. It is a gift each of us treasures.  The bracelet not only symbolizes our friendship, but also our collective strength.

This past year, one of us began to experience some health issues. One of our links was weakened. Yesterday, one of us was home to visit and those of us who live close by got together for lunch. 

For almost three hours...

We laugh.

We cry.

We remember.

We find joy in the forgotten.

Tears begin to slip as we say goodbye.

We hug tight.

We send our strength to the one of us who needs it.

And we know in our hearts,

our friendship

is strong,

and yes, 

our story continues.





Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Spring Cleaning My Attitude #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March.

Signs of spring are popping up in shades of green, yellow, and purple. The birds are beginning to greet me in the morning, and the days are getting longer.

This time of year also brings thoughts of purging, cleaning, and airing out. Yes, spring cleaning.

As I mopped my floors and sorted through piles this weekend, I realized that I needed to spring clean my attitude. This has been a difficult year of teaching. I have not built the relationships like I typically do. Their behaviors are challenging, and student (and maybe teacher) effort is lacking. My lessons seem flat, and my students are not as engaged as I would like for them to be.

I am tired.

The sad part is that I know exactly how many days of school I have left (40-just in case you want to know), and I am typically not a counter.

Yes, I need to spring clean my attitude.

I know I cannot continue on with this attitude for the remainder of the school year. I need change and that change has to begin with me. So with spring cleaning in mind, I hope to:

Air out the attitude. It starts with me, and I know that. Airing out my attitude will help me to focus on these next 40 days - not the past 140 days. 

Sweep out the negative. I need to make a commitment to myself to not get sucked into the negative attitudes of others. I know negativity breeds more negativity, and I must be strong enough to refuse to be a part of that. 

Polish the positive. I know my students have good qualities. I must take the time to sift through the challenges and find the good qualities in my students. After all, isn't polish suppose to bring out the shine?

Dust the lesson plans. Engaged students are better behaved students. Dusting lesson plans that do not lead to engagement and adding lessons that build creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking will help to make my classroom thrive again.

I have several days to put all of this into perspective and get my attitude in order. Maybe, just maybe, I'll "see the daffodils" and "hear the birds singing" in the hallways next Monday

with my sparkling clean attitude.


Tuesday, March 20, 2018

They'd see - but wouldn't know #sol18

Join Two Writing Teachers and other teacher-writers as we share a slice of life every single day in the month of March.

I saw this form on a round-up by Elana at Fall Hugs.  During the weekend comment challenge, she curated a list of forms for her students. Although I borrowed it from Elana, she does not cite where she found it. So, thank you to the original slicer.

If someone would walk into your house, what would they see but wouldn't know.  This was a fun way to share just a little bit more about me and my quirky family.

If someone walked into my home at this moment...

They's see freshly baked snicker doodles, just waiting for a cold glass of milk,
But wouldn't know my husband was the baker.



They'd see me watching The Voice, just waiting for Blake's team in the Battle Rounds,
But wouldn't know it is the ONLY television show I watch.



They'd see a child's table and chair in the dining room, just waiting for a tea party,
But wouldn't know my children are now 25 and 21.


They's see a real Mr. Potato Head in the kitchen window, just waiting for me someone to throw him away,
But wouldn't know it has been there for over three months and now has wrinkles, a tail, and "eyes" for ears.

   


They'd see that I wrote a slice,
But wouldn't know that this was NOT what I intended to write!