Thursday, January 25, 2018

Morning Crystals #PoetryFriday

It's Poetry Friday! Carol at Beyond Literacy Link has the round-up today and is sharing her invitation to the Winter Wonderland Gallery. 

January brought with it a true winter - cold temps, wind chill, snow, ice and the flu. During one winter storm a few weeks ago, ice made its debut.  I don't like traveling on ice, but it sure creates some magical moments.  

Here is one I share with you today and with Carol for her gallery.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Celebrating My Grandma #celebratelu

I am so thankful for Ruth Ayres, who extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week.  Why don't you join us?

Today I celebrate the life of my grandma.

Today I woke to the message that she peacefully passed early this morning.

Today I remember how hard she worked, 
                      how hard she lived, 
                      and how hard she loved 
                      ...for 92 years.
Today I celebrate the 54 years (minus one day) I had her in my life.

I am one blessed granddaughter.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Merry-Go-Round #PoetryFriday

It's Poetry Friday, and I am trying to sustain the habit of writing. Today, I join Kay at A Journey Through the Pages and many others to share a bit of poetry on this once again cold weekend.

This is the time of year when my students and I read The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. This book leads us into a study of a historical time. Many discussions ensue from reading the book and the informational text that I include in the unit.

Each year, I glean the internet looking for additional resources or ways I can change things.  Last year I added "The Ballad of Birmingham" by Dudley Randall.  This year I am adding this poem by Langston Hughes.  I look forward to hearing students' thoughts on the metaphor of the merry-go-round, the voice of the narrator, and the connection to what they learn about the Jim Crow Laws.


Where is the Jim Crow section 
On this merry-go-round,
Mister, cause I want to ride? 

Down South where I come from 
White and colored
Can't sit side by side.
Down South on the train
There's a Jim Crow car.
On the bus we're put in the back— 

But there ain't no back
To a merry-go-round! 
Where's the horse 
For a kid that's black? 

~Langston Hughes

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Reunited with Slicing #SOL18

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for creating this space for me to share my corner of the world.

Scrolling through my blog posts and searching for my last Slice of Life, I landed on June 27th.  I cannot believe it has been that long.  

At #TeachWrite Chat Blog, we have been talking about writing goals this year.  If you have never seen our blog, I encourage you to check it out.  I do not have goals, but more of what I would call position statements.  My goals are not measurable, but just a "position" that I want to take when it comes to writing this year.

One of them is to write more slices.  Slicing is the roots of my current writing life. Slicing brought my writing life out of its dormancy, and it nourished it in its early stages. It's where I met the people who have supported my writing life for almost five years. In many ways, slicing has also sustained my writing life.

One of the best parts of the slicing community...and there are that they always welcome you back.

It is where I hope to be reunited today.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

The First Step

I am so thankful for Ruth Ayres, who extends an invitation to share the celebrations from our week.  Why don't you join us?

I have yet to write about my one little word. There are many reasons why, but the one I am about to write is the biggest.

September 1st I started working on my Master's degree.

September 2nd I was in tears, wondering what in the world was I thinking.

I became a teacher at the age of 43 and was a non-traditional student in a distance program (now called on on-line program!).  I was a stay-at-home mom at the time, and I worked hard to finish that degree.

But this is so different.  I am now almost 54 and working full-time.  Going back to school at this time in my life creates a whole new set of challenges.  The most significant one is time.

I found myself not reading or writing because the guilt would set in.  I felt guilty knowing that  I should have been reading my textbook or writing papers.  I read two books the first semester, when I typically read about 25. But that is for another post.  I wrote a few blog posts, more out of obligation than for the pleasure of just writing.

I missed that part of my life.

Yesterday, I submitted my final assignment for my first semester.  And I finished six weeks early!

When I picked my one little word, I knew I had several journeys ahead of me this year.  This degree is just one of them.

Today, I celebrate taking that first step.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Talking in Black Ink #PoetryFriday

It's Poetry Friday, and I am trying to get back into the habit of writing. Today, I join Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core and many others to share a bit of poetry on this cold Friday!

I am one of the co-moderators for the #TeachWrite chat which is a community for teacher-writers.  This month we are writing and having conversations about writing goals.  I have not written my goals down yet, but I know I want to include something about keeping a writing notebook.

I have a love/hate relationship with writer's notebooks.  I think the issue I have is that mine will never compare to those that I see out in the writing world. (And yes, I know I shouldn't do that!)

As I was looking through some drafts of blog posts, I found this poem that I had scribbled out after I read a blog post by Austin Kleon.  In this post, he says, "Notebooks are a good place to have bad ideas." 

And using a line from his post as my first line, a poem about a writer's notebook is born.

talking in black ink
whispering between the pages
retaining possession
of hopes

and bad ideas

©Leigh Anne Eck, 2018

Maybe there is hope for me yet.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


I said I wasn't going to do it.  No way, no how.

I have done terribly with these Must Read Challenge created by the amazing Carrie Gelson at There is a Book for That, and I wasn't going to embarrass myself again.

And here I am making a new list of "must-reads" in 2018.  Each year my list has decreased, but that has had no influence on my success or progress.

But there is something cathartic about making a reading plan, even if I don't stick to it.  Thinking about the "next" book is an idea I always want my students to be mindful of, so I must be the example.

This year I have narrowed it down to just eight titles - two for each quarter.  Sounds doable, doesn't it?

Below are the eight titles that I missed reading in 2017 and are my "must-reads" in 2018.  Many of these titles are names that are receiving some award buzz, so I need to get reading!

Orphan Island by Laurel Snyder  Read February 9, 2018
Scythe by Neal Shusterman  Read February 1, 2018

Posted by John David Anderson
Beyond the Bright Sea by Lauren Wolk

Restart by Gordan Korman  Read August 24, 2018
Refugee by Alan Gratz Read May 29, 2018

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate Read January 7, 2018
The War I Finally Won by   Kimberly Brubaker Bradford  Read June 6, 2018

This challenge is for anyone who has a To Be Read list.  For me, that list seems to be endless.  If you are interested in joining the challenge, you can get all the details here on Carrie's blog.  She will share the lists on her blog, send update reminders on Twitter, and we get to see our own lists grow longer!  

Happy Reading in 2018!