Friday, April 9, 2021

A Beginner's Charm

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

I have a small collection of antique quilt blocks that I have picked up in antique stores and a set that belonged to my My Great-Aunt Helen. One is a set of about 80 four patch blocks, all hand-stitched. Many beginners start with the four patch pattern because of its simplicity. I felt a lune would be a perfect accompaniment to this set of blocks.


a little four patch
stitched by hand
my beginner's charm


The Poetry Round-Up is being hosted by Tabatha today. Stop by and check out the poetry fun!


This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Flying Geese #NationalPoetryMonth

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

According to legend, quilts were used to send signals to enslaved people along the Underground Railroad. Each quilt had a different code and was hung on porches, windows, and clotheslines to help people escape. The Flying Geese told them to follow the migration pattern of geese, for they were guides to find water, food, and rest along the route. 

For this poem, I used the Shadorma form, a five-line poem with 3/5/3/3/7/5 syllable pattern.

Photo by The Metropolitan Museum of Art


Flying geese
hang on the clothesline.
A safe house 
sends a signal
on the Underground Railroad:
fly north in the spring.



This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Sunbonnet Sue #NationalPoetryMonth

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

Several years ago my sister-in-law gave me some Sunbonnet Sue quilt blocks, which I have in my antique blocks collection. I thought a limerick poem would be quite appropriate for this fun little appliqued block.

Image taken from YouTube


There once was a girl, Sunbonnet Sue.
Who sometimes dressed in gingham blue.
Her bonnet is low,
So she's hard to know,
But I still give her a howdy-do!




This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All


An Unexpected Visitor

 

A big thank you to all of those at Two Writing Teachers for creating and supporting a community for teacher-writers. 

Grabbing our bags and turning off the last of the lights, Megan and I head toward the front door. As she opens the door, she lets out a scream.

"What are you screaming about?" I asked, annoyed because we are already behind schedule.

"There's a cat!" she says and looks behind her to where I am standing in the doorway. "I think it went in the house."

"Are you sure? I didn't see it. I would have seen it go in front of me." At least I think I would have. But it  WAS dark.

Megan turns around and adamantly says, "I know it did. We have got to find it."

I turn the light on, and we both stand there scanning the open living area. "I don't see it."

Suddenly, a gray cat jumps up on the couch from beside the wall. "There is it!" 

One of our neighbors owns feral cats, and we are not very fond of them. They come upon the porch and furniture, use our landscape as a litter box, and are very skittish. All we have to do is look at them, and they take off running.

We leave the front door open, and I make a hissing sound, thinking I will scare it away. 

Nope. It saunters off the couch and goes under the dining room table. "Open the back door, and I'll see if I can shoo it out the door." 

Nope again. It goes under the library table. I try to scare it out by stomping my foot on the floor.

Nope. It now makes its way to behind the loveseat in the living room, which is very close to the front door. "Ok, I'll try again, and you make sure it goes out the front door.

Nope. This time it goes under the TV cabinet in the living room and peeks its head out. It just sits there and looks at us like it belongs here. "This must not be one of Cheryl's cats," I said, "because nothing is scaring it."

We were both a little afraid of picking it up for fear of being scratched, but Megan reaches down, pulls it out from the cabinet, and sends it out the door.

This is not the way we expected the day to begin. Obviously, it was someone's pet, but I just hope there isn't a superstition about gray cats coming into your house!

Monday, April 5, 2021

Grandma's Flower Garden #NationalPoetryMonth #SOSMagic

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

I have always found the Fibonacci numbers in nature fascinating. While the Grandmother's Flower Garden Quilt is made of only hexagons, I thought the Fibonacci poem was appropriate for this quilt. I have never attempted this quilt pattern, or any hexagonal pattern because they are quite complex.




Come!
Stroll 
with me
in Grandma's
flower garden, but
stay on the hexagonal path
while we gather our hand-pieced bouquet of patchwork spring.



This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Oh, My Stars #NationalPoetryMonth

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.

If you spend any amount of time looking at quilt blocks, you would see "almost" as many star patterns as there are stars in the sky. This poem went through many revisions. I played with rhymes, and that just didn't work. I moved to a list poem, but too many stars. I reworked the names and found some commonalities, so my final idea became a list with a twist.

This Shooting Star Quilt made and 
shared by Jennifer Laffin


This Ohio Star Quilt is also made 
and shared by Jennifer Laffin


Look up to see
morning
rising,
evening
broken,
 
carpenter
pieced
sawtooth,

Ohio
Lone Star
St. Louis

royal
stars and strips-
old glory

interlaced 
stepping stones-
bridal path

shooting
comet,
trailing 
ribbons.

Oh, my stars!



This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Ode to My Thimble

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.


Ode to My Thimble

Oh, thimble
when I began quilting
I placed you 
on the "wrong" finger, 
but you accepted my
unconventional ways.

Your soft leather
molded comfortably to my finger,
unlike your metal friends,
who were too stand-offish.

You were my protector
from needle pricks
and blood-stained stitches.

You allowed me to feel 
the eye of the needle
and guide it, 
twelve stitches per inch,
through layers of pieced patchwork,
tightly wrapped on the quilting frame.

Oh, thimble
it has been years 
since you have held my hand,
and my calloused fingertips
have now become page-turners.

I hope to see you again someday.
Maybe we could be retirement friends.
Whatever happens, 
I will always remember
the wonderful times 
we spent together.

© Leigh Anne Eck

This is a picture of one of my leather thimbles. I could never use a metal thimble because I couldn't feel the needle, and it was awkward. I also wore it on my index finger instead of my middle one. Nevertheless, I still called myself a quilter for many years.



This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Friday, April 2, 2021

From Hearth and Home #NationalPoetryMonth

 

It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile.



From Hearth and Home

                                log
                                cabin
                                a symbol
                                of love, home, and
                                the pioneer life

                                the
                                red square
                                and warm hearth,
                                where families
                                gather, share stories
                             
                                the 
                                day's sun
                                casts shadows
                                from east to west
                                on notched cabin walls
                                
                                © Leigh Anne Eck, draft

                                

This poem is an Arun, which I found on Margaret Simon's blog, Reflections on the Teche. It is a fifteen-line poem of three stanzas of five lines, starting with one syllable and increasing by one (1/2/3/4/5/ -- x 3) The shape of this form reminded me of the stacking of logs.

It is also Poetry Friday so check out all the goodness from Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.


This week also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Thursday, April 1, 2021

Family Heirloom #NationalPoetryMonth


It is April, and I am joining many others in celebrating National Poetry Month by reading, writing,  sharing, and celebrating poetry each day this month. Many years ago I was a quilter. After I began teaching, I had to put my needles and frames away because I just did not have the time. This year I am going back to my quilting roots and will be playing with patchwork-themed poems from memories of my own quilting years to the history of quilts and to quilt patterns. Pull up a needle and thread and let's stitch awhile. 

I love the stories of quilts being passed down from one generation to another - true family heirlooms. 

Image found on Pixabay

A quilt
holds life in scraps
of past generations,
the gatekeeper of family
heirlooms.

This poem is a cinquain. Inspired by the Japanese tanka, a cinquain is a five-line poem with a 2-4-6-8-2 syllable count.



Today also marks the beginning of the Kidlit Progressive Poem, which is being organized by Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. A different poet adds a line each day for the month of April. Last year was my first year participating, and since I lived to tell about it, I will participate again this year! You can find the poem's trail below.

April 1 Kat Apel at Kat Whiskers
2 Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise
3 Mary Lee at A Year of Reading
4 Donna Smith at Mainly Write
5 Irene Latham at Live your Poem
6 Jan Godown Annino at BookseedStudio
7 Rose Cappelli at Imagine the Possibilities
8 Denise Krebs at Dare to Care
9 Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche
10 Molly Hogan at Nix the Comfort Zone
11 Buffy Silverman
12 Janet Fagel at Reflections on the Teche
13 Jone Rush MacCulloch
14 Susan Bruck at Soul Blossom Living
15 Wendy Taleo at Tales in eLearning
16 Heidi Mordhorst at my juicy little universe
17 Tricia Stohr Hunt at The Miss Rumphius Effect
18 Linda Baie at Teacher Dance
19 Carol Varsalona at Beyond Literacy Link
20 Robyn Hood Black at Life on the Deckle Edge
21 Leigh Anne Eck at A Day in the Life
22 Ruth Hersey at There is No Such Thing as a God-forsaken Town
23 Janice Scully at Salt City Verse
24 Tabatha Yeatts at The Opposite of Indifference
25 Shari Daniels at Islands of my Soul
26 Tim Gels at Yet There is Method
27 Rebecca Newman
28 Catherine Flynn at Reading to the Core
29 Christie Wyman at Wondering and Wondering
30 Michelle Kogan at More Art 4 All

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Advice from a Slice #SOL21

 

A big thank you to all of those at Two Writing Teachers for creating and supporting this community of writers. 

Kelly Gallagher shared this image on Twitter the other day, and I thought it would be a great writing prompt for me and for students. So many perspectives from which to write.

Turns out, it was a great final slice.


Advice from a Slice

Find the ordinary.

Capture the small moment.

Look everywhere.

Keep a notebook.

Tell the story.

Write from the heart.

Warn your friends and family.

Silence the critic.

Tame the fear.

Just hit the publish button.

Celebrate.



Tuesday, March 30, 2021

A Buzz Around Town #SOL21

 

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


There was a buzz around town. We haven't had a buzz like this (excluding anything pandemic-related!) since Walmart got new carts. Everyone was talking about it. 

Megan and I left school, went home and changed clothes, and headed for the riverwalk. On the way, she told me about the line earlier in the day. But people didn't mind because you know, the buzz.

Arriving at the riverwalk, we walked the block or two and lined up. The line wasn't long yet. We looked out over the river and talked about how swift the current was. We stood and talked to the college kids in front of us. We waved and said hello to students who were walking to the end of the line. 

We texted people we knew who were in line ahead. "How long have you been waiting?" 

"Right now the wait is about an hour."

"You ordered early!?!"

The buzz continued. We continued to wait. And yes, we stood in line for over an hour for you know, the buzz.

What was the buzz? Chick-fil-A brought their mobile unit to our hometown. They are doing market research to see where and if they should open a new restaurant here.

And that was the buzz around town!







Monday, March 29, 2021

Sweet Sixteen Poetry Style #SOL21

  

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

I live in Indiana, and spring means basketball and state tournament time for us.

I have seen teachers do March Madness brackets with books, but I have never been able to wrap my brain around that large of a project. This year I have seen a few mentions of April Poetry brackets and thought I just might be able to handle the reading of poems in a Sweet Sixteen bracket. 

I put some feelers out on Twitter and had a few teachers reach out and share their resources. 

I could do this! 

I began looking in my files and books for poems I have yet to share with students and searched online for others. Yesterday, I narrowed my list down to sixteen and created my bracket.

I will share two poems a day. Students will read, analyze, and evaluate which poems should move on in the tournament until we have a winner. I am hoping to have some "heated" arguments on why certain poems are better than others and deserve students' votes.

But more importantly, I hope to introduce some amazing poems to my students. Reading poetry is always one of those things I want to do more of, and this is another chance to do just that. 

And hopefully, this will entice a few of them to write a poem of their own!

Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Best Colors #SOL21

 

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

The best red is my book bag - no need to say more.

The best orange is the Florida sunset shared with Megan when we celebrated the completion of our Master's degrees together.

The best yellow is the sun, which gives us light even in the darkest of times.

The best green is Megan and Ethan's high school sports uniforms.

The best blue is the pool - my summer happy place.

The best indigo is my Megan and Ethan's eyes - part mine and part Dave's.

The best violet is the lilacs getting ready to bloom.

The best white is the minivan where I taxied my children so many years ago.

The best black is my moleskin notebook.

The best grey is my weekend sweatshirt.

The best brown is the logs in the fireplace.

"The best colors are everywhere because they are in the things I love." ~ Deborah Dillon


Thank you Deborah Dillon for the mentor used in this slice.

Saturday, March 27, 2021

A Place to Pause #SOSMagic

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. The day we take the remaining firewood from the back porch and bring out the patio furniture.

My porches are places where I take time for myself. A place where I write and read and think and work and dream...

a place to pause.

Tonight as I write this post, I pause and listen:

    a train bellows in the distance; another replies,

        two geese fly over, honking good night,

            a robin frantically chirps, shouting danger to his friends,

                   children laugh, trying to squeeze in a few more minutes of playtime before sundown,

                        a dog howls at the sirens down below the hill,

                                and the timer goes off telling me my husband's chocolate chip cookies are                                                     warm and ready for that cold glass of milk chilling in the freezer.

Yes...a place to pause.


I’m joining an open community of writers over at Sharing Our Stories: Magic in a Blog. If you write (or want to write) just for the magic of it, consider this your invitation to join us. #sosmagic

A Purpose Bigger than Test Scores #SOL21

 

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

"You must have a purpose in your program that is bigger than winning" - John Wooden

This quote by legendary coach, John Wooden, has me thinking. We are about to embark on what I call testing season. Our faculty meetings have been required training for administering the test and watching videos of procedures. Students have taken practice tests, and teachers have read required manuals.

Although there has been very little talk about the testing season in classrooms and hallways, there is a feeling in the air. We sense it lingering.

I am one who believes that if I teach my students how to write effectively and read critically, then I have done my job. (Or at least part of it because there is much more to it.) I don't do test prep, and I really don't stress over it.

Wooden's words will be in my mind as we navigate through these last eight weeks of school because I know I have a purpose in my classroom that is bigger than test scores.