Tuesday, November 26, 2013

sols: release

Slice of Life hosted at the 

I'm in need of a mind release
just quickly writing
what's weighing heavily
on my mind, body, and soul.

But so much is personal --

Between the struggles of
being a giving and nurturing wife
trying to be a patient mother
wanting to be there as a friend
striving to be a supportive colleague
hoping to be an inspiring teacher.

And because it's personal --

I am so good about keeping
all that stuff bottled inside,
where it's safe between
only me and God.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

sols: want to write

Slice of Life hosted at the 

I want to write but
my brain is heavy
with all that
needs to be done.

I want to write but
those report card
comments and graphs
need to be completed.

I want to write but
the binders of running records
and conferring notes
need to be analyzed.

I want to write but
the two chapters of
our district book study
needs to be reviewed.

I want to write but
that big black bag that
I drag home every night
needs to be organized.

I want to write but
Twitter and Pinterest
easily distract my
need to be connected.

I want to write but
the stack of books
(waiting patiently)
need to be read.

But, the truth is --

I need to be creating
a Tuesday slice
all because
I want to write.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

sols: a book to remember

Slice of Life hosted at the 

In celebration of Picture Book Month, we are reading picture books.  Picture books to remember.

I shared the title of a recently published book with our school librarian.  I shared it with our school social worker and psychologist.  I shared it with a teacher who mentioned she had a student crying every day at recess because she was feeling ignored. This is a picture book to remember.

My second grade group of four boys spotted the new book on the whiteboard ledge first.

"Oooo, can you read that book?  Pleeeease!"

"I'm sorry, our time together is up.  It's time to go--"

"C'mon!  Just read the first page!"

"Ok! Ok!  I can't say no to that, especially because it is one of my newest favorite books!"

And the story began about The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig.

The invisible boy

I couldn't read just the first page.  I had to read the first two pages and they could not wait to hear more.

I was ecstatic over their response to the book and shared their excitement with the author on Twitter.

I was finally able to read aloud the book to three of my developing reading intervention groups, and their words could not be contained in 140 characters.  Here are some of their thoughts and words:

"I love her book because she showed us friendship."

"I liked how the illustrator made Brian black and white to make him look invisible."

"I'm starting to see color.  He's not invisible to Justin, his teacher, maybe everybody!"  

"I learned to be like Justin.  Be a friend, be nice, be kind."

One of my favorite questions on the resource/discussion page in the back of the book is "How many people did it take to make Brian not feel invisible?"  Many students quickly responded, "Two."  I repeated the question and we had a thoughtful discussion that it only takes YOU.

"I learned from the book that anyone can feel invisible, but it takes one person to feel better."

But Ms. Ludwig asked us to think about this BIG question:

"I think being laughed at is worse.  I get laughed at, but I try to ignore it." - Lavar

"I think being laughed at is worse.  What if you were that person?" - Rachel

"I think being laughed at is worse because it's like bullying." - Evelin

"I think both because they are both horrible." - Chris

"I think being laughed at is worse because they are making fun of you and it's embarrassing." - Nathaniel

"I think being laughed at is worse because it's a sad feeling." - John

"I think feeling invisible because no one will notice you or play with you or invite you." - Saachi

"I think being laughed at because even if you feel invisible, you could always make a friend like Bluebird." - Luke  (We just read this book a day before.  Love his thinking and the connection!)

Ms. Ludwig, Rachel has one question for YOU:  "What do YOU think is worse?"

A must read.  A book to remember.  All my students said:

"Thank you for sharing this book!  Write another!"


Additional notes and resources:

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

sols: writing to learn

Slice of Life hosted at the 

Have you ever had a comment that made you stop and think?  Or a post that you can easily connect to? It happens quite often here in this writing community, but I rarely take the time to share my thoughts and reflections beyond my comments.  Today, I am.  I am writing to learn.  To learn more about me.

I've thought a lot about Terje's comment:

Also, her SOL post about learning about herself through her writing has me thinking too.  I can relate to her reflections:
"Blogging and being part of SOL community has helped me to learn about myself.  Deciding what to write about and how to write has helped me to see what really matters in my life.  Sometimes people who comment see things in me that have gone unnoticed to myself or they bring out the best in me."
My slice of life writing rhythm has been interrupted.  I used to write religiously on Monday evenings on my couch after the girls were tucked into bed.  Then school started.

And I'm exhausted.

No thoughts of a story.  No hopes of creating a little magic.  My brain was, is, and always seems to be tired.

So I did what I could do best:  Write in the moment late Tuesday nights.  Or as Terje stated, "what really matters in my life" right now.

But I learned about myself as a writer, even in the late, tired nights.
  1. My stories still mattered.  
  2. My words still created a little magic. 
  3. It's important to JUST WRITE.
  4. Writing in the now is as important as capturing little moments because that is what really matters in my life right now. 
  5. I could not and would not miss a Tuesday Slice of Life.  (I actually felt a sense of guilt waiting into the late Tuesday evening!) 
  6. I did not want to miss the connection of words and support from those readers that stumbled into my little world to read my posts...
  7. because those comments teach me more about me and give my words weight.
  8. I did not want to worry my Mom and Dad if I didn't write! 
I wish I had more time to write, but with two three-and-a-half year olds and teaching and learning full time, life is quite, shall we say, super-duper busy.  Balancing and doing-it-all is difficult.

I still need to get my priorities straight.  I need to dedicate the time appropriately.  I need to be patient and understand that I can't do it all right now.

But I will continue to write.  And I took a step in the right direction:  I wrote this Monday evening.