FMF – Five Minute Friday

Thank you to Kate for her work at five minute Friday!

Today’s Five Minute Friday writing prompt is: POTENTIAL

 

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Each week the challenge is to gather to write for five minutes flat on a single writing prompt.

My writing today: Potential

The first thing that comes to mind with the word POTENTIAL is the phrase “Live up to your potential”. My feelings about this phrase have changed over the years, to be honest. The phrase is supposed to be motivating but there is an underlying concept in my mind that is tied to self-worth, intrinsic work ethic, and participating in what is essential to your life.

I have the POTENTIAL to accomplish a lot in my life and in my days but the decision come down to what is appropriate for my life at that moment.

I have the potential to be the best _____________ (fill in the blank) Writer, reader, parent, wife, teacher, coach, etc. But something new means time to focus on the research and the process.

I am extreme and can get hyperfocused on a task. This isn’t a bad idea necessarily but will then pull time from other things that need to be done.

I fulfill my potential every day by creating and looking to the future.

 

writing prompts

 

 

The October challenge starts Monday! Join us for this year’s edition of 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes — the Five Minute Friday “challenge within the challenge” of the larger annual Write 31 Days opportunity.

 

 

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Paradigm Shift

This is an amazing story worth reading!

Life In A Suitcase

Greetings and welcome to my little corner of the world.

This blog post will be a little different. No photos, or trips, or any of the other random things I post about.

Let me tell you a story.

A man climbed onto the train to finally go home after a completely exhausting and discouraging work day.  He slumped onto an empty seat on a primarily empty train. He didn’t realize he was heading home so late, Good God the wife won’t be happy, as he never called to let her know. He settled in, as settled in as you could get on a train, and anticipated the hour commute home. He had no thankful bone in his body. He grabbed his cell phone out of his pocket only to see he had 4% battery left. Perfect. He tucked it into his worn and weathered briefcase, next to the four packages…

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Workshop Wednesday: Questioning

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Questioning

 

DOK (Depth of Knowledge) is a scale for questioning I utilize with teachers and students.

Level 3: Strategic Thinking Characteristics

  • Requires deep knowledge
  • Students encouraged to go beyond text
  • Students asked to explain, generalize, or connect ideas
  • Students must be able to support their thinking, citing references from the text or other sources
  • Items may involve abstract theme identification, inferences between or across passages, application of prior knowledge, or text support for analytical judgment about a text

 

2 Strategies for increasing the rigor and use of questioning

  1. Have students write their own questions relevant to the content of the class using DOK question stems.

Not only is this a great creation exercise for students but it also hyper focuses their attention on the content and what is important to know. The students find out quickly that higher level questions are not always the easiest item to write!

DOK 3 Sentence Stems

  • How is ____ related to ____?
  • What conclusions can you draw _____?
  • How would you adapt____to create a 
different____?
  • How would you test____?
  • Can you predict the outcome if____?
  • What is the best answer? Why?
  • What conclusion can be drawn from 
these three texts?
  • What is your interpretation of this text? 
Support your rationale.
  • How would you describe the sequence 
of____?
  • What facts would you select to 
support____?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason____?
  • What would happen if___?
  • Can you formulate a theory for___?
  • How would you test___?
  • Can you elaborate on the reason___?

 

Questions and ideas should be the ax that breaks open the frozen sea within us.

-Kafka

 

2. Plan your questions ahead of time and WRITE THEM DOWN

No matter how many years you have been teaching this is a strategy worth trying. If you formulate several questions before the lesson using the higher levels then your mindset is changed and you will move forward from the higher level questioning rather than go back to more knowledge or surface level questioning. When we meet students where they are we sometimes rely too heavily on the knowledge-based questions or DOK 1 that only have one answer.

 

My teachers are working on this concept today! I hope that you find it helpful or at least a reminder of a practice you haven’t thought about in a while! As a coach, I have offered to visit classrooms and script just the questions the teachers are asking so we can analyze them later. We often don’t realize the questions we are actually asking!

 

Happy Teaching!

2 Strategies to Increase Happiness!

Permission and Gratitude

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Kim Strobel is a Happiness Consultant that I was excited to hear speak on Sept 15. Her company is called Strobel Education and she talks about a variety of topics.

There were two big takeaways from this session which is relevant to today because there are things that are already starting to unravel! It is too early in the school year for that jazz!!!

 

Increase Your Happiness – Strategy 1: Permission Slips

This one actually comes from Brene Brown – to write your self a permission slip like when you were in elementary school and going on a field trip.

So right now…on a post-it note write:

I give myself permission…

 

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Increase Your Happiness – Strategy 2: Gratitude

On a different post-it note write 3 things you are grateful for – right now! The research shows 3 is the magic number – just like in writing.

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What are your permissions to yourself and your gratitude list?

 

 

 

 

10ish Things I Learned Over the Weekend

20180915_085949.jpgI was honored to be able to attend the Indiana State Literacy Association (ISRA) Fall conference. I used to be heavily involved with this organization when it was still called ISRA (Indiana State Reading Association).

The main reason I wanted to attend was because Pernille Ripp was the keynote speaker. I was not disappointed in either her keynote or her breakout session. She is a unique educator and reading warrior and a seventh grade English teacher.

Here are some highlights!

Her keynote was full of great educational wisdom and in the fashion of a true writer, she used her unique voice and uttered several funny statements.

  • Pernille was able to live in the United States with her mother on 3 occasions in her childhood. When she was 18 she moved to Wisconsin where she said,

I met a boy.

That boy introduced me to a much better boy.

Thank God!”

 

  • She started teaching in 4th grade (Like me!) and she said, “I graduated college with my fictitious lesson plans.” This made me laugh because it is true! I know in college we learn the whole process but my lesson plans never look like the ones from college in the “real teaching world”
  • “I know the student through the stories that we share.”
  • “If I know the books you like I know you more deeply as a person.”
  • Reading needs to be fun.

We cannot say that reading is the most important and then not give them time to read!

 

To Create Readers We Need:

  • Inclusive libraries – kids read more when they are surrounded by books. Even if the school library is right outside your door, that sometimes is too far. You need books in your room.
  • Sacred time to read
  • Exploration of self and reading identity
  • Choice to discover what they like or dislike
  • Relevant and meaningful work
  • Building a community of readers

 

The question that stayed with me:

How do we protect the hope of readers?

 

Her breakout session was about picture books and how to use them in the classroom. She reads a picture book to her 7th graders on the first day of school to kick the year off correctly.

 

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My Amazon cart and library holds are going to be busy bees!!

If you have the chance to hear her speak, do it! She is inspiring and heartwarming.

 

Who is a professional you would love to hear speak?

 

26 Questions

Thank you to This, That, and the Other for posting these questions on his blog!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

1. Share your profile pic:

2. Who are you named after?

Debbie Reynold’s movie character Tammy

3. Do you like your handwriting?

Sometimes. I write differently with different pens. I get compliments on my handwriting which makes me snicker.

4. What’s Your Favorite Lunchmeat?

Butterball Deli turkey –  thickly sliced

5. Longest relationship?

It will be with my husband.

6. Do you still have your tonsils?

No, they were removed when I was 4 because I couldn’t eat because they had grown so large.

7. Would you bungee jump?

Nope.

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Nope.

9. Favorite ice cream?

Coconut without nuts

10. What’s the first thing you notice about people?

Their shoes! ha ha Usually their smile – or lack there of.

11. Football or Baseball?

White Sox!!!

12. What color pants are you wearing?

You all lucked out! Usually, I am in a dress – today my pants are army green.

13. Last thing you ate?

Pork tacos from a little family owned Mexican place

14. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Periwinkle

15. Favorite smell?

Bleach – it’s very clean!

16. Who is the last person you spoke to on the phone?

Husband

17. Hair color?

Dark blonde -all natural

18. Eye color?

Blue or green depending on my mood

19. Favorite food to eat?

Pizza or bread

20. Scary movies or happy endings?

Scary

21. Last movie you watched?

Hereditary

22. Favorite holiday?

Hands down – Thanksgiving

23. Beer or wine?

Both, but usually Jack.

24. Favorite day of the week?

Sunday – usually a slower pace

25 Three favorite bloggers you want to learn more about?

HubCity Girl

The Introverted Christian

Chuck Wendig

26. Added info you didn’t know you wanted

I like the random little lines of text that are added in books or articles. The footnotes if you will! It is the reason I liked Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

 

How would you answer these questions?

Pick them all! Pick one! Pick three!

Happy writing!

Fusing My Life Bubbles

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I was supposed to be moving to a new house this weekend.

Now I am not.

The circumstances are out of my control, BUT I cannot get past the fact that THIS move was supposed to be smooth. It was supposed to be an easy transition with little strife and stress.

I have moved too many times in the last 4 years. With those moves and life changes comes reflection. I love freewriting and use it as a technique often when I am stuck or just don’t know what I want to write for that day’s writing session.

Two the freewrites I keep coming back to are:

“What do I value in my life?”

and

“What are the critical attributes of a good life?”

Coupled with those questions are the ideas of what I value in a place to live. The thought that occurred to me is: Why do I keep coming back to this topic of life and home?

I keep writing about living and what I value but why?  Do I keep revisiting this topic because I think my answers or beliefs are in a state of flux and the answers will be different than last time? Do I deep down think that my ideas are somehow wrong?

I think the real culprit is I keep hoping there is an attribute I am missing. That there is something on the edge of my understanding that I cannot see yet and will be revealed to me when my mind is racing and the ink is flowing from my pen. There are many things that I do not understand about life. This fact has become abundantly clear especially the last few years.

Now I must find a new place to live. What do I want? The list seems simple enough:

Openness

A nice kitchen with a full-size gas stove

Some wood floors

Lots of light

Laundry

Trees and a lake

At least 3 bedrooms

2 bathrooms

Fireplace

 

What is in your ideal living space?

It’s A Book Tour!

 

I was honored to be a part of the I’d Rather Be Reading Launch team for Anne Bogel from Modern Mrs. Darcy. I received an advanced copy of the book for being part of the team.

You can find the link to the book here: https://www.idratherbereading.com/

 

I love books, especially about books. If you are familiar with Anne’s writing and work or this is your introduction you will love this book.

The format is pleasing and is a collection of essays which can be read from cover to cover or in random order. Some of the essays are expansions from hints of stories Anne mentions on her podcast or her blog. One of my favorite chapters is The Books Next Door. I am completely envious of one of her houses situated next door to the library! The visualizations that are conjured in my head are exciting.

In Confess Your Literary Sins Anne talks about how people tell her their bookish secrets – books they have claimed to read or other book misdirections. My confession time: I was encouraged to read The Catcher in the Rye by a friend who recommended it to me. I had not read it and have made more of an effort to read classics that have been overlooked. I do not understand why people like this book at all.

There are loads of book recommendations sprinkled throughout this book and many of them I have read. Of course, many others are on my TBR list and some I even own copies of. Some are new and of course, are searched on Amazon and the library and are currently on my wishlist.

In the essay,  I’m Begging You to Break My Heart the writing is about books that make you cry. Where the Red Fern Grows is a classic that I love that is discussed as well as Me Before You and  The Fault in Our Stars. A more recent book that made me cry is Ms. Bixby’s Last Day which is a Young Hoosier Nominee for this year.

As I read this book I wrote in it and filled it with my annotations. Many of the notes are a simple YES! and others are snippets of words to remind me of a personal connection. It was FUN to read.

As a devoted reader all my life, Anne’s words and sentiments have encapsulated exactly how I feel,  which is not an easy feat.   The stories are heartwarming and funny and worth reading. There are no essays that I wanted to skip which is a rare occurrence for me to say that about an essay collection. Anne’s voice is a delight to read.

The book is not only a great read but also makes a great gift for any reader. It is the perfect book for any busy reader in your life. The format works for snippets of time and the size is great to pop into a bag and read on the go. It is also the perfect book for that warm fuzzy feeling curled up in your favorite reading chair with a blanket nearby and a nice beverage.

Pop over to any bookseller and get your copy!

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#idratherbereading