4-4-4

Photo by Victor Freitas on Pexels.com

The challenge: Look around and choose 4 things within 4 ft. of you and 4 minutes to write about them with one sentence.

The inspiration comes from here.

4-4-4

A carport full of discards that are being upcycled to wondrous treasures, including my 1923 school desk with the scroll inside!

My computer I will be turning in next week that I have been writing and sending submissions on all day.

The Maine Coon cat who jumps at the screen door and has earned the name, “Dancing Kitty”.

The “Raise the Dead” water glass that is the perfect shape for me and makes the water taste better.

What 4 things are in your immediate area?

Thank you to My Life in My Father’s World who reminded me to use this format today!

Four Somethings #SOL22

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts

My dear friend Lisa shared this format on her blog. You can read it here.

Something Loved

Most of my students can pronounce my last name just fine but occasionally I have a student who will call me “Mrs. B”. I have one student that calls me “Mrs. Weiser” – she wrote that in her book she is making this morning! LOL

I always love writing time because the students always chatter. When I taught kindergarten they would comment on each other’s writing and process the whole time. It was adorable and perfect.

“We have a lot of dandelions in our yard” my student says today as she adds grass and dandelions to her picture in her book. “My sister is a teenager. She doesn’t care.” I found out her sister also cut her own hair…her mother was not happy.

Something Read

I am reading Six Walks: In the Footsteps of Henry David Thoreau and enjoying it immensely. I love a “stunt” memoir. The author is taking walks Thoreau did and writing about his experience. His writing style is inviting.

Something Treasured

My red thread bracelet I have not taken off since it touched my wrist.

I am also treasuring that my building has air conditioning. It is forecasted to be 90 degrees here and it was 60 on Sunday.

Something Ahead

There are lots of things to look forward to over the next several months and beyond. The end of the school year is approaching and major changes are happening for me. There is a plan for me to not be in public education in the fall in order to be a full time writer. There are several logistics that are being worked out but it is exciting and terrifying all at once. More on that another day.

One Day MAYbe… #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

For more years than I can count I have a tradition on the first school day of May.

I invite students to finish the sentence stem: One day MAYbe…

Grade level or age does not matter for this prompt. It is universal and always applies.

My students wrote with this prompt today and we discussed if they would travel somewhere or what they wanted to be when they grew up.

One day MAYbe the weather will even out and it will actually look like spring.

One day MAYbe I will be a full time writer.

One day MAYbe I will be a princess.

I am always looking for the magic in teaching. Some days are easier to find it than others but it usually is in writing!

I invite you to finish the phrase –

One day MAYbe…

#happywriting

Illustrators #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

Reading and writing have always been taught together in my classroom. There is also lots of bookmaking for students and for me.

I used to take all the words they needed to know and would make books of text for them to practice reading before there were sites like Teacher Pay Teacher and Pinterest.

When teaching about what the author does in writing a book we also talk about illustrators. Throughout the years as I have met countless children’s book authors. I was surprised to learn that the writer often does not get to choose the illustrator for their books. They are sometimes randomly assigned. Sometimes requests are made but they are not always honored by the publisher.

Several authors talked about how the placement of words on the page is also chosen by the illustrator and sometimes will change the way the story is read. The illustrator has more power than I once thought.

I have always modeled how to draw certain things simply since I cannot just ask students to do something when I haven’t given them an example. I have used stick people to show how to make people more “fleshy”.

Yesterday I read Mo Willems book: The Pigeon Finds a Hot Dog!

I learned years ago when I saw him speak at an International Reading Association conference that he drew the pigeon the way he did on purpose so even young children could write their own pigeon books.

Today one of my individual students wrote about sheep using the book she just read as a model. I showed her how to use swirls to make it look fuzzy. Then she said to me, “I’m going to make the curlies up to the neck!”

I was reminded of the joy of drawing with my students today!

What brought you joy today?

Ten On Tuesday #SOL22

On Tuesdays I write about education and then link to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts.

Ten On Tuesday…Out of Order

  1. Ten on Tuesday used to be a writing prompt I would give to my students. Sometimes lists are easier to write for adults and kids.
  2. Today I presented at the staff meeting and was observed by my direct boss. I have lost count of the times I have presented to a variety of audiences. The numbers of people and the varied backgrounds. There is always an energy to presenting but a layer of anxiety when I know someone is listening to everything I say!
  3. Today sushi was what was for dinner tonight and it was delicious.
  4. Today I gave the standardized state test to students in the morning.
  5. Today I had a lovely coaching meeting at the beginning of the day which is going to be a great way to end the school year.
  6. Today I wrote a story and posted it on the Sarah Selecky Centered community and received from feedback and read several poems.
  7. Today I spoke to someone important.
  8. Today I started my day with coffee and writing – just how I like it.
  9. Today I avoided going grocery shopping.
  10. Today I wrote a slice later than normal!

What list of 10 would you write today?

Yesterday Was… #SOL22 #Day31

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

Today is the last day of March and it is hard to believe. In some ways the time went quickly and in others it was slow – as it seems to work with time!

Over the month, I have been inspired by so many fantastic posts. I have been able to catch up on the lives of teachers all over the world who I admire and look forward to reading this whole month.

Yesterday Was…

Yesterday was for getting up naturally at 5am.

Yesterday was for writing all morning with coffee.

Yesterday was for lots of back and forth audio messages between friends.

Yesterday was for chopping my hair off.

Yesterday was for taking a writing workshop and texting with a writing friend the whole time to make it even better.

Yesterday was for making a new recipe of black bean soup.

Yesterday was for dancing in the kitchen to Michael Buble, Aerosmith, and AC/DC.

Yesterday was for having a business call for a new opportunity I am thrilled about.

Yesterday was about telling someone important the news about the call first.

Yesterday was for talking to writers in my community on Zoom and laughing about late hosts, childhood, finding people, and oh yeah…writing.

Yesterday was for reading poems and Aftershock for my memoir class.

Yesterday was for changing my mind about running errands and just staying home.

Yesterday was for rain…all day….again.

Yesterday was for commenting on writing within a writing community forum.

Yesterday was for watching season 2 of Bridgerton.

Yesterday was for going to bed early because I was up at 5am!

In April, I will be writing and reading poetry every day!

What are your plans for April? Rest? Continue the daily streak? A new challenge? I would love to hear.

I made it all 31 days!

The surprise for me is that I am fueled, and not tired of it this year. It didn’t seem as taxing over the course of the month this year. Considering the trauma of 2022 for me that was a welcome surprise.

I Recommend… #SOL22 #Day30

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

Today I am recommending some of my favorite things!

Penny Kittle and Kelly Gallagher:

At the beginning of the pandemic this duo started video conversations for teachers. Here is the padlet with ALL the conversations.

Short story collection:

Writing Craft Book:

Fountain Pen:

I use this pen every morning in my notebook. I just ran the bluish ink out so put green in this morning!

My favorite notebook:

Daily writing prompts and community:

Newsletter: Penny Zang

What would you recommend to me?

By The Book #SOL22 #Day29

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

This morning, another slicer and The Dirigible Plum (yes, again) inspired me with their take on the “By the Book” column in the Sunday Times.

What books are on your nightstand?
Seven Drafts (craft book), Little Weirds by Jenny Slate, Writing Begins with the Breath (craft book), Dearly (poetry by Atwood), Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass(poetry) – I won’t list the ones in a stack on the floor…

What is the last great book you read?
I have been reading chunks of books…I am enjoying Gallant by VE Schwab. I read Melissa Febos’ Body Work. There was another book I recently read all the way through and enjoyed it but cannot remember what it was! Isn’t that always how it goes? Someone asks you and then you forget the title…

Are there any classic novels you only recently read for the first time?
There are quite a few. Several summers I have assigned myself a high school reading list that wasn’t mine. To Kill A Mockingbird was one. I will have to revisit my list.

What’s your favorite book no one else has heard of?

I have reread this book several times (one time on a plane) and I do not reread often. There is something magical about this book and how he describes running.

How do you organize your books?
Piles and randomly shoved into the bookcases. Sometimes I group them together by topic. Usually it is grouped together by when the last time I touched it! I have stacks of books I do not want to “lose”. I have a pile for a writing class I begin on Thursday on my desk so I won’t forget where they are!

The word organize should not be used for this category for me…did I mention the pile of books on the floor next to the bed above???

Describe your ideal reading experience.
Sitting in front of a fire either inside on a cold day or outside on a cool day. Overlooking water in a comfy chair or sitting on a bench. There is that feeling when you are into a book and it sparks something in you – I love that feeling and crave it more!

What do you plan to read next?

Poetry since I am self imposing a challenge for myself for the month of April! That is why I pulled out the two books of poetry yesterday.

What is one thing about your reading life would you tell me?

Creative Toolkit #SOL22 #Day28

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

Inspired by: The Dirigible Plum [who I have been inspired by A LOT this month!]

What if I had a creative toolkit I could bring with me where I am? What rituals, objects, or tools inspire you to create?

Here are a few things that help me create:

A spark, a mentor text, a mentor. Natalie Goldberg’s Writing Down the Bones and class I am signed up for. I get to hear Natalie talk to me! Reading poetry during my morning writing sessions is always a must. Reading in general is a great practice for me. I heard on a podcast recently that an author doubled her reading and her writing output increased over 30%. This is something I want to experiment with for myself.

The right tools. My notebook and the pen I feel like using that morning. I have a purple pen, a black pen, and a fountain pen that I rotate depending on my mood. I can write anywhere but I like having the right tool for how I am feeling. Sometimes that means the KEEP app on my phone. I also need my laptop. I couldn’t publish anything without it! I also do a lot of drafting and revision work on the computer.

Podcasts. I have rotating favorites. I tend to listen to them on walks, runs, and when I drive. Driving always seems to spark ideas for me as well.

A walk or run. Walking makes it easier to make notes but there is never a time I walk or run and ideas do not come together.

Silence or white noise. I cannot listen to music with words and write. It just doesn’t work for me.

Talking to other writers. I love my various writing communities and they fuel me all in such a different way.

Prompts. I love writing to prompts. It allows me to enter a piece of writing from a different angle each time. I have my regular routines in the morning and it always sparks the right writing for the day.

Strong emotions. This has been a new one for me, but I have been working on paying attention to my emotions more and what triggers them. If I am feeling strongly about something I have been writing the way my body feels, the thoughts running through my head, or I allow the emotion to come through what I am writing that day. This can be love, anger, grief, restlessness, etc.

What would be in your toolkit?

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What are some essentials you can’t write without?
  • Are there any reference books that you find useful when your writing, or that relate to your current work in progress?
  • Are there any books on the craft of writing you like to dip in and out of while writing?
  • Do you like to keep a planner for your writing?

4-4-4 #SOL22 #Day25

On (some) Tuesdays I write about education and then post to the Two Writing Teacher blog. and then comment on at least three other blog posts Every day in March I will blog and post for the Two Writing Teacher challenge.

[Prompt: Look around and choose 4 things within 4 ft. of you and 4 minutes to write about them.]

One sentence each

Inspiration from : https://thecollective257774336.wordpress.com/2022/03/24/4-4-4/

The new Corkcicle dragonfly colored mug holds my hot coffee no matter how long I write in the morning.

The materials of my morning routine lay scattered around me and bring me comfort of a routine unbroken.

The nightstand that is not mine sits as it was 10 weeks and 5 days ago and I have no idea when I will be ready to move any of it.

The big red blanket holds me in place as I listen to the traffic outside rush by at too early of an hour this morning.

What 4 things are in your immediate area?