Wednesday, March 31, 2021
31 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Where is the confetti? I feel like arriving at this point in the challenge there should be confetti flitting down on me. And hooting and hollering with yelps of glee. Anyone else?
For those of you who are with us for the first time this year, do come back on Tuesdays. It is the same lovely bunch of people and yet you have an entire week (nearly. for the first Tuesday) to sift through your brain for that moment you can't wait to put down on virtual paper. Or you could put it on actual paper and post pictures of your notebook. (It's what my friend Erika does. You can check out her blog here.)
Speaking of friends: Erika, that I was just mentioning, we met in this space. We've yet to meet face to face and still, across years of reading about one another's lives, sharing comments (and even being in a Voxer group together inspired here) I do not feel it is a stretch to call her 'friend'. She is not the only one I could say this about. Friendships are born here, and then you find yourself in the same physical space and the relationship continues.
We need one another. The practice of writing is hard. This community brings encouragement, accountability, and acceptance. Here is where we can share drafts and know we won't be judged for trying things. Thank you to Stacey and all the co-authors of Two Writing Teachers for the countless hours you pour into all of us throughout the year with your planning, sharing, and leadership.
See you on Tuesday, even if there's no confetti.
Tuesday, March 30, 2021
30 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Barely looking at me, she pointed to the right. I could tell she was concerned about what was happening. She knew she had made a poor choice.
About half way down the block I said, "I'm walking my daughter."
A few steps later I continued, "The purpose of walking a dog is often so they have the opportunity to get something out of their body."
"I'm walking you to get the grump out," I continued.
She tried to contain it, but was unsuccessful and the giggles spilled out.
Phew! I thought. I wasn't sure this was going to work, but I had to try something. I had finished a meeting and gone downstairs quietly, as she had class. I rounded to the corner and found her not in her call.
She burst into tears and stomped upstairs, flopping herself onto her bed.
"Your daughter is skipping class," I messaged my husband.
Sighing I went back to work. When the clock told me class had ended I decided to take her for a walk.
Monday, March 29, 2021
29 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Open link: click
Join with video: click
I see twenty some squares; one teacher, lots of students - some with cameras, some with pictures, some with images.
I hear a student reading classmates possible solutions as shared in the chat box followed by a discussion about patterns students notice across the responses.
And then I notice that the teacher is in a passenger in a car. Not only is she in a car, the scenery outside the windows is changing.
I think she must have had something come up.
A chat appears from the teacher, further prompting us down the path - and then she's back.
Sunday, March 28, 2021
28 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
"No, but we watched the movie," she responded.
"I suppose the 'even in Australia' line doesn't land quite the same when you are Australian."
"No. It doesn't."
This got me thinking.
"Outer Mongolia" no longer seemed far off when we considered a job offer in Ulaanbaatar. Timbuktu isn't unimaginable when you have friends who live in Mali.
The world may be small, but when borders shut down, flights are grounded, and airports cease to operate the miles stretch once again.
And then technology shrinks it again. I am so thankful for chats and emails, video calls and messaging. This year would have been much more difficult without it. (Forget about school and work for the moment.)
I am comfortable with ambiguity; the world is small and extraordinarily large - all at the same time.
Saturday, March 27, 2021
27 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
We have found solace in knowing that one another are both choosing the cautious path, even as others have made more social decisions.
"Will you be going home for a visit this summer?" I asked.
"The expense of it is way too much for all of us, with flights and mandatory quarantine. (If we can even get flights as they are limited.)"
"Any chance of someone coming to visit you all?" I inquire, hopefully.
I am thinking that it is all pretty crappy and I feel awful for her as she keeps a positive from on the tough situation that doesn't seem to end. "Even in Australia" is the line that comes to mind. I catch myself as I start to type. The line, though so fitting, doesn't apply here. Why? She's from Australia.
Friday, March 26, 2021
Thursday, March 25, 2021
25 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
I am not going to share with you about the ten hour flight that she puked a couple of times per hour for most of the flight. I am not going to tell you about her strategy to just not eat when we fly, because it is less gross. I am also not going to share with you the thankful prayers and happy dances we do when we manage to take a flight without puke. (Though it is generally every other flight - becoming one in three as she gets older. AND, pandemic, so she hasn't been on a plane in 15 months and counting.)
The previously linked blog ends with,
She landed successfully without vomiting. Her first words upon landing, accompanied by a triumphant fist pump?
“I made it!”
The steps along the jetway were filled with relief for all of us. Our journey of 24 hours was nearly complete. We would be greeted by family, have a meal at Red Robin, and then be unpacking at home. Because we were a family with a young one we were directed to the elevator, rather than the stairs. She pressed the down button and we all waited for the doors to open.
It was that moment that I realized she was about to throw up. The incredulous thoughts I had of "but we are on the ground" were quickly replaced with a mental scan of where I might have tucked a barf bag - only to realize they were all left on the plane. We were on the ground, after all. This should mean no more puking. All of this was in a nanosecond, as well as lifting her over the metal garbage can mounted on the wall as the retching began.
She had great aim, for the little that trickled out. Immediately feeling better she gleefully entered the elevator, parents looking at one another, shaking our heads as we tried to decide if we should laugh or cry.
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
24 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
In the scope of my life I have not been using ghee very long. And, for as long as I have been using it, I have been making it myself. I put the butter in a cast iron pot, adjust the heat, and watch. There is a little bit of art to the science.
We use much less oil now, and buy more butter than ever.
On top of the craft of heat and time there is also the weight of the pot that has to be lifted to pour the hot contents through the strainer. And then, once the pot has cooled, there is the cleaning part of the process.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
23 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
I don't need to put it in my first day lesson plan as it is inevitable - I will make a mistake. That is the opportunity to point out that I am human and I will make lots of mistakes. I anticipate that modeling the mistake in stride instills confidence in the acceptance of mistake making. Pointing it out over and over, in my own behavior, I hope weaves it into the fabric of our class.
This is not only true in the classroom. I find I make mistakes in every facet of being human. Ask my daughter, my husband, my friends, those I make music with, those I play games with, those who count on me, and those who simply expect me to be kind. It doesn't always work out the way I hope, plan, or think about it inside my own head.
I say the wrong words. I invert numbers. I click the wrong thing. I measure inaccurately. I don't understand what someone means. I don't hear correctly. I miss a step in the directions. I misunderstand a concept. I lose patience. I judge. I don't see the whole system. I... I make another mistake.
Monday, March 22, 2021
22 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
The excitement of starting something propels you to the starting line - and across, down the path.
When day two arrives, 31 days seems like a trail of switchbacks stretching up and up and up, as far as you can see. Spring Break seems like it will never arrive and the to-do list gets longer and longer.
Somehow you continue; some days with gusto and some days simply putting one foot in front of the other. The showing up goes OK. The reading and commenting is energizing. The writing, once an idea germinates for the day, takes root and reaches for the sky. There starts to be a path behind you, as well as in front of you.
One week in and you start to feel accomplished. Ten days in and you realize you still have so much more to go.
And then poof, Spring Break is behind you and you can clearly see the final ten days to the summit. The realization washing over you as you realize that 31 is a number that has so many different perspectives, depending on your mindset.
Sunday, March 21, 2021
21 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Their middle school model has one teacher for math & science and one teacher for humanities. They are on their third math and science teacher and today start with their second humanities teacher. The changes have been for a variety of reasons; new teacher not coming, paperwork not getting approved, and high risk pregnancy are all reasons outside the school's control. The bottom line is, they've had a lot of change.
Knowing her teacher was pregnant with multiples I had been been bringing down my daughter's expectations of this beloved teacher being with her through the end of the year. I had hoped it would at least be until sometime in April. When the email came, at the end of Spring Break, we weren't sure how it was going to be received. My daughter took it in stride, especially knowing there was no medical emergency and everyone is OK.
"We have had so many changes - we've got this!" she said of herself and her classmates. Now we will find out if the theory holds true in the face of reality.
Saturday, March 20, 2021
20 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Yes; I am this as well.
The exhausted part comes from five hours of intake, five hours of thinking, five hours of information to contemplate.
The energized part will be what has me pop out of bed in the morning when the alarm goes off, ready to think about the next three months. Excited to see what nuggets may help unstick some classes or units.
I am also exhausted because 'it's been a year' and everything that the past year has and hasn't involved. Worn out from being at home and parenting. Weary from being out of the building, away from teachers and students.
Friday, March 19, 2021
Thursday, March 18, 2021
18 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
The Migraine World Summit is a series of interviews with world leaders in the field of migraine discussing the latest treatments, research, and best practice. On top of all of that, you can access each interview for free!
Last night I thought deeply about pathways. Migraine is such a puzzle; different for each person and doesn't always look the same day to day. I was reminded of how much chronic migraine sucks. I continued to learn about my disease and reflected on the journey of educating myself and how important it is to be able to know what options are available.
I am thankful to wake up this morning pain free. I try to not let days that start this way go unappreciated. Part of my story is tied up with the Migraine World Summit and a greater understanding of migraine.
I found my way to the information through a friend's FaceBook post years ago. My hope is that at least one person learns something new about their situation with migraine and is able to improve their life because of it.
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
17 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
You know how when you are shopping for a car you start seeing it everywhere? This is true whenever we raise our awareness about something, we start seeing it more - even in places we didn't realize it was residing. For me I am currently on a journey to detach the word "just" from places it holds onto, but doesn't belong, within my own language use.
Have you ever noticed the word "just"?
I just want to say that....
I am just going to...
I just meant...
I think of "just" as having two meanings. One is related to justice and the other is "only" or "simply". The examples I listed previously fall into the latter category.
The thing is, I have found that I don't mean 'just' when I say it. Somehow 'just' has become this word that is used to try and soften the tone. I hear it now, in both my own and other's language.
Knowing I don't mean it I have taken to allowing those around me to be a part of the journey. When I notice myself using 'just', I interrupt my own sentence and interject, "I am working on not saying 'just'. Let me try that again." I then repeat what I said, omitting the culprit.
Anyone else on the 'just' journey?
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
16 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
I am an Aliy Zirkle fan. About a month before the race Aliy announced that she would be retiring after this year's Iditarod. I appreciated knowing that going into the race; a chance to pause over her final time at different points in the process, even though this year was going to have so many firsts by nature of the pandemic as the underlay.
Somewhere around 180 miles in, on the evening of the second day of the race, Aliy had an accident. The next we knew, all the dogs were safe and being pampered in Rohn and Aliy was being medevaced to Anchorage. With the first announcement we knew that she was in stable condition and the dogs were fine and not really any other details. (She has been released from the hospital and is home, though the head injury is still causing some issues. The dogs are all fine and happily back in Two Rivers.)
So many details of the race could be recounted. I will end with the finish line. There are several people who have won the race more than once. Up until this year there was only one person who had won it five times. Dallas Seavey, and ten dogs who love to run, joined Rick Swenson for that distinction. We will have to wait for the 50th running of the race to see if Dallas becomes the first person to win six times.
Monday, March 15, 2021
15 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Eight clicks later: "There are no dates available right now."
I feel like I am playing a video game. I have to win eventually, right? I have tried most hours of the day (not so much from 3 - 6 a.m.). When will the magic/winning click happen?
Sunday, March 14, 2021
14 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Highlighting a few examples she came to Shark in the Park. I had forgotten about this book, but more importantly I had forgotten the hundred of times we had read Rub a Dub Sub a decade ago to our daughter.
Walking into the other room with my wireless headphone still hearing the conversation I quickly put my hands on Sheep in a Jeep. I suspected Rub a Dub Sub to be in my daughter's room so messaged my husband to request it be delivered to me as I returned to my Zoom screen.
"I can't find it," he replied.
"She swears it's not in her room." Followed by, "She doesn't remember the book."
Isn't it interesting that we can experience the same thing and it have such a varying impact? In reality she has read the book more than I have as she had the culminating reads of both of her parents (and anyone else she could get to open it). She may not remember the words. I do know the love of rhyme, the sound of well placed words, and a fascination of sea creatures were planted in her each time that sub sank into the bathtub.
13 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Made, Morphed, Meaning
Sounds, Syllables, Syntax
Ideas, Interactive, Increase
Digraphs, Diphthongs, Decoding
Reread, Revise, Rewrite
Saturdays-Priming [the] Spelling-Proces
After three Saturdays with TC my brain is both primed and mushy. Thankful I can now take Spring Break to synthesize my thoughts and be ready to support more learning.
Friday, March 12, 2021
12 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Not the kind you want
The kind that seeps through every crevice
The kind that turns the sky orange
The kind that is accompanied by a storm
The reason we ever used masks in the 'before' times
Thursday, March 11, 2021
11 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
As I close down the browser I use for work, it signals the start of spring break. What makes this one so different from the other breaks we have had in the past year is that this week I won't be mourning where we should have been.
Wednesday, March 10, 2021
10 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Tuesday, March 9, 2021
9 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
I will share my current thinking with you. Please help me develop my understanding on this.
A presentation is mostly one directional; the presenter tells and/or shows something to others. There is no expectation placed on the audience other than respectful listening behavior. The audience may not be interested in learning anything; it could be simple curiosity (or coercion). Presentations tend to last somewhere between a few minutes and an hour.
This is one more step along a continuum from a presentation as a seminar expects some exchange between the person presenting and the audience. (It is not lost on me that you can be a presenter at a seminar - interesting.) These exchanges may simply be verbal feedback or short interactions. Is a seminar longer in duration? Is it a combination of participation and duration that change it from a presentation? Someone who attends a seminar wants to learn something.
Moving further along the continuum, a workshop can be an hour or over several days. I expect there to be interaction in a workshop. Maybe this is the area of difference, a workshop is not just about sharing ideas in discussion - a workshop takes learning deeper. A workshop participant (I am noticing it is no longer an audience member) can expect to have activities they will be a part of, either individually or with others. Someone attending a workshop not only wants to learn something, they also want to work on figuring out how to apply it to their life.
Is this where we step off the continuum? Is a 'training' more about purpose and any of the above forms could serve that purpose?
What are your thoughts? Are there terms I have missed?
Monday, March 8, 2021
8 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021
7 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
"Wait and see," I replied pressing play and adjusting the volume.
The restrained chorus at the start of "Joyful, Joyful" from Sister Act oozes into the room. She isn't sure about my choice, but I know that she will be hooked when the beat picks up. As the second song starts she looks up, puzzled as the songs don't seem to go together.
"What does it do?" she asks, taking the hard plastic box.
Saturday, March 6, 2021
6 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
I knew I wasn't the only one.
How to arrange all those books is a matter that could be discussed over the course of a conversation. Since we can't sit down for a cup of tea of a glass of something together I'll just ask.
How do you organize your bookshelves?
The order you shoved them into their spot?
By the size of the book?
I have done all of these, at some point.
It may look great, if you are wanting an artsy background, but for functionality? I can't get behind the color coding.
Friday, March 5, 2021
5 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Thursday, March 4, 2021
4 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
3 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
Written words are what I have prepared myself for. Carefully crafting sentences to convey meaning is the challenge I thought I had signed up for. Daily entering the practice of putting words down is the discipline that I need to build. Intentionally making room in my day to write, even when I don't want to, is one of the reasons I commit to this each March.
She gave us a third option; an audio recording. An audio recording instantly reduces the list of possible barriers to one. I can manage to get decent sound (even without lipstick). Impromptu speaking has never been a challenge for me. Perhaps this is why it feels like an 'out' from the challenge I have set accepted for myself.
And then I circle around to my OLW; purpose. If the purpose of a video post is to provide a way for readers to put a face and audible voice with the words on the page, perhaps I will have to accept this new challenge - but not today.
Tuesday, March 2, 2021
2 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
If I am forced to make a quick, as an adult answer, I tend towards The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. It is the only book I have ever read that when I finished the final sentence I immediately flipped back to the beginning and started reading it again. I HAD to. I was compelled to read it again, now that I knew what I had learned. It is a book that follows multiple storylines masterfully woven together. I was curious to re-read the book for all the treasures I had missed as I was trying to figure out what was happening.
Fifth grade is the grade level I have taught the most. When I am asked about my favorite book at that age my answer is Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. My daughter recently picked up my copy from way back then. There were several times a teary eyed girl would show up at my side, needing to crawl into my lap, wondering if the next part was as painful to read because the story was told so well.
Monday, March 1, 2021
1 of 31 - SOLSC 2021
For those of you who are new here, a special welcome. Even though it was many, many years ago, I remember that first March. Once a week had seemed like pressure so what was I doing committing to ever.single.day for a month?! Especially during a month that can be as crazy as March usually is? But I made it; one day at a time, finding a rhythm that works for what life looks like at the time. Additionally there is the rich inspiration that comes from others writing alongside you. You can do it! Some days you will be proud of what you have written and some days you will be glad you got it done - with lots of days in between. It's OK. You showed up and wrote and commented and as the days accumulate you realize you are closer to April than February and then it's the 31st and you've made it! (And this year the 31st is a Wednesday so there will be a break before the following Tuesday Slice.)