Monthly Archives: March 2018

#Sol18 March 12 Assessment Lessons

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

Assessment Lessons from E’s yellow stripe Tae Kwon Do Test today

  1. Encourage your class.
    You have worked so hard! You guys can do this.”
  2. Frame the test for your students so they know what’s happening.
    “Do you know what’s going to happen today? We are going to do your kicks, blocks, punches and forms.” 
  3. Coach when possible, give learners the nudge they need.
    “Straighten your arm!”
  4. Give students more than one chance.
    “Which was your worst form just now? Come up here and try again.”
  5. Involve students with feedback.
    What do you think your best was today? What about your worst?”
  6. Help students make goals.
    “What do you think you should work on practicing now?” 
  7. Rituals and celebrations are important.
    “Line up here, we will put the yellow stripe on the left side of your belt. Congratulations!” 
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#Sol18 March 11 Sundays around here. . .

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

Sundays around here. . . 

We aren’t so good at Sundays
when our break just expired.

We aren’t so good at chores
when we’re traveler tired.

We aren’t so good at homework
when we waited a week to start.

We aren’t so good at grocery shopping
when we keep buying a la carte

We aren’t so good at laundry
when it’s piled up with socks.

We aren’t so good at bedtimes
when we had to change the clocks.

We aren’t so good at vacations
when they are at their end.

We aren’t so good at school
when we’re not ready for it again.

 

#Sol18 March 10 Honest-E

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

Yesterday I sat outside brainstorming some ideas for a picture book. I read a few ideas aloud to my kids.

“Wait” L said, “Is this another picture book you are writing?” She was incredulous.

I explained, “Yep! I want to write as much as I can.” Then I turned to E. “What do you think? Do you think this will make a good book?”

He scrunched up his face. “Well, maybe like an 8 1/2 out of 10. I don’t want to be mean, mommy… But, I think it would be better if, you know, a professional author published it.”

“Well, that’s what I want to do! I want to get books published… then I would be an author…”

He looked at me, still with doubt written in the crinkles of his forehead.

“Do you think it would make a good book if I got it published?” I asked. “Would you be proud?”

“So proud.” He beamed.

I told him how I thought it would be cool if I came to his class to read a book aloud that I actually wrote.

Smiling, E said, “I can imagine Mrs. Wilson introducing you to the class. ‘Ms. Ona is here with a special surprise!'”

We laughed at the thought.

I didn’t feel like it was the right time to mention that even if this dream comes true, he won’t be in second grade anymore by the time there’s an actual book in our hands.  I just wanted to enjoy his proud smile for a bit.

 

#Sol18 March 9 If I’m going to be a writer

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

 

If I'm going to be a writer

I need a room of my own
or at least a quiet desk somewhere
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a time of my own
or at least a quiet 20 minutes sometimes
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a daily walk of my own 
or at least a quiet walk with the dog
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a way to finish my thoughts
or at least a way to start them
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a handy writer's notebook
or at least a corner of a page
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need a bunch of revisions
or at least a few harsh critiques
if I'm going to be a writer. 

I need to send a query letter
or at least do more than a twitter pitch
if I'm going to be a writer.

I need to live a writerly life
or at least a few writerly minutes
if I'm going to be a writer.

#Sol18 March 8 Distractions

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

 

Distractions. I have written, deleted, and been interrupted more in the last 2 hours than I can possibly describe. Someone needs a snack, someone wants to play a game, someone wants to go back on the beach to look for rocks. Someone has a story to tell me. Someone wants to know when I will be done, when I will make dinner, when I will play a game, can we watch a movie? If I had any ability to concentrate I’d tell you in more detail. I’m sure it would make a heartwarming, humorous tale. Vacations with 3 kids always do. Right?

It feels like I’ve been sitting here forever trying to write. I sat listening to the ocean, watching the waves through the deck doors.

I thought I might try a list poem: vacation or trip?/shells/rocks/interruptions/cold breeze/waves crash. . . .But, it wasn’t just my family distracting me… I was distracted by the shadow of a song being played in the back of my mind. What is that song? A squeaky guitar, almost spoken word singing a kind of list? It was on a mixtape. I ask my mixtape high school friends,  I google all sorts of search words.  No success. Shouldn’t my brain work better than this?

I won’t write a list poem today. I may never find out what that song was. But, I will make dinner, do the dishes, look at new shell collections, play a game, find a family movie, and put kids to bed.

Ahhhh. Vacation.

 

 

#Sol18 March 7 All in a day: the beach

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

All in a day: the beach
(6 word memoir slices of vacation)

sunrise coffee with chilly beach view
fresh doughnuts eaten before seagulls land
comfort sad children on sound walkway
watch kids play, find free library
browse beach tchotchkes but don't buy 
restaurant's first ever "Is sauce vegetarian?"
get bunches of "Thank you ma'ams" 
bundle up, sit on beach, read
bundle up, sit on deck, write



#Sol18 March 6 March Madness

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

I love overhearing conversations in the car, when somehow the kids don’t seem to remember that I can hear them while I’m driving. When my 8 year old who loves to read (E) and my 11 year old who hates to read (H) talk about books, it’s even better.

E: Are you doing the March Madness books in your class?
H: Oh yea.
E: Which ones have you read already?
H: So many. I’ve read Ghost, Restart, Love that Dog. . .  
E looks confused so… I interject: E is talking about the picture books, H also read the novels.
E: Which grades read the picture book ones?
Me: Well, the whole school can do the picture books, but some of the older kids are also reading the chapter books.
E: Oh. Well, which picture books have you read? We have done It’s not Jack in the Beanstalk, and that one won over Each Kindness. I hate that book because the ending! It just ends! 
H: Well, it’s a good book. It has a great message…it just has a weird ending.
E: She just goes away!
H: It just doesn’t really have a climax or a resolution. I mean it has a conflict, but it’s not really a problem-solution kind of shaped plot. It’s like problem-problem-problem!

Sometimes, your 11 year old who hates to read accidentally lets it slip that one, he’s been reading, and two, he’s been learning a lot about reading. When that happens,  just keep driving: Eyes ahead, no comment… pretend you didn’t hear. It’s for the best. Instead just take a deep breath and silently thank his teacher and the creators of March Madness. He might never be a book lover. . but he’s growing! 

 

#Sol18 March 5

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

On my way to Wegmans, I thought I’d stop by Kohl’s to get Mr. Thought a pair of much needed sneakers. To get to our Kohl’s, you drive by Target, then by an odd empty parking lot first. That odd empty parking lot is where I noticed 3 police cars as one of them drove away. Quickly.

“Hmmm.” I thought as I watched the car go into the Kohl’s parking lot.

And then the other cars sped over too.

Not sure what to do, or where to park, I wondered if I should even go shopping anymore. This is the bad side effect to a good imagination. I mean, in the movie version of this scene, people who still went in the store would most likely be killed somehow, right? I was reminded of a late-night grocery store errand last year. That time, I drove into the almost deserted parking lot, and noticed some sort of hazmat truck, people in full bodysuits, masks, long hoses, and large canisters. That night, I turned around and drove to a nearby grocery store. I know that movie, or maybe that Stephen King book. Nope.

But, somehow today, I kept driving. I ended up with a front row seat to 4 police cars surrounding an SUV, several officers talking to 3 people.

I called Mr. Thought and said, “I was going to go to Kohl’s to buy you some surprise sneakers, but. . .”

Then there was a pat down.

A handcuffing.

A riffling through Kohl’s bags and a holding up of purses.

Another pat down.

I drove away — but just to another parking spot. Mr. Thought really needed new sneakers.

 

 

#Sol18 March 4 What If?

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

What if every day were like the Sunday of spring break?
How many scones would we have for breakfast?
How much would I spend at Target?
How many seltzer waters would we go through?
How much laundry would beckon me?
How long would the vacuum sit waiting?
How clean would the counter stay?

What if every day were like the Sunday of spring break?
Would I read all the books?
Would I write thousands of words?
Would I always make Sunday dinner?
Would the sun keep shining in the blue sky for all the dog walks?
Would there always be a peaceful hour of quiet between the errands?
Would there be enough legos to build?

I think I’d like if every day were like the Sunday of spring break.

 

#Sol18 March 3 Plans & Reality

Slice of LIfe  

I am participating in the March Slice of Life Challenge: A slice a day for all of March.  You should do it too!  Thank you, Two Writing Teachers! Readers, check out their site, and start slicing!

Weekend Plans. . .  and Reality

My plan: a weekend away
with my tribe
learning at Teachers College
walking New York
Wine, there was going to be wine

My reality: a sick kid
a mom-decision
cleaning at home
missing New York
Whine, there wasn’t supposed to be so much whine