Slice of Life Starts Tomorrow

Tomorrow is the beginning of the March Slice of Life writing challenge sponsored by the Two Writing Teachers.  This is the tenth year the Two Writing Teachers have sponsored this writing challenge and this will be my second year participating.  

Participating in the daily challenge last year changed my writing life and transformed the way I teach writing. I have more empathy when students are at a loss for ideas.  I have a greater understanding for the need to stay on topic.  I have grown to understand the importance of feedback, especially in terms of compliments.  All of this because of the Slice of Life challenge.

It is still daunting to think about writing a post a day.  The pressure weighs heavy on my mind as I think about the challenge.  But as with all good things, the growth is the most when the work is the hardest.  And so I signed on for another year of writing growth.  I am ready, willing and able.

What about you?  Are you ready to grow and learn as a writer?  There is still time to sign up here.

Family Joy

This morning I am back home basking in the memories of the weekend away with my children and grand-babies.  It was a weekend planned to be spent simply being together, doing not much more than eating, playing games, taking walks, snowshoeing in the woods, and then eating some more.  
I think these photos capture the joy better than any words I could write while I recoup this morning.

Bebe (Grandma) pushes her babies in the new sled she bought for them Christmas.
They both napped in there while we pushed the sled on the snowy Maine roads.

50 degrees and sunny in Maine in February?
Soaking up the sunshine and warmth!

While snowshoeing we found a cute little snowman built by a previous hiker.
This is our face when the dog decided to jump on top of the snowman and cause it to tumble down.

This epitomizes my one little word – JOY!

Thank you to The Two Writing Teachers for hosting a community that supports writing teachers!

Morning Surprises

As an instructional coach, one of my daily duties is to greet children when they arrive in school. As I stand in the entryway I say hello to each child, stating their names if possible. I judge this personal greeting sets the tone for the day for these kindergarten and first grade students and helps to create a sense of community in our building. I love this duty so much that I consider it a privilege and not a duty to welcome the children each and every day.  It is here that I get to discover all of the wonderful happenings in the student’s lives: birthdays, new shoes, funny hats, and the joy of the appearance of the first wiggly tooth.  Somedays I am also privy to the sad news of the broken arm that ends the soccer season or the loss of the beloved family pet. 
Last week I heard a first when a student proudly proclaimed that her dad became a US citizen the day before. The child was beaming from ear to ear and the pride was evident in her voice. Before I could respond with a wow, she hopped off down the hall to presumably share the happy news with her classroom teacher.
I read many articles about the importance of greeting our students at the door each morning, but when I dwell of all of these experiences I question who benefits the most – the students or me?

Thank you to The Two Writing Teachers for their Tuesday Slice of Life blogging community.

Who Am I as a Writer? a’la Jennifer Serravallo

Last Friday I received my copy of Jennifer Serravallo’s The Writing Strategies Book.  I was like a kid in a candy shop as I opened the box quickly, eagerly perusing the contents. As I was flipping through the pages I was drawn to an illustration at the beginning of the chapter on engagement titled: Who Am I as a Writer?  Before I even read the caption I thought about myself as a writer.  I made a plan to get out my markers and make my own little sketch.  As I was doodling I learned a little about myself as a fledgling writer.  I reflected upon the areas I feel confident and where I believe I can grow.  I thought about my favorite places to write and pondered my favorite topics. I am not certain whether Jennifer Serravallo intended for others to draw a picture as shown in the book, but I appreciated the opportunity for reflection and the opportunity to discover what makes me tick as a writer.  

As a coach of kindergarten and first grade teachers I can see the benefit of doing an activity such as this with the youngest of writers in my building.  I can already envision the cute little drawings of our emergent writers capturing their favorite place to write, their favorite tools to write with, and even what makes it hard or easy to write.  I imagine the rich conversations that will ensue about these sketches as the students chat about themselves as true writers and authors. 
Thank you Jennifer! This book is already a hit with me!  

I am so grateful to the Two Writing Teachers for hosting the Slice of Life blog as well as their community of writers that share a passion for writing.