Slice of Life Day 12: Time Capsule

Here we are at Day 12 of the Slice of Life Challenge. We’re almost halfway through, friends!

I’m not much of a Facebooker anymore. I used to be on there often, commenting and posting and what-not. Now, I’m there to do two things: 1) lurk around a little bit, and 2) look back over at my memories from years past.

It was while looking over my memories that I saw a post from seven years ago. It’s almost like I had sat down to write a letter to me today. It resonates, resounds, holds true and truer:

Slice of Life Day 11: On Days Off

Today’s Day 11 of the Slice of Life Challenge. Thought I’d use today’s post to catch a mood.

Why no, I’m not spending my Saturday…

skipping my workout
checking my work email
making to-do lists
eating cookies
reading student work
ignoring my to-do lists
re-checking my work email
glued to the couch

…why do you ask?

Slice of Life Day 10: Challenge Accepted!

There I was yesterday, cruising around and commenting on some great blogs during the Slice of Life Challenge, when I came across GirlGriot’s musings about the noises she was hearing from under a grate by her apartment building. I thought…now THIS is a great story prompt, and I told her so. Before I knew it, she challenged me to write, and before I knew it, I accepted.

‘Round about this afternoon, I was fretting over my 5th grade language arts class. I had my standard lesson planned, but I could tell from their energy this morning that I was NOT going to have them engaged with Business As Usual.

I read the original post to my students and issued a challenge: can WE write those monster stories? And, just to make the challenge even more fun, can we do it with 100-word stories? Lo and behold, we all jumped into the opportunity fully and excitedly. My work is shared below. And…hop over to GirlGriot. She’s got some good stuff going on!

There’s some full-on mischief happening here. And I LOVE it.

Stacie prayed it was over when the construction crews came. She hoped the monster, with its phlegmy grumbles, was silenced. GONE.

Until she ran the disposal.

Up reached a gelatinous hand, followed by an arm, head, torso, into full corpulent, schlubby splendor.

“Who are YOU?”

“Yeah, it’s me. Morrie. Morrie Fatberg. Looks like they flushed me out downstairs, so I’ll be crashing on your couch.”

Morrie coughed, a familiar, liquid rumble that rattled Stacie’s teeth. “Ya got a Ricola?”

Stacey handed Morrie a dishwasher tab instead.

Try as she might, Stacie never COULD get that grease stain from the rug…

Do giggles count as extra words?

Want to read my kids’ work for yourself? I’ve offered them up in the comment section of GirlGriot’s post. =))

Slice of Life Day 9: Current Conditions

Here we are at day 9 of the Slice of Life Challenge! Today had me thinking: you know, even though it seems corny for stories to have the weather reflect moods in characters, I have to admit that sometimes…well, sometimes the weather gets it right.

she pondered,
upon seeing
the weather outside
as it rained, snowed, threatened
to grow bleaker and bleaker,
the environment darkening,
reflecting an accurate likeness
of the heart’s atmospheric conditions,
perhaps I can only hope this is
not a metaphor for a sad
state of affairs, but merely
a good omen – just a
harbinger that might
bear with it the
promise of
a snow

Slice of Life Day 8: Picture This

Photo-based slices seem to be my pace lately. But I’m still Slicing, still sharing, still enjoying.

The last day or two brought their fair share of enjoyment. Among the things I have to celebrate:

Second- and third-grade students coaching each other on their stories. Three Bears Coaching is my ace in the hole!

My annual batch of hamantaschen, gifted out to many of my favorite people and distributed in the teacher’s lounge because if anyone needs baked goods right now, it’s probably my colleagues!

My newest additions to the classroom: SQUISHMALLOWS. I let various students name them. Introducing, from right to left: Pickles, Cornelius, and Finn-eas. I don’t think I could have gotten any more clever!

Fourth-graders partnering up to revise their writing. I’m not giving anything away quite yet, but I’m super excited by this one!

Slice of Life Day 5: I Can’t Be The Only One

Here we are at Day 5 of the Slice of Life Challenge. I saw this particular type of post from a fellow Slicer, and try as I might can’t find the original post that inspired me. If that’s you, leave a comment and I’ll be sure to edit my post to give you “props.” But I thought it was a fun spin on a bio.

I can’t be the only one who…
…peels bananas from the bottom up.
…times her library visits by when the tote bag gets too full
…looks at the sky whenever she goes out
….thinks the best part of a pedicure is the massage chair
…routinely pep-talks herself through the day: “Okay.” “All right.”
…still puts emoticons in her texts, even though she knows darn well the emoji keyboard is right there
…is not above eating peanut butter off a spoon
…sees baking as a viable form of therapy
…can’t sit still on a telephone call
…prefers windows to AC just about any day
…finds solace in a dinner of scrambled eggs with cheese
…doesn’t actually mind the sound of cicadas each summer
…has inherited her father’s love for and facility with punning
…doesn’t get people sometimes
…just likes picking up big things and putting them down again
…can visualize TODAY as the day she’ll be her best, amazing self (until she gets out of bed)
…wonders why the other drivers on the road have to be there, or why she has to drive behind them
…needs a nap and time with a dog
…always thinks of the best thing to say three days after she’s written a thing

Slice of Life Day 4: Ten Things

  1. Looking out the window and realizing I’m level with the pine tree tops, bristles and cones swaying in the early-March winds

  2. The gentle sleeping-almost-snoring of a mama who just needs some solid rest
  3. Hugs of a kid-man-kid who’s returned home, if only for a short while
  4. Comfy shoes that make my heart happy to look at

  5. A perfectly fresh bagel, with just the right schmear of cream cheese and a slice or two of lox, brought to me by a man who I love more than I could possibly have words for
  6. A legion of strong, smart, brave women standing, at the ready, to be my feet, my mind, my heart whenever mine falter
  7. Headphones that run out of “juice” mid-walk, reminding me to hear the red-winged blackbirds staking out their springtime territory
  8. Dogs who come to the door when I return home, world-weary and ready to offer a sincere “good girl” and a well-placed butt rub
  9. A sunset-border-of-night-sky that pokes through the parking garage, grabs me by the collar, and forces me to take a look

  10. Moments. of. silence.

Thanks, as always, to the Slice of Life community for keeping me writing every day this month.

Slice of Life Day 3

Day 3 of the Slice of Life Challenge. And folks, I guess they don’t call this month MARCH for no reason. Get up, get moving, KEEP moving, lather, rinse, repeat. Because, as many of you know, Life likes to work that way.

So I’ll leave you with a couple of images from my latest walk: SIGNS of SPRING. I hope you find them as delightful and fortifying as I did.

Until later, my friends.

Slice of Life Day Challenge Day 2: On Timing

Whoo! Day two of the Slice of Life Challenge. Stick with me on this one. I promise this post has some fun in store.

When you have a group of squirrelly fourth-graders on a beautiful spring day,

And you have them for two full hours’ worth of literacy studio,

And you know that some of them have the wormies and squirmies and the like,

And you know that a movement break is more than called for,

And you reach into your improv game bag-o-tricks,

And you pull out a fun one called “Yes, let’s!”

And you tell the kids to start walking around until someone shouts a crazy suggestion,

And you tell them the proper response is to shout “Yes, let’s!” and then begin doing that thing,

And it so happens that all eighteen of you wind up on the floor crawling like babies,

And your evaluator comes in, unbeknownst to you, for an informal observation, do you freak out, apologize, and pretend nothing happened? Or do you thank the universe for its impeccable timing, dust your knees, herd everyone back to their spots and return to business as usual?

Those of you who know me can probably guess that 1) I have no pride, so 2) I figured it was a pretty accurate snapshot of how things go.

Of course, the subversive rabble-rouser in me maybe wished she had caught the conga line:

Throw our dignity over our shoulder and let ‘er rip? Yes, let’s!
Thanks to Kim K., my indomitable partner in crime, plan-time buddy and taker of this photo.

Slice of Life Challenge, Day 1: Gone Fishin’

Hooray for the Slice of Life Challenge! This is year 4 for me – which is pretty tough to believe. I’m maybe a little proud of myself for sticking with it. Now…this is a year where life is a little…googly-eyed, shall we say. So, I’m not confident I’ll make it every day. I’ll sure give it a shot, though!

Today in class, I taught my fourth-graders about forced association: the act of putting together concepts or objects that have NO BUSINESS being connected.

Today’s prompt: How is a teacher like a fishing pole?

Usually, I get the standard array of blank stares and concrete responses (“ummm…they’re both kind of tall…?”).

Not this year. This year, the kids walked in ready for abstract. They came in ready to conquer CLEVER. And they did not disappoint. I’ll let their work speak for itself.

(and let’s face it…sometimes they get away…)

Hopefully they take it!

“Teachers having better ideas or not so good ones.” Yep, these kids know me. I’ve got great ideas…AND I’ve got klunkers. They’ve seen ’em both.

Tell me that’s not perceptive for a ten-year-old.

Standards-based fishing…?

If I know more about the fish I’m catchin’, I’ll probably catch more of ’em!

My contribution to the party, inserted later on when some of my kiddos were paying attention, and some of ’em…not so much…

This one…it went DEEP, literally and figuratively. I wasn’t expecting the conversation to go HERE, but WOW.