Best. Day. Ever.

sol #SOL

 

The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action. ~Herbert Spencer

Best. Day. Ever.

Everyday in the month of April my ELA class begins with a mentor poem.  We read the poem. We notice things about the poem. We imitate the poem.  We share our results. Eventually, the students will create their own poetry anthologies and choose a poem to read or recite to the class.  

I have been doing this unit for several years now with a few changes to the poems I present to the class.  I usually get some of my best writing during this month. I am not sure if by April, my students are just better writers or the poetry form is less threatening, but I don’t get too much resistance.

Today, our mentor poem was “Foul Shot” by Edwin A. Hoey.  It is filled with action and suspense. The classroom protocol is that I put a mystery amount of minutes on the timer, and the students are free to remain at their desks or move around the room to work.  When the timer when off today after about 10 minutes there was a rousing sigh followed immediately by voices begging for more time. Who am I to stand in the way of creativity? I gave them more time to write.

As if that wasn’t enough joy for one day, our next activity was reading a text set about Wild Horses.  The students worked with partners to read the articles, create a claim, and list evidence they could use in an argument essay.  They only had to develop an outline, not write the essay.

As I meandered around the room, I heard lots of good conversations about what should be done with the wild horses that can no longer sustain themselves on the lands where they roam. So what’s the big deal?  

When the class was dismissed and was walking to their next class they were arguing their claims!

Can’t get better than that!

Carpe Diem

sol #SOL    Grand-Slam

 

Enjoy every moment; you never know when things might change. ~ Natalie Imbruglia

Sometimes when you don’t plan you end up having the best time. Take last Saturday for example. My husband and I kept tossing around ideas for what we were going to do once we tackled a few things on our “to do” list. Much to my surprise one of my colleagues emailed me saying she had two extra tickets to the Phillies/Marlins 6:05 game. I told Chuck of the offer, and we looked at each other a couple of times before deciding to seize the moment. What was our hesitation? Well you see the weather was not exactly baseball worthy. It was cold and a little windy.

We bundled up, packed a cooler bag, and set off for Citizens’ Bank Park. We looked more like we were going to an Eagles’ game just in red rather than midnight green. We were decked out in hoodies, hats, scarves, and winter coats. I even took a blanket! The drive down was uneventful, and before you know it we were entering the stadium and receiving a free t-shirt! We only had a short walk on the concourse to get to our seats in the right-center field. We were only a hop, skip and a jump from the bullpen. There really isn’t a bad seat in the whole ballpark!

The best part of the night was that the Phillies won 20 -1, and we got to witness two grand slams! So glad we decided to brave the weather and go to the game, if not we probably would have been asleep on the couch before the game was over.

More Than Enough

sol #SOL Tuesday

 

Atelophobia – the fear of imperfection, of not being enough

Be kind to yourself.
Use your “company” manners.
Don’t let your own mean words
derail your journey.

Change the tapes
that play in your head.

I should have, I didn’t,
I can’t, I won’t, I’m not…
good enough
pretty enough
thin enough
smart enough
athletic enough
rich enough

ENOUGH ALREADY!

Look into the mirror,
past the imperfect skin,
not quite white enough teeth,
too thin or too full lips,
unruly eyebrows.

Keep looking into your eyes,
deep into your eyes,
into your soul
into you.

Who do you see?
A dreamer?
A creator?
An innovator?
A finisher?

Be that person.
That’s who you are –
more than enough.

To My Fellow Slicers

31-day-streak-with-border     #SOL18 Day 31

 

Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try. ~ Unknown.

Dear Fellow Slicers,

We made it! Thank you to each and every one of you for helping me complete this challenge.

Many days I perused your blogs in search of inspiration, and I always found a new idea, format, or topic on which to hook my keyboard. You are an amazing group of writers.

Thank you for your thoughtful feedback. I learned more about giving feedback myself. There is a big difference between commenting on the work of my students and commenting on the work of accomplished writers.

Many people in my life asked me why I was doing this challenge; they didn’t quite understand. So I found myself asking myself the questions, “What is a slice?” “What are these things I’ve been writing about?”  This is what I came up with.

S – something large or something small
L – lifted from lives of one and all
I – inspired by individuality or imitation
C – cause for concern or celebration
E – ending with a sense of accomplishment

I won’t promise, but I am going to do my best to remain part of the SOL community by posting and responding on Tuesdays. I hope to see many of you there. If not….see you next year!

Mary’s Son

sol#SOL18 Day 30          Good-Friday-Pictures

Today I am trying my hand at a 34-word story. Inspired by Kelly Gallagher and Fran Haley.

From Bethlehem to Nazareth she watched Him grow. Mary knew His life would change the world. Her Son. She silently watched as Jesus carried his cross to Calvary where He died for our salvation.

Whether you are celebrating Easter, or Passover, or nothing at all, I wish peace, and joy, and the feeling of hope that spring brings to us each year.

 

Play Ball!

sol  #SOL18 Day 29    Phillies

Baseball was, is, and always will be to me the best game in the world. ~ Babe Ruth

Today is one of my favorite days of the year. Opening day brings me back to growing up in Philadelphia at a time when home games were only broadcast on the radio. We would listen to Richie Ashburn, By Saam, and then Harry Kalas on transistor radios sitting outside on humid summer nights. From Veterans Stadium to Citizens Bank Park, from Mike Schmidt and Tug McGraw to Darren Daulton and John Kruk to Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, and now Aaron Nola and Rhys Hoskins, I have loved them all. This is my ode to Opening Day.

Grapefruit League
Bullpen
Diamond
Dugout
Field
Homeplate
Mound
Boys of Summer
Bat
Ball
Cap
Glove
Helmet
Spikes
Heart of the Lineup
Bunt
Catch
Pitch
Slide
Steal
Throw
Ducks on the Pond
Curve ball
Change-up
Fastball
Knuckleball
Off-speed
Slider
Pennant Race
Fly ball
Grand slam
Homerun
Line drive
Pop fly
Strikeout
Play Ball!

Free Time

sol#SOL18 Day 28

Given that many of us work more than eight hours a day and five days a week, that free time is precious. ~ Michael Allen

I am free today.
I can play today.
I just don’t know what to do.

One voice says “could.”
One voice says “should.”
Which one should I listen to?

I have a “to-do” list.
But there’s things I’ve missed.
Don’t want to end up feeling blue.

So I will do a little of this
then a thing that I miss.
The best of both – it is true!