Slice of Life Tuesday: 2015 Annual Report

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Slice of Life Small LogoI received this funky little Annual Report today from WordPress. Perfect timing! I’ll share my year of blogging with my blogging friends. After all, YOU helped make this blog what it is! Thank you so much. I’m looking forward to sharing and learning much more in 2016.

This blog was viewed about 2,900 times in 2015. There were 67 pictures uploaded. The busiest day of the year was June 28th with 53 views. The most popular post I wrote was “Reflections from the All Write Institute — #3.” (You can review that post here. It is one of my favorites, too!) My most-viewed posts came after workshops and conferences, All Write Institute and NCTE 2015. I was fortunate to attend both and I learned so much and met so many people (and fell in love all over again with my old pals).

The best day of the week to see a new post here is Tuesday. Of course! That’s “Slice of Life” day, where I post with Two Writing Teachers blog. (Check it out here.) This blog won the BEST GROUP BLOG for teachers in 2015, and I’m so happy to be a part of their world! Thank you, ladies! You rock my blogging world, that’s for sure.

The top referring sites in 2015 were: Twitter.com, Linkis.com, Facebook.com, Bookwhisperer.com (Thanks, Donalyn!), and discoveredjewels.blogspot.com (Thank you, Ms. Kelly!). People from 78 countries in all visited my site. Wow! My most active commenters were friends from Two Writing Teachers blogs. I highly recommend their blogs, as well: elsietrieswriting (lcinmo.wordpress.com), Tara Smith (ateachinglifedotcom.wordpress.com), Ramona (pleasuresfromthepage.blogspot.com), and To Read To Write To Be (jarhartz.wordpress.com).

What a wonderful year!

 

 

Slice of Life Tuesday: Today I…

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Slice of Life Small LogoToday I…

This post comes from inspiration from another Slicer today. I thought I was too busy to post, but writers need to write, so I’m writing.

Today I…taught reading, writing, and social studies geography to 2 groups of awesome 6th graders.

Today I…graded papers before I left school, to save myself the trouble of bringing a bag of work home.

Today I…mowed the front lawn. It needed it!

Today I…vacuumed the upstairs of the house. It needed it!

Today I…took the clean dishes out of the dishwasher (that have been there for 2 days).

Today I…loaded the dishwasher with another pile of dirty ware and turned the knob to “on.”

Today I…read blog posts, and WROTE THIS!

Tonight I…feel much better.

Slice of Life Tuesday: Why Write?

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“It’s misleading to think of writers as special creatures, word sorcerers who possess some sort of magical knowledge hidden from everyone else. Writers are ordinary people who like to write. They feel the urge to write, and they scratch that itch every chance they get.” — Ralph Fletcher

This is the inspirational quote I read today when I opened my “Two Writing Teachers” email post. I do love writing. Pen to paper, fingers to keyboard, photos to screen shots: all of these help me to show my passion for writing.  Thank you for reading my blog!

“Writers are ordinary people…” This part of Mr. Fletcher’s quote especially resonates with me. I’m just a girl, just a teacher, just a dreamer. Writing is a method of exploring the world. Writing is an acceptable approach to vent feelings and frustrations. Writing is a process to question others and our surroundings. Writing is a celebration of the freedom to be — whoever I want to be.

I love writing.

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“Slice of Life Tuesdays” are sponsored by the Two Writing Teachers blog site. Thank you, ladies, for the opportunity to be a “Slicer!”

 

 

“What Did She Say?” — My answers to chat questions from the past week

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I want to remember and reflect on my participation in social media chats. Chatting with others is a wonderful PD-on-my-own-time opportunity, and I am learning so much from my time with new-to-me technology. I thought it would be fun to creatively record my answers to Twitter chat questions, so I dreamed up this blog column, “What Did She Say?”  — I will share my answers to some important Twitter chat questions and opinions about current educational issues each Monday evening.  Here’s the first one!

From “Teach and Celebrate Writing” First Sundays, August 3, 2014 (#TandCwriters):

Q1: What routines and procedures do you put into place to help students be organized as writers?  A1: Set up workshop routines the first week. Keep a consistent plan/schedule. We have notebooks and 3-ring binders. Never tear out pages of notebooks!

Q2: What are routines and procedures for conferring with writers? A2: I love Carl Anderson’s work, and attended his workshop on conferring in June. I love that you compliment the writer first. I found out about Penny Kittle’s “Bless (compliment), Press (research), Address (teach)” plan for conferring. I’m stealing it!

Q3: What are routines and procedures for helping students to revise/edit? A3: Read the piece aloud! (great help) Peer editing groups, circling parts to check, highlighting. I need to look up “Express Lane Edit” by @writeguyjeff (Jeff Anderson). I also learned that long-term writing partners give support.

Q4: What routines and procedures do you have for students to share? A4: Penny Kittle’s “Symphony Share”; writing alongside a mentor text to show comparisons. I want to review the book, Write Beside Them again. There was a YouTube video, “Austin’s Butterfly critique” I want to see again. The message from the chat group was that students need more audience — more forms of sharing. I loved the idea of “Best Lines of the Week” — students each share one great line from notebook.

Q5: What writing routines of your own do you share with students? A5: I share my mentor texts, my blog, my ideas list, and my past (college) assignments. I also show risk-taking — things I tried. The chat group repeated the “BIC” way of writing: “Butt in Chair.” Just do it!

Q6: What is something new to try this coming school year? A6: I want my students to blog at school, maybe using KidBlog. I joined a writing group already, and I want to have students get together in writing groups often. I loved the idea of going to a bookstore (field trip!) for a publishing party!

Q7: What are you celebrating as a writer? A7: I am writing more, and more often; I have carved out times in my week to write. I have writing buddies now. Writing is so much fun!

Thank you for taking time to find out, “What Did She Say?” I hope this outlet will help all of us to remember to be great readers, writers, and teachers. See you next week.