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Showing posts from October, 2013

Wednesday Was One of Those Days....

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Wednesdays are weird days. Not the beginning of the week, so energy is waning. Not the weekend, so nothing to get excited about. Just kind of stuck in the middle. Ordinary. Nothing to celebrate. I stopped at the convenience store on my way home to pick up something for my lunch on Thursday. I see two of my favorite students. He was in one of my Creative Writing classes last year. Often brought his breakfast into my room to sit and chat. She moved into the district last year as a freshmen. She was lost and lonely until they started dating. Now, she is rarely without a smile. They are grabbing every package of hamburger buns off the shelf. "You can't take all those," I yell across the store. "Yes we can!" the girl giggles. Her boyfriend smiles.  "Hey, Mrs. Day, when I graduate this year, I have a present for you." Puzzled, I repeated his words, "YOU, have a present for ME when you graduate..." "Yep." "He told me

#Write2Connect

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Here I sit, wrapped in my cuddly blanket, coffee in hand, Chloe beside me, thinking about writing, thinking about all the ways it appears in my life. It's the National Day on Writing (school edition) and it seems only natural that I write. I write about my writing periodically. I've written about what I write and why I write   and again, what I write . I've written when I don't have anything to write about . I've written about tough stuff . At times I've written about the ugly times in a writing class, but usually I write about the fun stuff . I r eflect on what writer's need  and more specifically, what boy writer's need. And sometimes, I let Chloe write . But as I said in a previous post, " And, now, I'm back. Writing for me. Writing because I can't imagine not writing. Writing about life so the world (well, mostly the grandkids) knows I was here. Writing so others know I cared."   What has kept me writing this

I Just Kept Smiling

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Like this idea? Head over to Ruth's blog  and read some more. Better yet, share your own celebrations there, or on Facebook  or tweet it out using the hashtag #celebrationlu  No matter what, celebrate what you do! Monday, 7:45am I am met at the door by a student.  She just finished reading Delirium by Lauren Oliver. Now she wants to know if Alex dies at the end of the book. I just smiled. "You'll have to read the next book to find out." "Mrs. Day...." in that whiny voice only teenage girls can have. Every time I saw her, she begged for the answer. I just kept smiling. She googled a summary of Pandemonium  to see if she could find her answer. No luck. I just kept smiling. She came to class 7th hour. "Where's that book?" I point to where it's at and she goes over to get it. "I'm going to read the last pages and see!" She flips through the book, looking for her answer. She doesn't find it. "I'm

Silly Freshmen

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Monday has been designated as "Blogging Day" in my two freshmen English classes. Some Mondays we work on writing the post of the week. Other weeks we comment on blog posts written by students in some classrooms we are connecting with. It's always fun to read what's going on in other places. But yesterday, we commented on the blogs of a class of third graders in our district. "Mrs. Day, this one can't spell at all."           Do the best you can. Let me see. Ignore the spelling, their                teacher will take care of that. Just write  back to them. "Mrs. Day, this one only wrote one sentence. Why do we have to write 200 words or more"?           I'm sure they are supposed to write more. Maybe they had trouble thinking of more to write. Why         don't you ask them some questions. Mrs. Day, I don't know what this one is trying to say."           Do the best you can. Let me see. Comment back, ask them quest

Time to CELEBRATE

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JOY. My One Little Word for 2013.   "Nothing without JOY".  I have focused this year on finding the little bits of joy that often times go unnoticed and unappreciated. I found that the more I focused on the things that bring me JOY, the less I focused on the negativity. Not that I don't have negative moments, or have negative people in my life, I just choose not to focus on them. So, happily, I join in Ruth's CELEBRATE this week (and thanks for the shout out, Ruth).  This is the front of our high school. Isn't it amazing? These are window shades. From the outside you see this great CELEBRATION of our high school and our amazing students. From the inside, you see nothing. These shades block the sun and glare that come in the windows.  Drama class. Exercise ball has been a hit with kids Creative Writing: All students like to use the rocking chair when writing Creative Writing The way we read... Comfy places for ki

Why Genius Time?

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Many years ago, when I taught seventh graders, I did an activity to help me learn more about them. One boy I will never forget. He shared with me that over the summer he won a ribbon at the fair for his apple pie. He made everything himself. The filling. The crust. It stuck with me for a few reasons: He was a boy (sexist, I know). Who taught him to make pie? Why did he want to learn this? Later in the year, another boy brought me a piece of peanut butter cup pie that he made. Again, who, what, why? Another year, I had a girl who taught herself to play guitar. I've had students who aren't afraid to tear into their cars and fix something. Others who have taught themselves new languages. Last year, I had students who put together their own gaming computers. And not one of these students learned any of this in school. They read for information. They connect with others from whom they want to learn. They watch videos. They try and fail. They try again. They learn a

The Hardest Part

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Choice. It's all the rage. It's a great thing to offer kids. I let them choose their books, their speech and writing topics. Choice keeps them motivated. Choice lets them explore and share their passions. Choice. It's a good thing. Right? Then why is it so hard for kids? Right now I have students beginning research for their demonstration speeches-- but first they have to choose a topic. And students putting together a digital storytelling project---but first they have to choose a topic. There are some who seem incapable of doing that. "Mrs. Day, I don't know what to demonstrate." "Mrs. Day, I'm not good at anything." "Mrs. Day, can't I just use my last piece for the digital storytelling project?" So, we talk. We talk a lot. "What do you like to do outside of school" "What are you good at that no one knows about?" "What is an experience that really affected you?" "W