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Showing posts from March, 2015

Stuck, stuck, stuck

This Slice of Life March Challenge is not going well this year.

I've had issues with internet connection.
I haven't been able to keep up with my students' slices.
I'm not finding small moments to write about every day.
I'm experiencing what many of my students go through every day: I don't know what to write about.

I know that one of the best ways to get past writer's block is to power through it until you come out the other side.
I know that giving up too early can be a mistake.
I know that this is temporary even though it doesn't feel that way.
I know how important it is to write every day.
I know that there are always small moments worthy of reflection.

And, I'm behind on commenting on the posts of others.

I know all of this and yet I'm stuck.

I'm going to take a and-this-too-shall-pass stance. We'll see where I am tomorrow.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life, March Challenge, Day #11

No WiFi

Missed two days of writing.
The WiFi in the hotel was not working when I needed it.
So, I had to admit that I was going to miss slicing for two days.
I had to let go.
It's not about the prize.
It's about the challenge.
Pushing myself to write more.
I am behind on commenting, as well.
So, now that I've commiserated with myself,
I'll pick myself up and just start again.

Another day.
Another opportunity to get it right.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life March Challenge, Day #8

A Sampling of Student's Slice of Life Stories

Yesterday I blogged about how students were resisting the Slice of Life Story Challenge this month. Today, after a full day at the #innovategraded conference in Sao Paulo, I opened up their Google docs and discovered a treasure trove of amazing slices. Please respond in the comments. I know my students would really appreciate that!

Slice #1 - Go eat dinner “Wendy, dinner is ready!” Mom yelled out. “OK. I’m coming, just one little piece to work.”  I don’t want to miss the thing. “Well, be faster.” Then, she turned to do her “job”. Finally I finished, but I don’t want to move my poor body anymore. I’m like a snail moving so slowly. My legs are like full of the iron so I couldn't move it, but still I get into the dining room and get ready to have my dinner.
Slice # 2 - Selling and Buying My dad and I were eating dinner when suddenly he proposes that our family sells our house in Houston and buy a different one. I said, “OK...How about we get the new house in California?” Then, my mom replied…

Project Based Learning with Suzie Boss

Today was day #1 at the #innovategraded conference in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

This conference is all about innovation in education, and how to start this process both in your classroom and at your school.

Today I attended a day-long workshop with @suzieboss on Project Based Learning (PBL).

Here are my top 10 takeaways:

The teacher must plan and implement the driving question, the end product, the first day lesson, and the learning engagements along the way.When teachers are new to PBL, it's critical that they design many parts of the project for students. The driving question should be action-oriented and appeal to students' interests. The initial activity must grab students' attention. The audience for this project must be authentic and add value to students' learning.PBL is inquiry based and allows for students' individual questions.PBL is not the same as projects because the latter often do not have lasting learning value.It is not necessary to do PBL all the time. De…

Slice of Life - Take #1

I had a moment of weakness today, and a revelation. I lost my composure with my students. I was desperately frustrated. Is there even such a thing? If there is, then that’s what I was. I had a grand plan: to ignite an explosion of writing in our class. I thought my students would jump at the chance to write about snippets of their lives for at least 25 days. I wasn’t prepared for the backlash. My students didn’t buy it. They kept pushing back and no matter how hard I tried, they didn’t seem to understand the instructions. And. I. Slowly. Became. Frustrated. Then. Angry.
But because I had faith in my plan, I persevered. I was certain I could convince them that slicing every day was going to be fun. I was wrong. Here’s a dirty little secret: my students don’t like writing personal narrative. They don’t like to write about themselves.  And, if you don’t like to write about yourself then the Slice of Life Challenge will be ineffective as a way to encourage more excitement around writing. So,…