Closer to the Spirit

Archive for the ‘writing and teaching’ Category

Unicorns in Second Grade

Seven minutes:

My students wrote stories of unicorns today. forty five minutes of silence as they flew in their minds in their enchanted forests.  We shared our first sentences, standing up tall. No girliness and mumbling allowed. Cute isn’t squirming or being shy I told them. Be proud.  Wonderful listening. Magical worlds. Once upon a times. We left the classroom on our magical steeds and felt our horns begin to grow out of our heads.  The magic of writing was real. All are authors. All are creative . All are artist. Seven and eight and nine years old. Summer is galloping within our grasp and our pens create new worlds where unicorns are our friends.

Open House and Wild Things

We were hard at work making our Wild Things when news came of Sendak’s death.  This is first grader Braxton’s poem he wrote the day before:

I am a wild thing.

I look at the cheese moon

That is bright and hairy.

It chases a star squirrel,

And then Max came along,

And Boo came with me,

And Sam did too.

Here are all of the Wild Things,

some animal conversations,

and, finally, a couple of our habitats.

March 21, 2012 Writing, Teaching, Exhaustion

I’m too tired to write.  I just want to crawl in bed with a book, but I have a novel that is being published.  Social media is a strange new world, and one I wouldn’t be dealing with without Heron’s Path.

I  forget about Heron’s Path.  I forget at work trying to teach kids the difference between antonyms and synonyms and how to figure out what sentence either belongs and doesn’t belong in a paragraph.  I think they’ve come so far, but then I see how they’re just not comprehending.  I see them reading the words but not have a clue to what they mean.   And occasionally, my students become reflective for a few wonderful moments.  And all the time I’m trying to guide them to throw the switch on to learning.   More successfully at certain times than others.

Then I come home throw out tweets to the universe.  I want to read other blogs.  But right now typing for seven minutes seems like an enormous chore.  But I’m writing!!!!  Need to remember that.

If  I’m on a role, I do go longer than my seven minutes with the spirit, or the cat, or the coffee table.

Have you ever noticed how when you write,  sometimes there’s this point when you just leap in?  To get to that point is the thing!!!!

I wanted this blog to be interactive.   Someone coming here to just write.  Or someone reading what I’ve posted, or the comment of someone else, and writing their moment in time.  Thank you to the four or five people who  I think reads this.  Maybe it will evolve.

Teaching and trying to do what promotion one can when one doesn’t really know what one is doing  . . . yes, not a complete sentence . . . . something else my kids get or don’t get . . . and what I dream of doing is writing.  New story, fresh writing . . . I used to be able to teach all day and write for two or three hours at night.  That’s mainly how Heron’s Path was written.   But now I go to bed much earlier.

Data on the Coffee Table, and It’s Staying There

This moment is feeling small.  The world is bleeding.  The safety perimeter is tearing.  Winter returns with snow seizing the budding trees.  The clock is speeding into the future.  The nets are cast, but are we listening to what we pull from the sea?

So, the above is the post I started and didn’t write.  The one I referred to in my last posting as boring, though it looks like I wrote more than I thought.  I was afraid I was just writing nonsense.  Sort of listening with a poorly tuned poet’s ear; I guess I wanted something more grounded.

My present now is having my feet on the notebook with my report card data.  The afghan my sister Arline made for me between my feet and it.  More data on the coffee table.  I need to reassess a couple first graders because their reading has improved so much since a month ago when I did the BPST.  That’s cool.

I was going to get up at six and have my report cards done by this evening.  Instead I woke at 9:30, chatted with Bill, watched Midnight In the Garden of Good and Evil so I could cheat at my book club this afternoon, took a long bath and finished The Secrets of the World, went to the book club, and sewed a button on my cassock.  Yep, I have a cassock.  I don’t own it, but my name is on the hanger.  That button has taken two months to get on.  I’m always amazed at how I procrastinate on simple, simple tasks.

Report cards?  I couldn’t handle watching Colbert and balancing another computer on my lap to fill them in.  Manana.

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