SOL17 DoodleaDay 23 Simple Shapes

DoodleaDay_simple_shapes

Do you remember KISS?  Not the band, the idea: Keep It Simple, Straightforward.

Our lives are so busy, so flooded with information, and for those not in the president’s world, so disheartening.

So stop a minute. Take a deep breath.

Look at who is around you, and listen. Really look at them– who they are and think how what you say and do has a ripple effect on them.

Now, make their day.

Kindly look around.

Invest in the people:

Say something kind,

Support their day.

Imagine if we did that whenever the world seems crowded and crashing?

Imagine if we started our classrooms in a circle of kindnesses shared, a talking circle reflection of kindnesses remembered and acknowledged from the previous day. Just a few minutes, but so powerful to calm the classroom climate.

I used to start each day with a talking circle, passing around a friendship rock so each person could pass or present a gratitude from the day before or a hope for this day. It was an honor to  the culture in the community, and a positive way to start the day.

Today’s doodle of simple shapes and shading was inspired by Pam Markell, who’s tweeted doodle yesterday of an “icon she wished for“felt like a much needed one:

Zen Quiet.

Thank you Pam, for  the calm, the quiet suggestion.

I wish to everyone, a quiet time to settle your self, your life.

 

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Simple Shapes/Shading

Doodling Songs:

Beatles: All You Need Is Love

SOL17 DoodleaDay 22 Wonder



Wonder

In the distances

Of the universe

In the between

Of what is,

Our mind

Plucks from it

To intuit

Thoughts

Of our own

Through our

Wonder

……………….Sheri Edwards @grammasheri

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Wonder is one of my favorite words: it keeps us learning.

Reflect Curiosity and Wonder…

Is one of my phrases to live by.

I walk, I wander, I wonder.

Why does the meadowlark sing from that wire each spring? Is it the same meadowlark?

Why does the water flow that way?

How do they do that dance?

How are the plants and animals changing due to climate change?

What plants and animals will move into our area now because of climate change? What bugs will bug us?

How can I create my backyard to help wildlife?

How can I build an herb garden?

But these days, I’m always asking: What will the president do next? Why? How is that reasoning an American value? Why do rich people get to take from the poor, when we’ve already said as Americans that we want to help? Why? I wonder daily. 

It’s especially difficult when my second favorite motto to live by is:

Go boldly and scatter seeds of kindness.

I thought we were a kind nation, helpful to all. I must now go boldly and continue to have an active voice to speak up.

Who knows, maybe I’ll eventually understand this is all for the better…

Hmmm. I wonder… will I ever believe that?

No.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Word Doodle: Contrasting Colors
Doodling Song: Let the Circle Be Unbroken written by Johnny Cash, sung here by Nitty, Gritty Dirt Band

SOL17 DoodleaDay 19 Best Friend


New puppies are such a joy mixed with frustration while filled with laughter and unconditional love.

Every time I see a dog and its family, I miss our best friend. We recognize those with “kind eyes” and think again about perhaps finding another Rezmutt to tug at our hearts and make us walk twice a day. A dog is man’s best friend, and they require the continuous care of a best friend. Unlike our cats [whom we also love dearly]– they only require a huge bowl of food and a big bowl of water if we need to leave town.  But dogs are different; they need your company and to tag along, not content to sleep all day and night until you return. Nope: they are part of you and part of you wherever you go. A dog owner’s entire itinerary is completely different than dogless people: walks, pet friendly hotels, walks, fetch, tug-o-war, sniffs, walks…are planned events! And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

So… we’ve been talking about it, but still…we miss the best dog ever:

We loved our Rezmutt: reservation mutt~ from the Colville Indian Reservation where I taught. Here’s how she came be ours for thirteen years:

And she grew old with us:


And after hundreds of miles of walking and playing, swimming and napping with always a tail wag and eager kindness, she left us.

And we still miss those kind eyes.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a Photo; Add Caption

Doodling song: Dog Beach Jazzooo by Doug Robinson

SOL17 DoodleaDay 18 How To– Share



3.18.17 How To Share

I miss teaching, being in the classroom where students look to the teacher and each other to learn together. I miss how students huddle together to piece together what they are to learn to create authentic work– helping write a blog post to build awareness about the problem of child labor around the world, for example. They share facts, determine the best relevance, and choose the language that makes their point– together in peer review before publishing.

I also miss the one type of meeting that is valuable: our Professional Learning Teams, where we discuss student work and student needs [of all kinds]. We share what worked in each of our classrooms and planned for next steps to help students move forward. Sometimes we planned family conferences to work together with families; sometimes we created graphic organizers for a group of students who needed more structure to learn an objective [such as including 5Ws in writing [who, what, when, where, why]. When we meet again, we reflect on what worked and revise accordingly. It’s a continual process of improvement and innovation.
Both of these actions by groups of people brought diverse people together to share, and with each participant’s perspectives and experiences, better ideas for next steps developed. Sharing with others improves our work and our world.

How Sharing Innovates [ and Why Everyone Matters: For instance, Elders, People from other countries [immigrants, visa-holders]

Have you heard about the amazing new battery? Goodenough Introduces New Battery Technology/ University of Texas

“Goodenough’s latest breakthrough, completed with Cockrell School senior research fellow Maria Helena Braga, is a low-cost all-solid-state battery that is noncombustible and has a long cycle life (battery life) with a high volumetric energy density and fast rates of charge and discharge. The engineers describe their new technology in a recent paper published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.”
John Goodenough is 94 years old. 

Maria Helena Braga, research fellow, hails from the University of Porto in Portugal.

Imagine if they and their team had not been able to work together? 

Why wouldn’t they be able to?  Immigration bans, protectionism, nationalism. If we build walls, ideas don’t mesh and re-emerge as a benefit to all of us. America is turning away from what made us great: diversity!

Here’s why:

How Diversity Makes Us Smarter shows how diversity encourages us to work harder, be creative, and seek alternatives; it stimulates innovation.

And, hopefully, the elder John Goodenough would not have horrendous health insurance rates and enough coverage to maintain his health and the mind that held the history and facts about glass lithium. Hopefully, he didn’t need Meals on Wheels.

America is supposed to be mostly Christian, but all religions, and those not religious but spiritual [including atheists] hold a basic truth that keeps the human race alive: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It means caring about each other — and helping our fellow humans. This belief made America great.  Shouldn’t that basic value be our guide? How to get back to caring, sharing, and justice? That’s the biggest How To.
~~~~~~~~~~

Penned

Thoughts

Imagined,

Ideas shared,

Joined in a journey

To live dreams together,

To better the world

For all.

( ..)φ
For all

Live

Beside

In community

Thriving in thoughts,

Imagined understandings

Of acceptance

That’s penned.

( ..)φ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
NOTE:

Survival of the individual goes to the fittest, but societies only thrive through cooperation and acceptance. We work together or perish.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a How To
Doodling Song Woodstock– Joni Mitchell
“We are stardust; we are golden; billion year old carbon”

SOL17 DoodleaDay 16 -Hopeful To Dos

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What do you do when the world seems to be falling apart in hate, the opposite of the god of love?

Why is the world falling apart? See Bill Moyers on Fascism and What can we do? See the Guardian’s How to Survive Gaslighting Manipulation

What do you do?

Keep your self grounded and connected!

Know that you do know the facts! 

Today’s DoodleaDay by Royan Lee suggested that we create four bulleted lists– with doodled bullets.

What better list than one that grounds me to daily options that encourage connections and creativity?

On the left are things I usually do every day in some way. On the right, are evening doings with my best friend and husband of thirty years. We also start the day with coffee, cats, and breakfast, and I didn’t get that into my list– but that evening time helps us to understand our world and our place in it – together.

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Scott and Sheri at “Clover” 2017

In the center of my DoodleaDay are two lists which are also very important to me:

  • Discover, my version of “stop and smell the roses”
  • Protect the Earth, especially since it’s now up to us

An exciting thing happened today on my walk; the usual dry or  trickling Fiddle Creek was flowing free again. The wind through the trees and the rushing of the water mean spring is here.

IMG_3811_fiddlecreek.JPG

And while grounding myself in my Twitter PLN, I ran across this BookCreator tweet:

I have BookCreator on my iPad, but had never used it. What a great opportunity to be creative and join others in creating a book in a one hour Twitter Chat. What an awesome idea, Mark Anderson!

So step by step, people followed the tasks to create a book that will be collated by Mark and placed in iTunes!  And now I know how to create both a pdf and an ePub using Book Creator. Here’s a pdf you can view of my part: Sheri’s BookCreator PDF. Thanks again,  Mark Anderson!

I connected with others to collaborate on a project as part of my “Daily” list of hope.

How about making your own lists to follow for Daily, Evening, Discover, Protect to help you stay grounded? Or perhaps you support all the changes? You could make four lists too. Maybe, we’d find some commonalities. Maybe.

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Feet firm,

Head high, not too;

Hands open, outstretched.

 

Facts firm,

Heart welcoming;

Mind ready, confident.

 

Home loved,

Family too;

Grounded, spirit sound.

 

Evil stopped,

Hope now renewed;

Force strong, it is.

Love lifts

One another;

Together, we stand.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Bulleted Lists

Doodling song we need, and another favorite:

Here Comes the Sun by George Harrison / Beatles

SOL17 DoodleaDay 15 Blowin’ In The Wind

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I spend time each day to learn from others by reading their ideas linked to in tweets on Twitter. Before November 8th, this daily activity inspired me and my work; the twitter feed offered the opportunity to share, learn, grow, reciprocate, and remix to make the world a better place.

After November 8th, I took some time off. I found the world had shifted off the humane course of a world seeking peace– seeking liberty and justice for all. It careened of a cliff and away from but a call to:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

~Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson

I don’t know if you felt it, that tremble under your feet that knocks you off balance; a feeling of dread that the world beneath your feet is crumbling away. Before November 8th, our country opened up that joyous word: freedom — it acknowledged and upheld differences; it celebrated a world that includes everyone. Yes, places in the world were still horrific, and the world was trying to help that. Yes, sometimes the opportunities were not available as easily for some than others. Yet, we were as a country working on those. We were not perfect, but we were open; we had avenues to take to promote freedom and justice for all.

Then we elected oligarchs, white supremacists, anarchists, illiterates whose sole purpose is to disrupt and control.

I thought that the Republicans were American patriots — that they would see the evil in the actions and the power negating freedoms, but now they are complicit.

I am a fool; I thought our government of the people, by the people, and for the people through our elected representatives would govern for all the people.

I am a fool.

Today, I looked at the blogs of people I follow on Twitter. One post, My Un-Representative by Alan Levine [@cogdog] really hit my heart- the ideas touched exactly how I’m feeling.

Look at the graphic at the top of the post — this is a Wikimedia Commons public domain image representing the House of Representatives, 2017.

houseofrepresentatives2017_publicdomain.jpg

There are, indeed, more Republicans [red] than Democrats and others [blue].

Yes, we elected them, but how did we elect them? In fact, the Republicans selected us, the voters by rigging the voting districts. It’s called gerrymandering, and this January, 2016 Washington Post article explains this concept and this fact [bold, mine]:

The GOP scored 33 more seats in the House this election even though Democrats earned a million more votes in House races. Professor Jeremy Mayer says gerrymandering distorts democracy. (The Fold/The Washington Post)

I knew gerrymandering existed, but did not think it was that bad, and in fact, I thought my state [Washington] was fair with a bi-partisan system. It turns out I’m wrong: Read the DailyKos article on why this doesn’t work either.

Some resources to correct the effects of gerrymandering:

End Gerrymandering

The Fold/The Washington Post

Brennan Center for Justice

FairVote

Still, despite knowing about gerrymandering, I’m still a fool. Because although there are more red than blue representatives and senators, I believed they represented ALL the people, not just their party.

Yes, I thought the people elected still had to be Americans and consider all Americans in their elected responsibility as my representative in the House or Senate.

freedom_iconsre Yes, I believe in our freedoms, our rights, and the freedom to live one’s life in one’s own way.

That means that our representatives need to consider all the people, to hold up those rights for all Americans. In the past, we have expected our rights to extend to anyone in our country. But that was then, now we have the inhumane, unAmerican travel ban.

Since we all live with others, freedom comes with responsibilities. One of those is to respect the freedoms and ideas of others, which I certainly expect my congresspersons to do.

respect_iconsre

Respect means listening to and accepting other ideas, tolerating that which is different, and acknowledging ways to allow those differing ideas a voice and a life in our complex and dynamic communities. I expect this of our elected officials in Congress.

In my classroom, it means we have a talking stick, a Native American way to hand off a time to share and give one’s voice [and everyone has a  voice to solve an issue].

compromise_iconsre

Another responsibility key to our democracy is compromise. We find common ground so that our country of diverse ideas and cultures can live together in peace and respect. I expect that elected officials work together to compromise so all people are represented, not just the elected person’s party.

And in my classroom, sometimes we compromise on how we spend our  time– some students want more time with the teacher and others want to work in their own small groups. I shorten up my part, and then students set their goals and work in the areas and ways that best help them succeed in their projects.

cooperation_iconsre

In order to compromise, listening and understanding respectfully is a must and so is cooperation. I expect that when a law is created, that bi-partisan cooperation takes precedence over party political manipulation.

In my classroom, students and I cooperate– giving each other ideas and feedback on our writing or videos or blogposts. We help each other be successful.

collaboration_iconsre

Sometimes issues are so complicated, that we need to collaborate to get things done — the people we elect need to research and present different ideas to each other in order to analyze what would work best to solve the issue in cooperation and compromise.

In the classroom, sometimes students have different jobs [researcher, interviewer, composer] and sometimes they have parts of topics for which they are responsible for so when their team meets, everyone has part of the information needed to complete a project. That’s collaboration, which then requires cooperation and compromise respectfully to consider and solve the big picture issue.

doodleaday_iconssre_freedomI know these concepts: freedom, respect, compromise, cooperation, and collaboration work together — and I know that they work because that’s how things happen in  the real world.

So I’m expecting the elected officials, Democrat, Republican, Independents, work together for all Americans, and not just for their party.

How about you?

Look for and support those officials who seek each other out and begin the listening process to uphold the Constitution and our American values which are now under siege by the current and very lost administration. Help them find the way back to the great America, the one that fought for and created laws — not for order — but for liberty and justice for all.

The answer is blowing’ in the wind — and we must listen in freedom for all to find the answers together.

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Maybe just you can,

Maybe you say,

Maybe you shut me up,

Maybe you pray your way.

Maybe you slam the door

Maybe you build a border

Maybe you block me out

Maybe you hear my shouts.

Maybe I stand louder

Maybe you can’t ignore

Maybe in the crying

Maybe you’ll feel your heart.

Maybe you’ll open up,

Maybe you’ll listen,

Maybe you’ll see the person

Maybe you’ll step up.

Maybe you’ll open a window,

Maybe you’ll open a door,

Maybe you’ll take my hand,

Maybe together we stand.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: icons: metaphors for concepts

Doodling Song: Peter, Paul, and Mary Blowin’ in the Wind

House of Representatives 2017 Image: “United States House of Representatives 2017” is a Wikimedia Commons image place in the public domain.

SOL17 DoodleaDay 14 Inspire Word Art

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Inspire

Involvement

Necessary;

Sprout

Partial

Ideas–

Render

Excellence

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Classrooms of inspiration live by student involvement, sprouting partial ideas, and working together to render excellence for projects that help make the world better — or maybe just make the classroom better.

That climate is rendered by a teacher willing to give students agency — the belief in student abilities to work out their own solutions. It’s a climate filled with creation rather than compliance.

Project-based, inquiry learning allows students to take control of the curriculum in ways that the standards and targets are met in different ways by different students, depending on how the students choose their path to solutions.  Good sources for project-based learning are found at the Buck Institute for Education [BIE]. For projects based on immigration: see here.

Another way to think about classroom curriculum is to create the environment for students to experience the learning targets and discuss their learning in a constructivist way. Seymour Papert explains this here. A simple way to say this is:

“The good way to learn is to use it now.” Seymour Papert

A basic example in the language arts class can occur for teaching simile. Read this book to students of any age: Quick as a Cricket by Audrey Woods. After enjoying the book, reread the text and discuss how the author uses word choice to create meaning. And discuss the format of the sentences using that word choice to create meaning. Students soon can write their own, explaining their comparison, meaning, word choice, and grammar [like/as] to create their vivid descriptions. Students use the book to use their own language to learn by doing, and then learn the name for this figurative language: simile.

Another way to inspire classroom climate and learning is to use music. I just discovered this from Amy Cody Clancy today which provides suggested music for different content and context: Songs To Use For History / Literature.

Another way to include music is to find music related to students’ lives. My teaching career lived in a Native American community, and we were lucky enough to have our own celebrity, the late Jim Boyd, Colville Tribal Chairman and role model for our students. He is so missed for his leadership, his community actions, and his music.

Here is one of my favorite songs [I think I have all of his music] — which can inspire many discussions and help build relationships.

My Heart Drops, But I’m Proud by the late Jim Boyd, Colville Tribal Chairman and musician

 

What inspires your life and work?

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today – Word Art

Doodling Song: My Heart Drops, But I’m Proud by the late Jim Boyd