Slice of Life Spring Break


Real readers find a place to read that’s cozy so they can relax and immerse themselves in the world of their tale. During lessons, they’re antsy learning new skills and they’re distracted by their neighbors. But during self-chosen reading, they’re cozy wrapped up in the wanderings in their new worlds, pulled into the their characters and connecting  to the action and conversation. They’re excited to share the antics of characters as they solve their problems. Sharing time starts with a burst of babbling we tame to take turns sharing the tales: from dinosaurs to diaries, wizards to warriors, each student spins the story or information that surprises them and keeps them reading the next day.

spring chalk

And during the short break during Chalk Doodle Granny Wacky Prize, we learn what’s really on their minds.

spring break chalk

So, grab a great read, find your cozy corner, and wander through a new world during your spring break!

Slice of Life Spring


Moment Between Worlds

I left school on Friday and noticed the barren earth in the window wells, and remembered the summer look of overflowing color splashing the view. On Sunday, I hope to find some flowers to plant. I know they’ll probably freeze, but I want to make the splash happen sooner, to brighten the entry to our little world of writing. Even a little bit helps bring cheer, a moment to pause and say, “Welcome.”


Slice of Life Basketball


It rules.

On the Rez, it rules.

Or, does it? What else rules on the Rez?

I heard some track stars racing outside my window, their coach encouraging their every step.

Yesterday, I heard laughter in Salish as the language students played a game to learn their ancestral language.

Laughter, that’s something I hear a lot in the halls and lunchroom, because laughter rules on the Rez.

Much of that laughter comes from retelling experiences — storytelling. That’s what really rules on the Rez.

Because everyone has a story to tell.

And  they can’t wait to tell it to you!

What’s your favorite story?


Slice of Life Silence

IMG_7411 silence

Morning flew by along as many students continued to finish arguments [like this one] and personalized book reports based on student reading notes shared over the month in Google Forms. Some students worked on Keynote videos based on their social justice issues. Others reviewed make-up assignments. Students helped each other and asked questions related to their current task: argument warrants or concession/rebuttal; how to download their Google Slides as images for Keynote; how to review resources for figurative language. I love the sounds of workshop time: soft whispers asking for help and getting advice from peers, keyboards clicking, the ahhhs from sharing successes and techniques, focused silence for those reading, and discussion in my small group reviewing argumentative strategies. There’s a quiet hum that fluctuates between the calm of concentration and the chatter of collaboration, a wave of sound and energy in an ebb and flow of student agency.

It was a good morning, I thought, as I considered our successes during the final five minutes of noon break. I glanced across the empty desks reflecting the sunshine softly glowing through the window’s blinds.  They seemed to say, “Are they back yet?”



I stood to greet them.



Writing Strategies:

Strong Verbs:  flew by, continued, reviewed, worked, helped, download, fluctuates, considered, glanced

Personification:  The desks seemed to say, “Are they back yet?”

Onomatopoeia:  Riiiiiiiiiiiinnnnnggggggg!

Slice of Life Cats


In the morning, the cats are antsy. They don’t want us to leave. The black and white one meows incessantly, following my husband around where ever he wanders: starting the coffee pot, cutting the vegetables and fruit for our morning smoothie, fetching the paper. Stella follows around talking the whole time, sometimes running through his feet almost tripping him.

Our other cat, a tabby named Abby, watches the whole display and waits at the back slider, hoping to wander outside to check the messages the neighborhood cats have left, yet quickly ready to dart back inside if any of them are actually in our yard.

We deeply miss having our white lab Pooka around to chase away wandering neighborhood cats, especially Bad Cat, a ferrel black one with specks of grey, torn ears, scars, and one bad eye. Bad Cat terrorizes every one, and has survived the hottest and coldest of weather for probably five years now.  Neighbors have tried to trap him; others have scared him away with pellet guns. But that Bad Cat just keeps tramping through his neighborhood territory.

And, as I step outside this morning, there is the neighbor’s cat, Thunder: black as night and most definitely the spawn of Bad Cat. I leave the antics of my own cats to be greeted by the patiently waiting [and very soft] Thunder. I had to take a picture and pause to pet him before leaving as he sits on the steps waiting for attention.

Cats. They’re just there to help us slow down and enjoy small moments, because we don’t have nine lives.



Writing Strategies

Strong verb forms: meows, following, cutting, fetching, watches, wats, waner, dart, chase, survived trap, scared, tramping

Description: a ferrel black one with specks of grey, torn ears, scars, and one bad eye.

Assonance:  tabby named Abby

Alliteration: [p] take a picture and pause to pet him

Slice of Life The Cow

public domain10039-a-black-and-white-cow-grazing-in-a-field-pv

As I drove by a field with fresh greenery spreading out for miles, I glanced at the fenced-in area on hillside below the road. It was filled with white cows, not the usual “dairy cows” of black and white [above] but white cows and brown cows, all munching and moseying at their slow and gentle pace.


Two white cows were separated by a large basalt boulder, a haystack rock the size of a large dump trpublic domain800px-Yeager-Rock-Erractic-PB110039uck that was dropped by a glacier twenty thousand plus years ago.

I slowed down to see the cow behind the rock lift its head to as if moo-ing.

The cow on my side of the rock looked at the boulder as if to say, “I hear you. Are you there, somewhere?”

The first cow repeated, and as I passed by above them, the cow near me seemed to twist its head as if learning that mystery of knowing something is there though it can’t be seen. Its brown eyes staring, questioning.

Learning. Knowing about the world. Even cows learn.

Writing Strategies

Description [sights]  field with fresh greenery spreading out for miles,

Alliteration: munching and moseying



Images: Public Domain