Slice of Life Cats

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What is it about cats? The day is hectic. You’re up and down and in and out with chores around the house and outside. As soon as the basket is empty, the cat jumps in. And as soon as it’s full, the cat curls up on top of fresh laundry for a nap.

As you’re in and out and up and down with all the chores unfinished throughout the school week, the cats are underfoot, dancing with your steps, almost tripping you.

They’ve got food and water and their own places and spaces. But —  they’re with you, stepping with you or standing right in your path staring at you, batting at your leg as you pass by.

My black and white noisy cat meows and meows, wandering back and forth from the hall way to the couch, the hallway to the couch.

Finally, I concede, sit down, and enjoy the purr of the cat in my lap, saying, “Just take a break, would you? Pet me. I missed you all day.”

Who says cats aren’t social creatures?

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Writing Strategies:

Repetition: up and down and in and out; hallway to the couch

Details: what the cats do [laundry basket, underfoot, staring, batting, meowing

Description: underfoot, dancing with your steps

Slice of Life SOL Fridays

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SOL Friday

It’s Friday. Kids are glad school is done for the week, and teachers are glad for a break. But is it a break?  Papers to grade, lessons to plan based on what students still need to know, groups to plan on those decisions, resources to find.

I look forward to Fridays so I have time to do things I want to do and time to plan for school so my students have the best resources and instructional guidance I can provide.

Teachers are expected to do so much, and yet don’t have the time during the day to do them. They’re in front of students, conferring with students, assessing students, and providing feedback on the spot for most of the day.

But there’s always so much more student work to look at and provide meaningful feedback so students know what to do next. And what resource, lesson, graphic would help this student, that student, and the student that’s ahead?

Did you know that teachers in high-achieving countries deliver instruction sixty per cent of the day whereas American teachers spend eighty per cent of their day in front of students? Did you know that in Korea, Japan, and Singapore, teachers deliver instruction thirty-five percent of the time. The rest of the time, the teachers are collaborating, planning, studying. Read more about this discrepancy of expectations for teachers here, at Cult of Pedagogy.

One change to improve education would be to increase the time during the day that teachers have to collaborate, assess, plan, and personalize learning. That would increase the quality of that work. Right now, I do assessment, planning, and personalizing on my own time, squished in between and among my family responsibilities. There just isn’t time during the teaching day.

Even so, Fridays are a good thing. I look forward to the break and the next week because teaching is a life worth living.

If you are a teacher, how is your instructional time spent? Do you have the time needed to do and plan instructional decisions?

classroomsliceoflife

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Writing Strategies

Details: Papers to grade, lessons to plan based on what students still need to know, groups to plan on those decisions, resources to find.

Details: facts and questions: Did you know that teachers in high-achieving countries deliver instruction sixty per cent of the day whereas American teachers spend eighty per cent of their day in front of students? Did you know that in Korea, Japan, and Singapore, teachers deliver instruction thirty-five percent of the time.

Transition / Connecting Words: but, and yet, one change… that. even so

Question at end: Asking for teachers’ ideas.

Sources: Read more about this discrepancy of expectations for teachers here, at Cult of Pedagogy.

 

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Image Source:

https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2859/9994414755_027ae33696.jpg

Image: by Florin Rosoga Fridays

 

SOL Lemons

 

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life lemons

Today, our prompt was to think of a quote and connect with it, something that touched your life.

This one is so old, but it always pops up and squirts a reminder to move on.  I first remember it in a history class in college. The professor always had a ten minute discussion about dealing with life and making the world better. Those conversations were enlightening. My family didn’t talk much about the big ideas, and I enjoyed learning about other people’s views.  And I like things pleasant.

So, when life sings a sour note, and creates a bit of drama or chaos or sadness, this silly old quote reminds me to find a way to make it work.  I remember Barbara Coloroso suggesting that we help students see that “there is no problem so great that we can’t find a solution,” or a way to deal with it.

And that’s an important message for students. Keep the ideas; find a way to make it work; don’t throw it out or crumple it up.  If you need help, we have counselors and adults to help deal with the issues that tear at your heart, pulling at it until everything aches; let some one know.  Then let us help you move forward.  It’s not easy. But drinking lemonade is easier than that letting those sour feelings create continuous heartache.

What quote helps you deal with difficulties?

classroomsliceoflife

Writing Strategies:

Emotions: issues that tear at your heart, pulling at it until everything aches;

Details: remember it in a history class in college. The professor always had a ten minute discussion about dealing with life and making the world better.

Descriptions: pops up and squirts a reminder to move on; when life sings a sour note

Consonance / Alliteration: deal with difficulties

SOL Buttercups Spring Memories

March 2nd Buttercups

Ranunculus_macro

With every Spring

Creator brings

A yellow bright

Chasing fright

as petals of hopefulness

bring smiles of happiness

Signs of Spring

Joy will bring.

 

Every year when the warm weather and bright sunny days beckon each of us outside, I walk through the hillsides around our area, missing our companion, now gone, whose nose to the ground led us in circles as she sniffed for messages left by the wild creatures.

Our little Pooka dog left us with many memories, and the spring brings them back in full force. When the white Rezmut [reservation mutt] was young, she would prance ahead of us, searching for the new in the world.  My husband and I would dart into the meadow and duck beneath and behind the thickly branched sagebrush, and, barely breathing, we hid from Pooka.

Pooka would run back past us and then turn around, sniffing the ground, letting her nose find us, and wagging her tail with delight in the game.

So much fun.

Spring is joy again.

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Writing Strategies

Details: I walk through the hillsides around our area, missing our companion, now gone, whose nose to the ground led us in circles as she sniffed for messages left by the wild creatures.

Description: the thickly branched sagebrush

Assonance:  turn around, sniffing the ground

Strong Verbs:   dart into the meadow and duck

Image Source:

By Laura Brolis – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26180729

 

SOL Sun Beams

Tired after work, I needed a walk. I walked with my head down, kicking at the dust as the shadows darkened beneath the fir trees lining the road. I sighed. Suddenly, the dust beneath my feet transformed into a yellow as bold as gold. I stood up straight, looking forward and up at the turn in the road where the beams of light thrown from the setting sun engulfed the forest, creating a haloed glow against the black of evening. A mourning dove cooed behind me. I hurried forward, hoping to find something special, something left by the sun. I jogged up into the light and found it: the hope of a better day in the setting sun and a smile to return home as I remembered its beauty.

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Writing Strategies

 

Description [sight]: the setting sun engulfed the forest, creating a haloed glow against the black of evening.

Description [sound]:  A mourning dove cooed behind me.

Details: Tired after work, I needed a walk. I walked with my head down, kicking at the dust

Emotions:  the hope of a better day in the setting sun and a smile to return home as I remembered its beauty
Image Source: https://pixabay.com/static/uploads/photo/2015/11/07/11/30/sunbeam-1031201_960_720.jpg