Slice of Life SOL Friend’s Quote

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It’s hard to come up with ideas for blogging. That’s why I provide students with a  March Slice Challenge prompts beyond our notebook lists of ideas [like/hate,favorites, fun/have to, ordinary/extraordinary]. Today’s prompt is “Write a Quote from a Friend.”

And today, Sunday, is a day I check on my Twitter friends, especially those involved in Genius Hour.  Two of them [Gallit Zvi and Denise Krebs] have even co-written a book on Genius Hour: The Genius Hour Guidebook: Fostering Passion, Wonder, and Inquiry in the Classroom (Eye on Education Books).  They also sponsor a #geniushour Twitter chat on the first Thursday of the month at 6 PM Pacific.

That means I missed it last Thursday.  But my search for a friend’s quote was then easy to find.  Denise’s tweet above resonated with me. This year I’m focusing on helping my students own their learning — and decide their own assessment of their achievement towards our essential questions and standards. Some students recognize their quality work’s characteristics without much guidance; others need the scaffolding of checklists; all of them benefit from the feedback that comments in our Google Docs allow. The result is that grades are not a reward or punishment, but rather part of the learning process — and students learn to revise and improve their work, either in the current project or the next one, knowing that their best representation will be shown in that grade report, not just an average.

On Mondays my students spend part of their class time on Independent Reading or project learning.  The rest of Monday is choice: Code, Genius Hour, or Media Making. Students dig in and learn, helping and collaborating on projects or coding — not for a grade, but for their learning. It’s a busy, chattery, and sharing period that students ask for daily, but know that the next Monday is waiting for them.

So, if you’re considering Genius Hour, then also consider the amazing effect that “Just Learning” has on the passion and enthusiasm of students: the goal is learning, without a thought or worry of grades.

And, if you need an idea for blogging, just look to the quotes from your Professional Learning Network/Neighborhood [PLN].

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SOL Buttercups Spring Memories

March 2nd Buttercups

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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

#140WC 101st Holiday Gathering

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Tonight was our school holiday program.  The whole community shows up to watch each class perform. We are a small community, mostly Native American. Cameras, iPads, smartphones are constantly filming the event. Everyone enjoys watching and performing. Former students find their favorite teachers and reminisce about their “old days,” and we reminisce because we are older! They share stories let us know what’s new in their lives. It’s my favorite event because of that. At the end of the program, the Parent Education Committee and the Colville Confederated Tribes sponsor a sack of treats [oranges and candy]. Everybody looks forward to that!

Tonight was special: we researched how long our school has had a holiday program. We discovered that our town was incorporated in 1935, but that our school existed long before that. In 1913, the first Christmas event was held at the school, with the businesses of Wilbur and Almira sending boxes of treats for the children.  Wilbur and Almira are towns about thirty-five miles away. In 1913, that’s quite a distance to be sharing treats.

1913. That means, tonight could have been the 101st holiday program presented at our school. That’s special. The crowd nodded and smiled at that fact — that tradition, a part of who we are. Lem Lem [Thank you.]