D is for Differentiation

This teaching concept has always been tricky for me. There are four different ways to differentiate according to Tomlinson:

Content

Process

Product

Learning Environment

I will direct you to this resource which is amazing: https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/starter-kit-differentiated-instruction/

Cult of Pedagogy always has high quality content as well. I trust using anything from this website in my own classroom.

C is for Checks for Understanding

Checks for understanding in the classroom often look like exit tickets – a short assessment usually on paper. Exit tickets are usually 1-5 questions to check to see if the lesson objective was achieved.

Exit tickets can also look like a Google Form now too.

Or the answer to a question before leaving the room or lining up.

It can also look like student conversation.

Writing is an easy way for students to show what they understood.

Want to see more? Here is a whole Google Slides presentation about the concept: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1T4_RhlmLzWrry9NLQTaDf31Fr5gn_-90z10FovA0HIk/edit?usp=sharing

A is for Active Learning

I learned a long time ago that students cannot sit for long periods of time. This notion applies to people who are 5 and 50! Adults can sit longer than kindergarteners (sometimes) but still need choice and movement.

I learned from Dr. Jean to have students cross the midline of their body to reenergize. For my adult meetings I learned to incorporate brain drainers.

Students need to be engaged. Sometimes this looks like brain work and sometimes it is movement.

I always like for students to make judgements and place themselves physically in different part of the room to “show” their answers.

What’s My Next Step for April? #SOLC Day 31

Photo by Bich Tran on Pexels.com

Today is the last day of the Two Writing Teachers blog challenge for March. I love challenges and am always making plans for what is next. Lately, that has felt a little trickier.

Late last week I almost didn’t post. I just didn’t feel like it. I knew on this last day I would question that decision if I didn’t follow through with my plan.

I am thankful I posted every day. Having a theme to fall back on was a good strategy for me. I also enjoy writing the Weekend Coffee Shares.

As we move forward, my question is:

What are your plans for April?

Here is what I have lined up for April so far:

  • Happy Camper Writing Club with Nicole Rivera
  • Poetry month – Two Sylvia Press prompts are coming to my inbox starting tomorrow
  • Plan for Storyaday May
  • Sarah Selecky daily writing prompts
  • #100dayproject (starts April 7th)
  • Interactive class about personality taught by me (TBA)
  • Bad A$$ money book club
  • Tarot class
  • Continue to interact with my writing communities

What I am Thinking About:

+ Creating a small writing class focused on Natalie Goldberg writing exercises and retreat components. (Thanks Chari!)

+How to continue the important conversations that need to occur

+ It’s Llama Tuesday!!! The llamas are having a party today. Celebrate accordingly.

Currently….#SOLC Day 30

CURRENTLY…

Loving being at home. I write, I read, I have lots of Zoom calls, and I am back to running.

Wanting my library to be open.

Thinking about what will happen next – all out of my control of course, but I do wonder.

Wondering if I will go back to school this school year

Watching movies, Making the Cut, The Gentlemen, Survivor

Reading novels again.

Drinking/Eating black coffee, beer, tequila, lots of ice water

Craving going out to dinner and physical books

Planning interactive classes, writing classes, and bigger projects

Worrying about uncertainty – the unknown time line isn’t overly concerning me yet, but it is on my mind. I also occasionally worry that the internet will go down. I am not sure I have any new notebooks here – I think they are all at school!

Needing novel recommendations – back to the book podcasts!

Procrastinating unpacking and setting up the second bedroom.

Thankful for a healthy family, fast internet, plentiful toilet paper and food, Zoom, my online communities, free classes and challenges, and writing.

Thanks to https://tomasevichtales.wordpress.com/ who reminded me of this fun format!

Weekend Coffee Share #SOLC Day 29

A Cup of Coffee and a Conversation

Join us for some coffee time!

Welcome back to Sunday.

If we were having coffee I would tell you my introverted lifestyle has not changed much due to the lock down. Since luckily I am not sick and neither are any people close to me that I love ( so far) we are just waiting to see what happens. People seem to not be following the rules and more people are getting sick. I am not to return to school until after April 26th at this point.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I read three novels this week within 3 days. My kindle is not as easy to navigate as my book shelves I have found. I have a lot of nonfiction. I will need to explore the Overdrive app more.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I wrote every day. I have lots of prompts to choose from.

If we were having coffee I would tell you I started running again. This is a big thing. I have stayed away from running for a long while. I ran last summer but when I made it to a 13 mile run I stopped. That was the goal and I acheived it and it was over in my mind.

If we were having coffee I would ask you what is next for you?

March has been FULL. But what is next on your creative list? There are many challenges in April you can take part in especially in the areas of poetry.

One thing I am participating in is Nicole Rivera’s Happy Camper Club. It even has a snappy happy name! You may know her name from her podcast, “Stop Writing Alone.”

The Happy Camper program is a community and support that will be focusing on a different writing aspect every day.

Here are Nicole’s Words about it:



On Mondays I PlotEach Monday I will host a live web call with attendees where we will discuss plots and plans. Mondays will be for goal setting, story structure, and other discussions related to the writing project(s) we are tackling during the month.
On Tuesdays I WriteTuesday will be all about getting words on the page.  I will host write-ins, writing sprints, and provide writing boosts (mini prompts to help writers get unstuck during the word mongering of the day).
On Wednesdays I DrinkWednesdays will be for support and chat. I will host a coffee hour live webinar for the attendees to check in with me and each other concerning how their week is going so far. We will decompress, celebrate our wins, and share our struggles.
On Thursdays I EditWhether the Happy Campers are drafting or working on rewriting during the month of April, all writers need to edit at some point. On Thursdays this April, I will be sharing tips with the group that they can either use immediately, or collect to use at the end of the month. Thursday will likely be the quietest day for me as host, but the resources will be plentiful.
On Fridays I DaydreamWhat a wonderful way to enter into each weekend — stretching out into our dreamer state. How does this translate into an offering from me? For one, Fridays are the day I always share my weekly writing prompts which I hope help writers to dream big and wonderful new creations, but I don’t want to end there. Writer daydreams also consist of thoughts of their writing career, so Fridays will include inspirations and pro tips on creating their dream writing career in addition to being a day of prompts.I had a plan. I have a plan. I laughed aloud as I realized this dream of a community project was inspired by pencils. The next step was to reveal it to the community and hope that others would be as excited as I was.The group of happy campers is growing, but as April grows nearer and the coronavirus has even more writers and creatives struggling to find their community connections, I thought I would extend the invitation a bit further, to you. If you are reading this, and you are intrigued by this month long project with fellow writers seeking to rise to some writing goal or challenge in the month of April — regardless of genre, regardless of whether you are looking to draft, rewrite, or revise — then this invitation is especially for you.The early bird pricing ended, but with all of the financial curve balls people are being thrown with this social distancing, I decided to cut the regular $49.99 price down to $30, basically one dollar per day for the month of April. You’ll have lifetime access to the group and the resources shared within. Any and all video calls that happen in the group will be recorded if you can not make the live event. It is my dream that you can make connections with the other happy campers to become your own writing tribe as you grow and write together. My mission is to get people to stop writing alone, this tight knit, highly accountable community is one of the best ways I can think of fostering that ideal in real time. If you think you’d like to join me for the experiment, here’s the link to join:

You can sign up here.

I will be there! Let’s have some fun and get some writing done with new friends. I will be writing fiction, but you can work on whatever tickles your fancy. I will probably do some planning for my May Storyaday as well.

Friendship #SOLC Day

This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. I will be posting slices from my life every day in March. This challenge is a part of the Two Writing Teachers blog. Click here to learn more information about the challenge.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones. I like to be prepared.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

The trait I value most is integrity. I want people to do what they say they are going to do. I guess this goes hand in hand with trust. No one expects a friend to betray you.

I also believe in the emotional bank account as well. Deposits are made by both parties in a relationship and both can withdraw. Just like a regular bank account, it can become overdrawn. If you hurt me before we have established too many deposits then the relationship suffers.

Friendship has traditionally been difficult for me. I have been burned by more people than I can count which is I am sure why my introverted tendencies have showed themselves more over the last couple of years.

Memory #SOLC Day 27

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This month I am participating in the Slice of Life Challenge. I will be posting slices from my life every day in March. This challenge is a part of the Two Writing Teachers blog. Click here to learn more information about the challenge.

Several years ago I learned about the 36 questions to become closer to someone. In the New York Times, the article was titled The 36 Questions that Lead to Love. I am always fascinated by questions. As an introvert, I learned to have a question ready when attending a social event in case the conversation lulled. I prefer to have deeper conversations as opposed to surface level ones.

As part of the challenge this year, I will be answering some of the questions and then you have the opportunity to journal about the question, ask a person you want to be closer to, or answer in the comments.

In my life I have been blessed with lots of treasured memories within the different compartments of my life.

The first time my son laughed a real laugh.

The day I met my stepchildren and feel in love with them instantly.

Getting keys to my house.

The gift of Dairy Queen blizzards given to me as a wooing technique.

My school winning a national award and a reading program award.

The phone call that offered me my new job.

My first acceptance of a short story to be published.

Just making this list makes me feel better today!

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