Posts Tagged ‘Michelle Haseltine’

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I saw the tweets, Facebook posts, and blog posts from Michelle Haseltine, and I said, “No!” I don’t need another group to join, another challenge to conquer, anything else to do! Just. Say. No.

That “no” lasted a few days, but the more posts I saw, the more I realized that this was the perfect thing to rejuvenate writing in my life and in my classroom.

Last year at NCTE 2018, I attended a notebooking workshop (wrote about it here) with Michelle and others. I came home inspired to make a commitment to notebooking in my classroom. At the end of the year on a field trip bus, I overheard one of my students talk to another one from a different school. She said, “I love notebook writing. Do you?”

Somehow things got in the way this school year. So the #100daysofnotebooking was just the thing I needed to bring out the notebooks again. We wrote every day last week.

I printed out this page, so we could keep a count of the days.

The notebook writing takes about 20 minutes in each of my three classes. I begin with some sort of prompt. We write to the Insight Timer set to 7 minutes. Then we share. Some of my students post their writing on our class blog, but this is not required.

Watching the Facebook page is inspiring (or daunting, depending on your point of view as some posts are very creative), but there is room for every type of notebooker. I’m enjoying trying out collage, writing to poetry, and word collecting.

As we continue, I’ll know more about how my students are growing their writing skills. Right now the routine of it is working. They look forward to the time to write, the time to draw, and the time to be themselves on the page.

Here’s a gallery walk of some of our pages:

Jaden was inspired by a poem by Nikki Grimes, Journey from Ordinary Hazards.
Notebook time leads to Flow, the concept that time disappears while we are immersed in a creative activity.

Karson’s One Little Word notebook page.
Breighlynn’s poem in response to Amy Ludwig VanDerwater’s poem The Pie of Kindness.

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

For Spiritual Thursday, some of us blogging-writer friends are reflecting on each other’s OLW. This week we are writing about “Selah,” Michelle’s word.

Of course I googled it. What else do we do these days when we don’t know a word? (Funny aside: I told a student today I was exasperated, and she googled it and read aloud, “intense anger.” I might have exaggerated.)

On the internet I found a praise group that I had never heard before. I liked the song and will post the YouTube video. I also learned that the word is used 70-something times in the Psalms. As an alto in the choir, I was pleased to see there was a musical reference to a pause. I imagine the // in the notation on a chant.

On the baby name site, Selah is a girl’s name which means “Stop and listen.”

One thing that makes you take stop, pause, and pay attention is a diagnosis of cancer. Our church community has been rocked by the diagnosis of one of our dearest friends, Amy. Amy and her husband Kelly have four children between the ages of 10 and 16. Their kids are often on the altar as acolytes.

Amy has taken on this unfair disease with courage, faith, and hope. She posted recently on her Caring Bridge site that she has a new perspective. “All of the things I spent so much time worrying about mean nothing anymore. When faced with your own mortality, the only thing that really matters are the people that you love and the experiences you share with them.” She sees so much good, in the people cooking meals for her family, in the daily life of our community (specifically Mardi Gras balls), and in the attitudes of her children.

When I crochet prayer shawls, I practice selah. I often chant the person’s name in my mind as I stitch. The selah is a gift to me as well as a gift for the person I make the shawl for. I finished Amy’s shawl last week and gave it to her on Sunday. Kelly is pictured with her holding the prayer blanket that my friend and co-stitcher, Brenda, made.

Amy and Kelly with prayer shawl and lap blanket.

Amy and Kelly with prayer shawl and lap blanket.

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. Psalm 19:14

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Tweet from Michelle Haseltine

Tweet from Michelle Haseltine

I love Twitter Love. Nothing better than having colleagues/blogging friends recognize, honor, and celebrate you. And without you even knowing it! I was traveling yesterday. Presently, I’m in Atlanta for a friend’s son’s wedding. At the end of the long day, I checked my Twitter alerts. Were they really talking about me? I had to read the Tweets again.
Twitter love

Then this morning I received an email from Stenhouse offering a free preview of Kate Messner’s new book, 59 Reasons to Write. It took a while to thumb to page 198, but there I was. I had written a mock letter to myself as a reflection of Teachers Write camp. I must have sent it to Kate, but I have no recollection of that.

So today, I celebrate Kate Messner, Teachers Write, and Twitter Love. If you haven’t done it yet, order 50 Reasons today. You don’t need any more reasons.

59 reasons

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Poetry Friday Round-up is at  The Poem Farm.

Poetry Friday Round-up is at The Poem Farm.

Some days don’t go as planned. As you know, I am trying to do a poem a day using ABCs of styles, forms, and techniques. For Day 3, letter C, we got so wrapped up in book talks that we had little time left for writing.

As we reviewed the results of Round 4 on MMPoetry, we found the words for the final round. Incontinent, kerfuffle, confabulation, and defenestrate. After discussion, collaboration led to a haiku using the word defenestration. I showed my students this new app I learned about from Kevin Hodgson and Michelle Haseltine, Notegraphy. It works well for a collaborative haiku.

Defenestration copy

The line lifter lurked on my students’ blogs and left some cool response poems. The kids were so excited that their poems had been hacked! Thanks, Kevin.

Me –
the mold on the wall,
sticks to you like thoughts in your head
that you can’t ever shake loose
or clean with a swipe
or maybe I am more like a poem
that one shares on the Web
which then whispers melodies of meaning in your ear
all day.

– Mr. Hodgson
Sixth Grade Teacher
Norris Elementary School
aka, the line lifter

Kaylie stopped by our class blog and saw no poems using the letter C. That didn’t stop her from contributing. She wrote a beautiful couplet about pelicans.

The pelican flies out towards dawn
Past the orange sunrise and so on

They travel in pairs across the sky
When the bayou has gone bone dry

They long for the feel of the wet on their feathers
The bayou is where their hearts are tethered

The pelican flies out towards dawn
Past the orange sunrise… on and on and on…
–Kaylie, all rights reserved


Please click on over to Caroline Starr Rose’s blog where I am the guest writer. My post is more about anaphora.

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Slice of Life Day 5.  Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Slice of Life Day 5. Join the Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Challenge.

Today is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent. I am an Episcopalian. We do Lent. I will go to church later and have ashes put on my forehead and hear the familiar words, “You are from dust and to dust you will return.” If you think about it too much, it’s kind of scary. But I like the humility of it.

I have been reading a number of blog posts by teachers and by students. Yesterday, I read a student’s post about being yourself. Even as a grown-up this is hard to remember. I want to compare myself to all those other blogging teachers out there. I want to look at myself and wonder what I could be if I just made a decision and stuck with it.

Sometimes, though, it comes down to just being the best of the you you were made to be. I think that is the purpose of Lent. Lent’s not so much about the brow beating, guilt wrenching suffering of giving up. It’s more about sitting with God and adsorbing all the love he has to give and then living your own life. Not the life that you think you should be living, but the one you have. To the fullest.

Before I get too preachy, let me set my goals for my Lent. I did New Year’s resolutions that lasted a few weeks. I signed on for Nerdlution at the end of January and pledged to exercise, write, and be Open (my one little word for 2014). Now Lent. I’ve decided to give up sweets and not for the usual reasons. I want to loose a few pounds and I don’t want to diet, so practically speaking, giving up sweets may be all I need to do. (And exercise more, #nerdlution continues…)

Photo by Jennifer, Creative Commons, Flickr

Photo by Jennifer, Creative Commons, Flickr

The real practice for Lent will be my “take on.” I want to take on random acts of kindness. I have been inspired by Michelle Haseltine at One Grateful Teacher. Michelle set this goal for her Nerdlution. I have enjoyed reading about all her kind acts and amazed at how really easy it can be.

Now I am committed. I’ve made the pledge publicly. And I threw away a not quite empty bag of mint chocolate M&M’s! Tragic.

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In the cyberspace, a new revolution is surfacing. It is called “Nerdlution.” Nerdlution Round 1 started sometime back in early December. I read some blog posts and Twitter tweets about it, but I was a bit confused about this goal setting thing before the new year even started. Then earlier this week, on Sunday to be exact, I read this blog post by Chris Lehman. This thing made more sense and here they were, these nerdlutors, starting round 2. Dare I join in? Set your own goals for the next 50 days with a community of bloggers to cheer you on. Why not?

It was easy to join. All I did was hop on over to Nerdy Book Club with Colby Sharp and set my goals in a comment. Here are my goals:

1. Connect to my OLW for 2014, Open, and try one new thing each week.

2. Write daily. I am not going to count words, so even a simple blog comment or FB post will count, but I’ll try to commit to some kind of writing every day.

3. Exercise daily. This will probably prove the hardest for me because I like to find any excuse to not work out.

My cyber-friend, Michelle Haseltine has started a blog round-up at her site, One Grateful Teacher, to check in on Thursdays.

Nerdlution started Monday, and we had Tuesday and Wednesday off of school for winter storm Leon. I found it pretty easy to fit in my goals in between laundry, cooking, and throwing the ball for Charlie.

The new thing that I tried was introduced to me by my sister on Facebook. Beth has been posting some cool pictures that she is creating using an app called “Sketch Club.” I had to call her to get more instructions on how to use it. My sister is a practicing artist. She was using her own paintings as background and layering a sketch on top.

Boy by Beth Gibson Saxena, all rights reserved.

Boy by Beth Gibson Saxena, all rights reserved.

I bought the app, only $2.99. Then I started playing. This is really the best way to learn a new app anyway. I made this layered image using a gel print, a collage, and a photograph. It symbolizes my OLW Open and my commitment to the practice of writing.

nerdlution open

It’s not too late to join in the new revolution. You can read about more nerdlution commitments at Michelle’s blog.

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