Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Hometown Family Will Grow!

During the SOLC in March, I wrote of the possibility of my son and daughter-in-law moving to our city. They have been doing research and teaching hundreds of miles from our home for quite a few years. My husband and I are very proud of their many accomplishments and support their decisions. It was rarely verbalized but yet there has always been a wistful hope of them some day finding a match with their career goals and the University in our city.

During the last several months they have researched, visited and interviewed at universities in many cities around the country. It’s funny how one opportunity that would bring them “only 11 driving hours away” was an exciting possibility! 

They were offered several positions. Deep breath…one was here! After weighing the options, they recently have chosen to accept the positions offered HERE! They won’t be moving for over a year but already my head spins with the excitement of this move.

I have never written a series of haiku but thought I’d give it a try, inspired by their journey. I know the SOL writing community is always so supportive of everyone’s posts. I am however a little shy about the possibility of my son reading this post as he told me he is following my blog! Anyway, here goes.

gathering knowledge
first in the east then the west
midwest became home

hard to be so far
visits treasured, memories
made just twice a year

new campuses to research
possibly to move

inhaling fresh hope
university in town
could it be a fit?

jubilation soars
yes! they will be moving home
wishes do come true

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Day With Katie Wood Ray

I was so fortunate to attend a workshop today where Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland were the presenters! I approached the day with the anticipation of Christmas and was not disappointed. The day's focus was Establishing a Writing Workshop for Beginning Writers. As the ending time for the day approached, I found myself wishing I could continue to be immersed in their writing world. The day affirmed many tenets I hold for writing in the classroom. In addition, they showed kids involved in writing workshop, an extensive list of mentor texts that I can use and share with co-workers was shared and they provided me with many thoughts to internalize and put into action.

In preparation for the summary that I have to do for school after attending the workshop, I decided to make a list of 10 of my reflections combined with quotes from today's presenters. As I listened and processed, I kept thinking not only of the application for students but for me as a writer for the  SOLC last month!

Take a reader on a journey of thought.
I hope to someday be able to do that more easily!

"You need a vision to do a revision."

A story v. a list of events
I hadn't given that much thought before. I hope to go back to my slices and do a tally of my stories v. lists of events slices.

The creative process (even with kids!) is ongoing.
Now to remind them as well as myself!

"I'm not afraid of my words." Katie's context was with the kids' spelling as it evolves. I was thinking of this in terms of posting daily slices and the risks everyone took.

Children learn about writing as a process by writing regularly!
I need to remind myself to do this as the challenge of March is over!

Share regularly.
Thank you Stacey and Ruth for providing that vehicle. Without it, I would never have "published".

Use writing mentors.
Picture books, picture books, picture books for students. I found that fellow slicers' posts became my mentor texts.

Build stamina for creative kinds of work.
I'm still trying to build stamina! What a head start Kindergarteners will have if they embrace this lesson at a young age.

Katie also talked about slice of life stories.
I was smiling, feeling that indeed I had found slices for 31 days. Now I hope I can continue to be a part of this community on Tuesdays.