Troy and I were treating ourselves to some frozen yogurt BEFORE lunch today. (We can do that – it’s Spring Break and I’m the adult.)
After filling my cup with pecan flavored frozen yogurt, I turned the corner to add some toppings. And…Nutella! There was a bottle of Nutella to squirt on top of your fro-yo. Yes!!!
Unfortunately, it doesn’t really come out of the bottle easily and I ended up with only a little bit in my cup. However, the fro-yo topped with moist brownie bits, tiny Reese’s Pieces, and gooey marshmallow was still delicious!
And this is what I love about the Slice of Life challenge, other than creating and reinforcing the habit of writing. Each March I am reminded how special these tiny moments are. By then end of the month I notice so many things that would have been passed over, had it happened a month earlier. My irrational excitement about adding Nutella to my ice cream would have been forgotten…although I guess the world not knowing about this isn’t really a bad thing….hmmm…..
We spent the day at Brookfield Zoo with my sister, mom, and two nephews. It amazes me how everyone sees the world differently. The same moment, the same view, provokes different thoughts in each person experiencing it.
My four year old nephew focuses on the facts about the animal: Look at it walking! Where do they live? What do they eat?
My son goes strait for the narrative: The giraffe looks like it’s talking to the tree. “Hello Mr. Tree. What is my future, Tree?”
My mind is thinking two things at once. I see the giraffe and feel guilty. Guilty that I can roam the world and she is stuck inside this fence. Simultaneously, I am listening to these two beautiful, very different boys voice their thoughts. I am enjoying this moment, despite my guilt. I am lucky to have these boys in my life.
I sat next to a student, conferring with her for the first time on her current fairy tale. I complimented her on organizing her writing into paragraphs. Then, we discussed substituting other words for said in order to show how the characters are feeling.
It hit me how far she has come this year. I needed to show her, so I pulled up her first published piece from the year. And as she looked at her work, her eyes got big and bright. She saw how she has grown and it lit up her face. And that is why I teach – for that moment that a student realizes what she can do.
I incorporate phonics/decoding into my guided reading groups based on the need of the students. My groups reading below grade level get phonics/decoding practice every day.
Recently we have been working with r-controlled vowels. We read them and spell them. Once they’ve got the pattern in single words, we move on to sentences. I dictate the sentence including a word with given phonics pattern. They write the sentence with appropriate capitalization and punctuation.
And then, sometimes, I give them each a word and they have to make up a sentence using that word. It is with this activity that I get to read a gem of a sentence like this one:
I have no idea what subject it was during, or even what day. But, I was sitting on the ground working with one kid and another student was close by when he decided he had a pressing matter he needed to talk to me about…
“Ms. Bless, why do you wear so many layers?” Then, without pausing to wait for an answer, “I mean, you have three shirts on. Why do you need three shirts? You say that you get crabby when you are hot, but you wouldn’t get hot as much if you didn’t wear so many shirts. I mean, you have three shirts on. If you wore one shirt or even two, you would not get as hot.”
Unexpected, completely off task, yet extremely observant. I didn’t know how to respond, so I said, “You are too observant. Get back to work.”
As I pumped my legs, the swing moved higher and higher. I watched my son on the monkey bars while I enjoyed my favorite park activity, simultaneously thinking about how to write a slice of life about swinging. (Often, I draft my slices in my mind multiple times before I get to my computer.) And then I got stuck on the first line, the sounds of the swing…I don’t know how to write sounds.
You didn’t know it was a swing from my attempt at the sounds did you? Be honest.
I must have sat on that swing, listening to the sounds for five minutes, trying to figure out how to spell what I was hearing. Eventually, my son saved me from my thoughts, running over to swing next to me and talk about the day.
But here I am again, trying to put the sounds into words and I am at a loss. Squeak….Eeeerrrk….nope……
Please help! I am in need of a mini-lesson on how to put sounds into words!