Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Slice of Life: Summer Doesn't Mean Stop

The Tuesday Slice of Life Writing Community is hosted by Stacey and Ruth at 

School starts Thursday and as I protect my last two days of summer for checking a few more things off my to do list, I realize that summer does not have to stop. Yes by the dates on the calendar but not the parts that have enhanced my life and helped me grow professionally.  

I have had several learning experiences this summer that have allowed me to have conversations that will carry over into my classroom. Conversations beyond the three types of required writing. Now my focus will be on smaller pieces of writing and continuing to collect stronger mentor texts.  Thinking not about the parts of a persuasive piece but how to allow my students a wider audience for their pieces. I have created a class website in addition to a class twitter account (@228bes) which will "break down the walls." Other conversations involved time both in and out of school. In class, I must allow that additional time for deep conversations although the LP book says shift gears to science. 

Summer is about BIG ideas and time to think. So why can't BIG thinking continue into the new school year? During our Choice Literacy writing retreat, we discussed habits. A huge part of habits include how we use our time. One of our mentor text that we were given is The Productive Writer by Sage Cohen, I wrote these two quotes down as my "cues" as the school year starts.

 "I can also tell you your relationship with time is far more subjective that you might imagine." 

"Once you become conscious that your relationship with time is not something that happens to you but a dynamic orchestrated by you through dozens of large and small choices you make every day." 

Ever since we became empty nesters, my morning routine has been stagnant with no thought required. I now will read my new "cues" which will help me set my new routine. In addition my "rewards" will encourage me not to give up on my routine. My husband says I have opened my box and allowed new opportunities to be methodically planned. He is absolutely correct in order to change old patterns, I have to create new ones. 

As I start my 26th year of teaching, I have realized more than ever education is changing, I need to continue my summer conversations so that the energy of summer flows into the new school year. My summer colleagues is a community that I want to continue and connect with throughout the school year.  Just because summer is over, it doesn't mean to stop thinking BIG. It just means the transition of new routines and integrating them into the new school year. 

Remembering to locate those special writing places in our lives.
My morning view.


  1. I love the idea of taking the big ideas of summer into our classrooms. I'm trying to do that myself this school year. Like you, I'm starting new habits at home and at school. Check out one of my first changes for this year: http://kaymcgriff.edublogs.org/2013/08/13/come-to-the-circle/

  2. Maria, Choice Literacy writing retreat, green with envy and Sage Cohen, she's from the Portland area and is so wonderful. I hope your next two days linger slow.

  3. I agree that we have to keep the conversation going and articulate how those changes have been successfully or not so successfully implemented.

  4. One of the things I so respect and admire about up you, Maria, is that you work so hard to keep that conversation rich and meaningful - with your kids, and with us. Can't wait to finally meet you at NCTE!