Masterful (Authentic Task #5)

My #CCIRA18 session was to start in 45 minutes and I couldn’t help but turn to writing in order to capture all that this first week in February means to me and to the nearly 2,000 conference attendees, volunteers, and presenters.  A group of educators stood up this morning to show that this is their…

January 2018 (Authentic Task #4)

“So you need go have a drink with your girls.” Oh, how he knows me.  It isn’t even a question. You see, as I wrote about in last week’s post, There’s this vision for profoundly changing student task in our classrooms that I have been struggling with since the summer change in our district’s leadership.  Please…

There’s this vision (Authentic Task #3)

I’d like to officially begin this journey by introducing you to a new friend of mine:  His name is Blade. A seventeen-year-old African-American man growing up in Los Angeles.  The son of a music icon. The lead in Kwame Alexander and Mary Rand Hess’s Solo.  As you know from the previous post, his story is my…

Going Solo (Authentic Task #2)

Solo: It is a story about a young man growing up in Los Angeles.  There is this dream that scares him almost as much as his reality.  He decides to find the meaning in both and leaves behind everything he knows, travelling halfway across the world where he discovers that the answers have been within him…

No Assembly Required (Authentic Task #1)

A few months ago I was honored with an invitation from a close friend to present at the Winter Gala hosted annually by JCIRA, our local literacy council.  Sounds fancy, right!?! It’s the same gala that has hosted the likes of Ellin Keene and Mark Hoog, among others.  The event that should inspire and engage…

Writing Logs

Volume matters.  When it comes to writing, words on the page matter.  If our students are not writing enough, they are not practicing enough; they are not getting better fast enough.  And we know this, because we write.  (Read about our moment of discovery and the caution behind it here.) Just a few weeks after…

Zero to 60: Volume in Writing

From zero to sixty in just under a minute?  Sure, its no record if you’re a race car driver.  But for words on a page, 60 wpm ain’t too shabby. With a focus on workshop as our instructional model this year, a trend is emerging.  With the  structures of Daily Five lifted out of the…

Blank Space

Tonight, I write.  And even as I do, I hear her eleven-year-old voice tell me, “But you do that when I’m around.” And yet, somehow, this is different. There is no one here to keep the dogs busy, chasing them around the couch until I freak out and ask for the quiet to return. There…

A Six-Word Summer

It’s that time of year again.  We are back to school (almost).  And the call has gone out: Turn in summer stories by Monday.  Last year it was a poem:  We launched with “Where We’re From.”  This time, six words should do.  So which six words to choose? Summer came and went too soon? Yes,…

Which is it?

I spoke with a woman yesterday who said our bi-annual MRI would cost $5907. Add in the 25% we pay after we’ve met our deductible, and our share of the cost would be $5227.00. I’m sorry.  I must not have heard correctly. Yes, the MRI costs $5907, so your share of the cost is a…

Collective Soul

Water.  It’s good for my soul. Sunshine, the smell of rain.  Yeah, they’re good, too. The way it all feels like kisses on my skin, they way it all caresses my senses. Yes, today was good for my soul. And not just mine.  I watched as you showed her how to get the boat docked…

Bullet Journal

July 20, 2017 x  register boat trailer x  ignore the attitude from the woman registering boat trailer x  conjure exact replica of Bill of Sale in the parking lot of boat registry after leaving original with attitudinally-challenged woman at motor vehicle dept. x  register the boats. Yes, boats. Plural. > register the cars.  Yes, cars….