This message never gets old #SOLSC #SOL21

Waiting is never easy. Every Wednesday I jump out of bed, get ready for my day, and dash downstairs where my phone is waiting. I’ve been waiting. Waiting for news.

Week after week it comes. The waiting isn’t easy, but this message never gets old. This moment never gets old. So grateful.

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. And many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

Sleep Did Not Happen Last Night #SOLSC #SOL21

If you live in Massachusetts, and quite possibly many spots along the east coast, this might be the story of your Monday night, too.

Sleep

Sleep did not happen last night

Last night the wind roared like a lion

A lion that ferociously howled and shook

Howled and shook all in its path

A path with trees and power lines

Trees and power lines that miraculously remain standing and functional

Standing and functional is not me

Me that didn’t sleep last night

Last night sleep did not happen

Happen sleep will tonight

Tonight a lamb will sleep

Sleep

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. And many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

Wait! Can I show you my notebook, too? #SOLSC #SOL21

Last week, our Kindergarten students had the amazing opportunity to ZOOM with author Kate Messner. Every year our PTO sponsors an in-person author visit for each grade, and I confess that as much as I enjoy hearing authors read their books to the kids, I love hearing about writing process and routines. I was thrilled when I learned the pandemic wasn’t going to spoil our annual tradition.

Wait! The author visits aren’t for my selfish teacher-writer benefit? Whoops! My bad.

After reading several selections from her Over and Under… series to my remote Kindergarten writers, she spoke about where her inspiration comes from and where she keeps track of ideas.

Wait!

Was she going to?

Yaaaaaaaas!

She grabbed her latest notebook and held it up.

Oh, goody! I love a good writing notebook plug!

Fast forward to Writer’s Workshop yesterday afternoon on ZOOM. I mentioned to my students that over the weekend I remembered they each had a notebook I had given to them in the fall. We used these spiral-bound, blank-paper journals for an illustration study during the first month of school, but then we put them away. At the time, I felt it was important for my novice writers to use loose pieces of paper and booklets, so they were actually making books. I suggested that perhaps it was time to pull them out again and use them to collect story ideas, just as Kate Messner does.

Then, a truly magical moment happened. One student said, “I have a special notebook right here!” She held it up for all to see. And then another chimed in, “Wait! Can I show you my notebook, too?” Up went another.

Oh my goodness. I had no idea! I, as any self-respecting teacher-writer would do, grabbed one of mine that was nearby and flashed it at the screen. Something tells me a few more may appear today. I’ll keep you posted!

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. And many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

I Swear I Didn’t Plan This #SOLSC #SOL21

Happy opening day, all. SOLSC opening day, that is. This is my fourth year participating and I’m excited to get started and read about everyone else’s small moments. Here we go!

I teach remote Kindergarten from my classroom most days, but I’m home today.

I swear I didn’t plan this. 

My afternoon of meetings begins on ZOOM just minutes after my students and I log off at 1:20 pm and runs until 4:30 pm, so why teach from school when you can teach from home?

I swear I didn’t plan this. 

It’s a one-year luxury and a privilege. (I’ll own that.) 

I swear I didn’t plan this.

And it just happens to be the first day of this years’ SOLSC.

I swear I didn’t plan this. 

I have a few ideas in draft form, but nothing finished and ready to go.

I swear I didn’t plan this. 

For today, my usual 30-minute commute is my editing time, sip my coffee time, sneak a Slice peek time, make a quick comment time, hit “Publish” time.

I swear I didn’t plan this.

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. And many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

Winter Conceals #PoetryFriday

I have long found what is revealed by snowfall, rather than what is covered up, to be fascinating. Snow acts as nature’s highlighter, shining a spotlight on easily missed features in the landscape. In particular, smallish bodies of water — brooks, streams, and vernal pools — hidden in the woods often go unnoticed throughout most of the year here in New England. When winter arrives, and snow begins to fall, they magically “return.”

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Ruth, for inviting us to join her on this Poetry Friday. You can find the roundup on her blog, There Is No Such Thing As a Godforsaken Town.

Is that Mr. Wyman waiting for you? #SOL21

It all began with this text from my principal. I was at home on a union executive committee ZOOM at 3:30pm on Wednesday. I had been on a ZOOM with her and my grade-level team just over an hour earlier and I thought it was pretty obvious from my classroom-at-home background that I was at home — lavender-painted walls (not my choice), twinkly fairy lights, metal car oil drain pan-cum magnetic “bulletin board” with number lines, alphabet lines, Fundations sound card pocket chart, etc… I teach my remote Kindergarteners from home at least once a week, so my students, co-workers, and Admin know my backdrop well, so this question concerned me. Endless possibilities flooded my head instantly — most not so good.

And then the response arrived.

Indeed that was my husband outside my school. The school I was not at that day. The school he did not drop me off at that day. We commute together most days, but not that day nor any other Wednesday for the last five months. He was clearly a.) tired from monitoring middle school-aged faculty kids remote schooling and b.) on auto-pilot. I had been wondering where he had gone, having emailed me to say he was on his way home close to two hours earlier. Our commute is just over 30 minutes, so he should have been home ages ago. Possibilities had been running through my head — stopped at the library for curbside pickup, drove over to Concord center for a valentine card or gift for me (hah!), or ran into a favorite custodian on his way out and got deep into a conversation. All reasonable possibilities.

But no. There he was. Sitting in the car, sun pouring in, dozing like a cat. There was only one thing to do.

I’m glad I was able to end her day with a giggle.

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. And many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

Science Tools #PoetryFriday

While I am teaching Kindergarten remotely this year — ZOOM-ing and Seesaw-ing my heart out — I was determined to keep up the “Poem of the Week” routine that I’ve found a powerful teaching tool for so many years. Since September, we begin each week with a new poem that is often related to our current curricular focus. The poems are always brief, easy to learn, and, from time to time, written by me. My students love when I write poems just for them, and I think that it sends a powerful message that I live the writerly life I am encouraging them to have, too. They always pepper me with questions about the process.

This week’s Science focus is on the tools that scientists use. My students have been outfitted with their own hand lenses, rulers, and thermometers. They have also built their own rain and wind gauges during STEM challenges this winter. They’ve learned first-hand how important tools are to any scientists for collecting and interpreting data, as well as making observations. Science Tools came to me as I was preparing curricular plans for the week.

Here are just two of their artistic responses, the first a ruler and the second hip waders — an essential “tool” worn by our Biologist-in-Residence, Emilie, as she explores our campus vernal pool. With every poem, we take the time to think through the images or even “the movie” that comes into our heads. It’s fun to hear them share on ZOOM what they imagine and see them begin to expand their thinking.

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Molly Hogan, for inviting us to join her on this Poetry Friday. You can find the roundup on her blog, Nix the Comfort Zone.

Time for a snowshoe break! #SOL21

“Time for a snowshoe break!”

It’s a report card weekend, the second of two. We are a standards-based district, so our report cards include lengthy, descriptive, narrative comments. Hours on end glued to the computer screen. And that’s after hours on end ZOOMing with my remote Kindergarten students and hours on end reviewing student work on Seesaw, and hours on end replying with hopefully meaningful feedback.

When my husband yelled up the stairs, “Time for lunch and a snowshoe break, ” he didn’t have to ask me twice! We jumped in the car, and off we went. Cliches were in abundance! The sky was blue, the clouds were cottonball-fluffy, the sun near blinding as it reflected off the snow, and the air refreshing. We trudged across our small town’s public golf course, around water features, under leafless trees, down steep hills dodging joyful sledders — their squeals and laughter ringing out through the crisp wintery air.

Now about those report card comments.

Thanks for wondering and wandering a bit with me today. And many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here every Tuesday throughout the year and daily during the month of March.

Where I’m Going #PoetryFriday

In January, Teach Write’s “Time to Write” accountability group took on the challenge of writing a “Where I’m Going” poem. Many of us have written I “Where I’m From” poem based on George Ella Lyon‘s eponymous poem. This time around, we were asked to time travel to the future — December 2021, to be exact. Our poems look back on this year ahead. What will we see, experience, and dream about?

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Jone Rush MacCulloch, for inviting us to join her on this Poetry Friday — a snowy one here in Massachusetts. You can find her roundup here.

The World Just Exhaled #PoetryFriday #micropoetry #eightwords

The moment I uttered these words to my husband as we sat watching the grand finale on inauguration night, they hung in the air. I captured them in my notebook feeling they might be a seed to grow into something bigger. But, after thinking and scribbling and scribbling and thinking, I remembered that sometimes less is more. A wee bit of micropoetry inspired by a favorite moment of the week.

— Christie Wyman, 2021

Many thanks to this week’s hostess, Laura Shovan, for inviting us to join her on this Poetry Friday. You can find her on her blog that today is filled with some well-deserved admiration for Amanda Gorman and her moving poem, “The Hill We Climb.” I get goosebumps just thinking about her reciting it the other day.