Monday, August 8, 2022

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/08/2022

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what you're reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Last Week's Adventures:
After seeing Mandy Robek’s posts from making writing with Angela Stockman this week, I had to order Creating Inclusive Writing Environments. I’ve only just started it but I’m curious to see what ideas she has to share.

Also Teachers Write Weekly Check In Week #4 is up! It was another great summer of Teachers Write!

This Week's Adventures:

My plan is to REALLY get back to listening to Love in English by Maria E Andreu and to read more of On Becoming a Person BUT this is my last full week before school starts so I also need to get back to school mode! I have a bag full of mentor texts that I brought home so I’ll be rereading some faves this week as I prep.

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Friday, August 5, 2022

Weekly Check In #4 - Teachers Write


Welcome back for week four of the Teachers Write Weekly Check-In!

I hope you have had a great time with Teachers Write this summer. I’m working on a pitch for a novel idea I’ve had to submit to America’s Next Great Author and honestly, pitches have always been a challenge for me. Kate’s prompt for the week has been helpful though. 

Here’s my original list:

This got me thinking about what things I can bring into my story. But I REALLY love the idea from Laura Ruby to write my story as a picture book to help me see the story arc and get a better understanding of what the book is about.

Sometimes the prompt that shows up is exactly what I need whether I realize it or not! I always appreciate that remind. Whenever I feel stuck, being open to trying different prompts or strategies helps me out. Oftentimes, it’s just about getting some momentum going and then I find a way to move ahead.

And now it’s time to hear from you! I'm curious to hear how you navigated this week's prompts and how your writing life is going. 

Teachers Write Weekly Check-In Agreements:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we each do do.
2. We are positive and encourage each other.
3. We recognize and maintain this as a safe, inclusive environment for all.
4. We have fun!

Ideas for today in the comments section:
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)
How was your overall Teachers Write experience?

My Weekly Check-In: I love Teachers Write. Thank you for being a teacher who writes! I’m so glad to be amongst great company. It truly does make a difference. I love how my writing has evolved over time and how I have changed as a writer. While I didn’t have one specific project I was working on this summer, I still got exactly what I needed from the prompts and I have ideas to share with students. 

I’m looking forward to hearing how Teachers Write is going for you and how you might take the energy from Teachers Write into your school year. If you have any questions or if I can help with anything, please let me know!

Monday, August 1, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/01/2022

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what you're reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Last Week's Adventures:
I ended up doing a little more just-for-me reading this week...I read a book called The Mayan Oracle which talks about Mayan symbols and meanings and then I read a book called Be Here Now by Baba Ram Dass after seeing him in Michael Pollan's documentary How to Change Your Mind on Netflix. 


This Week's Adventures:

My plan is to get back to listening to Love in English by Maria E Andreu and to read more of On Becoming a Person

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Friday, July 29, 2022

Weekly Check-In #3 - #teacherswrite


Welcome back for week two of the Teachers Write Weekly Check-In!

I spent a little time at school this week getting organized. Taking over for a woman who retired from the position means I'm inheriting an awesome classroom library but it also means merging our things. It felt good to clean and sort and get everything into it's own space and ready for kids. One of our coaches helped me which made it super fast and I'm so grateful. Here are before and after pictures: 
I still need to go back and finish my bulletin boards and put up posters and then it'll be time to really zone in on lesson design for the first few weeks. 

Kate's prompt for us this week was all about world building. While I'm not in the headspace to do world building for a novel, I am totally thinking about the "world" or space I'm creating in my classroom as an anti-racist, anti-bias educator. AND I'm also thinking about the world I wish I lived in. Sometimes we have to imagine the possibilities really clearly to be able to better turn them into reality. 

Living with integrity for me means going back again and again to what I truly believe and what I value. Here's some thinking I did about this in my notebook:


While I'm a Language Arts teacher, I'm a teacher of humans first. I know I do a great job of seeing students as humans and seeing the gifts that they are in being them as they are. Educators preach growth mindset A LOT but I believe in starting by affirming that we are already perfect just as we are and then talking about the importance of being open. Then when we have a purpose for growth, we can step into a growth mindset. 
I'm feeling a little vulnerable in sharing this because there's a voice in my head telling me I "should" already be super clear about what type of "world" I'm co-creating in my classroom but the truth is, I'm still refining it. I'm still adding ideas and adjusting and boiling it down to its essence. And I do think that it's important to reflect and incorporate my own learning as I go so I'm sharing this messy, all-over-the-place thinking I did in my notebook. 


This was how I chose to use Kate's prompts this week! Being able to make Teachers Write my own is one thing I love about it!

And now it’s time to hear from you! I'm curious to hear how you navigated this week's prompts and how your writing life is going. 

Teachers Write Weekly Check-In Agreements:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we each do do.
2. We are positive and encourage each other.
3. We recognize and maintain this as a safe, inclusive environment for all.
4. We have fun!

Ideas for today in the comments section:
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)

My Weekly Check-In: This week I have been doing a lot of writing as I think about where I'm going with Story Exploratory. I started it as a fun and funky writing community in 2019 and I lead monthly workshops and coach writers but it has evolved into using writing to live a life more aware, awake, and aligned so my writing lately has been about helping me see the new direction I'm taking Story Exploratory. I guess in a way, this writing is also about world building too!  

I’m looking forward to hearing how Teachers Write is going for you! If you have any questions or if I can help with anything, please let me know!

Monday, July 25, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/25/2022

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what you're reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Last Week's Adventures:
I started listening to Love in English by Maria E Andreu and am still reading On Becoming a Person


This Week's Adventures:

I'll continue with my books this week! 

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Friday, July 22, 2022

Weekly Check-In #2 #TeachersWrite


Welcome back for week two of the Teachers Write Weekly Check-In!

I mentioned that I’m transitioning to a new school district this year BUT the new district is right next door to where I grew up. Driving in to work on curriculum last week and this week had me reminiscing so Kate’s prompt was a great opportunity to think about place for me.

Here’s my initial brainstorming. First I did a free write and then I broke the ideas down into sensory details. I *could* have done a better job. I *could* have gotten even deeper with my writing. I might still. This is all first draft stuff. 
Here is my first try at turning my brainstorming into a poem.
And here’s what it turned into:

Life Circles Back

Twenty years have passed (!)
But life circles back
So here I am again

Far from
Running barefoot in the grass
The squeal of laughter on my lips
The warmth of my daddy’s arms
Waiting for my mama to bring lunch home on Saturdays

Drinking from the hose
Scooping up a bucket of tadpoles only to discover they were mosquitos
Riding my bike to my best friend’s house
Later driving to my best friend’s house
Birthday parties and
School projects and
Badminton meets

Twenty years have passed (!)
But life circles back
So here I am again

And now it’s time to hear from you! And if you’d like to share your writing, that would be great!

Teachers Write Weekly Check-In Agreements:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we each do do.
2. We are positive and encourage each other.
3. We recognize and maintain this as a safe, inclusive environment for all.
4. We have fun!

Ideas for today in the comments section:
What are your goals for Teachers Write?
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)

My Weekly Check-In: This week I went into school for two full days of curriculum planning with a coach but I made time for morning writing and even some writing in the evening. I wrote an introduction for a project I’m working on so I’d like to add more to that and see where it takes me. 

I enjoyed the prompt and I love that it aligned in such a timely way. Place is a fascinating thing to explore when it comes to writing. 

I’m looking forward to hearing how Teachers Write is going for you! If you have any questions or if I can help with anything, please let me know!

Monday, July 18, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/18/2022

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what you're reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Last Week's Adventures:
This week I finished reading When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill and it was SO good! I also read Make Writing by Angela Stockman and Cartooning by Ivan Brunetti and I have some great ideas for when school starts. 
Teachers Write started last week! My weekly check-in post is here

This Week's Adventures:

I would still like to get back to On Becoming a Person and read a few more adult reads before shifting back to kidlit. 

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Friday, July 15, 2022

Weekly Check-In #1 #TeachersWrite 2022


Welcome to Teachers Write 2022 and the Weekly Check-In! I'm Jen Vincent and I am a teacher who writes. Writing with young people brings me so much joy and it has gotten more and more fun the more I explore my own writing.

I've been part of Teachers Write with Kate Messner since 2012. I've written novels and picture books and essays. Whether you are new to Teachers Write or have joined us before, I'm so glad you are here! This school year was A LOT. A lot a lot. Bravo to you for getting through and for showing up here.


I'm a 6-8 Language Arts teacher for Bannockburn School in Bannockburn, Illinois. Beyond school, I love being outdoors, practicing yoga, taking care of my plants, and crafting...but I also love to read and write. Here on the left is me at the end of the year in my classroom finishing year 20 and on the right is after outdoor yoga at a local forest preserve.

While participating in Teachers Write can be a sort of professional development and I believe it truly does impact our work with young writers...I see writing as the very best self care. This is writing you can do just for you. You get ideas and prompts from Kate and cheerleading and camaraderie from me and other participants here. You can make Teachers Write what you want to make it. Write once a week, write everyday, do the prompts, do your own exercises. Ultimately, this is all about you!

So let's get to the Weekly Check-In! 

Here’s how the it goes. I share a bit of my writing life and I invite you to reflect on your writing life this week and share the ups and downs in the comments. It’s been pretty much the same since 2012 when we first started and if you’re at all interested in the resources I’ve shared over the years, this link will take you to all my previous Teachers Write posts, starting with the most recent first.

Teachers Write Weekly Check-In Agreements:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we each do do.
2. We are positive and encourage each other.
3. We recognize and maintain this as a safe, inclusive environment for all.
4. We have fun!

Ideas for today in the comments section:
What are your goals for Teachers Write?
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)

My Weekly Check-In: My summer has been a slow-down summer. I have taken time to embrace active slowness which means I've been reading again, like sitting down and reading a book and that seems simple but I honestly hadn't been making time to do that during the school year.  I have some different types of texts that I've been exploring and I've been taking notes and letting ideas simmer.

My goal for Teachers Write is to try some of the prompts and to let myself see where the ideas take me. The prompt this week had me thinking about two rituals. One is brushing my teeth. It is one thing I can say I do consistently everyday and have all my life. And the other ritual is showing up to the yoga mat. And then that led me to thinking about what rituals I want to nurture in my classroom...I can't help it!

I can't wait to hear how Teachers Write is going for you! If you have any questions or if I can help with anything, please let me know!

Monday, July 11, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/11/2022

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what you're reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Last Week's Adventures:
This week I finished listening to Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. She was a blogger so that was neat to read about. I read more of When Women Were Dragons but still have about 100 pages to go. 

This Week's Adventures:

My plan is to finish When Women Were Dragons and then go back to Carl Rogers' On Becoming a Person so I can finish that before school starts. I'm ready to dive back into YA and have a plan to visit the library and soak up some manga, short stories, and poetry. 

Teachers Write starts today!!! Check out Kate Messner's blog to follow along and I'll have my Weekly Check-In posted here on Friday. 

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


Tuesday, July 5, 2022

This is my comeback post.

Over the last twenty years I've experienced a lot in the world of education but my three years of classroom experience* (2019-2022) all have a Covid-19 asterisk next to them. That * doesn't mean my experience was less, it just means my experience was different than I expected. 

The summer of 2019 I blogged about what I did to create a classroom space that would invite and nurture community and shared some of our classroom #bookaday reads. I was so excited but I wasn't able to keep up with blog posts as I had hoped once the school year got rolling.

And even as I gained my footing my first year, the rug was pulled out from underneath me when Covid hit. The end of the school year, time for celebration and reflection and closure, didn't happen. Not only did it not happen, but I found myself processing so much loss, so much grief, so much unknown.

For example, I had an idea for a shared art project that we started but didn't get to finish. It was folded up and stored in a cabinet in my classroom. I felt lost in a lot of ways and then listless when it came to blogging. I had to pare down to what was most important to stay afloat. 
The next two years of my classroom experience* meant I was mostly on zoom and then hybrid and then full time in person with students quarantined as needed and doing my best to meet their needs in this time of so many unknowns. 

Which leads me to here and now and the opportunity to reconnect with blogging. 

This is my comeback post. 

People do these all the time. It's a dusting off. An acknowledgement that I've been away. A commitment to coming back. A reminder that I am human and life twists and turns and ebbs and flows and sometimes I'll have time and space and energy to blog and sometimes I won't. And like the quote students chose for our shared art project (above), an opportunity to remember:

Never force anything,
give it your best shot,
and if it's meant to be 
it will be.

Ultimately, I blog for myself. It's a way to chronicle my experience as a teacher who writes and to reflect. It's nice to know that I have this space to record my thinking and process this most cherished life. It's a bonus if others find my thoughts helpful. 

So...here I am. I packed up my books and other belongings at the end of the 2021-2022 school year and said goodbye to the school and district where I spent four years as a tech integration specialist and an instructional coach and three years* as a EL/Dual Language Language Arts/Social Studies teacher.

It's a little hard to see but students made graffiti boards at the end of this school year. I asked them to write their names and then to draw any memories of our time together in class. Along with the other students I got to learn with over the last three years*, I carry them with me.
Room 208 will always hold a special place in my heart. 
But year 21 in education is taking me to Bannockburn School to be a 6th-8th grade Language Arts teacher. I'm looking forward to a new adventure and to sharing it here. 

Monday, July 4, 2022

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 07/ 04/2022

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA! 

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing ReadersThe original IMWAYR, with an adult literature focus, was started by Sheila at Book Journeys and is now hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date.

It's a great way to share what you're reading and get recommendations. We encourage you to write your own post sharing what you’re reading, link up below, leave a comment, and support other IMWAYR bloggers by visiting and commenting on at least three of the other linked blogs.

Last Week's Adventures:
I have been enjoying When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill. I also read You & a Bike & a Road by Eleanor Davis and How to Make a Journal of Your Life by Dan Price. Both interesting and useful for my own thinking. 

This Week's Adventures:

I'm interested in finishing When Women Were Dragons to see how it all turns out and then to listen to Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson. 

Did you see that sign up for Teachers Write is up? Check out the details and sign up here. Woo hoo!

What are you reading this week? 
Link up below and check out other blogs to see what they're reading!
To help build our community and support other bloggers,
we ask that you comment on at least three other blogs before you.
Also, if you tweet about your Monday post, don't forget to use #IMWAYR!


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? 08/08/2022

  It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? From Picture Books to YA!   It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a weekly blog hop I co-host with ...