Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Monday, March 2, 2015

Writing Fall and Summer Staff Developments OWDL Institute

I googled Just Write Baby to see what other blogs shared the title of my blog.  I opened one of them.  It was from The Bleacher Report Blog.  In it, writer James Poniewozik gave out some advice about writing.  I loved it!  It has become my philosopy as well.  I have the link below called Writer's Advice.  I also have copied and pasted his words of advice that I think we all can take to heart and put into practice with ourselves and with our students.  Just write baby!

I’ve heard this advice in variations from different people, but I once took a writing workshop with novelist Charles Baxter, who gave it my favorite phrasing: “Just write, whatever crap it may be.”
That is, don’t wait for the perfectly formed sentence to appear in your head; sometimes forcing the physical act of writing itself is what you need. Your mind will catch up.
That would probably be my advice to another writer too. Maybe another way to put it is: Don’t be afraid to be bad, to be ridiculous, to be wrong. [Don't be] bullied by your internal editor.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Hoops! by Maureen Ucles


By Maureen Ucles

My Spalding basketball
against the battered,
 poor-excuse-for- a- walkway
too numerous to count
 like wrinkles on a pitiful, putrid prune
Avoiding those pitfalls
so as
not to 
my mama's back
causes me to move,
swivel, groove
some left over swag
 like LBJ
on the 

I jab step,
spin around
ankle breaking
I am
The Answer
back in the day
Can't wait to
meet my peeps
same place
same sound
shoot and play
serious, nasty, stupid

The ball spins 
from my fleshy finger-tips
Soaring high over my noggin'
Sounds so sick to behold
Swish, swish, swish!
That sound!
Never gets old!
Like poetry in motion

My mid range J
In all its glory
What can I say?
Sweet spot
Just right
Glides clear through the
  musty, dusty,and always rusty,
orange chipped
sorry rim
Landing ever so softly
caught then released
in the chain- linked paradise
Basket baby!

I call for it!
Music to my enormous ears
Satellites full of delight
A smile for my sweaty face
Rhythms realized
This is definitely 
My day
My time

 all that  it beholds
No other game
Can compare
No other place
I'd rather be
in this blackened
asphalt jungle
 in the zone
scorching, torching
for all to see
You can't guard me!
That's me
Straight up

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Saturday Is Always A Great Day for Writing

This Saturday I went on a wonderful writing journey with teachers from grades 2-5 at Terrace Elementary.  We journeyed through our own writing using triggers or stimuli from picture books, quicklists, videos and each other.  We had wonderful peer conferences using Pointing from the book
Acts of Teaching by the wonderful Dr. Joyce Carroll and Eddie Wilson.  We explored ways in which we write.  I very much enjoyed working with you today.  Here are some photos that I was able to take to try to capture just a little of the energy on Saturday.  Thanks to all!  It was definitely a wonderful day!

August Workshop- Dual Language Institute 2013

I was looking through some of the photos that I snapped or had someone snap in August.  I guess I must have been too busy or something, but I forgot that I had these photos.  One of the workshops that I presented was about my digital journey.  It came about because of my wonderful time at the Abydos Writing/Literacy Project this summer.  I considered many options for the extensive writing piece that I wanted to publish.  I decided to use that piece as a scaffold for the workshop.  So you will see many SBISD educators in the workshop.   The next day I presented another session on writing poetry and drama/reader's theatre/plays with students so they can understand first hand what the considerations of the author.  I believe that if we were more inclined to writing with our students in the study of genre such as poetry and drama, the students would understand it deeply.  If they could talk to me, the writer and see all the considerations that I take when I write and how I develop my ideas, then they will too when they are invited to join me through this genre journey.  I worked with struggling readers in 5th grade and that was my approach daily with these students.  We immersed ourselves into the writing and reading of the genre through the eyes of the writer.  The writer is the teacher and other mentor text.  There writer is each student that attempts to make sense of the genre through their own mind in the form of writing.  I loved it so  much and saw such value in approaching it this way.  The students really understood writing and reading better because we were having such literate, academic conversations.  Our conversations morphed from the teacher to the writer to the writers in the classroom.  One students said to me, "I have never had a conversation with a real author before."  I asked him, "Do you write?"  He said quietly, "Well...yes!"  We then join me and let's write together because you are a writer too!  We had author and writer speak.  Now it became personal and relevant for them.  They could publish their pieces on this blog too, which they loved and felt proud of. We then used their pieces and others to make our literary analysis and academic author conversations.  That is what the Reading test is to me. It is literary analysis and author speak.  In some ways, I could even say it is a writing test.  If we can plan our Language Arts through a writer's lens and have our students mix the two in a natural, real world environment, then there is no telling how far that we can go.  There is no telling how many thinkers, readers, speakers, writers, and digital pioneers can emerge from this environment.  I am not only speaking of brilliant young minds but also, educators as well.  Here are some photos!

Groups sharing out

Reading from intro to Because Digital Writing Matters

Discussing the digital  journey

Adding insights from digital experiences

Peer conference

Peer conference

Peer conference

Friday, September 13, 2013

Roll Tide!

Tomorrow is a great day to live!  Tomorrow, right before our very eyes, we will see The Alabama Crimson Tide roll over Johnny Autograph Manziel and Texas A and M.  You can book it, bank on it, mortgage your house, car title your auto and bet your very life on this one!  It's a no brainer and something to behold.

It is certainly very nice when you see what comes around going around and round and rolling over Johnny Party City Manziel.  I am personally fed up with Mr. Football and all his antics. So, for the first time in my life, I will root, without reservation, for Alabama and Nick Saban.  It's not that I have ever wished any ill will to Nick and Company.  Last year, The Tide just spanked one of my favorite college teams.  Yes, I am a hopeless Notre Dame Fighting Irish fanatic.  I also love me some of THE Ohio State Buckeyes as well.  I digress.  Nah!  I don't hold any grudges, well, except for Johnny wanna be a Man-ziel.

Johnny Manziel. Johnny Who Cares?  What is it about the young kid that I cannot quite stomach?  How about media coverage of his missteps all summer long! I am tired of hearing about his Manning Camp foe pas and then his uninvited appearance at a frat party at the University of Texas.  Then poor, poor, pitiful Johnny No-Good signed thousands of autographs to memorabilia dealers. For free? Hey, if you believe that then I have a suspension bridge I'd like to sell you too!  Johnny's got a rich daddy who helped him lawyer up and get a 30 minute stinking suspension against powerhouse Rice Owls!  Really?  Seriously?  That is less than a slap on the wrist.  Less than a look.  Less than a cough of discomfort.Less than...well a suspension.  The elephant in the room is getting overbearing!  Ohio State was massacred for selling their own things for tattoos.  Johnny B BAAAAD signed all kinds of memorabilia and received six figures for doing so and got...wait for it....30 minutes.Can you say whack?  Can you say messed up?  Can you cry foul?  Certainly smells that way, at least!

So you can probably understand, by now, the total disdain that I feel for this overprivledged- poor- excuse- for- a- Heisman Trophy winner.  Bring on Manti Te'o!  He should have won it anyhow. I digress again.  I don't want to hear anything more about Johnny, what's his name?  He thinks he's money. He flashed money signs, multiple times, after he passed a few touchdowns on the horrid Rice defense and celebrated and taunted the Sam Houston State Sammies football players. So you really enjoy shoving it in the face of the little schools right? That is an outrage!  Bullying behavior Mr. Johnny waiting to fall on his face Manziel!  Are any of these teams ranked number one in the country and have won 2 national championships consecutively lately?  If you didn't know, the answer would be a hearty NOPE!  I am ready for some great news. My Alabama Crimsom Tide will roll all over Manzielmania and Texas A and M in less than 24 hours. I don't have anything at all against A and M.  I like their coach.  He's a former Coug! I am from Ohio.  Just can't stand young punks who are out of control.

'Bama has a stellar defense and their offense is pretty good.  The offense will get rolling against a benign A and M defense.  Alabama will cruise and A and M will loose their place in the top ten. As Bart Scott said, "Can't wait!"  Can't wait to witness justice.  Can't wait to see 'Bama open up a can of...on Johnny, Johnny who? This Saturday should be quite delicious.  Johnny Manziel served up on a silver platter. Mmmm! Mmmm!  Sounds good!  Then for dessert.  I'll order two slices of humble pie with whip cream and a cherry on top!  Quite delectable!   R-0-L-L  T-I-D-E!

Can A Gum Commercial Make You Cry?

Alana Morris told me to watch this commercial.  I watched it from her Facebook post.  I liked it and thought so?  Then the very end got me!  Wow! It touched my heart and reminded me of my daughter and our relationship.  She is always making origami out of nothing.  She has made it from those huge productions to little teeny, tiny ones.  So much potential for Reading and Writing.   I will post more later.  Just wanted you to see it first!  Get your Kleenex ready!
Truism alert!  Sometimes it's the little things that last the longest!  That is so true!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Today was a GREAT day for Writing!

Thanks to all the teachers and iCoaches who attended the Personal Narrative/Memoir/Moment Writing Staff Development today and on Tuesday at SBISD.  I really enjoyed both days tremendously. I wish I had taken more photos.  I want to share some of the photos now and later share some writing that was produced today.  I had a blast! Thanks

Teachers from second to fifth grade were in attendance. Thanks  to all for all your great ideas, sharing and energy!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What day is it? Geico Commercials with Analogies and Other Funny Parts

I have been watching these commercials for Geico.  They usually make me laugh but being the teacher that I am, I couldn't help but think about ways I could use these in the classroom.  I thought about analogies again. On others, I thought they were just plain hilarious.  I hope you enjoy these too!

Great Day Today!

I really enjoyed the workshop today.  I enjoyed working with you.  The only thing I regret is that I didn't get to take very many photos.  I am exhausted!  It is a good kind of exhausted.  I will be posting more soon.  Next inservice will be on Thursday and then Saturday.  I am sooooo looking forward to it.  I have some pieces of writing that I want to continue.  I didn't get a chance to snap some photos because there was another workshop going on right after mine.  I will take some photos tomorrow for longevity and my memory!  Thanks again!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Writing, Writing, Writing! Writing Opportunity!

For those of you who are interested, I will be conducting a writing staff development coming your way next week.  I will be working with wonderful educators, iCoach and support staff on studying and composing the personal narrative or memoir writing.  There will be much writing, collaborating and plenty of smiles to go around.  We will be studying and utilizing writing techniques from Dr. Joyce Carroll from her work Acts of Teaching, Gretchen Badabing Bernabei from her works of Crunchtime, Reviving the Essay, Story of My Thinking and the newest one Academic Writing, Serious Learning.  We will also explore the works of Barry Lane, Jeff Anderson and Kelly Gallagher.  Ralph Fletcher's work will also be explored.  I hope you can attend and work together.  I have left a flyer for your convenience.Just clink on the link below that says Writing Baby! I also have pics of the great books I mentioned above, plus I added some things that I didn't have time to mention.

Writing Baby!


Great Books About Writing: 

No comments:

Post a Comment