a quote from my favorite author

“The most solid advice, though, for a writer is this, I think: Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.”

-William Saroyan, The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze

Saturday, February 8, 2014

31 THINGS day fifteen

I am participating in a class with Ali Edwards through Big Picture Classes called 31 Things.  Every day includes a word, writing prompts, dig deeper prompts, a writing tip, Ali's example, and a photo challenge.  In addition to the prompts, templates for a physical album and/or digital album are included.  I am creating a digital album and plan to share the results here over 31 days.
created using Photoshop Elements 9 and tools from 31 Things with Ali Edwards

day fifteen | 9:15am

At 9:15 the bell has just rung for students to move from first period to second period, but since I teach a double-block of language arts we are unaffected by that signal.

At 9:15 I am in a room filled with 22 Voices Strong, silenced, settled into the reading zone or fidgeting in staunch avoidance (even at this point in the school year). 

At 9:15 students sense my presence and shift to allow me to glimpse a page number, record it in the database created by my mother, and move on.

At 9:15 I have already figured out whether this will be a teaching day filled with ease or one of those days where I will be trudging uphill the whole way.  Today will be productive and smooth.

At 9:15 I am taking a moment to stand back and survey the class.  I reflect on each individual student’s needs more in this moment than I possibly can while planning after class.  Something about seeing every face, reading the level of engagement through body language, jumpstarts my mind into making decisions about my next teaching move with each of these readers.  I record notes in my iPad and continue moving as silently as possible around the room to visit each reader.

At 9:15 my stomach has not yet begun to grumble in anticipation of lunch, but I am beginning to long for a bathroom break after drinking 16 ounces of strawberry banana smoothie for breakfast.


  1. I am intrigued by the student book to the right, with the bell curve. Is that John Green's "An Abundance of Katherines?" I couldn't quite make out the title.

    I love the "trudging uphill all day" reference. I hate those days, especially when I have forgotten all of my climbing gear at home.

    Christy, I am so enjoying this glimpse into your life. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Hmmm...9:15 -- it's different for me every single day. It's fun to think about your checking on readers in your corner of the world while I check in with teachers who are checking in with readers...