Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: We Do Have Fun With Words

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

Words in a Cloud 2021

Give them a chance, and young writers will invent words that will spark your pondering and set you guffawing, and make you wonder where our language might yet be heading.*

Peace (invented and spoken),
Kevin

*This is the 17th year that my sixth graders have been building an online collaborative dictionary of invented words. It’s part of a unit on word origins. Each year, every student adds a new word, and their voice (through audio file), to the dictionary. It’s just one of those annual rituals that keeps moving forward …

Listen to this year’s voice collection.

 

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: Why, Indeed

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

Why am I spending so much of my free time refreshing government websites that don’t seem to function right in order to find a scheduling spot on a calendar that doesn’t seem to have openings for a vaccine that may not yet be in abundance enough to be readily available?*

Peace (refreshing it often),
Kevin

*Our school is coming back full, in phases, starting next week with my grade. That’s one reason why.

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: From Poem to Words to Color to Notes to Music

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

Sometimes when creative inspiration hits — like how words of a poem might be translated into color, and how those colors might be translated into music — it’s best to dive in and ride the wave all the way to the end.

Peace (deep in the key),
Kevin

PS — This project essentially takes two lines from a 106-line collaborative poem, turns those words into color with a tech font tool that my friend, Wendy, found and then turns those colors into musical notes, which I then played on keyboard in a software, using an avante garde /new music style of playing, while later adding layers of sounds to expand the composition.

 

Musical Slice of Life: Tuned Into Open

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

I will often have stretches where I am writing lots of songs and the ideas are everywhere. Then there are the fallow times, when nothing seems to be flowing in any certain direction. I’ve learned to be patient — that the songs will still come. But I have also developed some strategies — pick up another instrument, try a new loop pack, or tune my guitar into another key.

That’s what I was doing yesterday — exploring open tuning on my guitar and this little sequence of riffs began to play out. I like open tuning now and then because of the space it creates on the fretboard.

This piece is short but long enough to remind me that music is all around, even if sometimes you need to approach it, slant (as Emily D might say). The title is merely a hopeful gesture of wording  …

Peace (sounds like),
Kevin

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: In That Moment, A Poem

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

In the moment in which that solitary snowflake landed in her outstretched hand, as if she were capturing a bit of loosened magic from the sky, the start of a small poem, too, tumbled into my head.

HandScratchPoemDraft(A draft started in freewrite time with students, revised during the day)

Peace (falling),
Kevin

Little Geometry

One single silent
snowflake, loose
– a goose lost from
its group – slow-motion
tumbler

Its landing softened
by her outstretched
hand: melted time

then, her lips
on skin
on ice
on sand

We’re lost in a
moment we may
never understand

Slice of Life/Day in Sentence: It Wasn’t So Easy After All

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

What I had at first hoped would be a straightforward technology lesson for students — using Quicktime to capture voice on audio — became, instead, incredibly unexpectedly complicated due to the distance between us — me, at home, with screenshots and tutorials; them, at home, using an unfamiliar application; and Zoom, refusing to play nice in allowing me to show what I needed to show.

Peace (finding the button),
Kevin

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence: I Am So (not) Insulted

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

I laughed, and then she laughed, and then we all laughed as the insult generator landed on a particularly funny Shakespearean phrase that she expertly lobbed my way with her voice, cushioned first by a heartfelt apology not even necessary.

Peace (from the classroom),
Kevin

Slice of Life: That Wind of Gust and Din

(The Slice of Life Challenge in March is hosted by Two Writing Teachers as way to encourage teachers-as-writers. You can join in, if you want. There is also a monthly call for Slices on Tuesdays. You can write then, too)

I woke with an idea brewing for Day in a Sentence but then the wind — incredibly loud and incredibly powerful, and a bit scary — barreled its way into my morning and still is shaking the windows and spooking the dogs.

So, here is my daily poem as Slice of Life.

This wind –
this ferocious wind –
this wind that sings
with gust and din,
this wind that brings
a fury as it flashes in,
’til I’m wide awake
to the siren call,
and up and out
before the day
begins

Peace (flowing through),
Kevin

Slice of Life/Day in a Sentence (the month begins)

I am once again taking part in the month-long Slice of Life Challenge with Two Writing Teachers (now, many hands on deck), and as usual, I am starting the month of March, as many do, wondering how in the world am I going to write a Slice each day?

I mean, I write every day.

But I’ve been mostly writing my poems and doing art/creative stuff with DS106 and skipping Saturdays and doing only photographs for Silent Sundays.

But … I remembered another project a long time back … Day in a Sentence … it, too, was a friendly challenge for teachers to write, but to do so by writing a summary of an entire day, in one single sentence.

So, I figure, why not combine the two concepts on some (but maybe not all) days of the Slice of Life? I even still have the Day in a Sentence icon in my blog media bin.

How cool is that?

So, here is my Day in a Sentence for my first Slice of Life 2021:

Morning fog obscures the pre-dawn street, as the dogs — young, nearly always, leading old — just keep on pulling me forward into the day.

Peace (short but sweet),
Kevin