Day in a Lyric over at Amy’s

We have this very neat little restaurant in a neighboring town called Amy’s Place. Great food. Good conversations. A nice hangout. I mention that because this week, we are heading over to Amy’s Blog for the Day in a Sentence. She is tweeking it into Day in a Lyric and would like us to imagine a theme song for our week. (Hopefully, no AC/DC’s Highway to Hell is on anyone’s list)

Head to Amy’s Blog

We hope you join us.

Peace (in melody),

Your Days in a Sentence

Greetings and here are this week’s collection of sentences.

I want to start out with a podcast that I did with a roomful of teachers at the Prairie Lands Writing Project in St. Joseph, Missouri, on Saturday as part of a talk about Web 2.0 and the ability to use the Net for connecting with a community of other teachers (and a keynote address about writing my webcomic). I asked them all to write out a Day in a Sentence, and volunteer to podcast their sentences.

Here we go:

Listen in to Prairie Lands teachers

And now, the rest of this week’s wonderful submissions:

  • I am currently reclining lazily on my leather sofa, watching television, while in the back of my mind, I realize that, because of parent-teacher conferences next week, I have papers to grade, interims to fill out, conference forms to write, and children’s work to gather in an organized fashion to share with their parents. — Karen
  • god, i love friday night football in pennsylvania – it’s a mania unparalleled by anything else i’ve experienced, and the vinegar french fries just take to the next level. — Sara
  • I am convinced of the need for more than 24 hours in day–at least if I want to include enough sleep to avoid feeling constantly fatigued. — Art
  • Today learned from my kindergarten teachers that everyone knows a David or if they don’t, at least their father does. — Eric
  • lately i’ve begun having serious vocab shortages: i know the word i want exists, i’ve used the dang-blasted thing a million times, it’s a perfectly beautifully crafted word that’s hugely better than “hugely” or “normal” or “thing” or “get” or whatever…but it eludes me. it’s not even on the tip of my tongue or the precipice of my brain…it’s lurking in deep depths, far beyond my scanty influence or gravitational pull. and it’s annoying. worrisome. irritating. laughable. (Ok. I’ve abused the concept of a sentence or the idea of a period. But, well, that’s been my week!) — Alex
  • As we head out for our daughter’s birthday celebration at a Malaysian restaurant, I wonder to myself, “how did I become the mother of a 30 year old?” — Delaine
  • Looking back, it’s as if I have been visiting a delightful foreign country over the last few years with all my class digital work; what I must remind myself is that most people I work with haven’t been to that country, and I have to place more focus on being a graceful and inviting diplomat. — Connie
  • Note to self: Lake George Friday, personal day, fun with darling husband, good weather forecast, Fort Ticonderoga! (Apologies for the fragmentation but those have been my thoughts all week long, like a countdown!) — Gail P.
  • I’m ready to unveil my new digital story today at our SI08 retreat. Almost a full hour, it celebrates the work of the community and everyone will take home a DVD copy. I wonder how many will actually pop their disk into a dvd player to share it with others? I wonder if who from this community will move into our larger HVWP community? (It’s 6 AM, pitch black still and I’m up and filled with questions….and of course, Joe is up tonight as the world watches Sarah show her stuff.) — Bonnie
  • Chronic feline illness has afflicted our household with a terrible melancholy, he’s old and not in pain, but barely touching his food and probably on the way out…but we don’t want to send him through the great catflap in the sky just yet. — David

Thanks to everyone !

We’re going to have a guest host this coming week so be on the lookout for that call for words.

Peace (in connections),


Simply Sentences

Please consider joining us for this week’s Day in a Sentence. No fancy themes this week. Just good ol’ fashioned sentences. How does it work? Boil down your week or a day in your week to a reflective sentence and share with the comment link on this post. I will collect all of the sentences and publish them (probably on Monday, at this point).

As for me, I am heading off to the Prairie Lands Writing Project in Missouri this weekend to give a keynote talk about writing in the online world, with a focus on my webcomic, Boolean Squared. I will show how I used the Web 2.0 and other technology as part of a writing process for the comic strip, and then, how you might move some of those ideas into the classroom. The conference looks very interesting and I am very excited about being asked to present as the keynote speaker (this is the second time this has happened – Bonnie hosted me last year at the Hudson Valley Writing Project).

My hope is to create an online version of my presentation in the next week or so.

Meanwhile, one of my activities for the crowd in the morning (where I focus on Web 2.0 and education) is to write out a Day in a Sentence and then podcast some of their words as part of our own Day in a Sentence collection. It will add some new voices into the mix and bring Day in a Sentence out a bit further.

I look forward to your words!

Peace (in connections),

Here a poem, there a poem, everywhere a poem poem

I say,
These days are crazed;
hectic, perhaps, but OK —
we still find time to sit back and think
and find our place here among this virtual space
with words and thoughts and ideas
and the satisfaction of the act of connections
through collectively shared reflections.

Without further ado, this week’s Days in a Poem:

Mr. Mansour got me right at the first line.

Bacteria, viruses, rockets, and rocks.
6th graders still challenged by lockers with locks.

Two student teachers and some nurses to boot.
The best rocket maker might win some loot.

Friday detention is a bit of a pain.
This poem is confusing, let me explain.

It’s my week in a poem, the life of a science teacher.
I’m armed only with my cunning, a computer, and a beaker.

Anne M. came back from behind the Great Firewall of Asia.

Being lost without my blog
In China where it would not log
Then again when back home on the farm
Due a quirk, I felt I’d lost my arm.

Sheryl provides us with a rush of words in her freestyle poem, which she says is “prompted by needs for teacher literacy in technology”:

21st Century is no time to be a wallflower as the dance moves on without you.

Ken continues his wonderful stylistic writing that captures more than a moment:

Fleet stepping figures in oilskin array,
scattered reflections a constant foray,
city street buskers with rhapsodic song –
happy together –
the lyrical chorus delighting the throng,
mocking the weather.

sara (she of the lower case world) mulls over love:

he brought me
a cheesy bagel today
at my second job
at the plant place.
wrapped in a paper towel,
with two string cheeses
on the side.
“you need a snack,”
he smiled.

the mums do their mumming,
the late-summer bees gather pollen,
i count the days of marriage
in the crumbs.
and it’s like the stars.

but better.

I’m hoping Liza made it through, even though a new week now begins:

I think that I will survive this week
Abundant with colds and meetings and chaos
I think that I will survive this week
Where life and work cross swords with one another
I think that I will survive this week
With stinky skunks and dirty hands on kids
I think that I will survive this week
but can I survive the weekend?

Gail P., who gave me the idea of last week’s Day in a Question (and then her question got lost in transit somehow), captures so nicely the richness of her teaching environment and philosophy:

The natives are restless.
They’re eager to go.
They’ve found the right path
But what they don’t know
Is what lies before them,
Around every last turn,
Are the carefully laid challenges
That bring them to learn.

Like Liza, David was looking forward to the weekend. Perhaps the sniffles are gone?

Snuffles and coughing, but deadlines to meet
Still, dogs to walk and children to feed
Poems and blog posts, but
Still, deadlines to meet
Thankfully, in sight: the end of the week

And Lisa C. added her poem called Late September to her blog site, capturing a hectic week.

The week started off without a hitch
We learned how to start stories,
Worked out more than one glitch
We worked on a project, or maybe two,
Finished a couple
And started a few that are new.
A novel was finished, all in one day!
The weekend was coming
With more time to play.
One last thing, before we go
We ended our week
By honoring a hero.
I sigh with relief
Now that it is over
And start make plans for another great week!

Sue W added a haiku to our mix:

Student blogging comp
Read, comment, post, drink milo
Midnight again, BED!!

Thanks to all of the poets here.

Peace (in wordplay),

Get Your Jogging Shoes On

I decided to take all of the many submissions for this week’s Day in a Sentence (actually, it became Day in a Question with the theme), and use a site called Jog the Web, which allows you to set up a series of navigational paths for websites. I like that I can move you to the blogs and sites of all of the folks who added their words to our feature this week.

So, without further ado, please tie the laces on your shoes and let’s hit the trail.

(either click on the image above or use this link for our Jog the Web)

I would love to get some feedback on the experience as a viewer, if you have time.

Peace (in reflection),

Your Day in a Question?

Day in Sentence Icon by Dogtrax.

This suggestion comes from Gail P., who teaches at my school. She came into the lunch room and said, Why not Day in a Sentence as an interrogative?

Well, why not, indeed? We haven’t done that one before, so: Please reflect on a day in your week or your week, and narrow it down to a provocative question or query for us.

Then, use the comment feature on this post to add your question and I will gather them up and publish over the weekend. (Thanks, Gail!)

Here is mine:

Will this push into Professional Learning Communities will make our school more collaborative in nature or will it just tighten the circles around our grade level teams?

I look forward to your words and invite everyone and anyone to come on board with this collaborative, community project.

Peace (in wonder),

Your Days, Words and Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised to see the rush of words come after I put out my first call for Days in a Sentence in about seven or eight weeks. The break was nice for me and I wondered if Days in a Sentence would still be on people’s radar screens. It surely was. And boy, folks can pack a lot of punch into just a few words.

Here, then, are this week’s Days in a Sentence, Six-Word-Style:

  • My colleague, Gail P. (whom I ran into on the beach in Maine while we were both on vacation) teaches kindergarten at my school. Her year got off to a good start. It’s all working according to plan.
  • Connie continues to innovate with energy and enthusiasm, with positive results. Successful with class redesign, I’m exhausted.
  • Delaine also moves into new territory and then crops out the things she doesn’t want. If only life were like that. Surprise! I am effectively teaching PhotoShop.
  • Liza is another one who found that some thoughtful planning is paying off. Routines are making a difference — Hurray!
  • David‘s six words remind of a day in my class this week, when my sixth graders came in talking about the new supercollider, and asking if the world were soon to blow up. So I talked science with them and also talked Media Exposure, too. David writes: Hadrons, hadrons, hadrons: subsidized, overhyped, uncollided.
  • Sara made the rounds, checking in with students and making connections. conferring with every kid is hard!
  • This was great. My Writing Project friend and colleague, Tina (who ran a claymation camp with me this summer) already has some students tinkering with tech. Moviemaker and microphones made students ebullient.
  • Stacey was thinking of country, perhaps as part of the 9-11 ceremonies. I’m proud to be an American.
  • Ben is no longer on the same pins and needles, thanks to longevity and experience. Open house feels different when tenured.
  • I wonder if Janice feels like she’s on the narrow end of a time funnel? Three weeks work, crammed into one!
  • Bonnie had Barack on her Brain. Barack is back, and me too.
  • Ken, the wonderfully creative Ken, gave us a six word poem:
    • Full sky, beckoning spring,promising rainbows.
  • Sheryl has some sort of construction going on. I hope her foundation is strong. Technology helped me communicate with contractor.
  • Jeff had the tables turned on him, with students becoming the teachers (although I wonder what words he learned?). Students taught me some Portuguese slang.
  • OK. I admit I had to look up the last word of Lynn‘s submission. And then it made sense. My mind is overflowing with ephemera.
  • Larry has both words and important lesson for all of us. First, his words: Raised my voice & a student cried. And now, his lesson that he wanted to share, too:
    Kevin, along with my six (sort of seven) words, I’d like to add a quote from Marvin Marshall, an extraordinary writer on classroom management, who wrote that before we act, we should always ask ourselves this question: “Will what I am about to do or say bring me closer or will it push me away farther from the person with whom I am communicating?” Needless to say, I didn’t do that in this instance.
  • Anne continues to push into new terrain. Established new friends for online projects.
  • Nancy experienced that frenzy of the week where it is gone before you know it. What did I do this week?
  • From the mouths of the little ones comes this gem from Eric: Kindergartner asks me,
    Where are we?
  • Amy K. had success by digging into the news. Literally. Newspaper number hunt messy and FUN!
  • Cynthia is fighting off the Lovebugs (not Herbie!). Darn it! Lovebugs also survived Gustav. She explains: Those of us who live in the Gulf Coast states are cursed each September by an invasion of lovebugs, small black insects whose only purpose in life, as far as I can tell, is to procreate. They are nasty, disgusting, smelly, and invasive. They are supposed to be attracted to white houses. Someone forgot to point out to them that my log cabin is not white because I spent all Saturday morning vacuuming up these disgusting insects, but they just keep coming in.
  • Gail W. is bringing some students into a meaningful project between the National Writing Project and Google regarding Letters to the President as the election in America gears up. Started 90 seniors on Google/NWP project:-)
  • Nina is a decade old. Sort of. I’m celebrating the webheads’ tenth anniversary.

I could not resist taking our words and pushing them into Wordle and create this collaborative image:

Thanks to everyone who participated.

Peace (in brevity),

Six Words — One Reflection


The Day in a Sentence returns here this week with a request that you consider boiling down your busy lives — either as a day or the week — into a single reflective thought. This week, I am returning to the concept of minimalization: the Six Word Sentence.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Consider your week or a day in your week
  • Reflect on it
  • Write a sentence that captures the spirit of the week or a day
  • But use ONLY SIX WORDS
  • Post your sentence here by using the comment button on this post (note: comments are kept in my moderation bin)
  • I will gather all of the sentence and release them to the world over the weekend
  • You will get great virtual applause. 🙂

Everyone is invited (yes, even you) so please consider joining us.

Here is my sentence:

I defended technology before reluctant mom.

Peace (in words),

PS — Thanks to the folks who hosted Day in a Sentence over the past few weeks, including:

Six Word Reflections of Our Days

In the span of the first day that I posted a call for Six Word Days in a Sentence, my blog was hit with 20 submissions. That says something about the power of the six words and the power of the Day in a Sentence format, doesn’t it? And the words kept coming the next day … and the next. By Saturday, I had more than 30 sentences in my blog bin.

Thank you to everyone who lent us your words this week. I have been very protective of them, but now, they can be released into the world. I won’t say much this week in terms of introductions, as the six words (give or take), capture what the writers were trying to say. My own words would just jumble up the experience.

What I did decide to do, however, is to group them according to some common themes that seemed to emerge (sorry if you don’t quite agree with my categories) and then it made sense to me to create a Bubble.Us concept map, color-coded along those themes.

Here you go:

The Teachers’ Life: School

  • Graduate school projects consume my time — Amy
  • Packing up is hard to do — Stacey
  • Graduation, celebration, culmination, year-end roll. — Lynn C.
  • Language immersion camp in full swing! — Amy K.
  • Students staff vacation packing for NECC. — Cheryl
  • Waiting irritably 4 school to be done. — Lisa
  • School ends, summer arrives, SI looms. — Bonnie
  • Our hard work recognized; Thanks NYSCATE! – Sue
  • My learning binge finds new fuel. — Connie
  • Holidays, time to reflect and regroup. — Jenny
  • Lunch with colleague lifts my spirits. — Susan C.

The Teacher’s Life: Kids

  • School’s out – twenty-two books still missing. — Janice
  • Kids creating music blows me away. — Anne B.
  • It was sad to say goodbye. — Paul
  • Discovered that Wii bribery helps math — Kathryn

The Home Life

  • Thunderstorms wreak havoc on family activities. — Kevin
  • Pool installers here–kids in frenzy. — Renee (for her kids)
  • Early starting, hard working, dogwalking. Sleep. – David
  • Moving this week, wish us luck! — Michaele
  • My vacation is taken over by life. — Liza
  • Trying to fill in my taxes. – Illya
  • muggy, humid; thunderstorms approaching rapidly – cool! — Sara
  • Smocking for grandson. Raccoons finally finished! — Cynthia

The Reflective Life

  • Tomorrow, I’ll have much better luck. — George (via Flickr)
  • Distractions win out over obligations (again). — Renee (for herself)
  • At 6,000 feet elevation, priorities shift. — Jo
  • Been there, done that – now vacation – Elona

The Odds and Ends of Words

  • Led North Webster parade as Santa — Rick
  • Painted tree nurtures young girl dreams — Jane
  • Forest fires cause smoky days. — Delaine
  • Relentlessly, the smoke fills our lungs — Lynn J.
  • Gleam, glean, lean, learn, earn, yarn. — Ken
  • The medical establishment is a turn-off. — Nancy

And here is the Bubble.Us Concept Map (and a direct link because the embed box is kind of small):

Peace (in words),

Day in a Sentence in Six Words

Wanted: Six Words. Your story. Here.

It’s that time again — we’re looking for your Days in a Sentence and since so many of us in North America are entering summer vacation/break (but not everyone, of course), I thought we could return to the Six Word Story format in an effort to keep things brief and to the point.

So, please consider boiling down your week or a day of your week into six words. You can use the comment feature on this post and then I will collect and redistribute the Six Word Sentences over the weekend as part of our growing network of writers.

Here is my Day in Six Words:

Thunderstorms wreak havoc on family activities.

I look forward to your words this week.

Peace (in brevity),

PS — If you are interested in guest hosting Day in a Sentence, please let me know. I love having other folks take it on from time to time.