Day in a Simile/Survey


Day in Sentence IconThis week’s Day in a Sentence is actually Day in a Simile. (Once again, props go out to Larry for another great suggestion). Boil down a day or your week into a simile/sentence and share it out with our growing community of writers and teachers and others.

Just use the comment feature here on this post and submit your simile. Of course, podcast links and videos and any other format is always welcome.

One possible format is: My Day is like a __________ because _____________.

Also, I have been tinkering with Google Forms (which is a quick survey that you can create within Google Docs and Spreadsheets) and I was hoping I could get you all to take a very short survey. First, I am interesting in your thoughts about Day in a Sentence. Second, I want to see how Google Forms works and I promise to share out the information when it is done.

So, pleasepleaseplease, take a second and take the survey. Thanks!

Oh, and here is my sentence/simile.

My week has been like one of my saxophone solos, with many many harmonious parts followed by a few bad notes that just made me cringe.

Peace (in collaboration),

Day in a Haiku: February 17 2008

We added another twist to this week’s Day in a Sentence by transforming it into Day in a Haiku, which also forces a certain brevity of thought. I was pleased to read these poems as they filtered into my blog throughout the week (a flurry on Sunday) and even put out a call for haikus on Twitter, just to see what would happen (tepid response in the Twitterverse, though).

Here, then, are your poems for this week:

Larry, who suggested the idea of a Haiku for the feature, checked in as he was checking out and hopefully, returning unscathed by the experience:

Preparing to go
on San Francisco field trip
I hope to survive

Lisa, who came via Twitter (hi Lisa!), wrote what was on my mind as last Friday approached:

Final day of school
Vacation is here at last
Much needed respite

Liza’s poem had me singing a children’s song in my head.

Relax your brain and draw
Polly wolly doodle all the day
Art springs forth from idle hands

Valentine’s Day found a way into Ben D’s poem:

Writing utensils
scar paper and stitch up hearts
both at the same time.

Sara, Sara, Sara. My old friend, Sara, got into a bit of hot water lately with the bigwigs but I will bet her students still love her.

Say I’m “Unsatisfactory”
But just with them.

Ben. B needs sleep? Who needs sleep? I need sleep.

Three-day weekend? Great.
Sleep in this week. At least next
Weekend’s three days, too.

Bonnie was a reluctant poet this week. But that didn’t stop her from captured the winter in her words.

Icy roads stopped travel
But not Tuvia, no chance
Steps on the stairs, welcomed.

Karen was feeling the Haiku rush, and submitted two poems. The first is inspired (is that the right word?) by some classroom management issues that are vexing her.

Pushed to the limit
Students are out of control
Need to reign them in

(Karen writes: Stress is running high because our state tests are in less than a month)

Testing days are soon
Last minute preparations
I know they will ROCK!

Mary lives a few hours away and wrote what I was seeing out my window this week during a blast of rainy winter weather.

No morning sun just
Icy drops striking ice snow
Winter symphony

Karen, too, saw winter, but she saw it as an opportunity to relax a bit and enter into the quiet.

Winter, pre-dawn snow
School, on a two-hour delay
Work, peace and quiet.

Amy is another friend needing a snooze. Meanwhile, she has some work on her plate.

Report card writing
Fiction story editing
Can I take a nap?

Lynn submitted her poem, but also gave a detailed explanation. The poem comes first:

windy blacktop
laughing retreat
sound fails

And then, the explanation:

Our whole school (950 total) assembled outside for a rally for charity, Friday in the AM. Wind and cold (Cali-style) caused teachers and students to huddle like pigeons on a ledge. The sound system failed its contest with the wind so all marched back into class mostly laughing. It was the capper to a week in which I had a miserable head cold and two all-day district training sessions. But, in between I also experienced riches, including the return of my “writer,” a professional who comes once a week to write with me and 6 students after school. We kept going while he was out of town, but it was really great to have him back.

Mary, a friend from Western Massachusetts, reminded me of the buckets around my school this week, following the rain-ice storm.

sheets of rain on roof
drip through the ceiling below
pails in place of desks

Christine looked at the room around her for inspiration.

Modular Classroom:

Chills from tin windows
Warming the room from within
Students sneaking in

Jo has testing on the mind and so do the students. So writing, writing, writing.

We’re writing away.
SOLs are coming up.
Oh, to know the prompt.

Jo added: I’m in Virginia, and my eleventh-graders have to take the writing parts of their (end-of-course) Standards of Learning tests the first week of March. Oh, joy!

It’s a bit of a frantic mood in Cynthia’s World.

Research paper time
Seniors rushing to finish
Deadline’s drawing near!

Frank (new to Day in a Sentence) is down in Mexico but writes that he loves Haikus for their simplicity and as a genre that his students can enter into as writers.

The warmth of the sun
Touches me with tender love
Then the night falls fast

Thanks to everyone for their beautiful poems.

Peace (in poetry),

Your Experimental Days in a Sentence

This week, I moved us in a new direction for Day in a Sentence and so many of you took the challenge and went into VoiceThread. Thank you. And for those of you who found the task too complicated — I apologize. We’ll be back to the tried-and-true sentences next week, as Ben B. takes over as a guest-host.

Anyway, here is the Voicethreaded Day in a Sentence for this week:

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And here are some sentences that came here via the blog:

“Bob Dylan said it best: to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free…” — Christina

“With Beethoven streaming in my ears and new snow dropping from a white clouded Colorado sky, I sit inside writing a case report about a teacher whom I greatly admire for her 30+ year career and dogged commitments to excellent, equitable education for second language learners, many of whom are immigrants.
” — Tom

“This week marked the 100th user registration for my website which validated my dream that, if you build it, and it matters, and it works, they will come!!
” — Sue

“If links were currency, I’ve just found myself some serious scratch thanks to a well-established blog.” — Ben B.

“I am having the sort of week where one longs for a lifesaver to be flung neatly at one just in the nick of time; grade-level meetings, all day training programs, district assessments . . . oh my.” — Liza

Meanwhile, I recorded the audio off the VoiceThread and made a bit of a podcast:

Take a listen

Have a wonderful week!

Peace (in collaboration),

My Day in A Sentence

Even though I put my sentence on the VoiceThread for this week (see post down below), I missed seeing it as part of my blog archive, so here it goes:

I got an article published in the local newspaper about my new XO, leading the other newspaper to interview me for their own article on the XO, and my hope is that both articles help advance the ideas of technology and education in the developing world.

Peace (in sentences),


Day in a Sentence: VoiceThread Experiment

I want to invite you into this week’s Day in a Sentence feature, and I am adding yet another twist to the equation. I have created this very simple VoiceThread and I want to invite you to post your sentence in my VoiceThread.

You can do it as text, as audio, or talking into a webcam. VoiceThread makes this so very easy to do. Here is the link to VoiceThread for the homepage, where you can set up an account in minutes.

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If this is impossible for you, then, by all means, leave your Sentence here as a post, but I really do hope folks will try out VoiceThread.

Peace (in threads),

My Day as a Video

Bonnie has released this week’s Day in a Sentence to the world. I tried something a little different this week — taking my podcast and putting it together with some file photos for a video Day in a Sentence.

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It was only after I started looking at and playing with new acoustic guitars that I realized how much of a faithful companion my old guitar has been in the 20 years that I have had it and how many hundreds (yep, hundreds) of songs I have composed on its tender strings.

I am hosting again this week and then it is off to Ben B. for a co-hosting venture the following week (right, Ben?).

Peace (with guitars),

Day in Sentence: Jan. 20

This was the week of creative brevity as I asked folks to boil down their days into six words. This is not so easy for the writer and leaves out a lot of context for the reader, but I hope that folks found it informative.

Here are the sentences:

Bonnie was off on a trip, although our virtual connections remained very much intact — another indication of the flat world. She even emailed me her sentence as a podcast (you can do that too!) so we could hear her voice. “Tucson, western romance, we arrive Tuesday.”

Amy usually tries to podcast through PodcastPeople but has been running into some slowdown on their network. That’s OK. We love getting her words even without her voice, particularly she is having such a good teaching week. “Introduced writing project, students are excited!

I’m happy to report that four of my colleagues from the Western Massachusetts Writing Project contributed sentences this week (see what some timely placed emails will do?). Mary is part of our new Tech Team and she is doing fantastic, thoughtful things in her classroom. She writes, “New faces emerge as ideas grow.

Another WMWP colleague is Anne, who is also our site director, a co-editor on a book we are developing on technology and assessment in the classroom (k-college), and one of my former professors. Anne shares this regional New England thought: “In frigid Northeast, I welcome sun.

Cynthia is thinking of drawing people together. Food helps is one meaning I get from her six words, but I may be wrong. “Retreat bound; roast in Crockpot; enjoy!

Delaine has business on the mind and the continuing education of people. “A week with adults studying entrepreneurship

Jo used to post her sentences over at our old friend, The Reflective Teacher, from whom I took this Day in a Sentence mantle. I’m glad that the breadcrumbs left behind led her to my site and our feature, even though her sentence surely gives all of us pause: “A threatening e-mail arrives amid exams.” (She notes that the email came from a student.)

Ben B. has politics in his head, and not all good, apparently. Does this have to do with Mitt? “I’ve lost faith in Michigan Republicans.

And then there is Ben D. who puts his passion very succinctly and with literary references. “Gatsby loves like I teach grammar.”

I wish Elona did have to write this sentence. But I am glad she feels comfortable enough with us, as a community, to share her thoughts both in writing and as a podcast (she sent me her file and I am hosting for her — did I mention you can do that too?). “Death- a celebration of Angie’s life.” Elona reads her sentence.

Yeah, Liza! I am sending some virtual flowers your way. “Principal observation survived; I did well.

Susan, another friend from WMWP, hopes these words will carry her through some tough days of dealing with administrators (she is our innovative and resourceful professional development coordinator). “Honoring teachers’ own learning–nothing less.

Connie keeps seeing new potential in networking, on many levels, and asks this question: “Networking is an art form, yes?” (Kevin answers: Yes, and one that requires patience and support and careful nurturing).

Matt, who has an amazing site for considering video in the classroom, captures the flux of time in eight (I hereby grant him two extra words in my role as blog-o-sentence-master) words: “Bills, books, time gone, going back to school.

Michaela came to the rescue (but let’s hope she doesn’t need rescuing herself). She writes, “Household flu transformed me: Florence Nightingale.

A friend from the Dakota Writing Project took a trip and brought the winter with them. (I hope it passed through luggage check). “Dakota snow followed me to Atlanta.

Larry has been running into walls, apparently, even as he continues his incredible journey to document and share some of the more amazing Web 2.0 tools, particularly those with applications for ESL students. But, “I’m frustrated with District content filters.” Who isn’t?

Testing in Texas with the TAKS makes for nice alliteration but a whole heap of stress, I bet. Joyce tries to explain in the limited number of words I have given her: “Worries, packets, bubbles: TAKS-time in Texas!

 Gail used more than her six words (which is fine) to relate the highs and lows of her week: “The low point of my week was the TV version of Comanche Moon, and the high point was starting a new project with a middle school English teacher from my district, who will connect with an English teacher in Northern Italy, to share their writing, especially poetry – and whose writing does not sound better when translated and read in Italian?!?” (Gail, who is a friend, hopefully won’t mind that I translate this into six words: “TV show, bad; Flat world, good.“)

And Tina (added late here), also of the WMWP and a new member of the Tech Team, reports a week of mixed blessings, I suppose: “Snow day. Sick day. Field trip.”

Bonnie will be hosting the feature next week so be on the look-out for a post and email notification. We are always encouraging folks to do some hosting of the feature, so let me know if you are interested.

Peace (in short sentences but deep thoughts),

Day in a Sentence (in six words!)

In the spirit of fostering the creative spirit amongst us, I am proposing that we try to use the six-word-story format for our sentence this week. The Six Word Story is a way to tell a tale in just six words. Not easy but interesting. You can see the Six Word Story project that I did last year with some folks in the National Writing Project, using a wiki site to allow folks to add their own stories.

Day in Sentence Icon As always, podcasts are welcome and encouraged.

If you are new to Day in a Sentence, the process is relatively straight-forward:

  • Boil a day or your week into a sentence (in this case, a sentence of just six words)
  • Use the comment feature on this post (comments are moderated)
  • I collect them all and publish them on Sunday (when the Giants beat the Packers, says this avid and nutty Giants fan)

I look forward to your words. (Look — I just wrote that in six words)

Here is my Six Word Day in a Sentence:

Snow, plus kids, equals complete craziness.

Peace (in brevity),

Day in a Sentence: new faces, new words, new year

It’s always a thrill to peek into my comments bin during the week to see what words are coming forth for the Day in a Sentence and, as much as I love seeing the returning names (please keep contributing), I also love that new folks are joining in as our community slowly expands. It’s a wonderful thing.

With further ado, here are your words:

Ben, who lets us know he is new to blogging but invites us to visit his blog, had this to say about his week as politics began to take center stage across the nation and in our classrooms: “The moment I heard my kids argue about Obama’s experience and Clinton’s capacity for change, the poetry and prose of each campaign and the effectiveness of either on leadership, I knew I had my hook for the rest of the semester.

Barb, who is part of a past Collaborative ABC Movie Project, had week of highs and lows. “Excitement comes in the form of an emotional rollercoaster with the loss of two of my students who were removed to South Carolina after the death of their caregiver on Monday to the high of my daughter’s wedding and the gathering of family on Saturday.”

Melinda finds herself in a reflective mood. “Expectant: I am sitting in a still, warm summer evening in Sydney ready for a gorgeous week’s holiday with my children and extended family (beginning tomorrow) with a year of work close on its heels – where did Christmas go?

Angie started the new year out on a positive note, even though a few of her students apparently had a difficult time keeping track of their papers (maybe they used them for airplanes?). She writes, “New (and improved) schedule, two new (pleasant) students and positive signs of improved organizations skills in three paper-loosing boys in my class has made my first three days into the school year uplifting and refreshing!

Connie continues to blaze a trail in social networking with her students (and with the world). She explains: “My students, who are completely immersed in their ning net-work, have happily settled into a collaborative learning community, sharing their multi-media, multi-linked current events productions; we’re viewing each other’s work with awe.”

A friend from the Dakota Writing Project (no name left in the trail but anyone from the writing project is a friend) shared this thought (although I think there may be a typo — is it an eight-year-old uncle? who has money to loan?): “A trip to North Carolina (organized by my eight-year-old uncle, who gave money to my son for college) in the midst of completing our Writing Project site grant really added spice to my week.

Liza worried about the Grumpy Teacher Blues as she returned from holiday break, but what she found was the opposite. “I was so worried that this week would be too hard with tired, whining students and a grumpy tired teacher but the break left me energized and ready to work and seems to have left the students with a need for structure and learning — hurray!

Delaine had to scramble with a field trip fiasco that apparently turned out OK in the end (for one group of students, anyway): “The senior marketing class did not get their permission slips in on time for a field trip next week to our local baseball stadium thus causing us to cancel their trip and offer the same thing to the junior class who immediately took us up on the offer.”

Poor April suddenly realized that she is not a superhero after all, although her thoughtfulness and reflective nature should qualify her for a nice cape and mask, in my book. “Cramming grant writing, night classes, and letter of recommendation writing into one short week, I realize I’m not superwoman; in fact, I’m not even Lois Lane — which means, of course, that I need to concentrate more on teaching and not the myriad of tasks surrounding the education field.

Matt, who graciously hosted the Day in a Sentence last week, had a strange epiphany in the lunch room. “Back from break, I sat around the lunch room with a bunch of teachers and found out that the favorite vacation activity of each of us at the table was cleaning our houses.

Elona admits that her week was so crazy, she almost forgot her sentence, so she emailed it off to me. I hope she buckled up. “I was reminded again that life is a roller-coaster ride — sometimes you’re on that exciting ride to the top and then suddenly you’re on that scary ride down.

Bonnie had one of those experiences as a presenter that you hope never happens (but it also happened to my friend, Susan, this week) — a sea of blank faces. “Generally my moments are high points but this week the climax on Friday was truly low, working with a group of teachers who did NOT want to be working with me, with our writing project; it was hard to get beyond the frozen faces who refuse to believe that reading/writing connections will move the formulaic essays to a new place and imagine, elementary kids come to their classrooms without any life experiences beyond TV watching…a tough crowd for sure…but the sun is shining and snow is on the way…

Mother Nature and the Guv are conspiring against Gail. “Last week’s big storms across California caused major power outages and zapped a few school systems and servers, including the gatekeeper and border controller that allow me to do videoconferencing from my district’s K12 classrooms. That, on top of the Governator’s prosposed $4 billion cut to schools, has not made for a great week…ah, but the sun is just now making a spectacular appearance in the Sierra foothills, bringing with it the promise of a better week to come.

Sue has been tinkering with recipes as metaphors for learning (I’m not sure I want to try her recipe but a few friends in college were on that diet). “To be creative is to live life with an open mind and in return receive the opportunity to more fully experience the unfamiliar and grow from it! (The example I share with my students…Who would have thought that ketchup and mayo would make Thousand Island dressing!)

Yes to RSS! Michaela discovers its potential. “Discovering and utilizing the ease of an aggregator this week has helped me restructure my daily stay-at-home-mom routine radically- here’s to being a late bloomer in technology’s garden!

Nina has her hands full of the Web 2.0 World. “After chatting at Tapped In and Skype for over an hour with webhead friends while doing laundry and drinking delicious coffee provided by my dear husband, I plan to participate in the EVOnline kickoff at Worldbridges/Skype, after which I will take a Greek artist friend to Washington, D.C. to visit the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, but sometime today I also have to help my daughter prepare for her upcoming exams, so it’s going to be a busy day indeed!

Jeff is in the same time zone as me, watching the weather channel and thinking that a snowstorm would be wonderful and awful (for me and my week of activities). “It’s so hard to grade projects when there’s a forecast for a major winter storm tonight.

Nancy is cleaning up, getting her memories together before her BIG transition out of the classroom. “One week to go and I’ve been cleaning out my classroom, and wrapping loose ends before my last day with the kids.

Christine also had a California story (like Gail) and not so sunny. (She also provided this link for us to enjoy): “Teaching in California is discouraging; it’s like playing for the Cubs.

And Larry, who almost passed this week, added his sentence at the last minute and we are richer for the experience. “I took my grandkids to see the movie ‘The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep,’ which is the only movie ever made which shows a fictional seat monster suffering from wartime-inflicted post-traumatic stress syndrome.


That seems like a record number of entries!

Peace (in sharing),