Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Slice of Life 2.26.13

Today, I'm thinking about Lily. She's in that stage where she is confronting the fact of death. Her questions to me lately center around movies and TV shows being real: "Is that man really dead?"

How am I supposed to answer this "correctly"? It's definitely a struggle when a little kid has to learn that things don't last forever -- People can die at the drop of a hat. Her aunt (my sister-in-law) died suddenly back in September, and Lily didn't understand it. She wasn't very close to her aunt. However, when we  had to put our dog to sleep in November, she cried for days.

That to me is the hardest. We don't know what is going to happen from one minute to the next, so it's difficult to "teach" a kid about death.

Maybe I should make her read this story: Coyote and the Origins of Death.

What do you think? Any advice? Tell me in the comments.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Okay, my little kiddoes....I grabbed the logo for our blogging experience. The chicks over at the Two Writing Teachers blog always create cool pics for this event. I like this one because of the butterfly at the bottom. Didn't notice it? Well, look closer!

I have to say that I'm terrified that no one will blog. I'm afraid that you'll forget me, and you'll go "Oh, blogging's just stupid", and you'll go around telling all your friends that I'm such an easy teacher because I don't grade.

Hopefully my fears will be laid to rest, and one day you'll come in with questions and excitement about your topic. And ask me if I've read your blog yet. Maybe even be upset if I haven't seen it. But then you'll speed to the computer, pull up your blog and make me read it "Right, now, Mrs. McCabe!!"

I can't wait for that day!!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

And, We're Off...

We are setting up our blogs this week, but all I'm getting is they are "doing this for a decent grade" -- what if I don't grade it? Can you be trusted to blog if no one is looking over your shoulders?

Well, I don't know. But guess what? That's what is going to happen. I'm not grading the blogs. I'll read them; I"ll comment on them; but you won't get a "blog" grade at the end of March. Why? Because I want you to LEARN!! I want your writing to get better. I want you to see your blog as YOUR IDEAS, not your grade. Grading is inaccurate and does not tell anyone what you learned. So what if you got an A in your English class last year? Did you read something amazing? Did your writing bring tears or laughter to someone else? If not, you didn't learn anything.

Yes, I'm turning your schooling on its head, and I don't care -- not even a little bit. Your job in high school is to learn -- not get a grade.The goal for this blogging experience is for you to connect with yourself -- your ideas, your thoughts, your fears. The reward for this blogging experience will be the comments you elicit from  other students (my comments won't mean as much as your peers).

Think about how you can use your blog space to show your learning about a topic you're interested in. Can you video yourself learning to shoot the basketball in different parts of the floor and critique your form? How about publishing your own poetry and getting feedback from a person you don't know? Or imagining what it would be like to travel around the world -- what would you see?

Watch this video about skateboarding...then tell me in the comments what you're thinking.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beginning Student Blogs

Hello My Peeps..

I hope you all are excited to start blogging. I'm looking forward to getting back to it after a looooong hiatus last year. From re-reading my other posts, I realized how much I noticed about the world (at least my little neck of it), and how my writing got better the more I practiced. This, hopefully, will happen for you, too -- you just have to have an open mind.

We are practicing the blog for a few days before the Slice of Life Story Challenge begins on March 1st. We will send the links to our blogs to a "centralized" location for other students to read and comment on. Part of your participation in this experience will be to find students in other parts of the U.S. who are blogging, read their writing, and make a comment. Comments rule for blogs!!

Okay...that's about enough for now. When you get your blog set up, please copy the URL and paste it in the comments (Please make sure you include your name).