Dare to Care

construct, create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

16/Jan/2019
by Denise Krebs
4 Comments

Wendy’s Creative Constraint: A #Modigiwri Game

I just came to my computer after a busy day to comment on a blog post for #blogging28, but I saw this tweet and conversation by Sheri and Wendy regarding Wendy’s playful post for the #MoDigiWri challenge and Sheri’s response.


(Click Sheri’s tweet to read their poetic conversation.)

I hadn’t met Wendy, but I do know Sheri, and so it was a sweet moment to see Sheri conversing with a wordsmith soulmate, off on a lexical lark.

I was curious and had to try.

Opening my favorite online dictionary for English learners–Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English–(for I too have no paper dictionary), I pointed to a random letter on Sheri’s post and then chose a random page from the N’s. (I used the second column on my PC, starting with neonatal. I didn’t want to use the first six words, all forms of neighbor.)

So many proper nouns! Oh, well. I took the challenge, so I’ll write a story.

The neophyte neonatal nurse from Nepal was on WhatsApp conversing in Nepali with his nephew, when the supervisor barged in shouting,“Nepotism!” Since the nurse’s mother was director of Neptune Hospital, perhaps it was true. Suddenly embarrassed, the nerdy supervisor sheepishly went back to his break researching Nero and Neruda.

OK. That’s not as easy as they make it look!

That’s all for now, but there is something strangely satisfying about creative constraints.

11/Jan/2019
by Denise Krebs
2 Comments

Teacher Rewards

I have rarely regretted going into education; it is the hardest and best profession there is. It is a job full of creative opportunities, rich relationships and camaraderie, and surprises.

Today I was reading student dialogue journals.* This gem came along:

Dear Mrs. Denise,

How are you? I’m fine. You remembered me when I was in KG2. I always say “I don’t know.” And now in Grade 5, you’re saying to me I’m a good problem solver.

Your student,

Ali

 

Of course, how could I forget Ali? When I met him, it really did seem the only thing he could say in English was, “I don’t know.”

It was five years ago, and I was new to Bahrain, new to ELL students, and new to kindergartners. I learned a lot that year. So did Ali.

Fast forward five years, and I have the pleasure and privilege of teaching Ali’s class again. Now, he doesn’t say ‘I don’t know.’ He has learned to figure out what he doesn’t know through observation, good questions, and a desire to learn. I am so proud of him.

My response to Ali’s letter was easy to write. His letter was a delightful reminder and a sweet teacher reward for today.

What teacher reward did you receive today? Did you notice?


*Dialogue journals are a great activity in the English language learner classroom. I learned about the process through a TESOL book called Dialogue Journal Writing for Non-Native English Speakers: A Teacher’s Handbook. Teachers and students share dialogues in a notebook. The student writes about anything, asking questions about academics or life. The teacher writes back, modeling good writing and answering questions students have posed. The teacher writes a reply of comparable length to what the student wrote. This is a time for authentic conversation, not convention corrections, though you did notice I asked Ali to use I, instead of i for the personal pronoun. Occasionally I will give them one thing to work on, especially something like “I” that we’ve worked on and I expect mastery.

More resources about Dialogue Journals

 

26/Dec/2018
by Denise Krebs
4 Comments

Sow in 2019

It’s a new year and time for a new little word. I’ve been thinking about my word for 2019, and I think I’ve found it.

Sow. Not the four-legged kind, but the verb.

Sow…grow…seed…plant…develop…propagate…strew…broadcast…scatter… Hmmm… Yikes! Whoa, there. Don’t be scattered, Denise! That’s been your problem. Breathe. Now focus.

OK, back to my one little word. I choose simply SOW for 2019. Just planting seeds. Let’s see where that takes me.

“Do not be deceived. God will not be made a fool. For a person will reap what he sows.” Galatians 6:7 (New English Translation)

I have spent too many hours watching and reading political discourse over the past three years. What do I reap? Stress. So I’ve decided in 2019 I will start spending my precious extra minutes doing something productive, fruit-bearing, work that will reap rewards. 

First, a bit of history: In 2016, I chose the word FIT. I thought I could not only be fit, but also that I could fit everything into my schedule, including watching the trumpster fire that was the 2016 election.

In 2017, I chose SERENITY. I had tried the year before, and I knew I couldn’t fit it all in. I tried to find peace in the chaos.

In 2018, I chose HOPE. I knew our country would come back to its senses and trump’s presidency would end soon. I still have hope; it’s just taking longer than I thought it would.

Thank you, Sarah Landis, for sharing the One Little Word hyperdoc and this template.

Now, in 2019, I can be confident to SOW. I can make good choices and plant seeds of important work because I do have work to do:

As you can see, I have important work for 2019. There are seeds to plant so that in 2020 I can benefit from the harvest.

At the same time, I can leave trump to wrap up his sinister sowing, knowing that he will soon be reaping justice. I will trust Mueller, the 116th U.S. Congress, and the American people to do their work. I also trust God, who is not deceived; a person like trump will definitely reap what he has spent a lifetime sowing.

Since I have one more week in 2018, I thought I would test drive my new one little word. I’ve created a spreadsheet to check off each task I work on for any amount of time each day. I hope it will help me stay focused on tasks that will lead to a good harvest. I’m praying my one word will take hold of me this year!

What is your one little word for 2019?

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