Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Slice of Life Tuesday: Taking Flight

As I wrote about in my last post, we recently rescued a caterpillar from a milkweed leaf. Yesterday we had the honor to release a monarch butterfly in our backyard, and I decided to write about it using a 100 Word story:

Taking Flight
“Mom! The butterfly!”

Our caterpillar had emerged from the translucent chrysalis.

Still dangling by spindly legs from the shell, the monarch moved one wing. Then the other.

All afternoon we observed, enamored as she tentatively explored her surroundings.

I recalled butterfly release directions: take outside; gently reach in cage and allow butterfly to latch on; and slowly release. My ten-year-old volunteered. Mesmerized, I watched her somehow invite the butterfly to ride on her index finger.

“See if she will land on your nose!” My brave girl did. The butterfly lingered, insect legs gently grasping her skin before she flew away.


These are simple moments that will remain with me long past the sweltering days of summer.

Join Two Writing Teachers and share a slice of your life! Everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Slice of Life Tuesday: Caterpillar Curiosity

So far, this summer has been slower than most. Although I am still doing a lot of reading (personally and professionally), I am not as involved as I usually am in leading professional development for my school district. However, I am full of gratitude for what this slower pace has enabled me to notice, such as a seeing a caterpillar on a milkweed plant in our backyard and having the time to write about it and talk about it with my kids. 

Below is a poem I penned about the caterpillar I spotted in our backyard last week and how based on my daughter's passionate insistence, we rescued it. My children and I hope this caterpillar will achieve complete metamorphosis under our care so that we can release it back into the world. 

Caterpillar Curiosity
by Trina Haase

Watering flowers
I spy black, yellow, white stripes.
Caterpillar crawls.

"Look!" I bellow. "Come!"
Children gather at milkweed.
"We must rescue him!"

Our butterfly house 
emerges - protection from 
wild bird predators.

"Daily milkweed leaf.
Don't disturb or shake or pet. 
We must have patience."

Each day we observe
our caterpillar grow, climb.

This post was a little slice of my life this week. Join Two Writing Teachers and share a slice of your life. Everyone is welcome! 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Slice of Life Tuesday: Daily Engagements through Quickwrites

Last Saturday morning I listened to The Quickwrite Handbook with Linda Rief and Penny Kittle, a podcast episode on Heinemann's Teacher PodcastsIn this podcast, extraordinary teacher-writer Penny Kittle shares an experience she had listening to legendary, beloved teacher-writer Linda Rief speak at a conference (twenty years ago!) when she initially heard about Quickwrites and the powerful effect Quickwrites could have, "... these carefully planned engagements, could unlock the voice and ideas that lead to confidence and an interest in writing..." Penny Kittle also comments that Quickwrites, "...not only leads students to find writing and not only pay attention to the moves of writers, but it establishes a routine where students collect what matters to them in a safe place where they are allowed to stumble, to wobble, to fall..." 

It made me stop to wonder why I did not use more Quickwrites in my daily writing. I have plenty of compelling texts all around me, but sometimes I forget to utilize them as a writing tool. Maybe writing with mentor texts would help me have less writing moments like these

As I sat down to write that day, I glanced at my library copy of Naomi Shihab Nye's Voices in the Air: Poems for ListenersI devoured her beautiful and powerful introduction. Thinking as a writer, I found so many worthy entry points from her work that I could emulate. To begin, I wrote a few powerful passages and recorded a quote she referenced from poet Galway Kinnell, "To me, poetry is someone standing up, so to speak, and saying, with as little concealment as possible, what is it for him or her to be on earth at this moment?"

This passage led me to ponder this question, What is it like for me to be on this earth right now? 

And then I wrote. 
And I wrote. 
And I wrote.

Here's a peek from my notebook writing that morning:

Coffee residue sticks to my teeth, tongue -
Brush me.
Wash away my grimy residue,
I yearn to feel clean.

Snuggling under my light weight hand-stitched quilt,
I am safely sheltered with
air-controlled temperature while
outside swells in heat,
barely a breeze for leaf sways.
I watch morning doves swoop for
sunflower seeds and
dogs saunter past
our bay window.

In silence I sit (mostly in silence) -
the hum of the nearby one-fish aquarium,
steady clock ticks,
air forced from vents -
stealing still moments before
children emerge -bedhead beauties-
and shatter

Writing with a compelling text beside me made a huge difference. The above writing wasn't profound or beautiful, but it got me writing and I kept going. As Penny referenced, I had the chance to play with words and ideas in a safe way in my notebook. In addition, it provided me with something worthy to consider. And since last Saturday, I have continued to dip into Voices in the Air as a source of daily writing engagement. 

Join me in writing a slice of your life and sharing it with the Two Writing Teachers Community. Everyone is welcome! 

Slice of Life Challenge #21 Day 31: Easter Preparations

For the month of March, each day I am writing and posting  a slice of my life , hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  Slice of Life Challenge #21...