Category Archives: Connected Learning

Practical Amplification Series: The Lesson

This is the fourth post in a short series about using SeeSaw as a tool to amplify classroom practice in order to help students meet instructional goals.  If you haven’t read the first three posts I recommend starting with the first one and working your way through!


Today was the day!  We did it!  Digital reading, jotting our thinking, and trying to write long.  Instead of writing about the play by play I’ll organize my thoughts into things that worked well, things that I didn’t anticipate/need to address, and next steps.

Things that worked well

The Digital Anchor Chart: While I could have done this on paper, the kids seemed really interested in the digital chart and I saw several refer back to it during the lesson.  This is really more about the good instruction on how to use charts they’ve had from their teacher than it being digital.  However it seemed to work nicely and it gave me some food for thought as to how we might offer a way for kids to get back to digital charts and the uses of digital charts vs. paper charts.  But that sounds like an entire other series!

The Flow: Students responded well to the gradual release model, they were able to follow directions, and I didn’t have any of those teaching moments were I start tugging at my hair thinking “Why is this happening to me?!?”  I will say that I had to pull myself back and remember that I was working with second grade and not fifth grade, this is my struggle always!

fullsizerender-6Things I think worked well

The six box page:  This seemed like an easy to use tool for students, however I will need to get some feedback from the classroom teacher on how their use of this page compares to other ways that they jot their thinking. Most of them used the sentence stems to get themselves going and that was a goal of ours.  I’m not certain that I see evidence that they chose ONE to write a lot about.  However, I didn’t give them a clear strategy like marking or highlighting those items so that could have been improved.  Next time!

The other piece to that is that I’m not certain the text asked them to do the task I had in my head.  See below.

Things I didn’t anticipate/need to address

Kids don’t know diddly about the Inuit: Yeah, I should have seen that coming, rookie mistake.  I guess I chose the article in part because of that-I knew it would be high interest! However, the text inspired them to ask a lot of questions and so they had challenges writing long off any one idea because they had so many new ideas buzzing around.  And they did include many of these ideas.  So while they didn’t all do exactly what I was modeling they did accomplish writing a longer response and there was visible pride in the room at the sheer volume they were producing.  So maybe we work on volume and then massage the quality?

This also presents a great opportunity to build a quick text set for the kids to look at during independent reading and address some of their questions.  Which I did by tossing a few resources on a Padlet and checking out a few books from the school library.


The typing…Oy Vey!: I’ve been able to witness in action how long it takes for kids to type their thinking out.  I’m super conflicted about it.  Of course they need to practice to get better and writing about reading is an important skill-one that it’s a huge plus to have the authentic digital audience to.  On the other hand we have to miserly about giving up any minutes spent reading.  A few things we discussed to address this;

  • Balance; sometimes kids type, handwrite, audio record, or video record.  They can also play with the speech to text function.  Although anyone who has ever read a text message by me knows the pitfalls of that.
  • Sending it home; we discussed how we might ask kids to do some of this work at home, with some education for parents as to how to coach and not correct.  This way we might redefine some homework tasks and give kids the opportunity to practice typing.
  • Practice App? Typing instruction, like handwriting, is a debated topic.  I’m not a fan of practice for practice sake.  However I’m going to tell you that I am a fast typer.  I mean fast, and accurate.  Granted I practice a lot, but I learned from the old Mavis Beacon typing tutor game.  So maybe I have an old fashioned bias for some rote practice in this area.  Granted just because it worked for me doesn’t mean it’s the right thing.  But I do think we need some more research in this area.  If anyone has any app they love I’m open to suggestions.  Must be AMAZING!

Next Steps

Revisit our goals, examine student work, plan based on needs: Sara and I were able to talk through some of what we noticed in the comments that students left and make some plans moving forward including; working on the thinking behind the writing to help kids know when they have more to say.  i.e. How do I know which thought it I could say more about?  And how do I do that? How do I say more about each type of jot I might make? Since Sara is starting a new read aloud next week we’re going to use that shared text to do some of that work with students.

For tomorrow we’ve decided to give kids time to explore more about this topic of Inuits and give them some space to answer their questions!



Practical Amplification Series: Planning for Instruction Part 2

This is the third post in a short series about using SeeSaw as a tool to amplify classroom practice in order to help students meet instructional goals.  You can read the first post here, and the second post here.


I couldn’t stop thinking about my terrible bookmark tool all weekend.  I could spend several paragraphs critiquing it, but I won’t belabor the point.  That clunky bookmark is out and I’m keeping it simple.

One digital anchor chart to help students with the procedure and remind them of a key teaching point.  (This is where I had to go back and really ask myself “What is it that we want students to practice and apply in this lesson?  We want them to write about their thinking!)  Normally I build charts with students, however in some cases I prepare something ahead of time.  The digital format makes it easy to adjust to add student thoughts and ideas.

You can view the full size document of this chart by clicking on the image.

One sheet to hold thinking.  This is my six box sheet.  A very simple layout.  I added four more boxes on the back and the sentence stems from my original book mark. (shudder!)  I figured that was the most important scaffold and one that we have seen some students use with success.  I don’t know if this will help all kids or hold them back, but time will tell.

The front of the six box sheet.  This replaces sticky notes and is a little neater.  You can see the full document with the back by clicking on the image.


One digital tool-SeeSaw.  Students will access articles via SeeSaw and gather ideas into a comment underneath the article that they chose to read.  I like to offer several options for text so that students have some ownership and choice in the work they are going to do.

So I’m feeling a lot more prepared now that I’ve dumped my confusing tool!  Tools should help, not hinder kids.  Simple is often best!

So my instructional plan for tomorrow is going to be to use a gradual release model with some guided practice before releasing kids to do this work independently.  My goals are to;

  • Teach kids a simple, yet effective, procedure for reading and responding to digital texts.  This is to give kids more authentic work to do during workshop time, gather formative assessment data, and help them build stamina while the teacher works with small groups.

*Just as a note this isn’t the only tool we will put in their toolbox.  It’s the first of many.  But this tool and strategy meets our immediate goals based on what we are seeing kids can  do and where they need to go.

  • Continue to reinforce a series of lessons designed to boost students’ ability to capture their thinking about text and expand that thinking in a variety of mediums.


Please visit on Friday to see the outcome of this lesson, look at some student work with me, and think about where we can take these kiddos next!


Practical Amplification Series Post 2: Planning for Instruction and Customized Tools

This is the second post in a short series about using SeeSaw as a tool to amplify classroom practice in order to help students meet instructional goals.  You can read the first post here.


Over the years we’ve learned that there are times for play and exploration and there are times when students need careful guidance.  The “right” way is usually a blend depending on your students, your tools, and what you’re trying to get accomplished.  But one thing is for sure, you’ve got to put your student hat on when trying out new things.

Those of you that have been using technology for awhile will probably find this process similar to one that you use before launching something with students.  Essentially, I dig in and play around looking for the most efficient, simplest route to get the job done.  Since this class already has SeeSaw up and running it was a natural choice for them.

Challenge #1: Get a digital article to the whole class.

I first played around with ways to share the digital articles.  The easiest route seems to be to post a shareable link to an article that I’ve put in a Google Drive folder.    For an online article this would work the same way.  I was able to do this very easily in See Saw.  I could also post a QR code, or Airdrop it to the kids.  However, since we will be using the comment function on my posted article- posting the link is the best way.  Challenge solved.

Challenge #2: Find a way for kids to capture their thinking while they work.

I explored a variety of options.  My best was to export the article to Notability, but it wouldn’t work for some reason and it seemed like a lot of steps.  I asked myself at this point;

How will kids annotating the article digitally be better than using paper and pencil?

I didn’t really have a good answer.  So I decided to just have students use a six box sticky sheet (a piece of paper with six sticky note sized boxes on it) to gather their thinking.  Truth be told. I think this will actually work better for students as they work to balance their thinking and writing.  Challenge sort of solved.

Challenge #3: Encourage students to develop their writing about reading skills by commenting on the digital article.

This challenge connects back to our overall goals of wanting to get kids writing more and writing longer, but in a meaningful way.  This is also where I’m going to need to come up with a strategy or custom tool to help.  The idea of custom tools and micro-progressions for learning has been on my mind a lot lately after reading Kate and Maggie’s DIY Literacy book.  So what do I know about these kiddos?

I know that students can write about their thinking when given support, encouragement, and accountability.

I know that the support they respond to best is visual and personalized.

Support: Their teacher has been using custom book marks with goals as a tool to help students remember what they are working on as readers.  I decided to stay within this framework and offer something similar in addition to an anchor chart.

This is my first attempt at a tool to use with students during our lessons next week. I’d like to say I had a fancy process for determining what to include but in reality I skulked around their classroom taking photos of anchor charts so that I could build on lessons they had already had this year.   I should say that I’ll be hoping for some additions from the kids and I’d like to update/replace these tools with their ideas and words going forward.  I also haven’t run this past their teacher yet so she will probably have some great insights as to how we could improve it.  And even as I’m posting it, I don’t love it.  It doesn’t feel personalized and it seems not so user friendly.  If you have suggestions for something better please leave a comment!  Help the children!



Encouragement & Accountability: The hope is that having an authentic audience will be a huge boost to both encouraging kids to up their game as well as hold them accountable.  But I’m also planning a mini-debrief with their reading partner to have some face to face feedback on what they did well and some reflection.

I guess I won’t know if we’ve met this challenge until we look at student work and reflect on the lesson.  Come on back on Friday to see how the lesson went, where we’re going next, and what we’ve learned.


Practical Amplification Series Post 1: Building Literacy Skills With SeeSaw

This is the first post in a short series about using a familiar digital tool (See Saw) in a new way with a group of second graders in order to help students meet instructional goals.


This morning I spent some time exploring See Saw and thinking about how a group of second graders that I’m working with could do some more writing work with it.  (Thank you Sara for opening your classroom to do this work together!)

But first some background.

What we noticed: After a little digging we noticed a few things.  Students had built a lot of stamina to do this work since the beginning of the year, but weren’t able to sustain reading for as long as we’d like in order to confer and meet with small groups.    We also noticed after giving a small group of students an independent reading assessment by Jennifer Seravallo that we think now would be a good time to push kids to do some more intense work with their writing about reading.

Students can stop and jot, they are ready to capture more thinking and less jotting about the plot of the story.

Students can stop and jot about their thinking, they are ready to look for big ideas and start to write long from a sticky note.

Our Goal: Keep kids engaged with reading, thinking about reading, and writing about reading during the workshop.  Keep it interesting, authentic, and connected! No busywork.

Our Plan: Utilize digital tools to amplify the works students are doing in the following ways.

  • Offer more digital texts.  By giving kids a second reading task during the workshop we hope to inspire them to read more, engage with new topics, spiral back to strategies and skills, and get excited about new topics. (They are already doing partner reading mid-workshop but seem to be losing steam with this strategy, we need to pull some more from our toolbox.)
  • Offer digital texts in a way that kids can interact with.  Since the class is already using See Saw we noticed that it’s easy to share a digital text in PDF format with students in this way.  (We are using supplemental texts from the Primary Comprehension Toolkit.) While we would like kids to annotate digitally, none of the tools they are currently using supports this easily, so our plan is to have them stop and jot on a six sheet sticky note page (Harvey & Goudvis) and then use those stop and jots to write long in a comment.  This way kids have an audience of their peers for their work.
  • Use the digital tools to engage kids creative brains, build community around books, and infuse a little fun into our workshop. Because See Saw has some options to use photos with labels we can also have students add a quick three word book review to “sell” their longer writing to peers.  This also circles back to some lessons previously taught during the year.
  • Differentiate and Practice. One of the classroom teacher’s concerns with digital tools is the amount of time it takes kids to get something written down. This will provide the students with some good practice typing on their device, as well as offer differentiated tools like text to speech, and video recording.


Stay tuned for the next post in the series on planning for instruction and creating custom tools to help kids be independent!  



Amplify Learning with Words and Images

TitleImage.jpgThis post first appeared as a guest post on the Educator Collaborative blog leading up to the Spring Gathering.  The archive of our free webinar can be viewed here! : )

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If you’ve ever logged into a social media site you’ve likely seen an image like this one. Perhaps it had a funny quip or thoughtful quote.  These images capture our attention due to their ability to stand out from the sea of words and noise and connect with us in some way.   I wondered what would happen if we leveraged these images and words to amplify the learning in our classrooms. How could we take this medium and make it work for kids?  What if?

What if we used these concise images as a way to remind students of goals or learning targets?  Better yet, what if students created their own reminders to help them be the best that they can be?  What if they acted as a class record of lessons throughout the unit? Perhaps these images become printed reminders of accomplishments or digital badges of success across the year? The potential is limitless.  Here are a few ways that I’ve begun to explore.


Social Emotional

Collaboration, teamwork, perseverance, risk taking, self-control.  Each of our students has unique ways that they can grow.  I’ve often noticed the school social worker giving little reminder cards to the students she works with.  But what if every student had one?  Perhaps they refer to their own little image tucked in their notebook before a book club meeting or group work.  If students have devices they might make this their lock screen.  These images can act as a quick reminder to breath when stressed, listen before they talk, or accept failure as a learning moment.  Students might also have a group one during collaborative work to help them with the skills they need to accomplish tasks  smoothly together.

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Goal Setting

Over the years I’ve tried many ways to help students set and keep a record of goals.  While my systems have improved I still feel that students often forget these goals in the moment.  What if they created images like these and displayed them in a notebook or on their desk?  They might keep a photo roll on a device and pull it up by subject as the day goes on.  Making goals visual is an effective way to help us keep them at the forefront of our mind and achieve them.  Creating the visual; selecting an image, color scheme, and juxtaposition cements the goal for the child and makes it memorable.  Today’s tech tools coupled with a little guidance make this a quick and streamlined process.


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Micro Lessons

We might also use these visual reminders to serve as a vehicle for delivering micro lessons- remind students of prior teaching points, essential steps, or set a purpose for the day.  These class “goals” for learning can be displayed on a projector screen or smartboard at the beginning or end of class.  What if the class quickly helped compose one at the end of a lesson as a wrap up for the day? It might be a simple “today we learned…” statement or hold students’ words, reflections, and examples of great work of the day.  Or we might display a slideshow of visuals from recent lessons to play while students work independently or transition.  I keep photo albums for each subject in the photo app on my computer.  From there I can easily play one as a slideshow right from the app, no muss, no fuss.

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Student reflection is an essential part of our school day.  We guide students to stop and notice where they are and how far they’ve come.  What goals they’ve achieved and what more they need to accomplish.  What if we paired student’s own reflections with images of them at work or a sample of the work itself?  Students can create and archive them digitally or printed, share them with parents, and display them in any way they choose.  These powerful moments capture and honor process over product and value the student’s own words and observations about themselves as learners.


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Getting Started

Creating these visuals is surprisingly really easy!  To make the images in this post I used Canva a free webbased tool with ready made layouts and simple options which you can master with a bit of play time and experimentation.  You might use photographs from your classroom or students can take their own photos.  In this case I’ve used images from two sites that offer free pictures for use in creative projects. (listed below)  If needed you can do a little footwork ahead of time and build an image bank for or students to streamline the process.  These can be stored on a device, USB key, shared photo roll, or shared Google drive or Dropbox folder.


The images in this blog post are from the following websites.  


Morguefile offers free stock images to use in creative projects.  These images are intended to be altered by the user.


Unsplash also offers free images and is a creative commons zero site.


Canva is a web based tool (they also offer an app) for creating digital images, infographics, and art.  While there are paid options within the app it is easy to avoid these and use your own.


One Little Word: Energize

I started doing One Little Word many years ago, inspired by the ladies at Two Writing Teachers.  You can read my post from last year on how I used One Little Word with my students here.  This post is about my word for 2016.

This year I chose the word Energize.  Energize.  Every time I say it I think of Star Trek and imagine myself standing on the teleporter pad barking the command “Energize!”  If only it were that easy.

It’s not a mystery.  With a toddler and a three month old baby at home I don’t have much energy because I don’t sleep much.  Let’s face it, I never exercise and I’m usually eating the dinner I made for my toddler (because why would she eat it?) one-handed while I rock/bounce/jiggle/sway the baby with the other. Most of my energy comes from coffee and my own tears as I pull gobs of post-partum hair from my head wondering if I’m doomed to a life of wearing hats.

There are some things that are beyond my control such as whether my baby sleeps through the night or whether I’ll be forced to attend a late night bouzouki party with Greek family.  But little things like making choices that give me energy are with in my control and so I’d like to start there.

Energize my body with good food and activity, whatever I can get.

Energize my mind with interesting books, media, and conversation.

Energize my heart with kind actions towards others.

Energize my colleagues by helping them find what they need to have a joyous day.

Energize my hair with all natural vitamins, snake oil, and magic.

Energize 2016!

For the year 2016 I chose the word Energize.  I want to energize my mind, my body, and my approach to life.

Tweets As A Nonfiction Text Feature

Earlier today I was looking for resources on extreme weather for one of my teacher teams and stumbled on this article.  Below is a screenshot or you can click the link to read the entire thing.

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It gave me pause for thought because it’s peppered with embedded Tweets like the one in the image below.  Now this is nothing new to me as an adult reader and a Twitter user.  But I wondered how many students would recognize this new type of nonfiction text feature and know how to approach it.  What might we want students to consider when they encounter an embedded tweet in an article?

Perhaps that there has been a shift in author?  Therefore a possible shift in validity.

How do we look at the source and decide if it’s reputable?  Is this an expert in the field like a weather person?  Is this someone who is giving us a “from the scene” perspective?

What image literacy skills might students need to interpret, connect, and synthesize the tweets with the body of the article?

We’d love for you to share your experiences if you’ve tried using any articles with embedded tweets with your students.

It’s Monday: What are You Reading Teacher Edition

Looking for a fun project that builds reading community and sets the tone for connected learning throughout the school year?  Then join the It’s Monday: What Are You Reading project!

After watching teachers post book reviews to Twitter each Monday using the hashtag #IMWAYR, we decided to take this practice to our students. Each Monday across the school year our kiddos shared their reading lives and embraced the pop culture selfie fad by posting a book “shelfie” and a short book review to a Padlet wall (for more ideas on using Padlet in the classroom, read Katie’s post on social media) . This collaborative wall served as a visual book recommendation chart that was accessible to all students. It laid the foundation for a strong reading community as this weekly routine reinforced the belief that “we are readers.” It also provided me rich data about student reading lives, interests, and their ability to read, write and view to learn. Most importantly, it provided an authentic audience for book reviews as students built voice and celebrated their reading with each other.

Once we saw the impact this had on our students and across our school, we opened the #IMWAYR project to classrooms around the world. From Kuala Lumpur to Vancouver, to Stockholm and D.C. we talked titles and shared our reading lives. Initially, our students noticed the different titles that kids were reading, but after a short period of time, they began to notice similarities and commonalities between countries and classrooms.  When kids observed that students in Singapore were also reading Wonder, or that learners in Detroit liked Babymouse just like they did, it fostered the idea of connected learning.  Many teachers partnered students virtually from different classrooms who had a shared interest or wanted to learn about a book from a peer. Kids found onscreen reading buddies or even sometimes that one other person who shared their reading passion; along the way they built understanding that we are all members of the global learning community.

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I shared this project at a number of conferences this summer and just last week the amazing @MrDulberger tweeted me his book shelfie which spurred the idea for the Teacher Edition It’s Monday: What are You Reading project.  We know that mentor text matters. We use books in reading, writing and math workshop to set an example or fuel ideas for what kids might do independently.  We need to extend this mentor text model into our technology workshop and help kids envision the possibilities. We have the awesome opportunity to show them what connected learning looks like and sounds like, so let’s do it!

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We invite you to join the #IMWAYR project and post a book shelfie and a review to this Padlet wall. Please make sure to share your location in addition to the review so we can track posts with our students.  We hope this project introduces you to a few new titles and serves as a resource you can use to build a reading community and habits for living across the school year.  Happy reading friends!   

Updated August 25, 2015: Want to learn more about It’s Monday: What are You Reading? Check out @MentorTexts blog that features a special #KidLit post each week. It’s a great way to learn about new titles and model connected learning and networking with your students. #IMWAYR

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The Top 8

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I’m blogging from the International Literacy Association conference today!  I always love a great meeting of the minds.  Yesterday Kristin and I presented on Building Literacy Communities in the classroom.  It was a fun session filled with great energy and an amazing twitter stream thanks to all of the connected educators! (I’m looking at you Chris Lehman!)

We are huge advocates for choosing the right tools and using them well with our students.  You don’t need pages and pages of apps and websites to use with kids.  You really only need a few good core ones that you can use all the time across the day.  Of course everyone always wants to know what our top tools are.  So here are my top 8:

Kidblog:  My favorite blogging platform for primary and intermediate students based on ease of use and security settings.  Blogging in the classroom is a game changer as long as we remember that the point of a blog is to honor authorship and connect kids with an authentic audience for their work.

Padlet: The number one tool for visual collaboration, sharing, creating, reflecting, and almost anything you want to do.  If you haven’t tried out Padlet yet you need to!  It’s easy to use, free, and extremely versatile.  For example last year I had students keep a record of every book that they read over the course of the year using a Padlet instead of a reading log.  Students chose how much information to include (if any) and shared their reading lives with each other and our Twitter buddies using the power of technology.

Explain Everything/Screen chomp: I use these two interchangeably.  Screen Chomp brings a nice simplicity to screen casting whereas Explain Everything offers myriad possibilities and options.  These screen casting apps are amazing for math but can be used as reflective pieces in writing or portfolio tools across the year.

Today’s Meet: Another free and easy to use tool.  Fantastic for getting responses for the entire class and facilitating small group digital discussions.  The 140 character limit forces students to be succinct and to have back and forth discussion instead of just posting all of their thinking without considering others ideas.

Sonic Pics: A simple to use app where students select a series of images and then swipe between them as they talk.  We use this for students to share questions about images related to a unit of study, reflect on digital discussions, create presentations about new learning, and more!

iMovie: Reflection movies, book trailers, and sometimes just plain creative fun.  Students love to use iMovie to create multimedia presentations for the classroom.  Our favorite use is for students to archive a learning process over a series of days or weeks and then put the images, reflections, and ideas into an iMovie as an end of project reflection piece.

Book Creator: Students as authors, it can’t get any better than that.  This app has become a mainstay in my classroom over the years as a go to way for students to gather their thinking, publish written work, collaborate on projects, and more.  Students create ebooks on the simple to use interface that include text, images, audio, and video.  Books can be turned into PDF files, ebooks, and even videos.

Google Drive: This nuts and bolts tool has changed the way that I interact with my writers and how students collaborate.  From whole-class collaborative documents, to digital teacher feedback on writing, to student organization and work flow.  Google Drive is a great multi-purpose tool for education.

Over the years tools make their way into and out of my top eight.  For example Edmodo used to be at the top of my list but has dropped out in the last year.  It’s a tool I still use with students, but for some reason last year’s class found a lot more synergy having conversations on Today’s Meet.  Then there are tools like Skitch, a photo annotating app which I’ve just begun to dip my toe into more and more.  This app has great possibilities as it works well with with other apps, but hasn’t quiet made it into that “most essential” category just yet.

For more about how we use these and other technology tools with students check out our new book Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-5 Classroom.

Have You Tried To Slice?

Every March I participate in the Slice of Life challenge created and hosted by Two Writing Teachers.  It’s been a great push for me as a creative writer over the years, with some years being more successful than others.  Last year I started it with my students and am continuing it with this years class.  They often find it challenging and exhausting but exciting and energizing at the same time.

As part of this daily writing I write with them and follow the model that the fine ladies at Two Writing Teachers have set by inviting kids to try different things in their writing each day.  Sometimes it’s experimenting with a new format, other times it’s about honing their craft as writers.  Along with the “writing” lessons I’m also teaching lessons on digital communities (like how to leave thoughtful comments) and the ins and outs of using Kidblog. (We even get a few lessons in HTML coding thanks to Kidblog’s app)

Here are some thoughts from last year’s class.

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Since this year I wrote my first slice about the coffee shop where Kristin and I write our books I thought I’d share it with you.  (This is reposted from my personal Slice of Life blog.)


The Kitchen Table

For the past year I’ve been spending most Saturday mornings at a little coffee shop on Damen Ave. with my writing partner Kristin.  Over the months our newest book has been taking shape fueled by massive amounts of coffee (what else?), the smell of bacon smoke in the air, occasional 80’s power ballads, and the general feeling that we’re trying to make a difference in the world.

Most of these mornings were spent on a big green leather couch stationed at the back of the room.  An ideal place for writing, people watching, and generally overseeing the goings on of the coffee shop.  One recent morning I walked in to find that the couch had been moved.

My first thought was “what the heck? why did they move the couch?”

My second thought was “what is in its place?!?”  There in the back of the room hogging the space that our beloved couch had once lived in was a retro reddish orange kitchen table.  I glared at it in disgust and distrust.

Our beloved green home had been moved to the front of the coffee shop, right in the middle of the chaos and was now joined by another couch.  It was an overall unwelcome change.  Now chaos abounded around us, other people invaded our space, and our writing mojo was thrown by the constant din of the door banging shut.

“The music is too loud.”

“The light is all wrong.”

“There’s a draft here.”

“It’s too far from the outlet.”

The next week I felt anxious walking in the door.  I trudged slowly to the back of the coffee shop and set my bag down tentatively on the table.  I unpacked slowly, hesitantly as if the table might blow up at any minute.  As I set up my computer I ran my fingers over the tacky laminate surface noting the old coffee stains, the scratches along the edge.  This table had history.  This table had a story to tell.  It was then that I thought perhaps it was fate, that this table was put here for a purpose.  A storytelling table for two storytellers.

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