Writing Territories



More later…incomplete brainstorming of idea

Today I was thinking about how I want a page of ideas because some days I just think about what’s nagging me or about how tired I am, and that gets old after awhile. Then, I remembered the days before the high stakes got higher and the days before CC architect David Coleman told us all that nobody really gives a shit about what you (students) think or feel.  Back in the days, where I spent time with students gathering seed ideas for writing. I thought how I would make a page of seed ideas for writing based on that mini-lesson of helping students find their writing territories. Then, I can add to the list from time to time and use the list as a launching pad at others.  I may also go through the list at some point and think of what on it really fits for a slice. Below I have included Atwell’s list followed by my response:

Atwell’s list from which to gather writing territories:

* memories: early, earlier, and recent

* favorites, now and then
* obsessions * pets, now and then
* idiosyncrasies * teachers, now and then
* problems * places: school, camp, trips, times away with             friends and relatives
* dreams * hobbies
* itches * sports
* understandings * games
* confusions * music
* passions * books
* sorrows * poems
* risks * songs
* accomplishments * movies
* fears * writers and artists
* worries * food
* fantasies * pet peeves
* family, close and distant * beloved things—objects and possessions—now             and then
* friends, now and then * all the loves of your life
* fads * anything else

 My Writing Territories list:


Grown up memories-my first classroom, getting married, birth of my kids, Bike South 2000, my children’s injuries, snuggle time, KMWP

Childhood memories-hiding in my closet as a child, playing in the woods, writing notes in class, correcting a ex-boyfriend’s love letter, the fight in 8th grade


coffee, random Googling to find answers to things that aren’t important, checking email


I’m not sure I have these. I eat ketchup on my grilled cheese. Maybe I should ask someone else…


What is this problems that bother me? GA and CC–to be or not to be? Testing culture, not knowing what will be on the tests, the mystery of the state of education,  feeling like I teach well and jump through hoops, working too hard, lack of balance, not knowing how to juggle all of life’s demands, consistency in balance


A new house, visiting family in Iceland, a convertible


Bipartisin nature of education reform, emphasizing standards over teaching, lack of real support with teaching, not enough support for literacy, too many worksheets for my kids, teachers without passion


Losing my dad, my mom’s loneliness, the thought of losing a loved one, Cancer


Back in the day I was a free and reckless spirit. Not so much now–perhaps it’s teaching and motherhood


Don’t know that I’d want to blog my accomplishments…


Losing my husband or kids, the thought of losing my mom, not being good enough, never being able to conquer clutter in my mind/house/classroom


being the youngest, seeing my youngest be the youngest, little sisters, big brothers, half brothers, family in Iceland, getting new family when marrying, sibling rivalry


Tracy and Mandy-friends then a fight, reuniting–Arizona trip, Bonnie and Lisa, team friends, high school friends, bike tour friends, work friends, 


Silly bands become rubber bands, Loom bands–from my child’s obsession to eBay, my boy and his Elite socks


coffee, dark chocolate, Apple gadgets, The Closer, Colbert


Annabelle my Border Collie Aussie herder


WP teachers, 


hiking/camping in Iceland


writing, hiking, camping


training, yoga, cycling


Head Bandz, Apples to Apples, Words with Friends


U2, my daughter and music, my husband’s love songs




The Rider, the misinterpreted poem, Two Voice poems, fun poems with kids, playing with poems, parody, 


the lullaby at night for my 6 year old, my bad voice




dark chocolate, Hibachi, Welcome to Moes, fireside picnic basket

Pet Peeves

sharpening a pencil while someone is talking, tapping a pencil like it’s a drumstick, people not doing their jobs, children talking back, 

Beloved Things

The Loves of My Life

Anything pales in comparison to my amazing husband–the one and only true love of my life

Anything Else