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Tiny Glimpses of Our Important Words @DLDay2013 7 days and counting

Tiny Glimpses of Our Important Words @DLDay2013 7 days and counting

Written by Writing for Change
January 30, 2013

Blogging is not an easy endeavor. With student choice comes the challenge of student focus.  There are days that the kids will actually ask me, “Mrs. Ilko, can’t we just do a worksheet?” which is code for, ” I’m frustrated, this is too hard.” And so I push them, prod them, beg, and sometimes literally and figuratively stand on their heads to get something to the page.  Not every blogpost sings off the page, but that isn’t the goal. With blogging comes repeated writing, and combined with an audience that has the potential to improve the content as well as writing fluency. But there are those days when the page just stares blankly back at you, and blogging together reminds me of that fact.

This weekend I felt their pain. It is overwhelming sometimes looking at that blank blog page. The closer Digital Learning Day becomes, the more I realize how important it is that I share our work effectively. It is a huge responsibility sharing the voice of my students, and the influence of those in my school and with the San Diego Area Writing Project.  How do I in 15 to 20 minute presentation provide a clear and precise glimpse into our work and honor the influence of so many talented people.?  How do I provide space for my students to speak, and yet give enough of a presentation that those in the audience understand the background of the work? Big questions to ponder. Sometimes the bigger questions demand some quiet space, hence the reason my blog was dormant over the weekend. I needed time and space.

I spent the weekend stepping away from the work in little bursts. I spent time jumping from one student blog to another, looking for trends,  listening for their voices. I am searching for pieces that exemplify the core of the work,  their unique thoughts. It isn’t about what the blogs look like, it is about what they say in that space.

Here are a few samples of what I found.

In writing a response to Dr. King’s speech last week..

Quote about Dr. King speech by Michelle E.

I wrote this quote down because it spoke to me when I read it. ” You can choose your choice in life. There’s a road to success and a road to failure. You make your own blueprint, you build your life.”

This applies to me because I enjoy his speeches and this spoke to me more than the rest. You put  your mind to something you can achieve it.  Many people in the world make their life’s blueprint. Though think about this, “Are you making a blueprint?” I am.

Andres P. wrote

“Be a bush if you cant be a tree. If you cant be a highway, be a trail. If you cant be a sun, be a star. For it isn’t by size you win or fail. Be the best of whatever you are”.

Today this means to me that even if im not doing as good as the smartest person in one of my classes, that I can still try my best and do good in school. I also have more people that believe in me and support me then before and I appreciate what they sacrifice to make my future better. Most teens don’t get that it takes one choice to make your life better and one mistake to mess it up for you and others around you that care about you.


“Don’t allowed anybody make you feel that you’re a nobody, Always feel that you count, Always feel you have worth, and always feel that your life has Ultimate Significance”.

This quote to me means no matter who you are or where you are, you mean something and someone to this world. Dr. King’s message is that everyone has to feel confident that they have something worth living for and not letting anyone take that feeling away.

I picked this quote because to start off good you have to feel good about yourself. If someone tries to bring you down because of your skin color, religion, or anything else then we should feel good about ourselves knowing we are not those judgmental people.

This week students are reviewing their blog posts. Their assignment is to pick the piece that makes them proud, and highlights what is important to them. We will post excerpts on Edmodo, and then respond to the pieces on a common wall. I will release the group code on this site February 5th. the day before Digital Learning Day.  Even if you are not in Washington, D.C., you will be able to join us by signing up for our class and write responses to the work. We hope you can join us.

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