Summer Goals… 2021

Have you missed me? It’s been quite some time since my last post [NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program (Author Toolbox)], which was in October of 2020. I have been busy since then, so this lovely blog of mine has been moved to the back-burner.

What exactly have you been up to?

First, I’ll give you a quick recap of my past several months…

November and December 2020

November was dedicated to National Novel Writing Month. If you click on the link I supplied above, then you’ll see that my Creative Writing students also participated using the Young Writers Program.

I wrote most of a young adult novel about a magical girl who has to figure out a way to keep her new powers before she has to give them up forever. I’m not sure if I’ll revisit this particular story again, but I loved writing about magic!

From my page on the YWP. Natalya’s Magic is a temporary title.

December was pretty much a blur. Our youngest child (7 years old) learned about Santa through an amazing little scavenger hunt we created (a coloring book that told the story of Saint Nick). He absolutely loved it!

January-May 2021

You already know about the teaching part of my life. I changed several things on our in-class game (Gamification) based on student feedback. They loved the updates, but some of the changes happened late in the school year.

This was also my first semester of grad school! What?! Yes, I started my master’s degree at Texas State University (Go Bobcats!): Master of Education (M.Ed.) Major in Secondary Education (Talent Development Concentration). My first semester was eye-opening, but it was also so much fun! I opted out of a summer semester, so I’ll go back in the fall.

The end of my first semester!

Other than that, I haven’t been up to much else. My oldest child (11 years old) wanted a place to store his Legos, so we got him something that he could help put together.

He’s working on adding Legos to it a little at a time in order to “organize” them.

Summer 2021

Goal 1: Prepare for 6th grade

Now it’s summertime, and I have quite a few things to accomplish this summer. I’ll be moving from 7th grade writing to 6th grade ELAR, so I need to start planning for that switch. I want to create a self-paced classroom environment, but I’m still working out the logistics of that. I did complete the training for it offered by Edpuzzle here. It is now my second Edpuzzle certification, followed by Edpuzzle Coach.

For the teachers out there, Edpuzzle offers a variety of PD options. Check out all the options here! I believe this system will help me quite a bit in preparing for 6th grade, especially since I want to have a digital notes notebook for students with interactive videos (still working on this concept.

Goal 2: Upgrade “Writer’s Block” gamification

I host a gamified classroom where students can earn XP to level up their ELAR skills. Currently, the game (Writer’s Block) centers mostly around writing, since I only taught 7th grade writing. However, I need to upgrade the game to include more reading standards in order to cover all of our state standards for 6th grade.

Writer’s Block website.

Also, based on student feedback at the end of the school year, I plan to make changes to gameplay in order to better help students progress throughout the school year. Many students requested tutorial videos, so I need to start making those.

Goal 3: Set aside more time for writing and crafting

I know goals are supposed to be “SMART” in order to be accomplished, but this one is simply what it is. I haven’t worked on much of anything creative lately, so I want to make sure I set aside a little time each day to do so. This post helps with that since I’m writing, and I intend to keep posting once or twice a month as well. (One of my ideas is to start publishing chapters of an autobiography I’m working on… We’ll see.)

My novel has been on hiatus, so it’s time I picked that back up, too. I’ve been working on it in my head, but that doesn’t help a whole lot. The genre will change from paranormal mystery to magical realism. I’m actually loving the change, and I hope it creates a more logical flow for the book.

I have already restarted the fourth draft several times based on changes I made to this third draft. Maybe this time they’ll stick…

In addition to more writing, I also want to allow for more crafting time. I’m mostly talking about crocheting and quilting, but I have several bookshelves to put together (which my youngest son loves to help with).

I recently traded in my old sewing machine for a new one, and after using it once already, I’m ready to get back to work! I’m crocheting a baby quilt for my cousin that I plan (goal) to have ready for her baby shower next month. I’ve already cut the fabric, so the next step is sewing the quilt blocks. Don’t worry, I’ll post a photo of it next month after it has been gifted.

My new sewing machine!!


What have you been up to while I’ve been away? What are your goals for the summer? Feel free to share with me in the comments below!

4 thoughts on “Summer Goals… 2021

  1. Thanks for sharing what you’ve been up to! I’m amazed at all that you accomplish. Grad school on top of teaching school, wow! I’m also cheering for you to finish your novel. “Magical realism” sounds like a fun genre for sure.

    On top of editing and working at the preschool, I’m trying to write regularly as well. Sometimes it’s just journaling, but I do typically manage to write something every day. Every little word helps. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for commenting, Kelsey! I hope magical realism is as fun as it sounds in my head…

      You’ve been busy! Writing every day is definitely helpful. Journaling is often a relaxing way to wind down.


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