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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Still at a Crossroads

My journey in a nutshell, a big one I guess ;)
Back in September I picked up a book, Talking, Drawing, Writing by Horn and Giacobbe, that forced me to question many of my prior teaching methods and really look at what is important for the youngest writer.
I started the year with my old way, and two weeks in completely shifted.
I was loving the change, it felt good and I was seeing good results.
A few weeks ago I thought my students would be okay going from a drawing notebook of blank pages to their old marble covered draft books. It was okay for a few days, but I began to see students slip back to things they did the first two weeks of school. It was as though the form of their writing took a dive and I somehow lost my way too. I tried to rationalize, a change in materials could create a slip, but this was a slide that I was not expecting. Another reality, someone is going to ask to see my student's draft books at some point. If I don't have them, whatever I do have needs to be of value. I am striving for a miracle.
Had I continued with the plans and wisdom of Horn and Giacobbe I would have moved to booklets and not a journal. But here I sit, confused.
Since I really need to move on from this place, I am asking for help from those of you out there that may have tried both ways with young writers--booklets or journals?? Which do you prefer? In the past, I have been encouraged to use journals (draft books). I feel like this has mostly been due to the convenience of keeping everything in one place. However, I am struggling with this...a lot. Should teaching really ever be dictated by convenience? Is there a better way to utilize the journal--writer's notebook for ideas instead of the place they draft pieces? I really want to try the booklets that I am reading about in Talking, Drawing, Writing,  but feel a little apprehensive that it might flop, I won't be organized enough--or won't train the kids well enough. I know it will be a lot of management and I worry that my teaching of writing will be put on pause while I get everyone on track with paper, staplers, booklets, lines, no lines, etc. Then on the flip side of all that, I really think the booklets might push my writers to naturally expand and add details. I foresee a lot of good and  hope to have a happy update soon! I think by the New Year I will have a plan in action; something to look forward to!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Shots...A Mommy Moment

I haven't posted a mommy moment in a long time, today seems like a good day for it!
Both of my children have appointments in the morning, well checks. That is also code for "shots." Ugh. My son, who when asked to draw a picture to represent each season in first grade drew a syringe for fall. He literally associates a flu shot with fall, it amazes me how much he gets wrapped up in the whole idea. The issue is he tends to think about the actual act, what will happen, how his body will respond where the medicine will go, all the details. My daughter, she is a bit more simplistic in her fear, "it hurts!"
We have already rehearsed what/how it will all go. We have pretended to give a shot, he yells "pickles," and it is all over (his new word of choice when frustrated).
I am just amazed at how I somehow got out of the whole ordeal, no school for dad tomorrow so he is on parent duty and the kids are getting to school late. I am definitely feeling the need for this long weekend and I think my kids and husband will too after tomorrow! PICKLES :)

I almost skipped the slice today, thanks to Elsie I was inspired to get some words down. Thanks to all of you who read, comment and share. I love the opportunity to read your words too.
Check out her blog.