This is late. Sorry. I thought I would go out and pull weeds in my river bed this morning while it was cool. I had done over half of it a couple of weeks ago. How long could the rest take? Two hours later, I came in. I took a shower and a nap! Then, we went to eat. Then, we went shopping. Then, I came home and took another nap. (Yes, two naps in one day. Quite remarkable, huh?) Then, we went to church. Then, we met some friends for fro-yo. Then, we went and played at the park. Now I am home and sitting down to blog. (Yes, my repetitive sentence structure was intentional. 🙂 Thanks for noticing!)
In between naps, I checked my email. I found a gem of a quote I want to share with you. I’ve been turning it around in my mind since I read it. Here it is…
No one is born a writer. You must become a writer. In fact, you never cease to become, because you never stop learning how to write. Even now, I am becoming a writer. And so are you.–Joe Bunting on The Write Practice, June 27, 2015
I think what is speaking most loudly to me in this quote is that becoming a writer is a journey we never finish. We will keep “becoming writers” until the end of our days. There is always room for improvement. Always ways to refine what I do with my words.
I wonder how our students would feel about these words? Would these words change their perception of writing? Would these words help them to see that writing is something they will constantly grow and develop for the rest of their life? Would these words cause them to take writing more seriously? Would these words allow them to become more willing to play with their own writing more?
What about you? What do these words say to you? How do they change your perceptions of this subject we have to teach? Do they help you realize you don’t have to “know it all” to be a writing teacher? What are you thinking now?
Happy Friday! Time for five minute friday over on Kate Motaung’s blog. Our word of the day is…dreams.
Here is my writing from the word.
I got a new laptop yesterday. My old one was on its last legs and I didn’t want it to die during the school year. It takes me awhile to get used to new keyboards and new operating systems. I spent all yesterday afternoon and evening installing programs, learning Windows 8, and installing some of my stuff to make my new laptop feel like home. I noticed my new laptop had a really loud fan. I kept thinking I could live with it. By the end of the night I decided I couldn’t. It was driving me insane. I took the thing back to Best Buy this morning with the hopes they could fix it. They could not. They offered to trade me for another new one.
I have spent the day redoing all that I did yesterday. UGH! I do not like redoing work I have already done. It seems like a waste of time. I was, however, able to come up with a lovely comparison to writing. (You had to know this was going somewhere.)
When I was in school, publishing consisted of copying the entire piece over again and correcting all the red marked errors the teacher had “edited” for. Now we teach kids to publish for a purpose, to write for a real person. We teach them that we revise and edit because we care about our reader and we publish so we can finally get our thinking to them. Publishing in today’s classroom actually has a purpose. It is not just simply “recopying”. Thank heavens times have changed!
Think about how you help students publish in your classroom without it being a “copy over” task. How do you get kids to buy in and get excited to the publishing phase of the writing process?
Today I have been thinking a lot about description and bringing readers into the world we create as writers. I have been thinking about what I do as a writer to make my world alive and inviting for my reader. Here is a paragraph from my writing yesterday that I felt draws the reader in.
Last night was the first game of the playoffs for Sam’s baseball team. My son was pumped up! During dinner, he visualized all the what-ifs and the could be’s for the game. He has had a GREAT season. He continually makes plays at first and has become a hitter. He was right to expect good things. However, the first inning did not go as he had planned. He missed a wild throw from third to first and didn’t make the out. Later that same inning, the ball that was hit directly to him rolled between his legs and continued on to the outfield allowing the runner to get a double. Frustrating? Oh, yeah. At the end of the inning, he walked back to the dugout and wilted like a flower.
As I look at this piece of text, I notice several things I tried.
- I italicized and used all capital letters on important words so that the reader could emphasize that word while they were reading, and hear my voice “talking” to them
- I used specific actions so the reader could picture what the ball did in two various plays
- I used specific words from baseball so the reader could know exactly what I was talking about
- I made a comparison between how Sam looked with something a reader would be familiar with to allow my reader to visualize exactly what I was talking about
We call these types of moves “craft moves”. Today, look over a section or a piece of your writing. Identify places where your writing was effective and label what you did in that section. Can you create a list of craft moves from one of your own pieces of writing?
Today is Tuesday, so it is time for Slice of Life Tuesday over at http://www.twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. Write your slice and add it to the community.
Feel free to check out my slice for the day here:
Today I would like you to try writing from a photo. It could be a photo from your past or one you have taken recently. You could even “steal” someone else’s photo if you are photography challenged like I am. (I “stole” from one of my facebook friends who is really into photography. Of course, I did ask her first.) Here is what I created today when I wrote from a photo. I played around on canva.com to make it pretty. The poem I worked on in my notebook.
Writing from a photo is a great way to help kids get their creative juices flowing. It helps narrow down the possibilities a bit and some kids need help with that.
Ruth Ayres is a writer, blogger, teacher, lit coach, mom, and wife. I have heard her speak about writer’s workshop and I sat in awe the entire day listening to her share her wisdom. She has started a weekend Celebrate “party” on her blog. She invites others to join in the celebration and share what they are celebrating this week. It can be big, it can be small–just make time for celebration.
Grab the button and attach it to your celebration. You can add your celebration to her website
We all have reasons to give thanks and little joys to celebrate. Taking time to acknowledge them, makes life that much sweeter!