The desire to write grows with writing. ~ Desiderius Erasmus
Right about this time of the year I often get a little weary and it is easy to start listing what hasn’t gone right and start planning in my head for next year.
But today I got the shot in the arm I need to finish out the year with the same enthusiasm I had when I began in September. I got to spend the day at MCIU with Jeff Anderson. He gave us an introduction and small taste of three of his books – 10 Things Every Writer Needs to Know, Mechanically Inclined, and Revision Decisions. I took notes feverishly.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day. Jeff was informative, inspiring, and funny. These are some of my favorite take-away quotes.
- Teacher you’re a firework. You are the spark. Bring joy to your students.
- The death of creativity is wanting to it to be right.
- What mark will you leave behind by what you say or don’t say, what you do or don’t do?
- Create a space where writing behaviors happen.
- Until you know what your focus is, you cannot choose the right details.
- Sentence combining is the most important part of growing writers.
And my most favorite…..
- Think of grammar as a creational facility rather than a correctional one.
I wish every professional development day could be as inspiring as this day has been!
Thank you, Jeff Anderson
The great aim of education is not knowledge, but action. ~Herbert Spencer
Best. Day. Ever.
Everyday in the month of April my ELA class begins with a mentor poem. We read the poem. We notice things about the poem. We imitate the poem. We share our results. Eventually, the students will create their own poetry anthologies and choose a poem to read or recite to the class.
I have been doing this unit for several years now with a few changes to the poems I present to the class. I usually get some of my best writing during this month. I am not sure if by April, my students are just better writers or the poetry form is less threatening, but I don’t get too much resistance.
Today, our mentor poem was “Foul Shot” by Edwin A. Hoey. It is filled with action and suspense. The classroom protocol is that I put a mystery amount of minutes on the timer, and the students are free to remain at their desks or move around the room to work. When the timer when off today after about 10 minutes there was a rousing sigh followed immediately by voices begging for more time. Who am I to stand in the way of creativity? I gave them more time to write.
As if that wasn’t enough joy for one day, our next activity was reading a text set about Wild Horses. The students worked with partners to read the articles, create a claim, and list evidence they could use in an argument essay. They only had to develop an outline, not write the essay.
As I meandered around the room, I heard lots of good conversations about what should be done with the wild horses that can no longer sustain themselves on the lands where they roam. So what’s the big deal?
When the class was dismissed and was walking to their next class they were arguing their claims!
Can’t get better than that!
Enjoy every moment; you never know when things might change. ~ Natalie Imbruglia
Sometimes when you don’t plan you end up having the best time. Take last Saturday for example. My husband and I kept tossing around ideas for what we were going to do once we tackled a few things on our “to do” list. Much to my surprise one of my colleagues emailed me saying she had two extra tickets to the Phillies/Marlins 6:05 game. I told Chuck of the offer, and we looked at each other a couple of times before deciding to seize the moment. What was our hesitation? Well you see the weather was not exactly baseball worthy. It was cold and a little windy.
We bundled up, packed a cooler bag, and set off for Citizens’ Bank Park. We looked more like we were going to an Eagles’ game just in red rather than midnight green. We were decked out in hoodies, hats, scarves, and winter coats. I even took a blanket! The drive down was uneventful, and before you know it we were entering the stadium and receiving a free t-shirt! We only had a short walk on the concourse to get to our seats in the right-center field. We were only a hop, skip and a jump from the bullpen. There really isn’t a bad seat in the whole ballpark!
The best part of the night was that the Phillies won 20 -1, and we got to witness two grand slams! So glad we decided to brave the weather and go to the game, if not we probably would have been asleep on the couch before the game was over.