Express Yourself

Be who you are and say how you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
--Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Invisible Writing and the Weather

I haven't posted this week because time got away from me.  I have been a little under the weather lately. I have this horrible cough and sneezing problem. I thought I could go at least a month before catching any bugs, but my immune system isn't what it used to be. How I wish I had the same immune system that I had 11 years ago. Alas, I don't, but I wish I could beat this cold without having to take any antibiotics. We will see.

I had decided last week that I would post everyday during the week. I wanted to chronicle my journey this year and find the learning in each day. My goal was and is to write about things that make me think and cause me to laugh. Here goes!

What happenef today? What stayed with me? I couldn't wait to get out my carbon paper and have the students try out Invisible Writing. It is a prewriting strategy from the Abydos Literacy Institute and from the book called  Acts of Teaching by Dr. Joyce Carroll and Edward Wilson.  I spent the early morning prep time putting paper clips on three pieces of lined, carbon, and copy paper. I brought in my wooden skewers for the student to use to write. They thought that was a craziest thing to write with skewers and to not be able to see what they were writing..  "How are we supposed to write if we can 't see what we are writing?"  I asked them to be patient and write what they could. "Trust me!  Just try it!" I wrote along side them for 10 minutes. My trigger word was trouble. I had previously read one of my stories from my life map. It was about me getting into trouble. It also connected to our study of the narrative text structure with the main problem, conflict and trouble.

I heard the squeaking of skewers. It sounded like the dreaded scratching of old chalk boards! The students were so intent on writing, but yet not so sure how it would all work out. A few curious souls checked the white paper on the back. When ten minutes were up, I asked them to check their back page and I heard wows and whoas settle in the room. "Cool! Wow! Awesome! How did you do that!" resounded. They loved it!  "Can we do this again?  Can we try it again?"they asked. When I get the carbon back from my colleagues, I am going to give them the carbon to take home and try out with their family members.

We debriefed the process. "How did it go?" I asked. "I liked it, but my writing looks horrible!" some said. "I couldn't tell where I was writing, so I found it difficult," one said. "I thought it was great!" said another. Some of the kids had no problem letting it fly and others got stuck having not written their letters in a more clean fashion.  They all agreed that is was something special to see their writing on the other side.  Finally, after we debriefed, I had them write what they thought about the experience. One student wrote a whole page full of a deep reflection. She said, "I was really disappointed with my writing because I wanted to write more and need more time. It took me a long time to think of something to write about. Other students had no problem thinking of something." I thanked her for her candor and reflection. It was great to hear that. I jumped on this opportunity. I let her know that all writers have days where an idea may come to them in a split second. Still other days it doesn't come so easy. I praised her thoughtfulness and invited her not to worry. "Just trust the process,"I told her. Sometimes the well seems dry...sometimes it is a waterfall. I loved talking to her and the class writer to writer. Pretty nice day--no matter the weather!

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