Spring? Winter?


slice

Tuesday is the day to share a “Slice of Life” with Two Writing Teachers. Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. 

 

My favorite picture from Facebook yesterday was this:

 

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Saturday -

80 degrees and sunny -

Washed the car

Ran errands

Went for a walk

Sunny, bright and cheery

Enjoyed the weather.

 

Sunday -

60 degrees and rainy -

Revised class on moodle

Set up grade book

Selected learning activities

Dreary, dark and gloomy

Sent emails

Made lists.

 

Monday -

33 degrees and snow on the ground -

Dog would not go outside

Warmed up the car

Drug out the winter coat

Found gloves

Cold, bone-chilling and windy

Sent “snowy picture” to kids.

 

Tuesday morning -

Full moon and currently 26 degrees -

Predicted high in the 40′s.

 

Iowa

Weather

Wait a day,

Wait an hour,

Wait a minute,

It WILL change!

 

What will tomorrow’s weather bring?

*

Is your spring weather unpredictable?  Warm?  Sunny?  Meeting your expectations?

 

 

Writing Feedback


slice

On April 1st, I read this tweet from Cornelius Minor that has sent me on a path of discovery, learning, and thinking about writing instruction and writing feedback.

corn . writing.better pic.

 

When I followed his link to the blog, the Chart Chicks had an entire blog post on writing that you will want to check out for yourself for the detailed explanations.  Here is the summary:

“Have you noticed that there seems to be three main approaches to teaching the writing process?

  • The “free to be me” approach
  • The “assigned task” approach
  • The “demonstrate, scaffold, release to write” approach”

 

I often see variations of those approaches in classrooms ranging from kindergarten through twelfth grade in school districts of varying size.  Instruction in writing varies.  Teacher assignment of writing is the norm in many classrooms.  Why is this?  Is it the lack of instruction for teachers themselves?  Or does this concern begin with teacher preparation courses?  Do teachers know how to demonstrate, scaffold, and release to write?

Writing Feedback

After attending the June 2013 writing institute at Teachers College, I had many choices to make in how to help teachers and myself improve writing.  One area of special interest to me is feedback because of John Hattie’s work in Visible Learning for Teachers.  Feedback is critical for growth in teaching knowledge and confidence.  A second source of information more recently has been Taylor Meredith’s The Formative Feedback Project that can be found here.

I believe that “feedback” for writing can also be categorized in three main approaches as well.  Writing responses that I commonly see are:

  • bleeding red ink
  • no red marks – just a summative grade, score, or comment
  • a thoughtful post-it with “think abouts” for the author

Writing is hard for students and teachers.  Writing is evidence of thinking.  If quality thinking is one of the classroom goals, teachers need to provide thoughtful, individual feedback that is  goal referenced, tangible and transparent, actionable, user friendly, timely, and ongoing (Grant Wiggins, 2012).  That may require a transformation by many teachers.

So let’s explore those a bit more.  The first form of “feedback” listed above is “bleeding red ink.”  So what does that look like?

red ink

Who did the work here?   The teacher!

The teacher should not be the copy editor who corrects every error.  That kind of “feedback” is merely information for the writer.  There is no learning or change in the student’s knowledge.  Recopying “corrected” work is only editing.  No revision or understanding of revision has transpired.  There is also a high probability that the next written work will have similar errors.

End Result:   Student writing   +   Teacher red ink   =  No real learning  (only recopying)

 

The second form of “feedback” is no red marks,  just a summative grade, score, or comment.  This may look like:

checked                         B

 

A check mark or a B+ provides minimal information for the writer. Someone has read that work and left one mark.  A one word comment can also be limiting as evidenced in this Jerry Seinfeld quote about essay tests:

“I always did well on essay tests. Just put everything you know on there, maybe you’ll hit it. And then you get the paper back from the teacher and she’s written just one word across the top of the page, “vague.” I thought “vague” was kind of vague. I’d write underneath it “unclear,” and send it back. She’d return it to me, “ambiguous.” I’d send it back to her, “cloudy.” We’re still corresponding to this day … “hazy” … “muddy”…”
- Jerry Seinfeld  (SeinLanguage. Bantam Books: 1993)

Who did the work here?   There is not enough evidence to tell us who is doing the work.

But how helpful is that singular piece of information?

The student on the receiving end of these marks may say, “Wow, I dodged that.  I don’t have red marks all over my paper so I don’t have to rewrite my paper.”  But what did he or she really learn?  Are the learning targets clear?  How “close” to the learning targets was the work?  What needs to be done in order to show improvement? And even more importantly, “How does the student really become a better writer?”  “What does the student need to improve?”

End result:   No red marks    +  Summative mark   =   No real learning (No idea how to improve the quality)

 

The third form of “feedback” is a  thoughtful post-it with “think abouts” for the author.  What does this look like?   The first picture shows three post-its coded with + and one with “??” for think abouts for the author.   The pink flower post-it says, “Tell us what you think!” so that also gives the student enough feedback to know “what” to do as the next step.

post it comments                                   think

 

It’s more helpful to focus on one single aspect of a student paper for improvement.  Taylor Meredith has a great post on the difference  between input, information, and feedback.  You can find the link here, “Feedback or Not”.  You will notice that I “borrowed” the idea of “equations” from that post.

End Result:   Student Writing  +   Thoughtful post-it with “think abouts” for the author   + Revise, Grow, Change  = Student who is able to Revise /Change “own writing” now in this piece  and also on the next piece!

There is a shift in this third version of feedback for student writing!  The student knows exactly what to do!

What does your writing feedback look like?  What will you do next?

Source:  Wiggins, G. (2012). Seven keys to effective feedback.Educational Leadership, 70(1), 10–16.

 

Celebration: Learning


March is finished.  I have studied my #sol14 data.  31 days of writing charted.  Goals reviewed.  New goals considered.

Write for the weekly “slice”?

Nah!

Time for a break.

Done with “Slicing” for a bit.

Time to get caught up with housework, laundry, cleaning  .   .   .   .   .

 

But,
April Fool’s!

Image

I’m back!

What?  Slicing Again?

It’s Tuesday.  Slice of Life – regular schedule!  Once a week!

I loved the routine of writing daily.  I did worry about tasks left hanging while I “sliced” daily.  Just how far behind did I get?

It doesn’t matter because I need to share this story with you.  No, I have to share this story with you!  I really want to share this story with YOU!

 

Yesterday

Yesterday was the seventh and final day of our standards – based grading sessions (K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6).  It was a smaller group because sixth grade is middle school for many of our districts but we still had sixth grade teachers from nine districts working collaboratively to deepen their understanding of the Iowa Core ELA Standards.  Our purposes for the day were

Today, I can:

•Increase my knowledge of standards-based reporting
•Increase my skill at determining standards-based proficiency of a writing piece
•Locate quality sources for instruction and assessment for grade 6 ELA standards to increase student learning
•Begin to plan for communication processes for this continued work
It was a great day of professional development.  I literally talked for less than an hour at the beginning of the day.  (“What a change from the old days of PD when I was yakkkkkkkkking all day long!”)  Then the teachers moved in to the writing analysis task stage.  I wrote a bit about that process with our third grade teachers last month in this post three weeks ago.
*
The next big chunk of time had teachers working in table teams and multiple table groups to locate quality resources for ELA instruction and assessment.  Teachers worked collaboratively, “Have you seen xxx?” and shared freely.  The opportunity to dive into resources and share the results was a great use of time.  With a Google doc as the teacher resource, all had multiple opportunities to add exactly what they needed to their own knowledge.  Excited conversation was the “unofficial rule” of the day during this work!
*
The final learning chunk was about communicating changes with standards – based reporting and considering the appropriate frequency and the messenger for each level .  A tight alignment of both would also increase parents’ knowledge and inform the public.  “Have we ever ‘over-communicated’ our message to parents?”    What if that became a focus for our schools?
*
After participants had completed a three question evaluation/planning response, I had them line up in two lines facing each other.  We literally practiced “communication lines” (live link) with our “favorite learning from today.”  Participants had an opportunity to experience this “increased talk” or “increased practice” that could also get middle schoolers up and moving!  They worked with their first partner and one other rotation and clearly understood the value of “oral rehearsal” of a learning task.
*
But the best part of the day for me, was my new learning.  Yes, “My New Learning!”  A fantastic day with new learning for me!
New Learning # 1

Our new literacy specialist shared this  with me, posted it on our working site and then shared it with the entire group:

Readability:

Image

This icon (comfy red chair) is then placed on your toolbar and is readily available to turn any “article” on the web into a “better” print version that can be enlarged or even shrunk to make it fit the “reader’s needs!”

Image

New Learning # 2 (also shared by our new literacy specialist):
From a sixth grade teacher:  Viewpure.com
Why would I want or need it?  It removes the comments and all the “clutter” around a YouTube video.  All you need is the URL of the video!
Image
Although I was the facilitator for the day’s work, I learned about these two new tech applications from a colleague who shared one source of her own and a source shared with her by a teacher seated at her table.  Collaboration and learning at its best!
I love learning!  Yesterday’s celebration: learning about readability, learning about pureview, learning from “participants”

It was a fantastic day because I was ALSO a learner!  That’s the best part of professional development!

And thanks for feeling comfortable enough to share so everyone could learn, including me!

 

Slice of Life 31: Farewell Finale


 (During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

 

Wow!  31 consecutive days of writing is coming ot an end . . . What do I say?  What am I thinking?  What will I do with my free time?

My process:  I set up a folder on my desk top where I saved pictures that I wanted to consider adding to blogs.  I created a word document and listed “Topics that I can blog about.”  I drafted some posts in Word and some directly in WordPress.  I did some “flash drafting.”  I watched “Be Inspired” and the Classroom SOLSC14 for writing tips/ideas.  My routine included drafting my posts the evening before needed and then the morning of posting, I  reviewed, revised and edited.

Some posts seemed to write themselves.  Those were on topics that I had already spent some time thinking about.  Newer topics meant that I nothing written ahead of time.  Those posts took longer to construct unless the topic had been the focus of conversation previously.  Days spent traveling meant that I planned ahead and wrote multiple posts in advance.

 

If you have been following this month, you may recall that I began March with a post about alphabet books and the fact that I like to collect them because they are so neat and tidy.  I also like to collect or organize my work.  Sometimes I organize by color, sometimes I organize by numbers, and sometimes I organize by charts.  So for this finale, I have assembled a table in order to review the “current data.” (Just a little OCD!)

 

Slice Title Content Format (*idea from TWT)
1 March Challenge:  Slice of Life Alphabet as an Organizer Narrative/ Info­
2 ABC’s of Reading Joys of Reading ABC poem
3 Home Defining Home Narr. Quotes and info
4 “Change of Plans” Waiting Narr. Quote and poem
5 Coming Home Celebration Narr. Pictures/poem
6 Bucket List List *poem / Info
7 Exhaustion A “To Do” list poem
8 Studying Student Writing Content – 3rd grade Ts Narrative
9 #EdCampIowa and “Can Do” Prep for Writing Talk Before Writing (Conversation Lines) Info
10 Embrace Change Quote & Dr. Seuss Picture and words= pt.
11 Challenges Typical responses to challenges Info
12 Tenacity Dad and turning point Narrative
13 From Challenges to Turning Points TCRWP and turning points *AGC, Info
14 Road Trip with Dad Moving Home from College Narrative (cum. Poem)C &C
15 Two Truths and a Lie Comparisons:  Dad and Me Reader interaction
16 The Truth and the Answers Comparisons:  Dad and Me Answers / Explan.
17 Family Family Narr. Acrostic poem
18 Support Systems Thanks (metaphor tree) Info
19 Hunger Games Books vs. Movies Info w/ poll
20 Changing Seasons Sports cycles poem
21 6:15 on Friday AM events *Poem
22 Saturday TCRWP and data (19) Info
23 How much reading is enough? Reflective questions Quotes
24 Maximizing Instructional Time Talk and small groups Twitter quotes
25 Are you in the pool? Writing your story Quotes/blogs
26 Try it, You WILL LIKE it! Memory (inner talk) Narrative/inner dialogue
27 Summers Memories *Poem
28 Revising or Editing CCSS.Anchor.W.5 Info
29 :: right now :: Status check Narr. *Verb list/poem
30 Thank You! Thanks Info
31 Farewell Finale Reflection on March Writing  Narr, Info

 

Trying to “label posts” for the final column was difficult.  Writing is not always just “one” form or format.  Multiple forms can be compiled very easily in a blog post format.  I had several goals with this challenge:

1. Write 31 posts                                                                       Done

2. Write some stories / narratives                             11 / 31

3. Write some poetry                                                              11 / 31

4.  Add pictures more frequently to my blog       11 / 31

5.  Continue to grow my own knowledge in writing  (tried something new * 5/31)

6. Continue to support teachers who teach reading/writing     8/3 1

 

Because I did not write any of my goals in a measurable, SMART format, my thoughts about whether I have “met” my goals is purely subjective.  I do believe that just like a story arc, I have moved to a different point as I end March with more frequent and more proficient writing –  a different place than where I began on March 1st.

 

Thanks again for being a part of my writing journey!

I would highly recommend that ALL “Slicers” consider having a twitter presence!  One more communication tool!

 

 

Slice of Life 30: Thank You!


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

thank you languages

 

Kudos to the fabulous team at Two Writing Teachers and all the support that they assembled for this challenge!  Being a part of a community like this makes it “easier” to continue on each day!  Thanks to both Stacey Shubitz, SOLSC14, and Anna Gratz Cockerille, Classroom SOLSC14,  for their great “Be Inspired” ideas!  Thanks to the support team as well.  I had many questions for Elsie and her supportive responses soothed my apprehensions!

I jumped into this challenge because of two twitter friends, Julieanne Harmatz (AKA @jarhartz ) who blogs at “To Read To Write To Be” and  Catherine Flynn (AKA @flynn_catherine who blogs at “Reading to the Core.”   Check out the past slices on the blogs of these two talented ladies!

Thanks to all “Slicers” who read and commented on my blog during the “Slice of Life Challenge.”  Special thanks to those who commented a LOT including:   Julieanne, Tara, Catherine, Anna, Elsie, Stacey and Carol.

Writing every day for a month has helped me continue to work on my own writing.  I will reflect on forms and topics tomorrow in my final post for the month.  It’s possible that I will join “Slice of Life Tuesday” or another regular weekly posting.  I must do some work on my calendar to determine feasibility over the next couple of months as I modify an online graduate course and also plan for summer work.  This month has shown me, again, how important it is to both respond to other bloggers and/or tweet out their links.  The connections in the community are THE BEST!

But most importantly, this Slice of Life Challenge has confirmed my belief that teachers of writing must also be writers!

Again, Thanks!  This has been fun!  This has been great learning!  This has fueled my writing soul!

:: right now :: Slice of Life 29


 (During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

 

:: right now ::

:: thanking Stacey for her “Be Inspired” tip today

:: enjoying this new format courtesy of Terje’s model

:: anticipating today’s “quilt shopping” with the girls as we search for fabric to make a high school graduation gift

:: thanking myself for making a list of “must do’s” last night for my weekend focus

:: accepting that uninterrupted work time is highly overrated

:: consoling friends whose teams were not victors

:: wondering if simple solutions are the best

:: thinking of my last two slices for this challenge

:: smiling as I reread Ona’s slice from yesterday “Thank you, Kate Roberts”

:: waiting for my first cup of coffee

:: looking forward to a bit of relaxation

:: hoping that today’s temperatures will REALLY be in the 60′s

:: wishing that everyone has a great weekend

What would you add for your own “right now”?

Slice of Life 28: Revising or Editing


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

What is Revision?  What is Editing?

How would you explain the difference between these two processes?   In the CCSS, they are listed in the same anchor standard: “W.5. Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.”

What is revising?

Once we define “revising” as literally meaning to “see again,” to look at something from a fresh, critical perspective, we can begin to teach it.  I used to use instruction that included “two stars and a wish” where partners respond with two elements of writing they like and one they wish that could be changed to strengthen the writing work.  It wasn’t specific enough.

How do we make the revision more visible to students?  Revising word choice has seemed easier to model.  “Circle two words in the work that seem repetitive, tired, or not clear.  Brainstorm possible words that would be stronger.  Make a decision to change at least one word in your writing piece.”

What was missing?  

I wondered if the  instruction needed to focus a bit more on the “why” for revision in order to emphasize that the purpose is to make the writing stronger.  Students studying written work  answered:  “Which of these two paragraphs is a stronger description?  Be prepared to state the specific details that are your evidence of strength.”     The before and after paragraphs are side by side here as they were projected on the screen:

Image

 

Which would you rather read?  Why?  How did those sentences change?   What does their “revising language” sound like when the students are talking about revising?

I did show the students the following list that I created when I brainstormed some ideas about how this old house looked and the underlined phrases showed where I had used them.

How the house looked?

  • paint peeling
  • cracked windows
  • weeds around the house
  • big house that takes up most of the lot
  • two stories
  • shutters falling off the side of the house

So this revision instruction began with students studying two pieces of writing to see the revising changes and then ended with showing them how a brainstormed list of “how it looked” was used for specific ideas that were added, removed and substituted.  The students loved that they knew the house was “old” without saying the word “kind of like a riddle.”

Student revision is now about more than just moving a sentence around as students talk about changing words or phrases as they move, add, remove or substitute in the revision process.

What is editing? 

Editing has often been explained as what a copy editor does to fix up the writing to get it ready for publication.  The goal is to make the errors so few that the reader’s thinking is not interrupted as he/she reads.  Typical conventions include capitalization, punctuation, spelling and usage.  In the Core those are found in the Language Anchor Standards:

L. 1. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L. 2. Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

 

How does instruction provide opportunities to “self-edit” in order to strengthen their writing?  Technology makes this easier as squiggles under a word alert me to check the spelling, but students need to be doing the work of “editing”  - not the teacher with a red pen.

How does that instruction work? One way to literally show the difference between revising and editing might be to teach some acronyms as a part of a mini-lesson after a lesson in revising like the one above where students did the work to figure out “how” the revision happened.

I believe this photo came from a #tcrwp friend but I apologize because I cannot credit the owner as I was not saving the source or the date at that time.  Let me know if you recognize the source as I would love to add the correct attribution!

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How are your students strengthening their writing by revising or editing?  Do they “independently” revise or edit?

Slice of Life 27: Summers


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

 

I am building on Anna Gratz Cockerille’s post from yesterday, based on work by Ralph Fletcher at #tcrwp last summer.  (Don’t take my word for it!  Go read the post so you know exactly how to write this kind of poem!)

 

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SUMMERS

Sometimes I remember
the good old days

Walking the bean fields to remove
the cockleburs and corn

Playing baseball with the cousins
in front of the barn

Eating Muscatine melons
and celebrating the summer

Swimming lessons at the park
grocery shopping after

Bike rides around the block
some days, all the way to Riverside

I still can’t imagine
anything better than that.

What do you remember about your childhood summers?

(Check out Anna Gratz Cockerille’s post from yesterday for more information about creating this type of poem!)

 

Slice of Life 26: Try it, You WILL LIKE it!


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

 

Do you remember sitting at the dinner table with a plate in front of you with some completely un-recognizable stinky food?  And what did the responsible parent say, “Try it, you will like it.”  What was that food for you?  Something exotic like caviar or escargot?  Or something simpler like kohlrabis or asparagus?

Picture this:  my older sister is home from nurses’ training. The first “boy friend” is due for lunch.  We’re a family of six kids so there is no special menu much to my dismay.  “Why can’t we cook more than one chicken? Rats, Spanish rice. Why can’t we have a special meal?” are just a few of the questions rattling around inside my brain.  I know enough to not ask it out loud because silly questions at the table could mean more chores to do.

The table is crowded.  The skillet of Spanish rice is in the center.  We take turns scooping up portions.  “No heathens here.  We are polite.”  A vegetable bowl is passed.  Quiet descends as we clear our plates.  Then the visitor, the new boy friend says, “Pass the green beans, please.  Those are really good.”

Startled, I look at my sister. She looks down.  I look at Mom and she just shakes her head.  So I look down.  I want to say, “They aren’t green beans, buddy!” but I know if I do there will be consequences.

We are almost finished when Dad gets home and joins us at the table.  He asks for the vegetable, “Pass the asparagus, please.”

I wince.  Will he laugh?  Did he even hear?  Who is this city slicker who doesn’t know the difference between green beans and asparagus?  Then we hear, “You know, they did taste a bit different.  But I’m color blind, and they look just like green beans to me.”  We still thought he was a “rube.”

Asparagus is/was a favorite food for many at our house.  I loved the Minneapolis IRA conference a few years ago because every restaurant we went to had asparagus on the menu.  A co-worker hated every restaurant we went to because every dinner included asparagus.  She saw no redeeming qualities in asparagus.  She has moved on, but I am thinking of sending her this recipe to see if she wants another “go” at asparagus.

Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries

Ingredients:
1 pound asparagus, trimmed
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
Dredge the asparagus in the flour, dip them in the egg and then into a mixture of the panko breadcrumbs, parmesan, salt and pepper.
Place the asparagus on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated 425 oven until golden brown, about 7-13 minutes.

Do Crispy Baked Asparagus Fries sound good to you?
This story lives on . . .

I couldn’t type this story without laughing.  It’s a favorite story that is recounted every time “anyone” in the family brings a new person to “meet” the family. The details vary according to the memories of that particular sibling.  When my younger sister emailed this recipe, one response was, “Maybe we should call them ‘Crispy Baked Green Bean Fries’” and another sibling responded with,  “Then – - – - -, (brother-in-law) would eat them!”

Poor guy. Still being picked on decades later!

 

Do you remember being “told” that you would like something, but the romance quickly fizzled and you really didn’t even like whatever the something was?

Does that happen to our children?   Are they told, “Here, read this story today! You will love it, because I loved it when I was a student!”

Or even worse, “I STILL love it, but I haven’t really read it during the last five years.”

(And if you are lucky, the student ONLY thinks and does not shout out loud, “WOW! This is so lame.  There is no way that I will ever like this story!”)

When have you been told to “try it, you will like it?”  Was it really that simple? Did you like it?

Slice of Life 25: Are you in the pool?


(During March, I am blogging daily as a part of the Slice of Life Story Challenge!)  Special thanks to the hosts of the Slice of Life Challenge:  StaceyTaraDanaBetsyAnna and Beth.   More Slice of Life posts can be found at  Two Writing Teachers .

I had my Bartlett’s out yesterday looking for quotes about writing.  I was hoping to find the source of “Teachers of writing need to write!”  Is there a single author that has been attributed to?

Instead I lingered over some of these quotes and actually added and tagged them in Evernote.

“We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”
—Ernest Hemingway

 

“If a nation loses its storytellers, it loses its childhood.”
—Peter Handke

 

“The first sentence can’t be written until the final sentence is written.”
—Joyce Carol Oates, WD

 

“Just write every day of your life. Read intensely. Then see what happens. Most of my friends who are put on that diet have very pleasant careers.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

 

“Remember: Plot is no more than footprints left in the snow after your characters have run by on their way to incredible destinations.”
—Ray Bradbury, WD

 

“Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards.”
—Robert A. Heinlein

 

“Begin at the beginning,” the King said gravely, “and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”
– Lewis Carroll

I began this blog because I felt very strongly that as a teacher of writing, I needed to be writing. I needed to feel both the joy and the pressure of writing published for the world with that nagging voice, “Is this good enough?”  Will anyone read this?”

Blogs that spoke to me on this same message yesterday included:

  • Our real power – Authentic Writing  - Dana Murphy from Two Writing Teachers (You have to read this one as no summary will do it justice!)
  • To Be a Writer, You Only Need to Do Two Things by Joe Bunting       (and those two are – 1. Write your story.   2. Share your story with the world.)
  • And these quotes from Shana Frazin’s presentation Tips for Conferring with Writers at #TCRWP’s Saturday Spring Reunion –   “Tip No. 1 You gotta get in the pool if you wanna swim.”  “in other words, in order to teach writing, you need to do some writing. (The quote that began my search!)

 

Have you written your story?

Have you shared with your teachers and your students?  The World?

 

elsie tries writing

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