February 2, 2016
This last week and a bit has been exciting. It has been fun to see the ripples that can happen when there are small changes. It has been motivating to see the #Edtime2wrt taking off and it has been especially thrilling to see colleagues at my school try it out. It has been exciting to see the ideas percolate in our Voxer group- real connections are being made and I have already got many new ideas.
Of course, day to day life takes over and we all get busy, so the change I am seeing up close is the change in my classroom. We began a new writing unit on Monday and we started it by writing an on demand. For the first time, I took the time to do my own writing the day before. I have to admit I can not remember the last time I wrote straight up fiction- blogging for me has always been nonfiction. It was fascinating to follow the students’ path. I set my timer for some planning time (I did not have a writing partner to talk to, but wrote my planning out), then set another timer for my writing time. When I had 5 minutes left I took the time to do a bit of revison and editing and wrote a note at the end to remind myself about what I would change if I were to continue to work on this piece. Before I had the students write I shared the process I had gone through (but did not read my piece for fear of too many variations on it appearing in their writing, but I will share it with them in the near future). Doing the work they did made me appreciate their work more. I was amazed at the volume of writing in so many students. I was thrilled to see carryover from lessons taught earleir in the year. These daily routines of writing are paying off and although there are many miles to go, it was great to be able to notice the many small steps they are making. I made observations as they wrote and noticed who read over therir writing when they got stuck, who took long breaks without writing, who really took time to revise and edit (a few even asking to go out of the classroom to read their writing aloud to themselfves). I think that some of these things may have gone unnoticed if I were not as tuned in to my own writing process. It was a day to celebrate the writing that had gone before and begin to set goals for the writing ahead.
As I get my own writing self more engaged I am also trying to find more opportunities for my students to write- both for themselves and for a real audience. They have enjoyed participating in #sstime2wrt and have appreciated comments via Twitter. We have started talking about the Classroom SOL Challenge and many are already saying they want to participate (it will be strictly optional- they write each weeknight anyway, so it will be up to them if they want to take on the challenge of daily blogging and commenting).
It is an exciting time to be a member of the writing community in 3EV! Togther we are better! Thanks for being a part of our extended writing community too!