AH HAAAAA!! Talk about a moment of clarity! Last night, I was spending some time devoted to writing. I have been using The Writing Diner writing program with a few third grade classes this year and had made a commitment to myself that I would write whatever they were asked to write. Ideas for my stories came easily. As a mom of boys and someone who loves adventures, I have lots of potential stories that happen around me ALL the time. I worked on a piece using "binoculars" keying into my senses. I played with a piece about my 4 year old and his frogging using similes. Then...I got to a lesson that used a prompt. No problem, I thought.
The prompt, modeled to look like our state standardized test, went like this:
It is nice to have friends. It is also nice to be some body's friend.
Choose one of the following:
Write about a time when you were a good friend to somebody else
Write about a time when somebody was a good friend to you
Write about a time when you were not a good friend to somebody else
Write about friendship in your own way
Hmmmmm....so I reread the prompt....hmmmm again. I sat there thinking about ways that I might have been a good friend...the thing was...it was harder than I thought!! I had pages written about things I wanted to write about...things I was an expert about...and then...STUMPED!
As I sat there thinking about what I was going through...it hit me. This is what our kids are going through too...and maybe even worse. If it stumped me and really made me uncomfortable, then I could only imagine how it is for a 2nd or 3rd grader to try and do.
My life lesson that I took away was simple...we need to continue to write with our kids...model what we expect. Grapple with the same tasks to become better at teaching writing. I am walking away with more insight about writing to a prompt than the stack of professional articles I have read about prompts by this simple writing experience. WOW!!
After thinking about it for quite some time...I did manage to come up with an idea. Maybe I'll post it when I am done. I am very thankful for my ah ha moment though...I love that there is ALWAYS room to grow!
Memory Chains: A Strategy for Writer’s Notebooks - Here’s a fun strategy you can try to generate writing in your notebook this summer. Come back-to-school time, you can teach your students how to use this s...
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