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Thursday, January 24, 2013

On a Cold, Cold Day

One of the things I am trying to work on this year is more writing time for my students.  I am incorporating Writers Workshop into my daily schedule in an effort to build consistent expectations for what the students should be doing to become better at writing.  One of the ideas I keep reading over and over is that writing every day matters.  I know because I am trying to work at it myself.

Today was a special story day because of a little connection I made with one of my writers.  We'll call her "L".  At the beginning of Writer's Workshop today, "L" boldly stated, "Mrs. Rudd, I don't know what to write about!".  I looked at her sad eyes and happily replied, "I know just what you need!"  I ran over and grabbed my scarf and brought it over to her seat.  I gently laid out the plan, "We just need to warm up your writing brain!" (Mind you the temperature was 3 degrees F this morning).  So I wrapped my scarf around her neck and we chatted about topics she could write about.  She finally settled on writing about her family...writing brain warmed...she proudly wore the scarf that warmed up her writing brain the entire Writer's Workshop. 

As an aside, other children noticed her wearing my scarf.  They were pining for the opportunity to wear it as well...I told them they would have to write me a letter during Work on Writing (part of the Daily 5) and ask to wear the scarf to warm their writing brains.  The sweet part is, "L" wrote me the only letter asking to wear it again tomorrow.  And will I let her?  You bet!

I felt like today's little slice of writing life was a banner moment in gently encouraging my little first graders to take risks and spread their wings, learning to fly and become writers.  This exciting moment felt good because it was more of a gentle nudge instead of a push.  I feel like I've done a few too many pushes over the years.  Although the celebratory moment seems small, I am so excited for the growth potential that I wanted to share this small moment on a cold, cold day with the whole world...

16 comments:

  1. I love the image of you running over to her...so,so sweet. In her writing life, she will forever remember this moment. Thank you so much for sharing it. It is the beauty of noticing. XO

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    1. Thanks Nanc! I hope she does remember it!

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  2. I love the way you physically and figuratively warmed up her writing brain! Great chat to get her moving with ideas.

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    1. It helps when we chat about it in a reasonable way ...they are much less combative...

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  3. I can picture "L" wearing your scarf and the two chatting. Powerful lesson. I don't think "L" will ever forget your writing scarf!

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    1. I hope she always remembers! Other kids have started asking to wear my scarf. ;)

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  4. I love these little moments. Can I wear your scarf? How clever of you! She will never forget this little gift of kindness and encouragement.

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    1. Yes you can wear my scarf!
      They really do need a lot of encouragement!

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  5. I think good teachers are prepared, but also do magical things with the 'moment', as you just did. Such a sweet moment for you & especially for your student. As others said, I don't think she'll forget it.

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    1. Thanks Linda,
      I do work hard to be prepared! But teachable moments like these are serendipitous events!

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  6. What a delightful slice! Now I wonder... what other strategies could we devise for warming up the writing brain?

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    1. Hmmmm, strategies to warm up the writing brain...

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  7. I want to wear you scarf. Please. You are so sweet. I want to be in your class.

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  8. Whoops! You can wear my scarf too!

    I'll share with you!

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