Gathering Those Ideas
and chaos of the beginning of the year. Throughout the first weeks in August,
teachers will begin thinking about the first two weeks of school. Oh, how tiring
those days are...the days seem shorter as you try to physically cram every
glaze over, but your brain...it keeps going & going & going: never giving up
on adding to your "to-do" list. But it’s with much excitement that teachers plan
those first two weeks. I’m going to focus, today, on those first two weeks of
I would say that it’s my second to last favorite thing to teach in class (history
is my last...yuck...sorry to my mother-in-law who taught US History). In fact,
in the past, I’d often look at my husband, then boyfriend, sideways when
he’d turn on the History Channel during our dating years. I mean...what in
the what? Ha. Now, back on track. Due to writing being blah for me as a
kid, I have tried very hard to make writing “fun” in my classroom. I use lots
of colored pens, colored pencils, music, and colored paper throughout the
year of writing. But it’s those first two weeks that set the stage for the entire
year. And if you approach writing like I did the first few years of teaching (blah),
you’ll see the blah results of it. However, in the last 8-10 years of my teaching
I transformed how I approached writing with my classroom in the first two
weeks, and I saw great effects of that.
*Guess what we do on day 4? THE SAME THING as Day 3. Why? To get
more and more ideas going, people I mean, I want up to 10 ideas on each
person’s “catalog of ideas” folder be the time we are done. Emotional stories,
stories of a water park, stories of trips, hurt stories (a time you injured yourself),
a time you were peer pressured, a time you babysat, a time you goofed up….
all of it!
idea to write about. Do you care about spelling...nope. Do you care about
capitals...nope. Do you care about writing...yep. This is where I establish
my “your pencil is talking, not your mouths” and my music playing. I, personally,
like Vitamin String Quartet. If you don’t know them, they are great at
turning popular music pieces into elevator music. :) We write for about 15 min.
and then share out. While people are sharing...you guessed it, we are writing
down ideas we get into our “catalog of ideas”.