The Slice of Life Challenge is hosted by the inspirational writers of Two Writing Teachers. Each March, they invite people to join them in a commitment to write every day. Here's to another year of daily slicing!
My husband really likes socks. He tends to buy a lot of them. He's not quite so good about throwing them out, though. His sock drawer used to get harder and harder to close until I instituted a new rule a couple of years ago. If you but a new pair of socks, you have to throw out an old pair. That rule helped a lot of issues. It got rid of socks with holes, it lessened impulsive purchases, and it made the sock drawer easier to close.
We had a professional day in our district today. Usually, I have a full docket of presenting to do, but today, I only had an hour where I had to work with sixth-grade teachers. Therefore, I got to spend some of my time working with a long-term sub who is filling in for a six week maternity leave. Tomorrow will be her first day on her own with the students, and it's the first day of a new writing unit. With the sock drawer in mind, we worked on making space for a new writing unit. Together, we:
- Cleared out the writing folders. Students need to feel like they have a new beginning in a new unit. Having space will help them grow as writers.
- Cleared off the bulletin boards. Classrooms that use the writing workshop model should be growing and creating charts throughout the unit. When the unit is over and a new one is beginning, it's time to send that message to students. Make room for the new charts to grow.
- Set up the structures that will support writers in the new unit. We are moving into opinion writing. Just as they used checklists for narrative and information writing, they will now use checklists for opinion writing, but they need those presented to them. Celebrating those new checklists will help these young writers shift to a new genre.
- Envisioned a couple of anchor and process charts that we will co-create with students over the next few weeks. Laminated charts from last year won't teach the students nearly as well as charts that look less perfect but are designed and developed in front of them.
Just as we need space for new socks, we need space for new learning. I'm looking forward to watching these places fill in with great opinion-related work!