Whew! My last day of school was this Monday and time has just flown by since I walked out of my classroom! My daughter came home for a few days to help me spring clean and talked me into renovating my son's bedroom into a guest room. (My son was just married in January.) So instead of organizing things around the house, we totally transformed a teenage boy's room into a lovely guest room. PLUS, I finally got into my garden this week and am filled with such peace when I am working with my flowers. I have so many flower beds. This week I worked on the ones that I can see outside my window......So, THAT is the reason I am bit behind in my blog post about the book study! But isn't that what the summer is about - doing the things that you put on the end of your "to do" list during the school year? I love the summers for exactly that reason...... a wonderful way to rejuvenate my brain and do things that there is absolutely no time to do during the school year!
My first thought when I started this book was "Wow! These authors know young children!" Chapter One starts out discussing reasons for why it is important to give young children the opportunity to talk before writing. And just as Lucy Calkins says in "Writer's Workshop", the authors in "Talking, Drawing, Writing" also feel that children need to begin their writing journey describing real life incidents in their life. I especially enjoyed reading the stories that the teachers told. They were told to teach children that stories happen everyday and they do not need to be filled with adventure or a trip away from home. Simply telling about your dog chasing a rabbit or when your baby brother spilled his milk is a story.
The authors give suggestions for how to ask questions about a child's story to help them gain details about what they are telling. I know from experience that a child can be super excited to tell a story and when given the chance, they might say something like "I just learned how to ride my bike without training wheels!" And then they are done; not realizing all the amazing details they could add to that story such as "What color is your bike? How long have you had your bike? Who helped you learn to ride your bike? Where did you ride your bike?" Was anyone watching? How did you feel?" When child learns to add details to their story, they realize that what they are speaking about IS exciting and something others want to hear about.
At the beginning of the book, the authors explain WHY they feel that talking MUST come before writing. I am sure that all of us who are early education teachers have had this happen to us...... We do a great shared writing lesson with our students and get them all excited about writing their own stories. They head off to their tables ready to write and draw and we, as the teacher, are so excited to read the glorious stories that they come up with. We prepare to walk around the classroom all ready to praise and encourage our students for their first efforts and...... just as we begin our walk around the room, we hear "I'm done!" And then comes another "I'm done" and another...... sigh......... this is NOT the experience you had planned for your students!
Here is an excerpt from the book about this phenomenon: "Any teacher of writing, it seems, has experienced a moment like that. It can happen for many reasons. One could be that we begin with our vision of the end, rather than building toward it over time......." Isn't this so true?
Click here to find a linky at the blog of Jennifer, Teaching With Grace
Nicole From Steele Teaching did a review of chapter One. Here is the link to her blog.
Until next time!