I’m a member of a very vibrant and energetic bookclub.
What members bring with them is so thought provoking. The conversations are teeming with connections, life experiences, stories and humour, so much of it. We meet on Zoom from different continents, with our different nationalities and accents. We discuss in a common language.
Having been a participant in different bookclubs I realised how different this format was. I went through the first meeting nodding and thinking, I’m learning so much. Not only was this particular book provocative, but the energy the members brought to the three or four chapters we read was intriguing. So many issues, topics and questions surfaced.
What made the author include this or that?
What was the author thinking?
Why did we have to infer so much?
What exactly was being addressed here?
Sometimes we are led to carry out some more research in order to understand parts of the book.
At the end of our first meeting, I could not wait for the next three or four chapters and the leads that would come from the discussion.
Putting my teacher’s hat on, I plan to set this up for my fifth graders, to get them engaged and ‘fired-up’ to read and enjoy discussions around books.
Browsing through Instagram, I came across a post from one person that led to another. I usually read interesting posts but rarely comment.
This time, the post led me to another. To my amazement it was a challenge, one that I found very inviting, especially at this time of my school year (when my to-do list never diminishes).
A May challenge that asks for one bit of information a day. I found the right title for it, A little piece of me. I thought so, as by the end of the month I would have thought deeply about myself and experienced daily mindfulness at the same time.
I’m glad the post allows us to take a screen shot and answer the questions on our own or with friends. So here’s today’s ‘ask’ below.
I’ll wait till the end of the month to contemplate on all my answers.
During the March slice of life challenge, I collected many words from slicers, words I have never used in my writing. I vowed to use them frequently and today I have been able to dot some of them around, here in my poem about silence.
My weekly visits to R’s garden reveal many new surprises. It really is fascinating the way plants change as they grow. New additions are brought in weekly, so no part of the garden ever stays the same.
My annual March Slice of life, daily writing is no different. I am amazed by what I learn, the different structures of writing, new vocabulary, the variety of feedback I receive and learn from. Like the rich soil the plants in garden receive, I have been exposed to many creative ways of writing. I have been enlightened and this is helping me develop my writing in many ways.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank Stacey and the co-authors at the Two Writing Teachers for the opportunity to slice daily in March, with other educators. I’m growing as a writer and my goal every year is to carry on writing with my various writing groups. My goal is also to ‘just write’ and to try and pop in to slice on Tuesdays. I appreciate this community, for nurturing and providing me with the sunshine required for my writing growth.
I appreciate how well you’ve been working on your essays. I know it has not been straightforward but I can see you are all working very hard to achieve a persuasive claim.
Tomorrow, you will be working on your body paragraphs, and as you have already decided on the reasons to support your thesis statement, all you have to do is to select the evidence and examples that help expand and explain your reasons.
Our next lesson will help you select the appropriate evidence, we will also share transitional phrases that will help you truly convince your reader.
Do let me know if you need help at anytime during the next lesson. There will also be student samples and our selected mentor text available to guide you.
See you during the lesson tomorrow, come prepared to do your best writing.
Yesterday’s slice was my thoughts about my lesson. Today I felt the need to write to my fifth grade writers.
I’ve been sitting here contemplating on what to write for my slice today.
I started a slice about my revision lesson during writing workshop and gave it up as I did not think there was much to report. When I started typing I realised I could share about the uneasiness of my students, as they had to read and revise the first draft of the claim for their persuasive essays. They wanted to carry on writing the next paragraphs of their their draft.
I asked them to spend the first few minutes reading their claim aloud to themselves to determine whether their hook, background information and thesis statement were convincing enough. Had they added reasons to expand their statement?
As I read through their first paragraph, I had questions for them. Had they thought about their audience? Who were they trying to persuade? Conferring with individuals and small groups, I drew their attention to some changes and addition to make and they had the checklist to refer to.
At the end of the lesson, I was really moved by the claims most of the students had coined. I made them aware that they had worked really hard and the work they had done was to help them understand the importance of revision.
At some point during the lesson, I questioned myself as a teacher. Was my initial mini-lesson last week, explicit enough? This is a reflection that is still churning in my head.