She disappeared…

This is a surreal day. One town over there is a manhunt for a terrorist. Oblivious, I walked my child to school and I’m glad he is there, locked in and safe. My plans for the day are suspended and I am in my home listening to the news as I write this.

And I know, I disappeared for a long time. (A year?) It’s been a hard school year. My job changed and I have been wearing many different hats, teaching many different curriculums. It has also been the winter of illness. Between the three of us, someone has been sick for most of the winter and early spring. Right now it’s me.

And the writing job I had took up a lot of my time and maybe satisfied that creativity bug I was having. I also started some journals and sketchbooks as I saw Z drawing and writing (letters!) and was inspired to do the same right along side him. I moved inward instead of outward.

I’m not terribly sure at this time what I want this blog to be exactly. I’m not really a homesteader although I love reading those blogs. I’m not much of a photographer which I think adds a lot to a blog. So what am I?

But I have some ideas percolating that I want to share. Most specifically, designing a free writing curriculum, less based on graphic organizers and more on just creating, for kids with learning disabilities. And I want to show you the spaces we’ve created for Z around our home for writing and art which he loves so, so much.  So I want to be back.

And I hope you will be back with me. 🙂

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Mindful Writing

Yesterday I read an article with my students about S.E. Hinton in preparation for starting The Outsiders. In the article she mainly talks about her process of writing. (The article is an old hard copy and I have no idea where I got it.) At the end of the article, she says that the way for students to learn paragraph and sentence structure is to read a lot so it becomes more a part of the subconscious. She also talks about how teachers can get students to enjoy writing, mainly by not grading so harshly and having students fix their mistakes because this is what an editor would do.

Now that MCAS is over for this year, I realized that I have a little time to get my students to enjoy writing, maybe by letting them write what they want to write instead of an “assignment”. I’ve also really enjoyed reading Soulemama’s and Earthmama’s “Right Now” posts. I did one yesterday for my own blog and I would love to incorporate that with my students. A more steam of consciousness, creative, fun approach to writing because they hate it and no graphic organizer is going to fix that.

Are there other ideas out there for teaching writing in a more enjoyable, less structured way? I kind of have free rein right now as we head into the end of the year. I was thinking of making Friday a kind of “Mindful Writing” day. What do you guys think?