“So…what are you writing these days?” Kate Messner’s opening slide after she introduced herself. She paused and asked us to think about this question. There was a long silence in the audience and her words hung over me like a dark cloud for the rest of her presentation. Not because I am not a writer but do I “find” time to write, or do I “create” time to write?
She shared the importance of writing communities including support on twitter, her summer virtual writing camp called Teachers Write! And how we can support each other through our blogs and leaving comments. I loved when she said, “Revision should not be a surprise.” Because for so many students when they turn in their final piece of writing that they have worked hard on they think they are done/published. The idea that revision is not a surprise is something that I need to reinforce throughout the school year within reading, writing, word study, or even math. The message being that as students of writing, we are never done. There are always revisions that can be made to make a piece of writing stronger.
I learned several ideas that I will take back to my classroom. in addition I will process several ideas over the summer. However, the part of her presentation that I will take back to my class quickly will be about how to do mini revision lessons that can make a huge difference.
#1 Write for three minutes describing a place that you love. (if they have a picture that would be great)
#2 She then modeled a Sometimes Poem for us and asked us to take our ideas above and write a Sometime Poem (more on that in Poetry Friday)
#3 Add a sense of SMELL to your poem (this can change to other 5 senses)
#4 If your poem, could talk back to you right now, what would it say?
#5 Role Play! Have a student act out a tired body language like angry and take notes in WNB about what you see add details to your poem
#6 Cut at least 20 words from your poem
Kate asked us to go through this writing process and it was a insightful experience for me because I stumbled at some points and felt success at other writings. I learned the importance of her workshop-and yes, we are all writers.