|Sometimes a photo says it all.|
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Celebrate: The Best Lesson Plans
Back to school this week, three day with students and I am already remembering where the best lesson plans come from. Not from an on line Common Core document, a district mandated pacing guide, or a box of I can statements. The best lesson plans come from my summer conversations that I see clearly now as I implement the new idea with my students. The workshop that I attended in Indiana and brought back several new ideas but the one I chose first is using the same mentor text for reading and writing workshop and if I'm lucky I can pull out a few delicious words for word study observation. The very best lesson plans come from my 23 students sitting on the floor enthralled with the video that I shared from Ruth Ayres in which she talks about her own writer's notebook. She shared that a WNB can be and should be a collection of objects including poetry, comics, ticket stubs, play bills, lyrics etc. Along with the idea that my students can draw, web, create lists was very exciting to them. After discussing the video and sharing my own writer's notebook, my class was begging to write. But we didn't just write in our room, we wrote around our school. I told my class I trusted them to write anywhere on the first floor. I gave them 10 minutes and to report back to the library at 11:45. One student exclaimed, "I never have had a teacher that trusted me to write and not be sitting in the same room withe me." Another question, "Are you sure about this?" Yes I said with a huge smile - go write. At lunch one of the 4th grade teachers told me that one of her past students said as she took her class to lunch, "Don't worry I'm just writing and Mrs. Caplin knows I'm here." Finally as we were getting ready to go home for the weekend, three students asked if they could take home their WNB so they could decorate it because they loved the second video I shared. Wait one more celebration, another student came back upstairs to get his WNB because he forgot it and just thought maybe he would write some this weekend. My celebration is for writing both my own and my classes, and a special thanks to Ruth Ayres for making her amazing video and continuing to encourage all of us to celebrate every week. You can link up HERE.