Wednesday, January 21, 2015

How to Fit it All In -- Writing Workshop Edition

"Stack of Thinly Sliced Trees" by Tom Woodward, Flickr Creative Commons photo

The reports my students finished before Christmas break have been waiting patiently to get back into the hands of their authors. I spent hours assessing them with our district's rubric/feedback form, and then I spent more hours writing comments. I didn't want to just hand them back without a conversation about what they did well and what they can work on next time, but I also didn't want to take current writing workshop conference time to talk about something other than current writing.

So I decided I would utilize indoor recess season to its fullest and do conferences then. Great plan...except the first two weeks back after break I had recess duty.

Now it's the third week back, my duty-free week, and what happens? Good weather and outdoor recess! I'm not complaining about outdoor recess; don't get me wrong! I just had to invent plan C. I asked one of my writer girls to invite 4 other friends to eat lunch in the classroom, and as they ate and chatted, I called them to the back table one at a time to talk about their writing. They still had plenty of time for recess.

It was fabulous for a couple of reasons. First, it was fun to be a fly-on-the-wall and listen to the girls giggle and chatter. More importantly, there was enough distance between themselves and that piece of writing that they were able to talk very objectively about what went well and what they absolutely know they need to work on next time they write informational text.

Joy in repurposing delay!

Joy in utilizing every moment of the day!

Joy in shrinking the to-do list!

1 comment:

  1. Mary Lee, you have a great attitude and genuine enthusiasm--I love it!

    "Joy in...
    repurposing delay!
    utilizing every moment of the day!
    shrinking the to-do list!"

    I second those emotions! Thanks for sharing your perspective on this task, and opening our eyes to other ways (better ways) to approaching delays...Helping us NOTICE the other paths.



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