The last time I blogged was August 7, 2018 while I was sitting on a beach in my home state of Connecticut. Today I’m sitting on a beautiful beach on the Jersey Shore reflecting on the school year I just finished last week. It was a long hard one this year which might explain my season of not writing.
Last year writing was the focus of my evaluation project. This year it was math which was driven by a change in curriculum and a new resource. My writing suffered as did my teaching of writing. A teacher of writing must also be a writer. I feel like I failed at this somewhat this year.
I did write this year but only for my students. I wrote pieces to model the obligatory genres of narrative, information and opinion writing to meet the ever looming standards. Don’t tell, but my colleagues and I snuck in a little poetry at the end once ALL the assessments were done. I modeled using my poet’s eyes to write about something but the topic escapes me now and it’s locked away in my file cabinet until the next time I feel I have the time to sneak in a little poetry.
I’m sure I wrote narrative pieces back in the fall about my new puppy, Milo, but I can’t remember those either. If you’re an elementary teacher you really do need a pet so you always have something to write about. Feel free to quote me if you’re trying to convince your significant other of your need for a pet.
Milo helps out when I’m all out of small moments ideas. His dad is pretty awesome too.
My greatest accomplishment as a writer this year was the information book I wrote about decorating cookies. A new passion I acquired this year as a way to relieve stress and prepare to make cookies for Thing 1’s wedding next month and Thing 2’s wedding next May. Exciting times for my family.
I delved into Book Creator this year with the help of my technology coach. This endeavor motivated even the most reluctant writers in my room this year. I highly recommend it if you’ve been hesitant to give it a try. Learning along side my students was one of the highlights of the year. Here’s my how to book about cookie decorating https://read.bookcreator.com/qSvMHc97kBcJnk9RQkOPfJ0IE9Y2/TC17THBcSdG7Ffw9vf_fDg
Through the encouragement of a much younger colleague (I could have a daughter her age:) I also gave Google Classroom a try during our opinion unit. I had been feeling overwhelmed by trying to conference with 24 writers throughout the year and Google Classroom helped to alleviate some teacher guilt. Though I have to confess I did sometimes feel like I wasn’t really teaching as I sat at my computer commenting on student’s work. Being able to view and comment on their pieces at home had it’s pluses and minuses. In the end, I’m hopeful the experience prepared them a little more for third grade. In addition to MANY changes in my school district this year, 2nd graders having their own Chromebook was new this year which made using Google Classroom more feasible.
I modeled opinion writing with a piece I wrote last year with my husband in mind. Unfortunately, my opinion piece on We don’t need anymore cars at our house was still pertinent so it made its way to my document camera again. I also wrote a passionate plea about our ever shrinking carpet to my principal. This piece helped me model how to write for change. Sadly, the carpet remains and we still have 5 cars at my house. To be fair I haven’t actually shared my letter with my principal. I need to put that on my summer To Do list.
I started this post feeling guilty about my lack of writing this year but as the breeze provides relief from the scorching sun and the waves roll over the sand I’m reflecting on all the good that happened in my writing workshop throughout the year. I may not have blogged or sliced but I wrote for the most important audience I have, my students.