Everything good about writing – SOLSC Day #26

My goal is to write about writing in the classroom every Tuesday, but last night while writing my reflection of my Monday, I came to the realization that I need to focus on the benefits of writing (as well as the skills) with my students.  After a Monday that included showing the “Growing Up” video to three science classes of boys (about 80 boys), getting my head shaved by sixth graders during their lunch period as the prize for raising three hundred dollars for St. Baldrick’s, squeezing in a four-mile run, and presenting a school budget (millions of dollars) at our board of education meeting, I decompressed by writing about it in my journal at 11:00 PM last night.  AND it felt great.  I wrote:

“As I pulled my winter running hat over my bald head and entered the dark cold of the March night, I felt a sense of relieve wash over my entire body.  The tightness that I carried all day since my morning shower at 5:30 AM completely disappeared.”

Honestly, I barely remember writing that part of the reflection.  The thing that I do remember is that when I closed my writing journal, I felt like I was on top of the world, and I was ready for a new day with as many obstacles as a middle school could throw at me.  Everything that I felt throughout my Monday was left on the pages of my journal and it felt awesome.  It is exactly the reason that I write, and it is exactly what I need to teach my students.  I will be reading them my entry today.:)

When teaching writing, I get caught up in making sure the students get their ideas on paper and that they do it while paying attention to the conventions of their writing.  All of those things are fine, but I never teach them about the wonderful way writing can make you feel.  It can help to release stress.  It can help to release anger.  It can help you to relive the happy time.  Plain and simple, writing can help.

Yesterday, I started class (after the read aloud) by sharing a poem that I had written over the weekend (this was actually on a suggesting by a fellow slicer – thank you:).  It took less than five minutes.  I was able to share with them the figurative language that I utilized in my poem, and most importantly, I reinforce the fact that I write outside of the classroom (for fun).  The kids asked all kinds of questions and still we kept it under five minutes.  The highlight was the girl who showed up at the door during the closing minutes of ninth period with a poem that she had written after ELA class (I’m guessing it was during someone else’s class, so I should have scolded her, but there was no way that I was going to do that – I just thought in my head that I was sorry to the teacher that was teaching during her poetry writing session – that has to be enough).

So, when I woke up this morning, I decided that I am going to share three pieces of my own writing with the kids (when it fits into a lesson or discussion) a week.  I will even show them paper receipts, napkins, and the back of church school flyers (that my kids get) that I write story ideas on when my writing notebook is not handy.  I won’t tell them that it is while I’m sitting at a traffic light.  I will show them my errors, my scratch outs, and my ideas that I am still struggling to make into a story.  I will show them the fun of writing. 

The goal will be to show them my love of (constant) writing in hopes to hook a kid (or many) to writing (example: girl writes a poem after seeing my poem).  This will be an ongoing goal, like my reading goal, of turning every student into a writer who enjoys writing.  The sky is the limit if I can make them love both reading and writing.  

18 thoughts on “Everything good about writing – SOLSC Day #26

  1. Oh, the power in writing. Even on my most exhausted days, this challenge had forced a daily writing habit that has brought me such joy. How great to share this with students and model being a reflective writer. Great slice!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your words should be an inspiration for all. If you want your students to write, you need to write with them and share what you have written. If you want your students to read, you need to read with them and share the books you are reading. Your students are lucky to have you as their teacher.

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  3. Teaching “the wonderful way writing can make you feel” and sharing the love of writing open a door to the writing world wide and inviting.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is all great! My biggest take away from your post….I need to get back in to journaling nightly! It really does feel good. Sometimes I say “i’m too tired”, other times, I feel that it “Takes away” from my evening, when it reality- it will totally help me! Thank you for the gentle reminder 🙂

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    1. My best nights of sleep come after reading a few chapters in a book or writing before bed. If I don’t do either, I toss and turn all night. I’m glad that it was a gentle reminder. Thank you! Happy writing and teaching!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This slice has so many gems in it- you sharing your writing with students (and providing inspiration), shaving your head(!!!), and your insights about writing! This provides me with so many nudges (except shaving my head)!

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    1. Thank you! The coolest thing happened today. I shared my entry, and one of the shavers (I let five sixth graders shave my hair) shared with me what she wrote about it last night. I was shocked and thrilled at the same time.

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  5. I’m going to jump on your bandwagon…and commit to sharing my writing with the kids this week. I’m nervous, but I know it’ll be worth it!

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    1. Amy, I want to remind you that you were the reason I am on day 26 of this challenge. I was leaning towards doing it, but your encouragement made me submit my participation form. Your kids are going to LOVE IT! THANK YOU!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Your slice is a great reminder of many important points. One I will also be sharing with my students is why I write and the effects it has on me too. I shared my slice with my students yesterday, but the focus was showing them they can experiment with using a photograph etc… not for writing as a way to pour their hearts out. Thanks for the reminder to encourage our students to enjoy this beautiful skill.

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    1. I truly believe that writing makes me a better writing teacher, but more importantly, by sharing my students (at least sixth graders) believe that “I don’t just talk the talk.”:) Thank you for the comment! Happy writing and teaching!

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  7. You can tell by all the other commenters that we love this decision/conviction to share how writing helps us, with your students. And to share all the messy process. We used to have a writing center in my city where kids could come for a quiet place and some mentoring if they wanted. On the wall there were framed first draft pages from famous authors- Dr. Seuss, Ernest Hemingway- with all their crossing out, margin notes, etc. Such a powerful message.
    And I can’t neglect thanking you for shaving for St. Baldrick’s!!! I have a young friend who has been greatly helped by their funded research. Good on you! Just wear your hat when you run 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love the idea of a writing center. I have been pushing to have one in our school and the kids could stay until the late bus to work on their writing (I want the students help create the space). This was my eighth year shaving for St. Baldrick’s – a few children with cancer have made their way through my classroom and changed my teaching and life over the past five years (I am still in touch with all of them). THANK YOU!

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