I didn’t have an idea…

Day 7 of my first Slice of Life Challenge. I panicked a little this morning. Up until today, I had ideas that I had been mulling over, that have quietly been living in my mind, just waiting to be written. Not so much today. “No worries,” I reassured myself. “Just look for the joy around you…that’s the whole point, right?”

So as I sit down to write and reflect upon my day there is a smile that I can’t get out of my mind. It’s a smile I have seen before…

Working in a third grade classroom today, on day one of a writing about research unit, the classroom teacher and I planned to just observe. Notice what the kids were doing. It was great. The teacher taught a mini lesson all about writing long off of a picture and the kids were totally engaged, filling up pages in their notebooks. Except one little guy, who I noticed was deep in thought, totally engaged in reading his book on crocodiles. “That must be a good book, ” I interrupted.

“Yeah,” he smiled. “I just don’t know which picture to write about. Maybe this one,” he said pointing to a picture of a large crocodile lurking in some pretty murky looking water.

“Looks great!” I said. “How much do you think you can write about that picture, in say, five minutes?” I asked, curious to see what he would say. He just shrugged. I picked a random spot on the page, less than half way down. “To here?” I asked.

“I guess,” he agreed.

His pencil started moving before I even got up out of my chair. A few minutes later I found myself wandering around, observing other kids writing. Then I saw the smile. The little boy was sitting back in his chair, just looking at me, with a grin from ear to ear. I looked up at the clock. Exactly five minutes later. He had reached his goal.

Not one to miss an opportunity to reinforce something great, I walked over and said, “I can tell you’re feeling really proud! Do you think you can do it again? Set your own goal and just keep writing?”

Challenge accepted. He was off.




6 thoughts on “I didn’t have an idea…

  1. The idea of looking for the joy resonates deeply with me – it’s there every day, if we just pause to look for it. It’s also wonderful to see a child immersed in a book. I’d love to know what he wrote about the crocodile!


  2. Yours is a great strategy for getting young writers started. Letting him set his own goal is an even better strategy. I love how your post shows writing workshop in action. Thanks for sharing your experience.


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