Celebrate this week: Making time for work that matters


Celebrate with Ruth Ayres @ ruth ayres writes  …. because we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get.


It’s DigiLitSunday.  Margaret Simon asks us to “reflect on Patience. Practice. Persistence” at  Reflections on the Teche today.

Every Friday, we spend some of our writing workshop time listening to short podcasts that connect us to stories from far and wide as part of our “writing to think” work.  Our mission is to open ourselves to issues and experiences that may sometimes fall outside the realm of our own, and to ask ourselves “what if that were me? what if that was my experience? my life?”.

This Friday, I felt pressed for time.  My kids were finishing up the first drafts of their personal narratives, and there was a long list of students who needed writing conferences before the weekend, when they were tasked to type up those first drafts so we could begin revision on Monday.

We also had a read aloud to finish up and a new Social Studies unit to begin.  There is never enough time…I always feel as though I do battle with the school clock  which seems to measure time too quickly.

Even so, I opened the Story Corps podcast I had chosen for us to listen to, and affixed our anchor chart to the board as a writing reference point:


My kiddos began streaming in at 7:30. They went about the business of organizing themselves for the day, as they always do.  Many glanced at the board, saw the chart and said, “Oh, good – were doing this today. I love these!”.

So we made time to listen after all.  My kids, it seemed, felt there was value and purpose in these Friday writing  to think endeavors.

We heard Alex’s story…we wrote…and we shared.  My sixth  graders asked important questions, and they wondered about how they could change the world if they were in charge.  Some day, they will be.

I was glad, then, that we had taken the time to listen with our hearts, and prepare our minds for the work ahead that some day and in our every day, really.  Patience. Practice. Persistence.  Making a better world takes all three.  And I celebrate my kids for their willingness to engage, right now, to write and think their way to that better world.



5 thoughts on “Celebrate this week: Making time for work that matters

  1. Tara,
    So true and I’m holding these lines:

    “I was glad, then, that we had taken the time to listen with our hearts, and prepare our minds for the work ahead that some day and in our every day, really. Patience. Practice. Persistence. Making a better world takes all three.”

  2. Tara, your lessons are always so thoughtful and student-centered. I never used StoryCorps before and found the short format coupled with your questions offers a provocative prompt for students. Have a great week.

  3. “To write and think their way to a better world” resonates with a quote I gathered from Peter Reynolds’ last week on the Ed Collab Gathering, “The reason we learn to read and write and problem solve is to make the world a better place.” Thanks for sharing your story, celebrating these moments, and connecting to DigiLitSunday.

  4. I am so intrigued by this chart and the Friday podcast practice. We are about to launch our writing to think work. I’m going to dig back into your posts for the beginnings of your work on this. Thank you for sharing your beautiful practice!

Thank you for reading my blog! Please leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s