Slice of Life Tuesday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers
Where did October go? I asked myself this morning, as I tore it off my office calendar and came face to face with November.
What had happened to October? I wondered, as I put a great big red “X” through it on our classroom school calendar.
Then, the first of my students began walking into our classroom…two ballerinas, one robot, Minnie Mouse, and a pirate…yes, Halloween is here and October is definitely over.
The question remains…where did it go?
We read Some Kind of Courage, and learned about being brave and staying true to the best in ourselves, the “best” we weren’t even sure we had. And, somewhere in the listening, and turn and talking ,and note jotting, we became a community of readers. Our read aloud gave us one story to gather around, experience, and learn through. We came to know Joseph and Ah-kee, and our journey to learning about them was also a journey of learning about each other: what makes us laugh out loud, what moves us to tears, and what lies between.
At one point in the story, Joseph and Ah-kee trade mementos:
We looked at each other a minute, then we both put the other’s memory into our own pocket. They were new memories, now, but they were tied up and bound to the old. That’s how memories work, I suppose; you just go through life collecting them, never let go of the precious ones but leaving room in your heart for more. Pg. 172
And that’s how great stories shared in readalouds work, too…we’re going through our school year together collecting them, loving them, and leaving room in our hearts for more. So, there was a piece of October…
…which was also spent exploring our stories and writing our own personal narratives. We dug into our writer’s notebooks and took some ideas for a spin all the way from a seed idea into drafting, revision, editing and publishing. This anchor chart became our workshop reality, bit by bit, as we learned together that writing is purposeful, sometimes joyful, work:
And October ended with a Halloween themed writing celebration: kids in costume munching on sweet goodies, sharing stories.
We made room for silliness, too, it being Halloween and all. When the last bell rang, Batman collected writing folders, Alice in Wonderland helped put things away, and a long-tailed, tutu sporting mouse assisted in sweeping away leftover crumbs. Writing workshop involves many shared tasks. So that was another piece of October.
Reading and writing, learning and sharing, doing the work of building community…that was our October. It was a month, all in all, well spent.