power of place.

Today in a fourth grade classroom, the teacher let me experiment (play) a bit. We focused on places for our notebook entries. After all of the wn entries Stacey & I have posted about place (click here or here or here or here to read a few), the strategy has been yearning to get out into classrooms.

The fourth graders had read Amelia’s Road in reading workshop, which was a perfect link to think about special places in writing workshop. (Especially since part of yesterday’s lesson was about reading a book & then being inspired to create a list in your notebook.) The lesson began with kids talking to a partner about what kinds of lists Amelia’s Road inspired. Inevitably, they came up with the topic of Special Places.

They made this list in their notebooks. Then they shared their lists with each other. (What a simple way to teach kids the value of growing ideas. Always one idea on one’s list helps the other to think of something to add to his own list.) Yesterday I had also introduced the concept of quick writes.

So after rereading and starring or checking their favorites, they chose one to explore more deeply through a quick write. I was impressed by the way their writing fluency had grown over night!

The teacher is planning to follow up with Stacey’s idea of kids creating an art piece of a special place in their homes. (Click here to see Stacey’s or here to see mine.) The teacher then plans on displaying the art work in a mini gallery(as Stacey suggested) and having kids quick publish an explanation of the special spot to hang in the gallery.

I can hardly wait to see the masterpieces!