“A pen is better than glasses as a tool for seeing.”
–Lucy Calkins, Keynote Address, July Writing Institute, 6/27/11
I walked into the Levien Gymnasium yesterday morning and was greeted warmly by Tisha, of the Thinking Aloud Blog, who I had never met in person ’til yesterday. We chatted for a few minutes prior to Lucy Calkins’s Keynote Address and made plans to meet up again on Friday (see the bottom of this post if you’d like to meet up with us). The title of her keynote was A Good Enough Gift. Here are a few of the many things I took away from her inspiring keynote address:
Lucy said, “A pen is better than glasses as a tool for seeing.”
She encouraged the teachers present in Levien to use their pen to capture who students are, as people, at the beginning of the school year. Then, share the portraits you create with the child at the end of the school year.
I will blog more about this idea in July.
Kids are hiding (e.g., behind the pencil sharpener, writing voiceless pieces) at the beginning of the school year. We must try to find something evocative when we read children’s writing. Something that wakes us up and makes us say Zowee! Then, we should try to linger around those evocative bits of life.
Remember to pay attention, be astonished, and tell about it.
You can read someone’s writing aloud like it’s gold. This can be an enormous gift to the writer who can hear their words in a different way. To be specific, Lucy stated, “If you read writing beautifully, you bring it to life.”
What kinds of gifts do you give your students by honoring them as writers? Please take a moment to leave a comment on this post. Pat yourself on the back by sharing what you do to make your students feel special as writers.
Are you attending the July Writing Institute? Care to meet up with Tisha and I for coffee on Friday morning, 7/1? We’ll be at the Everett Library Cafe at 8:15 a.m. on Friday. (Just go into Zankel and make a right. The cafe is on the ground floor before you enter the library.)
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.