My students and I had the experience of a lifetime this week. Barry Lane visited my school. He brought with him music, love and the joy of learning. All morning my students peeked in the classroom, “It’s Barry Lane!” They were mesmerized that he was coming to meet them, to share with them and teach them something new.
Barry taught us to expand our details and make our writing more visible. He used the idea of binoculars. When you first look at something it may seem blurry, not detailed enough. You adjust them to see what is slightly beyond your reach, but within your words. He taught them to zoom in and clear the blur of a story.
Barry talked about using questions to reach these details. I heard him say it often, talking is the way to find this description and help the reader see the message we communicate through our story.
He connected so well with the students and became a member of our classroom. They ate up his songs and teaching style. They were engaged by his spirit and pure passion for teaching children.
It is amazing how one person can have such an impact in just one hour. I can see his messages of “diving into” the work of writing and getting to the heart of a story staying with them as they tackle workshop next week and every week thereafter.