Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers.
For days. . .
I sit with my computer open to my grading program, and my papers piled on my desk. I have to do lists. I have blog posts to check in and respond to, and reading letters too. I have a small stack of math homework, already corrected during class, but calling my name to be checked in. I have report cards due that need comments (well comment codes which tell so much about my students). I even have 2 bookshelves that need to be built, and a push-pin poetry board to put up.
But I also have ideas. So I push away my to do list and plan instead. I plan a close reading lesson with “Stray” from Cynthia Rylant’s Every Living Thing based on Kate Robert’s presentation at the #TCRWP saturday reunion and my coach’s help. (We won’t talk about how I asked her for help an hour before I wanted to teach this lesson, because my last-minute inspired planning is a post for a different day!) I plan a follow up investigation into setting after our close reading of Stray because when we really work hard with setting, it becomes obvious that there is more than meets the eye. Also obvious is that my students expect the setting to jump out of the page and into their brain. I read through Nancie Atwell’s Naming the World book to gather some poems we can use for our work with setting. I cry as I read and decide to go within the theme of pets that started us off with the short story “Stray.” Students will need to read closely to find the setting, and I have a feeling they will feel connected to these powerful poems. I also plan the start of my annual huge “Muppet” project (still so much work to do!) I plan a lesson on verb continuums based on a pin that linked to this.
Tonight I open my computer, with my same to do list.
So I slice.