Monday, July 1, 2013

It's Summer Writing Time!

Whoop whoop! (This post is happier than last post...promise!) ;)

Today was my first day of the Summer Writing Project through UNCC. As I've been saying throughout my last few posts, this has been something I have been looking forward to for a while! We had our orientation back in May (check out how wonderful that was here) and today was our first official meeting and session to get this hardcore rolling.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte
We began the day with a couple super cool improv activities that dealt with our name game (as done at orientation) and a Yes, And game about personal space.

Our group reviewing the Yes And game. (That's me in the orange!) :)
After our introduction, welcoming, and improv games, we worked on our Writing Timelines. These were really cool. We had a few minutes to think about important writing events, activities, and teachers throughout our lives. I realized through this activity that I really do not think I have had much relationships with writing. Womp womp. That's a little depressing...But that's why I am here; to get more experience with writing and bring that enthusiasm to my students!
Here's my timeline of the top five writing events and moments in my life.

My Timeline
We added our Digital Timelines to the front board.

Group Digital Timelines

Interesting movements within technology for our group.
The activity that I really liked today and will definitely use within my classroom to encourage writing, brainstorming, descriptive writing, and overall comfortable-ness with writing was the Murray Cards.

My Murray Cards!
Murray Card instructions.
One thing that really got me thinking today that I would like to look into more are the generalizations that I made after my Writing Timeline. After we created our timelines, we really thought about what the best event was in our writing career, the worst, our favorite writing, when we feel done writing, and then generalizations that we could make from our timeline to other writers. The generalizations I made were "Writing is Personal," "Writing is a source of a release," and "Writing lets you into new worlds outside your own." I think these generalizations really hit me today out of nowhere! But I feel like they are very big revelations for today. I have fallen in love with blog writing and I really feel that these generalizations derived from this passion. I believe that if my students had their own blog (rather than the KidBlog that we have for the entire classroom) that they would become better writers. I am really wondering if putting these "positive" generalizations, that I came up with today, up throughout my classroom would encourage students to become writers of their thoughts and opinions. I also wonder if a personal blog for each student would enhance these generalizations and give students an opportunity to write how they feel, as opposed to the formal writing that is done in the classroom? Good questions...I know...but I'll have to wait until 2013 - 2014 school year to determine the answer?

The first day of the Writing Project was a huge success! I can only imagine what is to come throughout the rest of this week and the next two! Here's to becoming a better writer :) 


  1. WOW. You are a blogger-extraordinaire and I plan on quizzing you tomorrow on how to jazz up my blog like yours. (love the follow options.)

    Your blog looks "pretty," but it's content is impossible to dismiss. In this post in particular your enthusiasm comes shining through in your writing. What a great adventure SI will be!

  2. Hey Sarah, you blog does some awesome work documenting and reflecting this first day in SI. Reading it blows me away all over again about much we accomplished just in the course of a day. Whew!

    I was way excited to read your thinking about blogging. I've been in an out of a similar place for quite a while. First, I was all about giving kids their own space...we tried edublogs, then blogger. It was great. Last year I gave kidblog a try. I was was easier, but in some ways not as great. I'm still wrestling with which way to go next year. Maybe sometime we can talk more about it during SI.

  3. Hey Sarah! I really enjoy the enthusiasm and life that your blog embodies.

    Do your students write in daybooks? If blogs for each child doesn't work out, perhaps more flexibility and freedom in daybooks can provide the excitement of writing for your students that you are looking for.

    Also, thanks for your comments as well. :)

  4. Ditto the above comments. Isn't it awesome to think of all the ideas we have already and it's just been one day! The possibilities are exciting.
    I like that you are looking to improve yourself as a writer, something I am hoping to work on too. I came across this quote in doing some searching for my inquiry..."the smarter we make ourselves about writing, the more ways we see to nudge children forward in the work they are doing in writing." Seems like SI is the perfect avenue to get ourselves better! Yay!!

  5. Hey Sarah--I loved your blog! I found myself reading through more than just the post for the day! I think that you have such a well-crafted voice that is perfect for the blogosphere :) Also, I agree with Tiffany that even though your blog looks amazing (and you have to share your secrets with all of us), what really comes through is the thoughtfulness behind your posts. Great job!

  6. Sarah,
    Your blogging abilities are quite impressive. I am amazed at how much you fit in from the first day. I agree that the hallway assignment really opened my eyes up tpo the power of writing and its influence on all of us, subtle or not.

  7. Thanks for the comments everyone! You are all too kind with the compliments. It's all in the LeeLouBlog template ;)

    Kim, my students don't currently write in daybooks, but I like your idea of incorporating them if my KidBlog seems to be lacking. I think, especially in my classroom this year, that I will incorporate a journal or daybook of some kind. I think officially holding students accountable for writing, and even modeling more in school, will encourage an enthusiasm for writing more than I have had before :)