The post on the left refers to the Write to Learn conference I will attend later this week.
The post on the right is about some writing we did in class on Monday.
I Do Not Make a Difference
Later this week, I will accompany the fourth grade teaching team to the Write to Learn conference. The PTA approved the expense to send us on this professional excursion to Osage Beach (Read more about this in future posts.).
In order to promote the spirit of writing, a micro-essay contest is offered to participants. The rules are simple: in 100 words or less, write to address the prompt "Teachers Make a Difference Because..." I tend to look at things from a different perspective, so I quickly put together and edited my entry, which is exactly 100 words:
I do not make a difference in this world.
Setting the Scene
Part of empowerment involves giving students choices. When it comes to writing, I fully believe choices are a necessity. I certainly wouldn't choose to write about the same things as everyone else. In fact, I shared my own strategy for choosing writing topics in school: I wanted writing to be a challenge, so I would habitually pick the topic that no one else would choose.
With the activity pictured below, I provided the class with a set of photos. I wanted students to focus on setting, so the pictures we used, with few exceptions, do not have people in them.
I did not want a story. I just wanted a descriptive writing about setting. I wanted the writing to be so descriptive that I no longer need to look at the picture, but that I could imagine the scene.
With this in mind, we must also realize the structure of writing we are using. This particular writing was not done in any chronological order. It was not given as a problem and solution or cause and effect. It was simply a descriptive page in which the reader, hopefully, was drawn into the scene. And that's not always easy.