A blog to share information on literacy strategies across contents and grade levels. Metacognitive strategies included. "Metacognition is, put simply, thinking about one's thinking. More precisely, it refers to the processes used to plan, monitor, and assess one's understanding and performance. Metacognition includes a critical awareness of a) one's thinking and learning and b) oneself as a thinker and learner." -- Vanderbilt University
writer’s life is a necessarily slow one. To write, I need ideas,
inspiration, and details, the collection of which requires a different
kind of attention to life’s small moments, which I tend to rush through.
Early one morning, while everyone else was still asleep, my
six-year-old son asked me to share an orange with him. I was up early to
write, but I agreed. I peeled the orange quickly and began dispensing
slices with an edge of agitation. We both ate. Him savoring. Me rushing.
He paused, looked directly into my eyes, and said, “Eat it slowly,
His statement woke me up, drew me to attention. I slowed my
chewing, tasted the beautiful sweetness of the orange, and marveled at
the mid-winter miracle of it. I noticed the feel of an orange slice in
my hand and the weight of it as it moved from my hand to my son’s. I
felt the burst of orange juice as I bit into a segment and the
counterpoint of the flesh. I felt my teeth hitting each other, noticing
the way I shifted the orange in my mouth and how I differentiated my
chewing for the skin of the segment versus the pulp. I smelled
orangeness in the air and on my hands.
when I got over my writing self and realized that eating an orange
slowly with my son was as much writing work as clicking away at my
keyboard, all of these details found their way into my writing notebook,
which these days is a combination of index cards and sticky notes that
are later transferred into a Google document. In the process, I observed
the connection between mindfulness and keeping a writing notebook.
Mindfulness is about fully experiencing a moment -- being
present. Such “living in the moment” is, in many ways, synonymous with
living a writerly life, as a writer must notice what others tend to rush
past. In the classroom, one of the hardest parts of teaching students
to collect ideas, thoughts, details in their writing notebooks is
helping them make a habit of noticing, which requires slowing down. Such
an effort to be more present can actually take a lifetime of practice,
if we attend to it. Noticing the connection between mindfulness and
writing notebooks leads me to wonder, however, if we can teach the use
of writing notebooks via practice in mindfulness, and vice versa. Can we
slow down time in the classroom -- even if just for a few mindful
moments -- and draw student attention to their “now”? Perhaps, the
introduction of writing notebooks should begin with eating an orange.
This week we look at the authentic uses of notebooks in workshops. Plus more as always -- enjoy!
When premade reading notebooks no longer fit into her reading budget, Katherine Sokolowski comes up with a unique design starting with generic notebooks, and in the process figures out what's most important to include in them:
Are you drowning in data? Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan's online course Making Assessments Work for You will help you organize and make sense of information you're gathering while keeping students at the center of your work: