Sunday, July 12, 2015

Teachers Write - Sunday Check-In 4.1

Welcome back! You made it through week one of Teachers Write! Aren't you loving it? All of the prompts and exercises made me think and so many of the questions on Wednesday were ones I was happy to hear answers to. Friday Feedback was a hit, too. I can't wait to hear what you loved about Teachers Write this week and what your new goals are for this week. 

Today I would like to remind everyone that writing is a process. That means there are some steps we have to go through. But other than that, we have to find what works for us - and in turn, our students. I've learned to trust the process and accept that it works differently for each of us and it might work differently every time we write. 

At Nerdcamp last week, I moderated an author panel with Tricia Springstubb, Cassie Beasley, Lisa Graff, Laurie Keller, Kristen Kittscher, and Erin Soderberg (Downing). I called it Secrets of the Writing Process. They shared their writing process and while we talked through brainstorming, drafting, revising, and editing...each of their styles was unique. There are no secrets! There are just lots of ideas to try to see what works and doesn't work for you.

What I love about Teachers Write and taking time once a week to reflect is that I hope you take a few minutes to go all meta and think about what you have learned about writing. What works for you? What doesn't work for you? What helps you overcome fears of that blank page? What - or maybe who - encouraged you to keep going? And how did it feel when you did? 
Recognize all the tricks in your own writing toolbox but open your eyes to others that may not work for you but that you can have at the ready for students. Know that when you feel caught up in the hot mess, it's possible to keep going because you have a toolbox full of ideas. Remember that what works for you might not be what works for students. Soak up all the advice here at Teachers Write because you never know what you might be able to share with a student writer who needs your support. 

First to share, I've blogged about 10 Things About My Writing where I thought about what I know (at least at this moment) about writing and what works for me. This idea comes from Clarissa Harwood and you can read her post, too. Last year, I also blogged about what strategies worked for me. Maybe you want to take a snapshot like this of what works right now...and then you can see how you change over the next few weeks. P.S. Wouldn't this be so fun to ask students to do at the beginning of the year, throughout the year, and then at the end?

Now, I'm going to share some of my all-time favorite resources and feel free to chime in with any that have impacted you as a writer this week or ever. We'll build a mega-list of off-the-hook writing resources! I wholeheartedly recommend all of these!
My Teachers Write Weekly Recap:
It's been a whirlwind of a week for me. Last Sunday, I made the trek to Michigan for Nerdcamp and didn't get home until late Tuesday. I loved reading everyone's comments here and I tried to respond as much as I could but after coming back from Nerdcamp, I had two days of professional development in my new district and now my nephews are in town. It feels like I've barely had time to breathe!
These crazy guys are fun but nonstop energy!
But here's why I love this weekly reflection - despite all of the hectic-ness of this week, I still fit in time to write. It wasn't what I had planned or hoped but I still made time to fit things in. I had hoped to be drafting this last week but I was still finishing up  a major revision of my novel. But now that major revision is done and off to readers so I can actually focus on a first draft I started last summer. I'm ready to crank out some words!

My goal for this week is to write for one hour everyday and/or 1,000 words. I would love to add at least 7,000 words by next Sunday Check-In so we'll see how it goes!

A reminder of my rules for Teachers Write Sunday Check-Ins:
1. We respect each other and the type of writing we do.
2. We only offer constructive criticism.
3. We are positive and encourage each other at all times.
4. We recognize and maintain this as a safe environment.

Today, in the comments section:
What resources do you have in your toolbox that you love what in comes to supporting students?
How did you do this week? Did you meet your weekly goal(s)?
What was the pit of your week? (The hardest part, the non-fun part?)
What was the peak of your week? (The best part, the most-fun part?)
What are you looking forward to and planning for the week ahead?

*Thank you for replying to each other's comments! I read them all and I will do my best to reply but there are a lot of us so thanks for cheering each other on!

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