Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Go with the flow!

I had the pleasure of visiting a second grade classroom yesterday. Once again, the kids taught me more than I taught them! First of all, my intention was to have them paint with words by changing telling sentences into showing ones. The activity I had planned didn't go exactly like I expected. While it works great with fourth graders, I had to readjust it for this group. It's so important to be flexible to allow the kids to become successful.

I took starter sentences with me. The first sentence I gave the kids was: I went to the store. I wanted them to change it into something like: My cart was full of fruit and vegetables.

Instead, most of the kids added onto the sentence. I thought about really tyring to drive the point home that I wanted them to totally show and not tell, but then I realized what they were doing was just fine. The kids ended up showing by using two sentences instead of one. They still painted a picture with their words.

One child wrote: I went to the store. I pushed my cart past the apples. Did that paint a picture for you? It sure did for me!

My point is this, if one thing isn't working, don't be afraid to go with the flow and try something else.

For you adult writers, if you're having trouble painting with your words, try the same thing. Add onto your starter sentence instead of changing guess is that once you've added on, you'll be able to totally take out the telling sentence. You will have painted a lovely picture with your words!


Sandy said...

Sounds like a successful day, and a fun one.

Suzanne said...

Good advice, Jan.

It sounds like you and the children had a great day.

Suzanne said...

I've just dropped by to apologise - I lost your comment off my blog.

Luckily it had copied through to my e-mail, so I've pasted it into the comments section. I hope that's okay with you.

Again, apologies, and I hope it doesn't put you off visiting me again.

Heather said...

Thank you so much for visiting my class! My students had a great time. It was wonderful to see them engaged and creating a story with your starter sentences . We intend to revise our stories and hang them in the hallway for all to see. I think my students have a better idea of writing after your activities. We can't wait for you to visit us again!

Jan Mader said...

I love to visit your class, Heather! It's so easy to do writing exercises when I know what you need in advance!

Please share this blog with others...You asked about your professor...When will you see him/her?

Sandy said...

Too bad Chrissy's in Balt., would be nice if you two could work on writing exercises together for her class too.

Todays exercise would surely have to be about snow, level two, closings, snow plows and the like.

Stay warm, and inside where it's safe!

Jan's Knits said...

Just wanted to stop in and say hi. I was reading your sister in law Sandy's blog and she mentioned you had a new blog here. So welcome to the blogging world! I have a blog over at multiply and a photo site at if you'd like to stay in touch.

heidi said...

Hi your sil sent me and wow what a wonderful blogger you are-I am on shelfari to-also on blogger

Joan said...

I'm going to share this with the teachers at my school!