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Thursday, April 20, 2017

What to do, what to do?

I love it when a lesson comes together.
It feels like magic.

It isn't.

It is more like a combination of inspiration, preparation, and dumb luck.

The dumb luck part is kind of magic.

There are days when every kid is at their best.

And there are days where most kids are just not.

Today, bizarrely, was a not day and pretty much everything still went really really well.

I guess I should tell you about the lesson.

So, technically, this is another NaNoWriMo story.

Today was the first day of writing groups as begin the revision process.

The goal is for students to help each other improve their stories.

Before they can do that, they need to know about each other's stories.

Which brings us to today.
The objective was for them to get to know the stories of their group mates.

Honestly, though, a number need to be reminded of their own stories.

To that end, I realized that a summary would be helpful.

But summaries are borrrriiinnnggg.

What to do, what to do?

Well, we are going to publish these stories.

To do that, students will need blurbs.

I did a little research on-line and found an outline for writing a blurb for a book.

It looks like a pyramid.

It is simple, but leaves a lot of room for elaboration.

I printed out two copies.

I took one of them home and filled it out on my story.

Because I wanted students to see my authentic process, I left all my mistakes and scratch outs.

I also timed myself to see how long it would take.

It took me about 10 minutes.

That meant students would easily need 15 minutes.

When I copied the blank for students, I copied mine on that back as an example.

Students first moved into their writing groups.

Then they were given 15 minutes to finish their blurb outline.

I displayed a huge countdown video on the projector.

After the time expired, they had 10 minutes share their story information with their groups.

At the end of the hour, I gave students extra credit to tell the rest of the class about a table mate's story.

They were darling.

For those who know their stories well, it was an easy assignment.

For those who hadn't thought about their writing in a while, it was useful.

For those who never finished or gave up, it was an important wake-up call.

Regardless, the lesson worked.

It worked better than I hoped.

Especially considering today was the first real day of crazy, building-wide spring fever.

I love it when that kind of lesson happens.

It isn't an accident, though it might feel like it.

My experience, inspiration, and preparation play a huge part.

As does hard work.

It is a good thing for me to remember...

Even as I bask in the success... 

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What do you think? Does this good thing remind you of a story of your own? Have a question or comment? Please leave a comment!