Writing is very different for me this year. I’ve been writing since I was a kid and I’ve even called myself a writer for a long time (even though I haven’t published anything).
To me, a writer is someone who writes…someone who figures out life through their writing, someone who communicates through writing, someone who uses writing as a tool in their lives…that’s me. I write = I am a writer.
Using technology has changed me as a writer. Writing is different. In some ways writing is easier and in other ways it’s harder for me. There are times when I prefer to write using my notebook and markers. I still write most days in my notebook. (I’m on my 57th notebook, by the way. You can read about my notebooks here.)
This year we have computers in our class. We blog. We write using google docs. We share our writing. We edit and revise our writing. We work together on our writing more than we ever have before. It’s exciting! Sharing my writing makes it better. I work harder when I know others will read it. Also, when my friends read my writing, they make comments and I can improve my writing. Sometimes I work on writing that isn’t even assigned. All of this writing is making me a better writer. I miss notebooks though. For me, a pen and a notebook means a personal connection. I write differently when I am typing than when I am writing. It’s not better or worse, it’s just different. So because of that, I can’t pick one tool over the other. They are just different tools.
I find that I’m improving on writing different kinds of things. When I think about WHY that’s gotten better, I think it’s because I am reading so much writing from other students. They give me ideas that I might not have had before. I am still working on verb tenses. When I write, I often switch tenses and it doesn’t make sense. Because of that I have to read and reread my writing before I post it or share it. It’s making me a more careful writer.
Audience makes a difference. When I know others (sometimes LOTS of others) are reading my writing, I pay more attention, add more details…do my VERY best! I like having an audience for my writing. Writing comments on blogs…I think that counts as writing…even that makes me a better writer.
If I had to wrap up my ideas in one thought, it’d be this…
Writing makes me a writing and writing a lot makes me a better writer.
Today we begin thinking about our topics for a magazine article. We will be writing magazine articles. Your job today is to think about at least three different things you’d like to research. What interests you? Do you have strong opinions about anything? What do you know something about…but want to know more about?!? Here are mine…
I think having a positive attitude is vital to a happy life. I feel strongly about that as my Dad taught me all about being positive.
Smiling helps a positive attitude
Peppermint. I love peppermint. I love how it tastes and smells. Peppermint has lots of beneficial health benefits. I want to know more about this.
Peppermint candy canes
Running is my third idea. I’ve run a couple of 5Ks. I love running. I haven’t been running for a long time and now I’m thinking I may begin again. I could write about how to begin running and keep running.
Running my first 5K
What are your three topics?
Have you ever tried to pay attention to what it’s like to fall asleep? I mean how does it happen? I’m awake and then I’m asleep. I don’t get it. How do I know how to fall asleep? And why is it called “falling asleep”? I don’t literally fall anywhere, do I?
Let’s think about the bedtime routine. I’m in my comfiest jammies, my teeth are brushed, Leo’s curled up at the foot of my bed, lights are off, maybe music is playing. I straighten my sheets and blankets. (I have a confession. I don’t make my bed. Shhhhh! Don’t tell my mom!) I always sleep with my sheet, comforter, and if it’s cold a warm blanket (that I have to steal back from Leo). I move my pillows until I only have one. I only like one very flat pillow to use when I sleep.
I turn on my side, usually my right side. My arm is under the pillow and I curl up. (I always sleep on my side. I wonder why?) Now that I’m comfortable, I take some deep breaths and close my eyes. My jaw relaxes, my shoulders relax, my breathing slows down…I try to pay attention and I’m awake again. You know that state when you aren’t really asleep, but you aren’t fully awake, that’s when I try and see if I can really feel what it feels like to fall asleep.
Alas, it never works. The next time I open my eyes, it’s hours later. Leo is still on the foot of the bed, I’m tangled up in my blanket and sheets and now I’m awake…with no idea how I fell asleep.
I’d watch the sky get darker and darker and hear the thunder clap loudly. It was a game. We’d sit outside until the rain appeared. Then we’d run inside to the porch and watch and listen and wait. The sound of the raindrops always grounded me. As a child, it was one of the only times I loved the quiet. Listening for a rhythm to the drops…I always felt calmer after listening to the rain. Until the thunder and lightning appeared…the calm would be shattered with the searing brightness of the lightning and the booming clap of the thunder.
Sitting and watching thunderstorms on the screened in porch at the house on East Alvord Street is one of my favorite childhood memories. We’d laugh and sit and listen and talk together as a family. I felt safe on that porch. The flimsy screens served as my armor. Nothing would get me. I was with my favorite people in the world, my family….just spending time together.
Another amazing book review. This one is written by Grace G. Thanks for sharing Grace!
BY: CLARE VANDERPOOL
After his mother passed away near the end of World War Two, Jack Baker moved from his home in Kansas to a boarding school Maine. While he was there he met the strangest of boys named Early Auden. Early makes up stories with pi the unending number. Also collects clippings of sightings a certain black bear in the nearby mountains. Jack can’t help being drawn to be friends with Early. Early refuses to believe that everybody accepts to be the truth about timber rattle snakes, the Appalachian bear, and the legendary school hero known as the fish, lost in war. When Jack and Early find themselves alone at school they take a quest for the great black bear. While they’re there they meet some strange characters, some dangerous, all lost in some way or another. But somehow all connected to the story of pi Early continuous to reveal slowly. Jack’s ability to stay friends with Early while they discover new things about themselves. I loved this book and I hope you will love this book too.
In the summertime when I was a kid (I hate when stories start like this, but I must admit it, I’m not a kid anymore.) my mom used to tell me and my sister, play outside until the street lights come on. We couldn’t come inside. ALL DAY, we had to find things to do outside. On Talbot Road, we’d find our friends Scott, Amy, Monique, and Sherry and play in the woods. We’d play hide and seek. We’d play all sorts of tag (tv tag, freeze tag, and others I can’t remember). We’d make up games, ride our bikes, race, and just hang out. I miss playing outside til the street lights came on.
I’m grateful for so many people in my life. I’m grateful for a job that I LOVE. I’m grateful that I work with smart, hard working, funny sixth graders. I’m grateful for Leo and all of his love! I’m grateful for my family and so many things. Are you grateful?