Today, we are writers. The kids are working on two pieces of writing at present: their narrative essays and their Passion Papers. I am behind on getting feedback to them on their narrative essay introductions, so I am going to ask them to work on their Passion Papers today while I work on feedback. Over the weekend, I devised a plan to expedite the feedback process by creating a feedback guide, a list of my commonly-made comments, coding each with a number (see below).
I had to come up with something like this. It takes too long to write these comments on one-hundred-twenty essays, and if I am writing the same comments over and over, why not simplify? Plus the kids can’t read my crappy handwriting anyway, so at least now they can actually read the comments. I will provide each writer with a half-page feedback guide, circling the numbers that pertain to their particular piece. It’s funny how, even though I know this will be faster and productive, I feel like I am somehow “shirking” on my duties by not writing comments. I know I am not, but it bugs me anyway. In truth, something had to give. I am woefully behind already, and I can’t spend all weekend doing this type of stuff, and I could. But what’s sad, is that even if I did, I would only be less behind, not done. I have to recharge, and I have to step away from the work at times. My hope is that little tweaks like this will help me find some balance.
As the kids continue writing today, I am going to introduce some “tricks of the trade” to help them develop some capacity as writers. I will do a brief mini-lesson on the “tricks” that I adapted and developed (see below).
I will then ask the kids for forgiveness for my being behind, and then we will all set to work.
Along today’s trail we will…
…begin with Smiles and Frowns.
…change to “we” instead of “I” for Mindset Mantras.
…continue working on our writing.
…reflect in our Journey Journals.
…end with a Sappy Sy Rhyme.
And that’s our Monday. Short week. No school for kids on Friday, so I will modify the schedule a bit. No “Life is Lit” this week. Will have a short sentence performance on Thursday, and then the kids will get some promised personal-reading time after that. Happy Monday, all.
Do. Reflect. Do Better.