Ralph Fletcher, aka Mr. Notebook, was the keynote speaker for the past two days! How ironic that I was reading Harriet the Spy (could be aka Notebook Girl) at the same time. I was making connections like crazy! The big one, LET THE KIDS WRITE!!! GIVE THEM TIME TO WRITE!!! Fletcher’s book, Fig Pudding, was a class favorite this year. It is a heavy book but also hilarious and because it was on our gallery the class connected to it over and over. BUT, did I let them write about it a lot? Oh, they got their daily snippet of time but I feel like I short-changed them. There is a need to S-L-O-W down our teaching but the powers that be have other ideas. Who knows kids? Teachers or lawmakers? Who knows your class better than you? Developing relationships with the kids is something that can’t be taught but literature can help the possibilities percolate. I love what Ralph Fletcher said about not taking all the juice out of a read-aloud, powerful! He also said the first reading should be to simply enjoy the story! That was like a breath of dark chocolate in this worksheet riddled world we live in where Teachers Pay Teacher book packets abound for both novels and picture books awaiting to extinguish the authentic enjoyment of reading a book. What’s up with that? Why gum up the works? Put up a book, a carefully chosen book to fit your class, and let the magic begin!
The family trekked up to Oregon to get all three grand kids together, along with their parents, of course! Good times were had by all and many books were read and reread! The book my son is reading in the picture was one of his favorites when he was but a whippersnapper. I was thrilled to find a new copy and to see him read it to his little one! (passing the torch moment) Many joys abound all around! Seize the wonder of each day!