Day in a Sentence (with students)

This week’s Day in a Sentence will be hosted over at the new TeachEng.Us collective blog that Ben D. has started up in hopes of creating a site where many teachers (you are invited) contribute ideas for the classroom and technology hacks that can make all of our lives better and easier (always a good thing, right?)

So please, head on over to TeachEng.Us for this week’s prompt.

Meanwhile, I decided on Monday that I wanted my students to do some blogging (we were just back from a week vacation and I wasn’t quite ready to go full-bore into paragraph writing). I thought, I should have them write about a day in a sentence and then post on our classroom blog.

So we did. It was interesting because so many of them (I have 80 young writers) write so literal that my coaxing to get them to get at the “essence” of the day seemed to be a flop. I wish I had had a better explanation or plan. They definitely enjoyed the writing and the posting and the reading of everyone’s sentences, so it was worthwhile.

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • We stayed at home watching the snow fall from the sky. –Paige
  • I met a new friend named Scott. — Kevin
  • I quickly learned how to ski, and I won a $20 bet against my parents that I would not fall while going down the beginner mountain. — Ryan
  • Last Saturday, in Okemo, it was cold like the arctic but fun — Matt
  • …. I got lost in the woods and it was scary — Katrina
  • Yesterday I gambled. (on the computer) — Sarah
  • On Friday I stayed up till 3:o0 and my dad caught me, so I stayed up later and I fell asleep at 3:30. — Dan

Peace (in brevity),

  1. Sounds like the key is enjoying. It’s why it took me so long to get enjoy writing. I don’t remember when I enjoyed writing in school. Enjoy, I do now. It’s hard to find the way to enjoy with some structure I suppose. But the sharing is so powerful, moving to that social aspect of process.

  2. I am inspired to try this with my sophomores, probably next nine weeks as we transition from King Arthur to Julius Caesar. This will give us a much needed break from–I was going to say our intense studies, but if truth be known, only a few of us are really intense about King Arthur. Anyway, Paige’s response reminds me of something I heard on NPR a couple of years ago as I was driving to some meeting, probably writing project related. Martha Collins read her poem “From the Sky”; the first line–“Snow fell from the sky.” She said her inspiration came when she heard a weather forecaster report, “Today, snow will fall from the sky.” I liked the poem so much, that when I returned home, I downloaded it and listened to it over and over until I was able to transcribe it to read to my students. It’s a great poem about the cycle of life.

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