This March I’m “slicing” a piece of my teaching day every day with the Two Writing Teachers community.
Over the years I have hoarded bits of my kid’s lives. Notebooks, pictures, scraps of their writing. Little bits of their growing up. Their artwork still hangs on our walls. The larger items, costumes, hockey sticks, kick boards, t-ball stands, awards, and elementary school work, are stored in the garage.
A needed spring cleaning turned up one of my son’s daily school journals. My guess is this was how he started his day. Prompt on the board. It shows the progression of his cursive writing, random illustrations, reflections from weekend conquests to comments about characters in books. It’s a snapshot of who he was then, hints of who he will become.
The teacher in me couldn’t help but notice that he used every inch of this notebook. That it was full of voice. That the only evidence of the teacher were the prompts. I couldn’t help but think of my students and wonder, what they walk away with at the end of the year. What does their parent hold on to and store away?
There are their writing notebooks. But a lot of their random thoughts are in their blog posts or google docs. These posts are filed away in the world of the internet. Eventually, students’ noodlings will be archived. Locked away. No one will open them up eight years from now and read the words written, reminisce about the past.
The artifacts of our lives matter. Journals, notebooks are tangible items. Things we can touch, store and discover years later. As much as I love our world of blogging, there is a lot of good to be found in a notebook of noodling.
As we come to the last few months of our school year, the last few months of my students; elementary school lives, I think a notebook of noodling is necessary. Something to take home, for mom to store away as a snapshot of who they are now.