I was on the road to Louisville, but I did read the prompt which lead to new ideas and insight into researching and how to stretch beyond writing about people you already know. I've included the link below for more information about the author.
After soaking up the amazing post by author Elana K. Arnold, I wandered outside to give the activity a try. It was difficult for me, but I made some powerful discoveries along the way. To make your own writing discoveries about "Setting as a Reflection of Character" and to find out more about the author's books follow the link below:
Although I struggled with the quick write, I gained valuable insight from the process. Instead of posting my work I commented on a post and read through so many creative examples from the other campers. The examples lead me to the conclusion that I might need help organizing my thoughts with a graphic organizer for the senses. Then I could build better descriptions. Also, reading the posts made me realize that I needed to get to know my characters better in my mind and have a clearer picture of the person and how they would feel and act in the setting.
The process of reading examples and the comments from the author have helped me develop my reading like a writer skills. Working the same setting with the 3 different characters helped me to read and examine texts with a sharper eye. I dfinitely need to further develop the setting in a personal narrative about not giving up. This is a great lesson to include for a small moment story mini lesson.
Happy Monday! I'm back at camp, but today I'm writing from a new location, Lexington, Kentucky--beautiful part of the country---rolling green, green hills. However, I am quickly learning that all this green countryside comes with a price, humidity and severe thunderstorms!
At the end of this post, you can find my poem responding to a writing activity from author Liz Garton-Scanlon at Kate Messner"s blog post for July 13, 2015. Follow the link If you are interested in today's activity.
Her lively lesson will have you composing poetry right away. I'm inspired to write more poetry, and I am definitely planning a first grade poetry unit. The purpose of the poem below is to capture a memory of a little train trip in Versailles, Kentucky yesterday.
It’s travel time stepping back
Heading for the railroad track
Bluegrass country green and neat
Ticket for an old train seat
Conductor waves to hail
At all the folks without fail
Blasting horn not too subtle
Now, tardy stragglers hustle
All aboard the Bluegrass Train
Hot and muggy but no rain
This train travels really slow
Clickity Clack, Here we go!
Writing Camp is amazing! Whatever you strive to accomplish, you can do so at your own pace while learning from each other. One of my goals is to develop my own writing process so I can better understand my students as writers and how it feels to face a blank piece of paper. At camp the focus is on fiction, developing characters, sharing snippets of scenes and writing moves that I’ve never attempted. It is all so new to me, I feel like I’ve landed in a different country, where I’m learning a new language, the language of writers! I’m definitely in a silent stage, soaking up the experience of others, a little shy to speak up.
I'm thrilled with the diversion from my normal coarse of summer planning this year. I think it was brought about by reading the book called Understanding How Young Children Learn
by Wendy L. Ostroff. She suggests that teacher credentialing programs' should focus on the learner. Traditionally programs focus on the teaching.
I've found that as I'm learning from the authors and campers at Teachers Write! I am experiencing what my students go through on the other side of the desk.
Splash! I jumped into.....no.....wait a minute.....this isn't your usual summer camp. This is my first summer at a digital writing camp called Teachers Write 2015! So far I'm intrigued, eager to write, and most of all--inspired to improve my instructional practice by feeding my own writing process in the midst of so many creative people! Thank you to our fearless camp leader/authors and many guest authors! To read more about this fabulous camp and enjoy a diet of great news and information about their books. Check out the 2015 line up at the following link: http://www.katemessner.com/announcing-teachers-write-2015/.
At Kate Messner's site, you will discover this phenominal camp, Teachers Write 2015, and about terrific books for young adults. Although, camp is an online experience and it's only the second day of camp, I know this is something special.
Because I didn't have to pack my backpack or suitcase, I prepared for camp in other ways. I read Ranger in Time, Rescue on the Oregon Trail by one of our fearless leaders, author Kate Messner. Currently I'm reading the second book in the Ranger in Time series called Danger in Ancient Rome. I also visited the authors' websites and purchased or checked out several of their titles and still managed to find time to garden! I love vacation!
On Sunday, July 5, 2015, fearless leader/author, Gae Polisner facilitated the pre kick-off event, a Twitter Chat. The Twitter Chat taught me something I've wondered about-How does Twitter work? More about that later. Here's a glimpse at my camping experience during the first three days.
One of my first camp experiences was visiting our Facebook Group where I eagerly read and "liked" as many Facebook greetings as possible. I know your thinking I am trying to earn a congeniality badge. Not so! I have a sunny disposition! It was a wonderful meet and greet because I gained a sense of the supportive and creative environment of our camp designed by Kate Messner. It's also fun to know where everyone is from. I'd like to see a map with little dots to show how many states are represented! There must be an app for that.
On Monday, the first day of camp, I awoke to find thought provoking activities for the day. Inspired by the mentor texts and camper responses, I decided to write a poem about my sweet dog which I posted on Jo Knowles' blog. In the afternoon I wandered over and recharged my wondering skills at Kate's Mentor Text Monday. It's taken a day or so but I've included my wondering list below. Today I will jump back into the mentor text to explore a little more.
Tuesday's writing activity involved people watching and writing. I know I will revisit this exercise when I travel to Kentucky at the end of the week. I enjoyed reading the comments posted yesterday. I wonder if people will continue to post future seed ideas that stem from the exercise. However, my big accomplishment yesterday involved this very blog. It's brand new and I hope you will leave a comment or question.
While I'm camping, I mean writing. My husband chimes in asking me how camp is going and regales me with funny remarks related to camping in the great outdoors. I think I will send him a post card! I'm a happy camper because I am taking steps to improve my own writing, for how else can I live amongst the young authors in my classroom without taking risks with my own writing!