Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Prewriting with nine kids

My students and I are participating in NaNoWriMo together this year. Here is where we are after another day of novel-planning:

1. Violet Fern Charlotte from Chicken City, North Carolina, must convince her mean old teacher to let her feed the rooster who is also her school principal.

2. Dr. Timothy Quack is a dentist who is struggling to stay in business because of the fact that he only has one tooth -- but at least he wears braces on it!

From an author who is obsessed with siblings and loves my sisters' names:
3. Jennifer Heather has just moved to a neighborhood known as Trouble, NYC. Hijinks ensue.

4. Honey Sugar is a weather caster from Asheville, NC, but she deals with storms on AND off camera.

5. There is an eight-legged rat in the school kitchen. What will Ms. Elliott do? Will she run screaming to her car or will she face her fears and get the broom?

6. The boy tells the horse to walk and the horse walks slow. Then it goes fast. Its name is Pumpkin. The boy brushes it.

7. Something about cheerleaders?

8. The monster's toes hurt because he took off his shoes in the snow. He throws a snowball at me and I throw one back and it hits him in the face. We play in the snow.

9. No write. No thanks.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Why I Love My Job

I have a volunteer in my classroom. Let's call her Sandy. Sandy was going to walk one of my students to the office today to be signed out early.

I said to my student, "Get your backpack. Sandy's going to walk you to the office now."

She blinked and said, "Wh -- what?"

"I'm helping someone else," I explained, "so Sandy's going to walk you down. Is that okay?"

She said, with equal parts concern and hope in her voice, "Did you -- did you say Santa?"

From her voice, I have to surmise that she was excited at the possibility of having Santa walk her to the office, but a little concerned that she hadn't properly prepared for the whole "who's been naughty and who's been nice" side of things this early in the season!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

One of my students ...

... ... who is largely nonverbal, but once in a blue moon comes out with a word or two (usually profanity), said my name yesterday. I wasn't even sure if he knew my name. I know he knows who I am, but I didn't know if he thought in terms of names.

Yesterday he said, and I quote, "Dooley! Shut up!"

You know what? I'll take it. He used his words to express his wants and needs. We can work on manners later!