I can not believe that we are half way finished!! This is the most amazing process and I have grown so much. I was asked recently what it is that is making this Summer Institute so wonderful and honestly it's the learning and the friendships that are forming. Each morning we come into classroom on the UALR campus and grab coffee (water for me) and we visit. We visit about our lives, we visit about what we have read... it's a wonderful way to start the day. Then we reflect on a quote or two, we are all taking turns pulling ideas from what we are reading each night. The best part is that we then discuss our responses! It is wonderful to talk through our thoughts and ideas on our new learning. This classroom full of educators all working together to construct best practice and solidify new learning. After our discussion we have 2 teacher workshops. Each teacher is asked to present a workshop showing how they might get kids to the business of writing. Mine was last week and centered around Pete the Cat by Mr. Eric and illustrated by James Dean. We meet in writing groups after a lunch break and discuss what we are writing. Before this institute I didn't write much but I am growing to LOVE writing. I love the writing groups SO much!! This is were I am forming such close friendships! We wrap up together by sharing a "poem in my pocket". This is just us finding poems to share.
I am looking forward to this next week because we are going to be looking at writer's notebooks and portfolios. I haven't used writers notebooks in my room but after listening to Pam (one of our writing project teacher consultants) talk about using them in her room, I'm really EXCITED about using them in my room. So my teacher friends... Do you use writers or writing notebooks in your room?? Please tell me about how you use them. Do you have any tips for me as I get ready to start using them?