Saturday, October 29, 2011

Little Things

from Ruth's blog

     Recently in her blog, Ruth Ayres Writes., Ruth asked about looking for the little things (teaching in writing workshop/writing/life itself) that make a difference in a big way.  Two other bloggers answered Ruth's question, both showing in unique ways how many little things permeate our lives positively but until we look, often go unnoticed.  In her blog, Living, Christy describes all the little things that meant something good to her in a day.  And Deb, at Coffee With Chloe, writes both a poem and prose that shows the importance of the little things called SMILES.  
When I supported writing in many different ways during the week, workshop included work in all the genres, in both writers notebook and in draft work.  I kept a special notebook where I recorded small examples of writing I thought was good.  I kept track that I was pulling examples from all my students by simple checkmarks on a list.  Then, every day I posted GOOD WRITING examples on a white board I kept just for this.  I didn’t post names, just the words.  It became one of the first things I saw students look at when they came into the room.  They looked for their words, sure, but they also commented on other’s words, as in “read this, it sounds so good” and other positive remarks.  It was a little thing that actually became easier as I moved into the rhythm of doing it, and it lifted the student’s words to a higher level.  It showed them their words could be models and could please others.
 I have found one way of doing something similar with my teachers.  We don’t meet often in a group, but when we do, I find ways to mention ideas and words that I remember each one doing or saying.  I hope it makes a difference in their teacher lives too.
There is an old song titled Little Things Mean A Lot, and the first of the lyrics are:

Blow me a kiss from across the room
Say I look nice when I'm not
Touch my hair as you pass my chair
Little things mean a lot

The rest of the song is here.

    It’s meant to be a love song, but isn’t that what we’re doing after all, embracing so many things to show we love them, and that makes a difference. 


  1. Wow, what a great idea. I know a classroom I think I'm going to try this whiteboard idea in. I'm glad you shared the link to the song. I'm always looking for songs to match ideas like this.

  2. I love this idea--will be posting in my room on Monday!!!

  3. What a powerful way of showing kids their words matter! I love this idea and will be sharing it with teachers. Thanks for the idea.

  4. I LOVE this idea! This works well with my goal of becoming more intentional about collecting examples of student work. This is a small way of collecting AND putting to good use some of the positives I notice when conferencing. I don't have a whiteboard to spare, but I will find a way to make this work!

    As a forlorn teacher, I most especially appreciate that you recognize we need this sort of recognition as well. It feels good to be heard and validated. Just like students, those teachers may not ever let you know what your recognition meant to them, but I know it will work wonders!


Thanks for visiting!