30 Mar Slice of Life: Back to Basics #SOL17
When the going gets rough … we go back to basics…
This something I notice about our writing process. Whenever Tammy and I hit a roadblock in terms of topic, structure, layout, or clarity, we put away our computers and go old school. Paper, scissors, color markers, tape, and glue are the tools we turn toward to help us figure out what we are trying to say. We draw, create, physically lay things out and design different ways to illustrate our ideas.
There are so many reasons this works for us. First of all, it gets us to physically move away from our draft. This physical space releases the mental grip we have on the way the words are currently written. Once we remove ourselves we create space to see the words differently and new possibilities emerge. Now, sitting on the floor with materials spread out in front of us, we begin creating three dimensionally. It is easy to cross out, connect, build and envision what we are trying to bring to life. Using markers, scissors, tape and glue gets our creative juices flowing and the ideas follow suit.
We also find that talking through ideas and brainstorming is easier when we are physically trying to create something together. We can see each other’s thought processes develop and can more easily connect the dots for each other. What if? How about? and Is it possible to? … are the questions we are asking as we adjust, revise and try again.
Yesterday we were struggling with creating a figure for our book. We knew this figure had the potential to tie together all the ideas in the book. This figure would literally journey with us (and the reader) throughout each chapter. We knew what we wanted but couldn’t get it.
We trusted our process, went back to basics and it became clear.
This got us thinking about writer’s workshop in classrooms. Do our students have the same opportunity to physically create their ideas? Can they get up, move away from their writing and try to work through an idea through a different modality? Are we showing our students how writers use different modalities to revise, draft and structure their writing? Do we have these materials set aside for this purpose in our classrooms?
We know how important these materials are to our process, so we always pack them when we head off to write together. We plan to think more about how to bring this to life in classrooms.
Shout out to Ashley Spires and The Most Magnificent Thing for reminding us what it takes to create what you want! Clare