tinker with text
Literacy-Based Maker Education
I love books by Peter H. Reynolds! In fact, I think everyone does. The Dot, Happy Dreamer, Playing from the Heart ... they're all wonderful! Today, we read Ish in class. The kids have all heard it before but no on ever gets tired of it. Why? Because of its simplicity. We can all relate to being laughed at and feeling embarrassed, of giving up and then being encouraged to try again. And we also love the liberating idea of being okay with doing things ish-fully ... kinda but not quite. In my classroom, we are free to practice reading-ish, spelling-ish, learning-ish, writing-ish and yes, even teaching-ish. It doesn't have to be perfect but it can still be great!
After the story and discussion, I put out a tinker tray with various loose parts. The children were free to create "objects-ish" or "creatures-ish" with the materials. They loved it! It was fun to watch them move the materials around, change their minds, and create parking lots, dogs, trees, ducks, light sabres, and hovercrafts. They shared and asked questions all along. Then they wrote their "ish" words in their journal and had to do a quick little sketch beside at least two words.
We will continue with this tomorrow by fleshing out more writing ideas. They will then be free to write about their representations or an idea they've been thinking about that was sparked by the book, "Ish." They may write about it in their journals, in Google Docs (older students), or using the WriteReader app (younger students). While some students are writing, I will be doing reading conferences with other students and help them find new books to read that may be "Ish" inspired - perhaps other Peter Reynold books, poetry books, art books, or STEM books.
My main focus for this lesson was to build the Core Competency of creative thinking. I'll be focusing on the following "I Statement" throughout the term: I get ideas when I play. My ideas are fun for me and make me happy. This encompasses what I hope the students will discover about themselves and what Tinker with Text will become.