tinker with text
Literacy-Based Maker Education
For a while now, I’ve been tinkering with text and have been blogging about it. It all came about around the same time that I learned about “make writing.” I asked all the instructional coaches in my district if they could point me in the right direction to learn more or connect with someone else who was doing this. Everyone thought it was an interesting inquiry but no one had any information for me. So, I took to Twitter and posed this question to Colleen Graves. Within five minutes, I got a response and she suggested looking into the work of Angela Stockman. That was about two years ago. I’ve met Angela in person twice since then, read two of her books, and have blogged about it for about a year.
All the research shows us that there is an undeniable connection between reading and writing. So, now I’ve been wondering how to bridge make writing with “make reading.” Is it a thing? Could it be? What does that look like? What are the roles of teacher and student? How might I connect the two in a way that’s meaningful and that ultimately leads to success in learning?
Today I was playing a reading game with some kids at school. It’s a game that I made up called Treasure Chest. I have an old toffee tin with a lock that looks like a treasure chest and I bought some “pirates’ gold” coins from the dollar store. It’s a simple game but kids love it and you can play for a long time before they realize that they’re reading and doing work. (As an aside, that’s why I prefer the term “word play” rather than “word work.”)
What did we make today? We made some children smile and laugh. We made the nerves go away for one little boy, who thought it might be too hard. We made reading fun and not a chore. We made emotional connections with kids and hopefully they will associate those happy feelings with words and learning. The answers to my wonderings are becoming clearer.
Vicki Den Ouden is an Elementary Reading Intervention Teacher from BC, Canada. She loves to dream, learn, teach, and create.