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Writer’s Notebook Olympic Version

August 14, 2012

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Every professional book you read about teaching writing encourages teachers to write. Every interview you read with successful authors encourages writers to write. If we as teachers of writing are going to explicitly teach writing to our students we have to be writers ourselves. We have to struggle with writing the perfect lead and ending to our story about baking cookies with grandma. We have to grasp for the perfect word that conveys the feeling of our piece. We need these experiences ourselves so that we can model the thinking behind our decisions for our students.

As I watched the Olympics I pulled out my writer’s notebook and started jotting down ideas. I’m a lister when I am first exploring a topic. The picture above is a peek into my notebook- just a list, just a starting place.

The ideas are all over the place. I jotted down personal stories that I was reminded of by watching the Olympics. I could write about losing to Carrie Hamilton in the district tennis tournament. I could write about the amount of support my parents gave me in playing tennis, driving me to lessons, watching my matches, etc.

I also wrote down seeds that could turn into an opinion piece. I was concerned by the emphasis on winning and the pictures of athletes crying over a silver medal. I have always been bothered by the lack of enthusiasm as Americans sing/don’t sing our anthem. Other countries sing so enthusiastically. Why don’t we?

Before the memories of the Olympics slip away pull out your notebook and jot down some thoughts that can be turned into longer entries or spend some time writing some entries. Share in the comments what you want to save in your notebook. I’m sure it will inspire the rest of us.

Happy Writing!

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