Has anyone out there tried the NanoWriMo adventure in November? The time when you just write and write because you desperately believe you can create a novel.
I tinkered with the idea of taking to this writing road for a few years and finally this past November took the leap away from doubt and towards belief and started writing a story. I woke in the early morning hours, wrote, got ready for my library job, went to work, came home and started writing all over again. What I discovered in the process was that I began to take on the life of my characters because I had to get out of my head and into theirs to know how to move the tale along. It was the best writing course I could have ever signed up for. At the end of the month I had written 50,000 words and had a rough draft. I loved every day. I loved what I was doing.
How does all this fit with libraries and librarians? Part of my job is to promote reading and writing with my students. Part of my job is to book talk and highlight novels and authors. Part of my job is to be a storyteller and make characters jump off the page. Part of my job is to help students craft essays based on research. I need to put pencil in hand just like they do.
By the way, Camp NanoWriMo is starting July 1st and that’s tomorrow! I am onboard again. What about you?
Our Kindergarten children were paired and asked to think about how they were different from their partner. They explored their differences and created a script highlighting what they discovered. The librarian took their ideas and together they interpreted them through short film sequences. The children worked on how to narrate their script and then it was taped and edited by the librarian using iMovie. The narration was added to the images and all was shared as a little film with the larger school community. Through film, the children were able to better understand the concept of difference and in a positive way grow.
The First Grade film project was collaboration between the classroom teacher, the art teacher and the librarian. The children created paintings in art of their partner. They wrote scripts in their classroom and they also worked with the librarian to Photoshop their photos, enhance them for the film and narrate the scripts.
We send our children to school to be prepared for an unknown future, for a lifetime of change. Acquiring knowledge will not guarantee success. They need a disposition to allow them to be ever resourceful to ride the waves of this change with curiosity, resilience, flexibility, imagination, the ability to be critical, reflective and make self-evaluations.
For example, I can show students how to evaluate web sites, but if they don’t feel that this evaluation process is important they will return to old habits blindly choosing the first sites that pop up on Google. I can expect students to use multiple resources in an assignment, but it is their curiosity that will motivate them to do that on their own. If they can’t find appropriate resources will they be resilient enough to brainstorm new ways to find the needed information? If they choose a specific thesis for their IB Extended Essay and then encounter conflicting information, will they have the adaptability to change their focus, revise their thesis or start again? Dispositions matter! After that first job interview, will they grab onto those habits learned of reflection and self-evaluation to be prepared for the next? When their field of study disappears, will they have developed the creativity to reinvent themselves?
We send our children to school to not only learn skills and acquire knowledge but also to develop the dispositions of learning that will carry them through the ups and downs of their lives.