Ruth Ayres’ one little word this year is shine. She never ceases to amaze me by the way she lives her beliefs. Her one little word is no exception. The CELEBRATE This Week link-up she is hosting is just one of the many ways she shines warm light into my life. Won’t you consider linking up with us?
one. I started this week in the company of a three-year-old. My oldest friend (we’ve been friends since second grade, she is not old herself), her husband, and their daughter joined my husband and me at my dad’s house in Indiana for Columbus Day weekend. I think this is obvious cause for celebration, but moments that made this extra special include A telling us to be her darling cows while she pretended to be the cow mama. When her father complied by letting out a deep, “Moooo,” she ordered us to sound like darling cow children by using our pink voices. Here she is sharing Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons with my dad’s partner:
two. Yesterday I had to give my students their third district common assessment for language arts this school year. But since this is about celebration, I won’t dwell on that issue. It is simply significant to note because following the multiple choice style beatdown, we shifted the energy in the room by having what Ruth calls in her newest book, Celebrating Writers, a ‘Silent Celebration.’
I mounted student poems on large sheets of butcher paper. These were scattered around the room in a ‘Gallery of Poetry.’ Each student chose a fun colorful pen. Mozart played softly in the background. I briefly set the stage with a tightrope visual, discussing comments that offer the kind of strong support I expect and the lenses through which students might respond (as a human, as a reader, as a writer). Students moved around the room, visiting each others’ words, offering celebratory responses.
At the end of class, I heard evidence of the power of celebration in the words of my students as they walked out of the classroom:
“Class flew by today. I hate when class is so good and it is over too quickly.”“I didn’t know people would think these things about my poem.”“These comments are like food in word form. I feel full.”“I should’ve just put my name on my poem. I had no reason to worry about what people would say.”“I had no idea D could write like that. His poem was amazing.”
They had already forgotten the 45 minutes spent bubbling in answers.
three. This week is ending with freshly groomed pups at my side, the last Chicago FIRE soccer game (complete with hopes for making the playoffs) on the television, warm pumpkin seeds straight from the oven, and words on the page (thanks to Ruth and Terje for nudges to find joy this week).