Support comes in Multiple Ways #SOL20 #8/31

Breathe in… hold your breathe… gently exhale.

A daily calming routine implemented to support the transition from recess to writers workshop. I found myself sprawled on the floor amidst the small bodies. I felt the relaxation come over my body as I tried not to think about what was happening. Tiny eyeballs glance my way. I could only imagine them wondering why I am here. Then the chant breaks out…”Writers, writers, writers are gathering…” Kinder Kiddos scramble to their feet or knees and crawl over to the squares on the rug. I watch from the back the delivery of an excellent mini-lesson with

  • a smooth delivery where the connection was relevant and reliable,
  • the teaching point clear and brief,
  • the dialogue and jesters for the active engagement strongly in place,
  • and, the final phrase, “Today, and everyday..” and off you go.

How am I going to support her? I think to myself as I squat to the floor behind her. Oh crap, why did I think I was cut out for this? What do I have to say that will impact her craft? I reeked of vulnerability. I now reflect back that I’ve should have ask

  • What is your teaching point?
  • How would you like me to support you: Freeze-Frame, Whisper In, or wait till you’re done?
  • I’ll be taking notes as you’re working.

I fumbled through this one. Soon after she started, the students began immediately seeing the connection between the ‘snap words’ and writing. I whispered in for her to share what Billy was doing. The writers pointed at the shining, bright yellow paper magnifying the words that mattered to their stories. They saw where to place each word. Their voices soared when asked to read back what they wrote. The wrap-up was near. They were doing everything you’d want them to. “Do you have an artifact you could give them?” I mumbled. She quickly wrote something for one student.

As she coached them through this work, the writers wondered why I was there. Should I tell them why I’m here? Our quizzical expressions matched. The unanswered questions floated around us. Next time we’ll share that we are here to support one another. Learners do that sort of thing.

Quickly after the 4 minute strategy lesson was done, I wrestled with my notes and rambled a few observations. I knew she tried this lesson out before today. Other writers were drawing lines for words below the pictures. Sunshine sprinkled everywhere the writers were scribing with yellow wooden pencils and snap words for stories. We scheduled a revisit in 3 days.

#SOL20 #8/31

Back in my office, I should have asked her, “What can I do to support you next?” Instead, I wrote a note of gratitude filled with observations. It was a learning experience in which I can grow from.

Breathe in… hold your breathe… gently exhale.

Published by Joan MS Durrin

a Wife and Dog Lover; an Educator, Writer, and a Reader; an Outdoor Enthusiast, a Learner.

2 thoughts on “Support comes in Multiple Ways #SOL20 #8/31

  1. As a literacy coach I can relate to this post on so many levels! Your love of children and teaching shines through in this post and that is really so important. The coaching will come with practice. Just the fact that you are reflecting on the visit and what you might have done differently is a sign that you are great support person!


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