Yesterday, I was at a professional development at my school on Lucy Calkins' Wrting Units of Study led by my pal and one of the teachers and teacher bloggers I look up to the most: Big Time Literacy. If you haven't been to her blog, do it now. You will be inspired and delighted just as I have been in the short time I've known her. Michelle (aka Big Time Literacy) asked us to tweet during the presentation our thoughts and questions and she asked me to get the ball rolling. I don't tweet often (no judgement!) but during PDs, I find it helpful because we have the chance to have some side conversations with colleagues across the room! I was doing this very thing with a pal of mine four tables over. We were tweeting and texting and adorable. Later that night, she texted to ask if I was going to be there the following day, to which I replied no. She said, "Who can I tweet and text with?!" I thought she meant "Who should I follow on twitter?" because I didn't check the text right away so I assumed it was unrelated to our last exchange. She meant, "I'm going to miss texting with you tomorrow when you aren't there!" I totally misunderstood what she said and hilarity ensued!
Miscommunication is sometimes harmless and funny as with my friend's request above, but sometimes miscommunication can be hurtful, get people into trouble, or mislead people. That is our topic for today. The students were a little bit confused about the questions I asked (maybe I wasn't as clear as I needed to be?). The problem was resolved when we read the story*.
Writer's Workshop: I've got a book illustrated by Jon Klassen again! I love this guy! We're reading The Dark by Lemony Snicket (of A Series of Unfortunate Events fame). I chose the book initially because it has a character speaking that wouldn't normally be speaking and isn't an animal (the Dark). I liked the idea of the characterization. However, when I paired it with the other book for this theme today, I realized it also goes well with miscommunication because the boy in the story is terrified of the Dark, but learns to trust himself and reinterpret the Dark in a less terrifying way by listening to what the Dark has to say. I think my subconscious brain was working harder for me than I thought!
*UPDATE: When we finished reading the story, we talked about what we thought the Dark was trying to do at the beginning of the story and what the Dark was actually trying to do. We saw that as readers we had misinterpreted the Dark's message. When I referred back to our Morning Message, I heard a lot of "Oooooooh! Oh yeah!"
Reader's Workshop: We're reading a Jon Scieszka book illustrated by Lane Smith (who wrote the book we read last week, There Was a Tribe of Kids). This is a hilarious take on the classic tale of The Three Little Pigs from the wolf's perspective. I'm sure you've all read it a million times. It's for sure the book that made me fall in love with Scieszka's writing style. The kids will like the humor, but we'll try to focus our lesson on how the wolf gets misinterpreted. We'll have to compare what we know about the original story to what we're reading to understand the humor and wit that Scieszka writes for his character. I will be referring back to our Morning Message again to reiterate the idea of our words becoming misconstrued.
What Miss Bolte is Reading: I'm 3 days in and I've read 350 pages. I'm winning my contest against myself! I'm sure I'll finish the book by Friday. While I don't encourage people to rush through their books, I will say that when a book is so engaging you're plowing through the text, that's not necessarily a bad thing!