Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Telling Room

This past week we had a most magical morning, (how's that for alliteration?) at The Telling Room in Portland. The Telling Room is a place where kids and young adults can go to write in a supportive and collaborative environment. All 4th grade classes in South Portland will have the opportunity to spend a morning immersed in the writing process. It is a bright and welcoming space, with comfy furniture, small tables, and oriental carpets warming the floors.
I was asked by John, who facilitated the session, to just sit back and be an observer, which for an elementary school teacher is an extremely rare luxury! It was such a treat to listen in on all the conversations about writing and jot down my thoughts as the morning progressed.
There were 5 adults in all, who each worked with 4 students, guiding them through lots of discussion, brainstorming, modeling, and pre-writing about a special person or animal that they loved.

By the time the students got to drafting, there was this incredibly focused hum of productivity in the room. They each wrote a "You Are" poem, modeled after a poem that they heard on an audio recording.

The expressive language used by students in their pieces was beautiful and they were so excited and proud to share their writing. Several have continued to add to their pieces in the days since our trip.

When I asked the students for feedback about our trip they were universally positive.
Below are some comments:
 "It was so easy to write there."
It's usually hard for me to write but today it was easier because it was quiet and there were lots of people helping."
I liked having so much time to write."
 "I wish we could write like that all the time."
"Can we go back there again?"
My sentiments exactly! Thanks John, Hakeem, Eliza, Rory, and Connor for an unforgettable experience!

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