Favorite teaching/ writing tools by: Jennifer Mitchell
This month the topic is favorite tools; I am sure writing and teaching are similar with the tools needed to get the “job” done. If you are anything like me, the more exciting the tools are, the more I am bound to use them. Everything from Mr. Sketch smelly markers that take me back to my youth, to the new colorful pens I have found to use (that erase) make the job more fun! As far as my favorite writing utensil for kids and myself alike, the Ticonderoga pencil is the best I have found for everyday use.
Over the years, I have found that giving kids simple things such as post-it notes to create a writing timelines for their stories can be beneficial. It is more fun than writing on notebook paper, and you can move it around if the story map isn’t flowing like they thought it would. This past school year when my students were writing poetry they loved using the computer for the final product so they could change the font to fit the mood and add clipart. Google documents for me are the way to go with that, so they can share them with me, and I can give editing advice. If we are daily journaling, I still find that a composition notebook is satisfying so that students can see their writing growth throughout the year. I know on my end when I flip through the notebooks at the end of the year I am always amazed at their writing progress! I think by offering various tools and ways to create that hopefully one of the different methods resonate with a student's writing style.
-- Jennifer Mitchell 3rd grade teacher in the Kansas City area