Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"The Power of Small"

So, in the pantheon of life is it really the big picture that matters most?  Or, is it the innumerable small...yet memorable blips on the radar which serve those around us best?

At the All-Write!!! Institute last week, Debbie Miller referenced The Power of Small by Linda Kaplan Thaler and Robin Koval when detailing the powerful reading instruction we can provide by actually taking the time to learn, examine, notice the leaves.  (BTW: the exact inverse of  the proverbial "forest for the trees" scenario!)  The book's subtitle, Why Little Things Make All the Difference speaks volumes to us as educators, colleagues, family us as people first.  Its impact is far broader than reading instruction, as you may well suspect, and grasps firmly at the strongholds of writing workshop.

We grow writers whom we laud and respect.  We specialize (hopefully) in taking the time to experience student work through meaningful conversations...writer to writer and student to student, small group work, and of course, share and celebration.

We listen, but do we really hear?  Is our laud and respect flimsy or capable of paragraphing? (Thank you, Lucy!)

The Power of Small would applaud the type of rich listening we owe our writers.  After all, we like that type of attention ourselves...and feel honored to receive it whether from loved ones or colleagues.  We beam and glow when affirmed; students too.  Start small with attention.  Build into connection.  Grow community through worthwhile praise that is specific and timely.  Accept.  Bond.  Students will thrive (and guess what---you will too!).

How could The Power of Small impact your life?  Your listening?  Your teaching?   
(It may just rock your world...embrace the blips!)

Write on,

1 comment:

  1. Another thoughtful post, B. I hope you will continue writing because I enjoy listening. I believe that commenting was a powerful force in my classroom when I taught. Now I'm trying to convince those teachers I am working with to do more in the commenting of work/writing, & to teach students how to do it well.


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