Mark your calendars and set your automatic reminders to July 10, 2013 at 8:00pm ET.
At IRA’s convention in San Antonio I attended Penny Kittle and Tom Newkirk‘s session on writing instruction pioneer Don Graves. In the session they shared excerpts from their newly edited collection of his writings and archival videos, Children Want to Write: Donald Graves and the Revolution in Children’s Writing.
Sitting in the audience with friends Jen Serravallo and Kate Roberts, we couldn’t help but be moved by the clip of Don sitting at a large rectangular table with a group of children as he facilitated their conversation about their own ideas, their own writing.
It was hard to believe that there was ever a time when this was atypical. That there was a time when few believed children could do much more than brief prompted writing and sentence diagraming. That there was a time when the larger world of education believed that children weren’t mature enough to have their own ideas worth writing about.
Jen, Kate, and I got to talking about the pacing, the wait time, the careful listening. The session felt like a reminder of what matters most in education: valuing student voices.
Summer Book Twitter Chat
It felt natural, then, that during a #titletalk chat on summer reading plans, Donalyn Miller and I struck up the idea of organizing a chat about this new book. It felt like an opportunity to not just look back on the legacy of a pioneer, but a point of inspiration as we look ahead to the future of our field.
At a time when forces outside of our classrooms seems to be saying that students should write less and less from their hearts and more and more to assigned prompts, we can chat together about the vision we want for our writing instruction.
We will chat about the entire book and DVD, our classrooms, and our instruction.
Hope you can join us!