To prepare, I was re-reading some of my textbooks from my graduate literacy program. I finished in 1998. I cannot believe it has been 16 years. It seems like yesterday, driving through the snow, sitting on the hard metal chairs, taking notes till your hand cramped up. I remember one late night in particular. I had a 7:00 class that got out at 9:45. I was driving my big old Cutlass through the late fall air, and the Northern Lights popped up. I stopped my car by the side of the road and was astonished at the view. I wanted to run up and down the road pounding on doors, kind of like an Aurora Borealis Paul Revere. No one came out to look, and all I saw besides the flashing ionized green and red particles waving like a curtain, was the silent smoke of the woodstoves curling upward to the stars overhead.
I picked two of the best matches to my current position in school to re-read: "Children's Writing" Perspectives from Research." I always liked that book. And "Facilitating Preschool Literacy". That book had lots of scans of the childrens' art and letter writing, something I'm fascinated with. Children's art tells you a lot. I wish I knew more about the subject.
However I was disappointed. Neither book really gave me the information I was looking for to help me crack the nut of pre-literacy writing in the areas I especially wanted information on. Either I've grown dumber over the years or textbooks aren't as helpful in the real world as I'd once thought.
However, both books did confirm my long-standing knowledge that reading and writing are inextricably linked, with writing even the slightly more important process in acquiring literacy. That children need a supportive and literacy-rich environment. That labeling and invented spellings are OK. And that learning to write is hard. It is good to be reminded of these things, and I'm glad I looked my books over.
I did some heavy re-organizing today- on my computer. I moved all the photos to their folders. I looked over all my writing in the working folder and either trashed it or put it where it goes. I have a lot of animal photos and I put them where they go. I collected the scripture verses I've been making and put them in a special folder. I did this because it drives me crazy to know I have a photo, for example, of a blue flower, and I can't find it. Having what you need is only half the battle. Getting your hands on it in a reasonably efficient amount of time is the other half.
After all my writing and computer work was done, I took a walk around outside. It was a very warm evening but the air was soft and the scenery was nice. Look who I met behind the house at the barn:
And the spider flowers are blooming
|Spider flower, posterized|
|"Three spider flowers walk into a bar..."|
|Under a toadstool crept a wee clover...|