Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Day 11 SoL Story Challenge: Then And Now

Join hundreds of students and teachers as we challenge ourselves to write a story from our own lives every day for the month of March!

I've always thought that March and April are a great time of year for reflection. We've come so far since the start of the school year, but we still have plenty of school year left to go. We've made lots of progress toward our goals, and we still have time to do even more.

As readers, kids might look back on their book logs and surprise themselves with how many pages, chapters, and whole books they've completed so far this year. They might think back on favorite books or series, and make plans for how to keep that momentum going.

This is the time of year that kids might look in their own writing portfolios and really see the difference between that first published piece, and the piece that they publish now. They might also reflect on all the different kinds of writing they've learned to do, from small moments, to information books, to how-to books, to persuasive letters…and beyond.

Reflecting on our lives as readers and writers is important, not just so we can become stronger students in school--my hope is that kids can also learn to be reflective in life.

The past year and a half have brought my family many big changes. Several moves. A new house. We left behind ten years in bustling, busy, crazy New York City for the serenity and familiarity of our native Vermont. We've endured loss and illness. We've welcomed a new baby into our life. Our life has been both more peaceful and more tumultuous than ever.

Lately Little L. has been asking a lot about how thing used to be in Brooklyn. What was her old bedroom like? What was our old library like, and did the park have swings? When can we go visit?

She's beginning to forget our old life. But she wants to remember. She wants to hear stories about when she was a baby, and how we used to ride the subway, and how we used to walk Indigo instead of letting him out in the yard. We didn't have a yard and we lived in a big tall building. This is ancient, fascinating history to her.

It's amazing to me how much can change in a year, how much we can learn and grow in such a short amount of time.  Here is L., telling a story just about a year and a half ago, way back then.

…playing with his own ball. And then he was playing with his mom and dad’s ball. And that was playing with her ball. And they loved to play. THE END. And then they went of setting into the woods with Indie. And Indie paddled for a while. And then they were lost. And then, and at the VERY time when they went home, they had a new dog named Luckchuck. And Luckchuck loved… They, they got a new dog because Indie set off into the woods to somebody else’s house. And then they ran to their house, and ran to the house, and grabbed Indie. And Indie gave Luckchuck a big (slurp) juicy kiss. Luckchuck gave Indie a big juicy kiss (slurp). “And then…” And then Luckchuck and Indie were set off into the woods. And Lily and Grandma and Grandpa and Daddy and Mommy were set off into the woods to find Luckchuck and Indie. “And then what happens?” And then Luckchuck and Indie came scampering back to them. And then Luckchuck and Indie and Grandma and Grandpa and Daddy and Mommy scampered back home, all together and then they ran back inside. And then they were safe and sound, all back asleep. “The End.”

And here she is now.


  1. Awwwww! I love that she is trying so hard to hold on to her New York memories. It reminds me of MacLachlan's What You Know First.

  2. Yes it is...amazing what a difference one year makes in the short history of a young life. This is a great, touching post this evening.

  3. I like your observation about this being a prime time for reflection. For students to take stock of portfolios and look at reading logs...to think about how far we've come and oh, the places we could go.

  4. I feel we often forget to take time and reflect on how far we have come. Often I hear the drowning in how far we still have to go. Thank you for the important reminder.

  5. What a lovely post. You capture perfectly how quickly time goes. You have had so many transitions in your life. It's exciting but of course a little sad to move on.