Life. Literacy. Learn. Lead.

Life. Literacy. Learn. Lead.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

CELEBRATE: It's All About That Joy, 'Bout That Joy- 1/10

Ruth Ayers invites us to participate in a Celebrate Link-Up on Saturdays. Click here to see what others are celebrating or maybe join in yourself.

                                                        Discover. Play. Build. 
This week I CELEBRATE old fashioned notes.

Sometimes while being immersed in technology I forget about the power of handwritten notes. Last year at this time I was anxiously awaiting my chance to check off an important piece of my professional bucket list: attending a spring TCRWP Saturday Reunion. Little did I know, that conscious decision to "just do it" would lead to some amazing changes in my career. Actually, it also led into my bank account because I attended the fall Saturday Reunion just 7 short months later :)

It is a bit comical to see me sitting in the sessions in the midst of laptops, Chrome Books and iPads. There I sit with my notebook and pen. However, I find myself flipping back to these notebooks often for inspiration. Inspiration for ideas, but also inspiration to just carry on in this often challenging profession. I can see the parts of my notebook where I'm neatly printing--taking in the  moment. I also see the parts where my printing becomes a blend with cursive letters, in a mad dash to capture an important thought, phrase, or word. 

I think about the unifying experience of sitting with thousands of colleagues from all over. I think about how that first trip in particular gave me the courage to pursue a literacy coach interview at my very own school. I think about the one tiny idea I picked up from sitting in one chair in just one session that I've used over and over again.

When I came back from both Saturday Reunions I eagerly printed photos, cut, placed, glued, etc. every artifact into my notebook to capture my excitement. But, it is the handwritten notes that truly speak to me when I go back to reflect.

After school one day this week I was in need of that little dose of inspiration once again. So, like usual, I found myself looking in my Saturday Reunion notebooks. I re-read parts that I had underlined feverishly or bolded with my own pen. The parts in quotes, the phrases starred, and the words I had "bubbled." It's the handwriting that conveys the emotion, the excitement, the inspiration.

Here are some pieces from my hand-written notes that applied to me and the work I did this week:

"Simply asking 'How's it going?' invites children to talk in a variety of ways."- Carl Anderson
*That awesome phrase we not only use when conferring with our students, but teacher to teacher as well.

We need to increase the VOLUME of our students' reading and and show them what writing to think is vs. writing essays. -Lucy Calkins

Impale. (Reminds me of our wonderful, yet humorous session with Natalie Louis on a great vocabulary strategy.

Let students notice that there is a short-term goal that if they put in the effort, then they'll notice "Oh I grew in this way!" -Kathleen Tolan

So here's to taking a moment to CELEBRATE handwritten notes and the JOY they bring.


  1. I still prefer handwritten notes when I attend conferences. I make so many arrows and different annotations that my computer or iPad can't do. Old school I guess. I didn't see your link on Ruth's page so you might want to check that out. Have a great weekend.

    1. Thanks Leigh Ann...glad you pointed that out because I added to the wrong spot yesterday! Just corrected it. Thanks for catching that. Hope your first week back was great!!