Monday, May 20, 2013

Better is ... Better

Better is:
  • taking your time to make sure it's right
  • learning your craft
  • thinking first and talking later
  • thinking first and doing later
  • being proud of what you've done and said
  • helping others with what you've learned
  • having fun along the journey
  • being open to new ideas
  • taking risks
  • stretching your brain and your skills
  • much more than good enough
  • making mistakes in private, not in public
  • sometimes painfully, achingly, tortuously slow
  • better!
What do you have to add?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Point of View Choices

The other day I had a fantastic conversation with my students about point of view. Specifically we were comparing first person and third person pov.

I'm currently reading aloud The Hobbit and one of the students commented on the story-telling voice. Another compared it to the voice in The Giver (which was our previous read aloud). One student is reading The Hunger Games and commented that it's all told directly from Katniss' pov.

Soon everyone was checking the novels they're reading and one commented that she was reading an older book (Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume) & she wondered if when the book was written had an impact on pov. Cue the checking of copyright dates and a discussion about why and how styles have changed.

After we'd delved into it for a bit, I asked them which pov they prefer to read. Very few students had a distinct favourite - the almost universal answer was "It depends on the story."


We proceeded to list the advantages of both povs. Here's a synopsis of their thoughts. Remember I'm dealing with 10 - 12 year olds.

Advantages for 1st:
  • you get to really feel what the character is feeling
  • you get to see everything that affects the main character
  • you get to feel like the story is happening to you at the moment you're reading it
  • the pace usually seems faster & it's harder to put down
Advantages for 3rd:
  • you get to see & know more than the main character sees and knows
  • you can get to know more characters really well (they like stories told from 2 alternating povs)
  • it's cool to see the same events from different perspectives 
  • you can get that cool story teller voice that works for some stories
  • it's easier to have different styles of stories and voice
Once again, I think they hit the highlights!

So, how about you? Do you prefer 1st or 3rd, or do you think it depends on the story as well?

Friday, May 3, 2013

When I Grow Up...

When you're a kid, people are always asking what you want to do when you grow up. It's exciting to think about the future and dream. Kids can hope without boundaries and dream really big. In my opinion, those are some of the best kinds of dreams. As we become older, our dreams become constrained by logistics and life in general. Too bad.

Like most kids, I dreamed big and dreamed often. Some people have always known what they wanted to do with their lives. Not me. Almost everything seemed enticing (still does). Over the years some of the jobs I dreamed of were pretty diverse:
  • marine biologist
  • rancher
  • sports reporter or analyst
  • physicist
  • librarian
  • photographer
  • producer/director of Broadway plays or movies
  • cartoonist or animator
  • computer programmer
  • researcher
  • chef or baker
  • psychologist or art therapist for kids
  • scientist in the field of artificial intelligence
  • special effects person for the movies
  • astronaut
  • photojournalist for National Geographic
  • athlete (tennis or volleyball, sadly I definitely lacked the talent!)
  • and, of course, writer and teacher
That's only part of the list of the careers I seriously considered - I do have eclectic tastes! Obviously I drove my parents batty over the years delving into all kinds of topics and career research. It took me forever to make a decision!!! And who knows what I'll try once I retire from teaching!

I'm over at From the Write Angle today talking about the life/growth cycle of dreams. I hope you'll join the discussion!

So, out of curiosity, what were your dreams when you were a little one? What did you want to 'be'?