Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Day With Katie Wood Ray

I was so fortunate to attend a workshop today where Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland were the presenters! I approached the day with the anticipation of Christmas and was not disappointed. The day's focus was Establishing a Writing Workshop for Beginning Writers. As the ending time for the day approached, I found myself wishing I could continue to be immersed in their writing world. The day affirmed many tenets I hold for writing in the classroom. In addition, they showed kids involved in writing workshop, an extensive list of mentor texts that I can use and share with co-workers was shared and they provided me with many thoughts to internalize and put into action.

In preparation for the summary that I have to do for school after attending the workshop, I decided to make a list of 10 of my reflections combined with quotes from today's presenters. As I listened and processed, I kept thinking not only of the application for students but for me as a writer for the  SOLC last month!

Take a reader on a journey of thought.
I hope to someday be able to do that more easily!

"You need a vision to do a revision."

A story v. a list of events
I hadn't given that much thought before. I hope to go back to my slices and do a tally of my stories v. lists of events slices.

The creative process (even with kids!) is ongoing.
Now to remind them as well as myself!

"I'm not afraid of my words." Katie's context was with the kids' spelling as it evolves. I was thinking of this in terms of posting daily slices and the risks everyone took.

Children learn about writing as a process by writing regularly!
I need to remind myself to do this as the challenge of March is over!

Share regularly.
Thank you Stacey and Ruth for providing that vehicle. Without it, I would never have "published".

Use writing mentors.
Picture books, picture books, picture books for students. I found that fellow slicers' posts became my mentor texts.

Build stamina for creative kinds of work.
I'm still trying to build stamina! What a head start Kindergarteners will have if they embrace this lesson at a young age.

Katie also talked about slice of life stories.
I was smiling, feeling that indeed I had found slices for 31 days. Now I hope I can continue to be a part of this community on Tuesdays.


  1. It sounds like an inspiring day. I love Katie Wood Ray's books, would love to participate in PD facilitated by her!

  2. I love the connections you made to the Slice of Life Challenge in your reflection of this workshop. The quotes and your thinking about how they applied to what we did in March resonated with me. I especially agree with you about the writing of the slicers. I think the mentor texts we gained from some of the slicers is sooo valuable!

  3. It sounds like a fantastic workshop day and a affirmation of your thoughts/believes. I am going to see Katie Wood Ray this summer at a 1 day workshop. I'm so excited!

  4. She is an incredible presenter because she has lived it and worked with students. I saw her last summer, and loved every moment. You have taken her message to heart, now carry on with her message in your mind and heart.

  5. Sue, Sounds like a great day. Can't wait to hear more. I first "met" Katie Wood Ray through Wondrous Words, which to this day remains one of my all time favorite professional books. I love her approach to writing workshop and working with young writers. Hope to attend one of her presentations in the future.

  6. You were fortunate indeed. I like how you connected what you heard both to your Kindergarten writers and your own writing life.

  7. Oh my goodness! I was at this day too... How I wish we had connected! a.