February 23, 2018

Writing as Readers

It’s hard to imagine that November is really here. Besides the obvious signs like falling leaves, threats of ice on the road, Christmas advertisements when you’re in NO MOOD to see them, discussions of who’s going where this year for Thanksgiving, the alarming disappearance of the sun, random flashbacks to summer when you thought you were over it, and the mid-season football report card, there are the more subtle signs. Those subtle signs could be found in our classroom on Wednesday afternoon where many students read their published small moment stories.


On Wednesday, I was delighted to see the progress that the students have made. Learning how to write in paragraphs based on subtopics and dialogue can be tricky. So can using quotation marks, commas, and remembering when to indent. Thinking of the reader while you’re in the role of a writer?! Phew. It can be hard. After all, this is all a learning experience. Students made great progress during the first ten weeks of school and I couldn’t be more proud. What’s more, I’m excited to see how much more growth and progress is made in the next ten weeks.


Students are learning how to write stories that are based on small moments of their life. It doesn’t need to be anything extravagant like that time you met Damian Lillard after you won a bike in scavenger hunt the same day your parents made your favorite meal! It’s just a small story, parts of our lives that seem insignificant, but are nonetheless important. David read a story about going to the movies. Grace and Lindsay both wrote stories about when their parents got a “new” car. Noah wrote about an overtime football game. Jack wrote about going to Goodwill, Ben wrote about his brother’s use of hot sauce on a slice of pizza, Spencer wrote about the first time he ate a doughnut, and Madison wrote about getting surgery. Whoa! Talk about a range of small moments. Through writing about small moments, we’re learning how to become not only more reflective, but more passionate and comfortable with the parts of the writing process.


For those of you that made it, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you. For those of you that weren’t able to make it, do not worry. Instead, plan on attending the next publishing party that we’ll throw towards the end of the second trimester, around February or March. That publishing party will take the word party to a whole new level. I’m fully aware of the tight schedules that many of you live with and that taking time in the middle of the day to swing by school can be difficult. The next publishing party will be a pot luck that will be scheduled at night so that not only more people can make it, but also so we can enjoy some of each other’s favorite dishes.


Lastly, thank you to those of you that donated treats to our first publishing party this year. Much appreciated!


~ Mr. B

Dan Barnard About Dan Barnard

Dan Barnard hails from the Green Mountain State of Vermont where he grew up skiing, biking, and exploring the nooks and crannies of the woods. He learned to drive on his parents' station wagons, learned to ski at Smugglers' Notch, and developed a love for traveling by participating in school trips to France and New York City. He worked in many jobs ranging from ski instructing to babysitting to an after-school program that helped him decide he wanted to be a teacher.

He enrolled in Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts and earned a BA in Humanities with a focus on history and a concentration in Elementary Education. After working for two years in a suburban Boston community as a fifth grade teacher, he decided to move west to discover the beauty and bounty of Oregon. He worked for four years as a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teacher in Mosier, Oregon. While working in Mosier he enrolled in graduate school at Portland State University and earned a MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University.