July 9th, 2008


This just in: I might be slightly obsessive.

I fell asleep last night and woke up this morning thinking about the writing festival and what we did yesterday and what we’re going to do today. I have a running list in my head of things I’m supposed to remember to do, like check in with Victor about his story. Yesterday’s theme was neighborhood and community. Having learned that dogs, cats, and rabbits are abundant in the lives of the kids in my group, I zeroed in on them as one way to access their community. We read Pablo Neruda’s Ode to a Dog in English and Spanish and then wrote about an animal in our neighborhood. Victor wrote the most of any of the kids. He didn’t take the first opportunity to read his work, saving it for when we were reading what we wrote about our rooms. I want to ask about that, too. But I digress.

More or less, here is how Victor’s story ran. There was a kid who really wanted a pet, but his parents kept saying no. In his neighborhood, there was a man who had puppies, but he didn’t take care of them. The kid snuck through the man’s back fence. There were two bulldogs there who tried to get him. The man was about to kill the puppies, so the kid went around the front, rang the doorbell and snuck in (I chuckled for a moment there…). He killed the man and saved the puppies.

I am not necessarily disturbed by the fact that there is violence in the story. There is violence all around us. I like that the kid in the story doesn’t simply accept the no answers he gets and that he feels powerful enough to find a way to rescue the smaller and weaker ones. Mostly I want to know more about this kid, about where this came from, to see if there is something that Victor needs.

I need to find ways to get the girls to talk more to the group and less to each other. I need to get little Jose (as opposed to big Jose, who is one of my teammates) to be quiet every once in a while. I need to bring books for Jennifer to read. I want to help Joshua get to know the other kids in our group better.

Oh, yeah, and we have writing to do today. We’re warming up with story starter sentences. Then it’s time for haiku (I can hear you cheering from here, HAT!). I have a handy picture book that is perfect for the occasion about Basho and a time he was tricked by a fox. We’re going to write a cooperative haiku and then our own. After snack, we’re going outside to do some getting in touch with our senses.

Ack! I forgot to make my copies! Yikes! Too much to do!