Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Eye Spy amazing writing!

Hello Everyone!
I'm back again with another little tidbit I gleaned from Carol Avery's book, "...And With a Light Touch."  Writing in our draft/craft books during writer's workshop is such a joyful part of our day as first graders.  Along with allowing students to have choice in topics, Carol also suggests that pencils without erasers be used.  I know that is not a new concept, but I never hopped on that bandwagon.  I will this year! While reading this, my thoughts bring me back to watching one of my kiddos erase an entire page of their own writing.  She was not happy with how it was turning out. She then proceeded  to write over the top of all her smudges, which made her new thoughts "unreadable." Carol suggests using pencils without erasers "makes it easy for children to learn to line out rather than erase--a procedure that facilitates revision."  In my classroom, I try to model my own draft on large chart paper using a marker every day. Of course I can't erase. But I can show the kids how to line out words I don't want, or underline words of which I am unsure. Having the kids do the same in their own draft/craft book will help them have a positive focus on their personal expressions. It will also allow for observing/tracking the whole editing/revising piece.  Working on a draft should not be scary. It should be joyfilled! 
So, now the problem with "pencils without erasers" exists. Some teachers I know use golf pencils,  others use pens, and still others special order them. Just pushing off the eraser can be fine, but then you have that sharp metal end that will undoubtedly get chewed. Youch! My solution to this problem was inspired by the Expo dry erase markers that come with a little fuzzy on the end to erase. I know you've seen them.  Well, I got busy with that same idea and in about 10 minutes I had a class set of "Eye Spy" pencils.  I simply removed the eraser, hot glued a little fuzzy in its place and then added a little wiggly eye.  Voila!  


Our "Eye Spy" pencils ready to go!

I can't wait to help my kids be more confident writers!! I'd love to hear from you about your thoughts on using pencils without erasers.  

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Have a great rest of the week!! I am off to the Rangers game tonight with my three favorite guys!!