Here We Are

After Marlowe’s comedic introduction yesterday, she owed you a real introduction. I like to use our writing time together to help me get my ideas flowing and to model different parts of writing alongside her.

We started by drawing a picture of ourselves. Then we wrote down words that describe ourselves. Take a look…

Marlowe’s reads: Loves Mommy and Daddy, 4, Okotoks (where we live), Trouble (the game), Broccoli, 4. Can you read mine?

If ever you travel

to the small town of Okotoks, Alberta

tucked away in the vast prairies

in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains

there

you might encounter

a mother and daughter pair

with matching hair

always getting fresh air

you will know you have found this duo

when you see a 4 year old girl

dancing around in her underwear!

*It has been a while since I have stretched my writing brain and it is stuck. I am so glad I am here stretching it with all of you this month. *

The Slice of Life Writing Challenge 2021!

I have been participating in the Slice of Life Challenge for many years but once my daughter was born, I found it really hard to make time to write and spend quality time with her after school too. I had a revelation that we could write together during the month of March and it was the best idea! It was a special time we shared together each day. I found that her confidence as a writer changed drastically and her love for writing has continued to grow each day since.

For those of you who haven’t met us before, here we are…

When I asked Marlowe if she wanted to introduce herself, this is what she wrote…

My name is Marlowe! I live on Mars! I’m an astronaut! I have a pet alien! Ha ha! Just joking! I will tell you tomorrow!

If you followed us last year, you will notice that her sense of humor hasn’t changed much, but her love of exclamation marks has been discovered.

As for me, I love to write poems. I am a rule bender by nature and I feel like poetry allows me to bend those pesky writing rules. I am looking forward to sharing little slices of our life and writing journey together with you.

C is for Cars… or Capital Letters

I am participating in the A-Z Blog challenge this year. I will write each day in the month of April with the prompt of the next letter of the alphabet. This year my 4 year-old and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Today Marlowe chose to write about cars! Look at these awesome sentences she wrote!

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They moov. Pepl drive them.

Marlowe has been really curious about writing lately and has started to read like a writer. When we are reading she has become very interested in the “dots” at the end of some words. She wanted to try those “dots” out in her writing today. I also noticed that when she thinks she has all of the sounds in a word, she asks if she needs a space. She is starting to use lower case letters more consistently in her writing too. One good thing about having her home with us is her daycare can’t teach her uppercase letters.

I HATE when early childhood educators start by teaching kids to write with capital letters. How often do you use a capital letter? RARELY! When we write, we use mostly lower case letters so why do they focus on capitals? Is it simply to make a Grade 1 teacher’s life more complicated. I spend most of Grade 1 nudging my students to use lower case letters when they write. What I need to learn is how to nudge my daughter’s preschool teacher and those around the world to STOP with the CAPITALS!

So I guess this post isn’t about cars after all…. C is for CAPITAL LETTERS!

(Please note I actually love preschool teachers! It is my one and only frustration, I promise!)

B is for Bubbles

I am participating in the A-Z Blog challenge this year. I will write each day in the month of April with the prompt of the next letter of the alphabet. This year my 4 year-old and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Marlowe chose bubbles for our second letter of the alphabet. I asked her to help me brainstorm some things that came to mind when she thought of bubbles and we wrote them all down. Then I put this poem together from all of her ideas.

Bubbles

dip

dip

pull

blow

watch

the colourful ball

float by

up to the sky

twirling

reflecting

in the sun

landing

slowly

POP!

 

You have to shout the POP part. She loved our creation and asked me to read it again and again. I think we might even put it up in her room, before long she will be reading it to us! Poetry with emergent writers is my favourite. It is such a great entry point for them to feel successful. If it wasn’t nearing bedtime, I would have had her take part in writing down the ideas. I believe that coming up with ideas is just as important as putting those ideas on paper.

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A is for Airplanes

I am participating in the A-Z Blog challenge this year. I will write each day in the month of April with the prompt of the next letter of the alphabet. This year my 4 year-old and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Airplanes

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“ArPLAN”

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THAy FLi SM HAv wiNdOs

Marlowe is just 4.

She knows airplanes

She has flown in 29 different airplanes

to be exact

Most of those before her second birthday.

She knows airplanes

The outsides

The insides

The ups

The downs

She knows airplanes

No

She doesn’t live an extravagant life

But it is certainly unique

Hong Kong born

An American Dad

A Canadian Mom

That is rare to find

Working in Asia

With family around the globe

We traveled

a lot

Family is important

Then we found an in between

Not too close to either family

But a good place for us

Hello Alberta

The 16-24 hour plane rides, now just 4-5.

She knows airplanes

The signs

The voice level

The entertain yourself moments

The airplane bed routine

She knows airplanes

Marlowe knows airplanes.

Lessons learned

Slice of Life Day 31

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

We made it! 31 one days of writing together. It is the best thing that has happened during this confusing time. Marlowe and I have both grown as writers. In years past, my slices have been mostly poems. This year, I have been forced to write in a narrative form to share Marlowe’s writing journey. It has been really great practice for me. Marlowe used to throw herself on the floor a lot in frustration when she couldn’t get her letters to look like the letters in books or in my writing. We have been trying to support her through some of her perfectionist tendencies but what helped more than anything we have done in the past is write each and everyday. She still gets frustrated every now and again when writing (who doesn’t?) but more than anything, I see her confidently carry herself as a writer.

 

Today we decided to write what we learned this month. Here is what we came up with! Marlowe’s lessons are in black and mine are in pink.

 

 

What did you learn this month?

A Moment of Weakness

Slice of Life Day 30

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

Parenting is wonderfully exhausting. It comes with so many gifts and treasures but also lots of challenges. Lately, I have found it far more exhausting than usual and for that, I am blaming the mistake I made today.

Before I could realise what I was saying, I suggested that we put the tent up in the basement and have a pretend camping trip.  This suggestion was of course met with cheers and smiles from my four year old, followed by gasps by me. It occurred to me that it meant, that I too would be sleeping in the ice-cold basement on the paper-thin, excuse for a carpet.

It was too late, I couldn’t take it back. When you make an offer like that, there is no way that you can unmake it. So, I decided there was nothing else I could to except, go ALL in!

It was going to be a movie theatre tent and a camping tent. Marlowe has been talking a lot about Finding Nemo, so we rented Finding Nemo on the computer and made popcorn, lots of popcorn. Marlowe made tickets for the movie and a sign so we would know what movie was playing at the theatre. She also made a ticket for the popcorn. According to her, we only needed one ticket because we were going to share. She is good at sharing.

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The movie theatre part was fun, but I don’t have high hopes for the camping part that is soon to come though.

Cookie Day

Slice of Life Day 29

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Today seemed like a cookie kind of day. I love cooking and baking but sometimes I find it difficult to muster up the motivation to get started. I knew if I told Marlowe of the cookie idea, she would force me to follow through. Kids are good at that.

 

I let Marlowe choose the kind of cookies to make and she picked Oatmeal Chocolate Chip. She and I have the same taste in cookies. My husband was really rooting for chocolate-peanut butter no bake cookies, but he was out numbered this time!

We got out all of the ingredients and set to work. Ingredient followed by ingredient, spills here and there. It is a lot slower and messier when you are baking with children but it is always more fun too. My favourite part is noticing when they sneak a little taste here and there, thinking we aren’t watching.

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Marlowe said she wanted to write about making cookies today. She made a recipe for her cookies to share with you. I nudged her to add labels but she wasn’t feeling it and I know an important part of teaching emergent writers is to know when not to push too far. Today was that day. It was nearing bedtime and there wasn’t a lot of space left to squeeze in her words. So we left it as is and ended our writing time with giggle and smiles instead of frustration. It was the right choice today!

img_6744Can you find all of the ingredients hiding in her recipe?

 

If you want the real recipe, you can find it here. They were pretty tasty and not too tricky either!

Doughnut Drive By

Slice of Life Day 28

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

Doughnuts and familiar faces, what more could you ask for? A couple of friends sent a message to our “lady gang'” chat group saying that they ordered doughnuts and were going to be dropping them by with a smile to all of our houses! Our chat group is a mix of friends and friends of friends and friends of friends of friends, all strong, amazing women in our area! I am a newly added member to the group and it has been the source of a lot of goodness these days!

If you have been reading my blog lately, you will already know that doughnuts are a source of excitement in our house. I told Marlowe about the plan after her nap and she jumped up and down and sang, “DOUGHNUTS, DOUGHNUTS, I LOVE DOUGHNUTS” on repeat for a while. Then said, I think we should write about it. I said, “Ya I was thinking that maybe we could write a thank you card for the people bringing the doughnuts.”  To which she said nonchalantly, “Ya, That’s what I was thinking ’bout too.” Apparently my 4 year old writer, doesn’t think my ideas are all that original.

We got out some special watercolour painting paper and got to work!

 

239561f4-dbd3-47f9-975d-fa106aaae721Look at that awesome doughnut painting. She added the lines around the doughnut in case they wanted to connect the dots!

 

Who made your day today?

How my little writer has changed…

Slice of Life Day 27

I am participating in the twowritingteacher.org Slice of Life Challenge where I write each day for the month of March. This year my three-year old daughter (now 4 year-old) and I are writing collaboratively. Feel free to follow along our month-long writing journey!

 

It has been 27 days of writing for Marlowe and I. I didn’t know what this would look like when I decided that I would have her write alongside of me this month. It has been so much better than I ever could have imagined.

“Time to write mommy!”

“Can we have a writing party?”

“I have an idea, let’s write!”

“I have a surprise for you!”

I get to hear little phrases like these ones each day as she eagerly chooses to write everyday.

I made a list of changes I have noticed in no particular order:

  1. Her letter approximations are becoming more letter-like.
  2. She chooses to write and draw independently more often.
  3. She can write her name.
  4. Her confidence as a writer has grown dramatically, no more throwing herslf to the floor shouting,  “IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE A _____”
  5. She is starting to listen for sounds in the words she wants to write.
  6. She is adding more details to her pictures.
  7. She tells everyone we talk to (on video chat)  that she is doing a writing challenge.
  8. She is coming up with new ideas on her own.
  9. Her stamina as a writer is growing each day.
  10. She genuinely LOVES to write, almost as much as reading now.

 

Here is a book she wrote today…

I am not a fan of giving emergent writers lined paper but Marlowe found some paper with lines from my recycled paper from school pile. Of course there was only one and I was instructed to make lines on every other page for her book. She said she wanted to write “This is Mommy.” I nudged her into stretching out her book by asking, “That sounds like a great start to a book about our family. What else could you include in your book?” When I helped her to stretch out the word This…. she said “I hear the sound that t and h make together.” I was pretty surprised that she internalised that so quickly. The other thing I noticed today was after the word ‘this’ she said “Do I need a space now?” It is neat to get little tiny insights into what they are thinking about as emergent writers.

 

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Family By Marlowe

 

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This is Mommy.

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This is Daddy.

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This is Marlowe.