I didn’t have a design in mind when I went to get my nails done yesterday. While soaking my feet in warm, sudsy water and relaxing into the massage chair (it’s d’bomb), I searched for Summer nail designs on my cell phone (I love technology). I pondered two possibilities, strawberries, and sharks. Cathy, my nail technician, looked at the strawberries with little enthusiasm. I showed her the sharks, and she asked: “what’s that?” When I told her the design theme was shark infested waters, she exclaimed “that one!” She was quite excited about the idea.
She picked out colors and then began creating. Oh, I have shark toes, too.
My youngest child has been promoted to seventh grade. No longer will I walk the halls as a parent of a child attending the elementary each of my kids have spent so much of their childhood.
When my baby girl was in Kindergarten, her teacher made a point of pointing out my daughter’s writing examples saying, “your daughter has a gift.” While it’s true the writing examples were fun to read and were a little different from her peers, I thought it was a good teacher praising her student for the parent’s benefit. My ears perked up a bit when her first grade teacher made similar comments. I finally understood what her teachers were attempting to convey to me when her second grade teacher spelled it out in no uncertain terms: “Your daughter has a voice.” This teacher explained how second graders began exploring their writing in patterns, and she showed us examples of what pattern writing looks like for kids seven years old. Then she took several examples of my daughter’s writing, and, as the expression goes, I couldda had a V-8!”.
Writing became a hobby for my baby girl. She created worlds in Minecraft, and then wrote stories to accompany her creations. Sometime this past year, she got into writing fan fic. I’m surprised, delighted, and wow’d at my daughter’s ability to convey concepts, thoughts and ideas, using a style that is all her own.
When it comes to writing, showing is preferred over telling. Following is my daughter’s last elementary writing project: BioMe. I invite you to read her memoir.
Memoir of a Potato
By Rachel Showers
I take a deep breath. I was really nervous for the first day of school. I looked up at my mom as she held my and walked into class. I didn’t know what to think as people stared at me. She hugged me before walking out. I was scared. Keep Reading
Yesterday, my son and his girlfriend spent the day at the beach. It was like any other day at the beach, warm sand, breaking waves, and the feeling of summer’s intimate caress in the sun’s rays and wind’s breeze. Oh, and there was a boatload of crabs all over the beach, mostly dead, a few alive. Wait, what kind of crabs did you think I meant?
When I picked up the kids, my son and his girlfriend showed me their prize possession, tucked safely at the bottom of a Styrofoam cup: a small crab. “Look!” she gleefully cried. “Isn’t he cute? We’re going to call him Mr. Crabs!” It was dark, I honestly didn’t see anything in the cup, but I’m a mom, and I know how this game is played. “Cool! How exciting! Are your seat belts fastened?” I am all about safe driving, ya know.
After we had arrived home, the kids put their beach gear away, took turns showering, and then settled down to watch a movie. Just as I was falling asleep, my son decides it’s time to find Mr. Crabs a more permanent housing situation. “Hey, mom, do you have a glass bowl we can put Mr. Crabs in?” Why is it they ask me questions after I have drifted into the state of relaxed bliss, ready to release the day and fall into Morpheus’s waiting arms? Foiled again! I’m sure I mumbled something mostly coherent, because when I awoke this morning, Mr. Crabs was tucked in his new home, safe from the cat and out of view of the curious (although mostly blind) dog.
“Learning is not a spectator sport…[Students] must talk about what they are learning, write about it, relate it to past experiences, apply it to their daily lives. They must make what they learn part of themselves.”
—Chickering and Gamson