A seven minute writing strategy to prime the pump and get the words flowing. No judgment. No worry about clarity of meaning. No concern for grammar, or spelling, or punctuation. No expectations. Just pure, unedited thought from pen to paper or fingers to keys.
Set a timer and go.
Who knows what words will emerge as from an invisible ink magically made clear. Who knows what I will learn? What’s on my mind. In my heart? What are my words waiting to tell me?
I used this strategy almost daily as an educator. What a mind-opener it is for children. (And adults too.) Pressure evaporates. An invitation to write imperfectly routinely releases the most beautiful thinking, the loveliest strands of thought, comprehension, and connection. There’s so much power in this little bit of freedom.
And only seven minutes. The timer trills and they beg for more time. Every single time.
Always end your writing waiting for more, I’d say.
Saturday mornings are my favorite. But the first Saturday morning of school’s summer vacation needs be savored, spent, and even squandered in any way I’d like. It’s a hard-earned kind of Saturday. A deep breath exhaled kind of Saturday. Maybe even an ice cream for breakfast kind of Saturday.
An ordinary Saturday feels relief. A week’s worth of pressures put aside for at least 24 hours, and I feel free. But the first summer Saturday? Especially this year’s first summer Saturday? My body – held taut for ten months, and anxiously tense for the past three – already softens just a bit. I’m giddy. Maybe delirious. Full of ideas, I-can’t- wait-tos, and do-ya-wannas. And ready – so ready – for no plans at all.
My mind, however, remains full, busy, and a little scattered. All those students. Their hearts, still near. Their efforts, remembered. It’s a reflecting sort of time, these first days of summer. Wistful. Nostalgic. Contemplative.
And here’s a little secret only teachers know: thinking, dreaming, and mentally readying – for next year – began about a month ago.
Still, today’s Saturday. The first Saturday of summer vacation. And I’m raising my ice cream scoop in celebration.
Here’s a quick little Valentine bookmark for the book lover in your life.
heart-shaped paper punch
Originally, I shopped at Walmart for multi-pack Valentine cards for my students. Since I have 30 students, and the cards were $7.97 for a pack of ten … I decided I could do better on my own. I didn’t even like them really.
These bookmarks are soooo much cuter. With a bonus: it’s a reading love note too!