One of the other teachers here, at the Illinois Writing Project Workshop, wrote about how she was distracted by something and couldn’t get past it to write. She was so right! (Thanks Anne! I hope everyone realizes that whatever you say in the presence of a blogger, might end up on her blog.)
Sometimes you get that one thing that annoys you, distracts you and you can’t get to a place where you can focus on the writing. Unfortunately, it’s probably going to happen in our classrooms no matter how we try to control the environment. There will be pencils tapping, kids whispering, teachers conferring.
So, maybe we need to teach kids how to move past it. How to deal…Easier said than done…
One option is to write about that thing that is taking up all your focus. Then, once it is on paper, maybe it will leave your mind. It worked for me during an amazing writing marathon last week. The bugs were swarming because of the rain and it was all I could think about, so that is what I wrote about. Once I had it on paper, I moved on to write about something else. (Of course, bringing bug spray would have made this a non-issue!)
I know this idea won’t always work so, I would love to hear any ideas you have for helping kids get past the distractions during writing workshop. What do you have? Please share!