The Book That Changed Everything

This is the personal narrative that I am working on alongside my students in our first unit.  It’s a work in progress. We’ll be publishing by the end of the week! 

Ring.  Ring.  Ring.   I saw Jackie flash across the screen.  Why is she calling me?  What does she want?  She only calls when she wants something.

“Hello.” I answered.

“Guess what, Jennie?!?!”

“What?”  I was surprised at her excited tone.  What could it be?

“I finished Twilight already!”

“The book?  Didn’t you just start it the other day?”  That couldn’t be right.  She had barely finished a book in her life, let alone one for fun…and only in a few days!

“Yes. I couldn’t stop reading.  I was picturing Bella and Edward in my head as I was reading-  since I knew what they looked like from the trailers.”

“Wow…Wait, you didn’t usually see pictures in your head?  With other books?”


That was the first time I truly realized that the reason I loved reading was the movie that was happening in my mind as I read.  Jackie never had that before.  But because of the movie trailers out for Twilight, she saw the “mind movie” and she enjoyed reading.

Because of this realization, visualizing became a much more significant part of my reading instruction.

The book changed everything for Jackie as a reader.    The book changed everything for me as a teacher.  The bheading

Slice of Life: A Christmas Tree Incident

11454297503_e27946e4ff_hToday I decided to share the personal narrative I am currently writing alongside my students.  In order to learn along with my students, I write a piece for each unit as well.  Then, as I teach them strategies for revising, I use my writing to model the revision moves.  This year I decided to write about a small moment setting up the Christmas tree several years ago.

This is what my writing looks like in my notebook. (Yep! I keep one of those with my kids, too.) It is still a work in progress. Hopefully we will be publishing next week.

“Be careful!”  I warned Troy.

Troy climbed the ladder slowly.  The star in his hand, reaching up.  The star was almost  at the top of the tree.  As he climbed, I backed up onto the back of the couch to take a picture, making sure I could get the whole tree in the frame.


I know what you are thinking, Troy fell of the ladder onto the tree. But, no…Unfortunately, we had moved the couch and it wasn’t against the wall anymore.  Therefore, with me on the back, the couch wasn’t balanced and it fell backward, taking me with it.  I fell flat on my back.

Troy was safe on the ladder, laughing hysterically at his mother.