Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I drank the Kool-Aid

There are many things that I am VERY structured about- like snack, recess, and lunch.  After that, I look to my students to see what they need.  I do have a set schedule and routine, however I have kiddos sitting around the room (all but hanging from the ceiling!) if it helps their learning.  There needs to be a balance, right?

I'll just put it right out there.... You will NOT go to writer's hell if your kids use pencils during workshop.  Contrary to popular belief.  Really.  I follow the New York school of thought on workshop (Teachers College, Calkins, etc.) and all that goes with it.  We even bought the new writing kits to align with the CCSS.  Fancy!  

There has always been part of me that had to rebel.... I used pencils.  Yes, me.  I gave my kinders, then my firsties, pencils.  This year, the little writers abused the system... THEY ERASED!  Did you hear me?  THEY ERASED!  I've been trying to break them of it for the last 10 weeks.  Today, I lost my ever-lovin'  sh**.  We were working on a unit on How-To books and I could hear an argument loud discussion over a big eraser (we share supplies).  Normally, I would ignore it.  However, they were interrupting my conferring and THAT is not acceptable. 

I did what any slightly imbalanced teacher, who just stayed up all night doing report card comments, would do... I took all of the pencils.  I didn't yell.  I just took the pencils.  I quietly handed them all black pens.  I'm not sure if I "drank the Kool-Aid" in my frustration or what.  Either way, they wrote today with pens.  I only had a few start coloring in with pen (a big battle with pencils at times) or scribble.  No one colored on themselves.  I did have one student say, "Ugh!  This looks like crap.  I need a label to cover it."  I'm pretty sure they got that from me.  Not the crap part (although I cannot say the same for my own children!).  The label.  Did I trade one vice for another?  I told them to be neater and move on.  I'm not sure what to do about the constant chewing and licking from a few.  Ewe.  I washed them.

So there you have it.  My students are now using pens for writers workshop.  Now I need to plot a different rebellion.


  1. I do still have them. Most students choose to use them during workshop. A few move to the floor in order to stay focused. During readers workshop, the kids are all over the place and most choose the floor.

  2. I have to say your post made me chuckle! I love your sense of humor! I drink Lucy's Kool Aid myself by choice. Although, I have never had them use pens... not because I don't want to- they have pens, they can use them, I don't care. But my district is really pushing anti Lucy- balanced Lit. But.... I thought Lucy was just a small part of balanced literacy. Anywho- I am hiding in the corner with my addiction... drinking Calkins Kool-Aid. LOL