What does one do with the space that is left after a daughter moves out and gets married? (Other than sit there, curled in her favourite chair, missing her badly?)
Turn the space into a YouTube Studio, of course!
Well, okay - it wasn't really the space that inspired me to log back into my YouTube channel and create some new material. It was the idea to make some short, quick videos to help kids learn to enjoy writing.
When I'm doing school visits, I often ask for a show of hands of the students who enjoy writing. A few brave hands will raise, most frequently accompanied by darting glances to see who else might be noticing their admission. However, when I ask 'Who likes story?' almost the entire class raises their hands. And this got me thinking. What is it that makes writing feel so hard to so many kids? And how could we break down those reasons and remind kids that writing can be fun and is something that doesn't always need to live up to anyone else's expectations?
Some of my earliest memories of writing (and enjoying writing) were extremely simple activities done at school. I was given free reign with my ideas and it was FUN. In those instances, it wasn't about being marked or getting things correct, it was about learning about writing (although I doubt I realised that at the time).
A lot of times, we teach children to write by giving them the rules and formulas. We structure their writing time and provide handy steps and editing strategies. These are all great and important parts of developing the craft of writing. But learning to love what words can do, and feeling confident with the ideas we have and how we can put them on the page, takes practice. We learn to write best, by writing, and writing without expectations.
That's what my new series of videos (filmed in my daughters old bedroom) are all about.
Designed classroom, individual or homeschool use, Writing Warm-Ups for Kids are short, fun, informal videos designed to help kids relax, forget about the need for perfection and just enjoy warming up for writing. They can be used prior to a more serious writing lesson, or just as one-off videos to spark creativity and teach different ways of working with words.
The first few videos are live now, including the introductory video below, for parents and teachers.
If you've got suggestions for what topics you'd like me to develop a warm-up for, please let me know in the comments below.
(And, as they say in YouTube land: please Subscribe, Like and Share.)
Now, it's back to the writing desk for me...
The Penny Drops
In high school I used to write what I'd call 'thinks' - little bits of writing about whatever topic or issue I was mulling over at the time. I still write these little pieces.
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