Doodling is writing in images. The flow for each is similar: idea-draft-share-elaborate-revise-share-enhance-edit-publish. And publishing can be private, shared with a few, public on websites, social media, blogs, journals, etc.
For me, and again like writing, I prefer the digital. The ability to cut/paste/re-order/undo/redo just makes the process of thinking through the challenge to create the best message is just such a gift. This is especially important with art– because I’m not an artist. I’d be crunching up paper and eventually be buried in snowballs of wrecked work. I’d be frustrated and quit. But with the digital, I try over and over and feel like I can improve and understand better what each stroke, brush, line does to bring out the image. It’s fun.
I think that’s important to understand for students in writing class: why drearily write by hand when the words are so easily created, ordered, deleted, enhanced with the tools available in digital format? Handwriting? That’s now art! Make it fun, on paper or digital.
The #Sketch50 theme this week is Communication, and today’s topic is page/book/device. Notice what changed from the #doodleaday of “Tools and Spaces:
First of all, you can see that I just needed to copy the #doodleaday to my Sketch50 journal in Paper53. To make the icons I just searched Google [icon Blogger, for example]. Then I could zoom in and create an image pretty close to the icon of the app that I use for communication of ideas.
Sharing Google Docs, in blogs, on Twitter, in Evernote, through presentations [Keynote or Slides]– those are ways for me to curate ideas and collaborate.
And the information is from my experiences, my books [Kindle], news apps, research in Google Search.
I do have a journal, which I hardly use, and Staedtler fine point pens, for the occasional sketching I do for a quick idea– rare. I also do a little ZenTangle art, but mostly in my Paper53 and Autodesk Sketchbook apps. My pens last a long time.
But whatever writing I do — text or image – I just think, get an idea, and then dive in, digitally.
I visited school yesterday. Actually, I was the substitute Principal. It was a wonderful experience– I could see the flow of the day, and found smiles on student faces, which means the school is doing well for kids. I wrote on paper [!] a log of what I did. I wrote “Tootles”– oodles of them in each classroom I visited. Tootles are acknowledgements of students who are models of goodness: Good thinking, good questions, good answers, good effort, good attitude– each is written specifically for and given to one child. I was able to hear good questions, acknowledge a change in attitude, a willingness to listen again and correct mistakes, etc. It was awesome.
I was also reminded of the challenge in writing — the biggest challenge– the start. That first word or image. That blank paper or screen. In my experience, the best way to overcome that obstacle is three-fold:
- Model examples [if needed, non-examples as well]
- Model and try with students; Share and find the positive.
- Conversation: discuss the trials and encourage discussion of what the examples suggest– what else could have been tried or done or reworded?
I found that modeling, guiding a reworking or new ideas, and then having conversations with students, and students with each other, gets them thinking about their own ideas and experiences. Soon, one by one, each student is able to start.
If you are new to teaching writing, I’ve always recommended these:
Ralph Fletcher Books
Lessons for the Writers Notebook and Teaching the Qualities of Writing by Ralph Fletcher and JoAnn Portalupi by Heinemann
In the Middle by Nancie Atwell
Vicki Spandel Six Traits
Six Trait Writing by Northwest Labs
Teaching that Makes Sense by Steve Peha
If you are a writer, what is your flow? Are you digital or paper?
If you are a teacher, what strategies do you suggest for helping students start?
If you are a teacher, what resources do you recommend?
We all need tools and spaces, and once we help each other consider the possibilities– starting is not an issue.
A Poem for Three Writing Voices: On Starting
“Nothing – You?”
“Look – whale’s tales”
“I couldn’t draw
the whole whale.”
I drew my dog
in the wheat field.
Just the head.”
“Yeah, that works.”
“It’s a square.”
“It’s my cat in a box.”
“Now I can write.”
for that cat
for an hour!”
“How to Find a Cat”
“That does work.”
I was going to listen to “We’ve Got the Whole World In Our Hands,” but then I stumbled on the same song, remixed for Earth Day: Official Music Video for one of DARIA’s Earth Day CD songs: We’ve Got The Whole World In Our Hands.
It’s got some great images — I imagine a class set of doodles / sketches could be used to create a similar version.
Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Tools and Spaces
Part of Sketch50: page/book/device