After the school bells rings, I quickly get organized and I'm off to start my other full time job of being a mom. I can honestly say there are not too many nights that I get out or do what I want to do. However, last night I took the evening off.
I didn't even hesitate when I received the invitation. I checked the calendar and then signed up. Put the date in our shared family calendar with the note: Jon pick up girls!
Even after a long day of teaching, I was ready to go and learn and laugh with a teacher of writing legend. I attended a local Illinois Reading Council conference featuring Ralph Fletcher.
Ralph shared his core beliefs, writing tips, mentor texts, love of prose, and the idea that nonfiction writing can be playful and non-formulaic. He shared the power of story and words. He quoted his mentors and other writing legends: Donald Graves, Donald Murray, Katie Wood Ray, and Georgia Heard. He shared many examples of exploratory nonfiction writing and multigenre research writing.
Ralph's goal was to remind us that even in the midst of Common Core, we must continue writing our stories (narrative) and be playful and try different forms of nonfiction writing.
It was an enjoyable night to sit back and enjoy Ralph's company. We approached him during the break and he was so kind, easy to chat with, and provided some great advice. Ralph signed one of his books and took a selfie with my favorite literacy coach (who I tried to convince to start a blog and join this writing community ...)
Ralph would agree.