I try not to look in my Isabelle’s cubby or desk when I go into her school. That doesn’t mean I haven’t peered into those places. Rather, it means I *try* not to.
I went into Isabelle’s class for writing workshop yesterday. I restrained myself from checking the neatness of her desk when it was time to confer with her. After all, we were talking about her writing, not her organizational skills. However, as Isabelle took me on a tour of her writing, I noticed she was still alternating between colors when she was writing. I’ve bitten my tongue about that before since I didn’t know if the colors corresponded to drafting, revising, and editing pens. However, she was in the first bend of a unit of study on information writing. She’s *only* drafting. Yet, her pages were covered in two — and sometimes three — colors of pen.
“Do you have a blue or black pen?” I asked her, noticing she was writing with a red one.
“I have a blue one, but it doesn’t work right.”
“Can you show me?”
Isabelle rummaged in her desk.
“I can’t find it,” she said.
“Don’t you have supply box?”
“Not in this teacher’s room,” she replied, ducking back down to look for the blue pen.
I looked at my watch. This was a waste of time. This wasn’t what I would have been doing with any other kid. Yet, I was going down the rabbit hole, so-to-speak, because this was my kid. I was about to stop Isabelle when she pulled a retractable pen from her desk.
“Found it!” she said setting it on her desk.
I picked it up and realized it was slightly unscrewed. Problem-partially solved.
I gave Isabelle a spiel about using one color when she was drafting going-forward — blue OR black — and then moved onto something that mattered (i.e., breaking down her new book’s topic into a table of contents).
After I left her school for the day, I made my way to Staples to remedy the supply issue. I picked up a pack of blue pens and a pack of black ones, plus a zip-top supply bag in her favorite color. Later in the day, I typed a reminder note and gave it to her. Isabelle was elated by the bag filled with new pens. I reminded her, again, to only use ONE color while drafting.
This afternoon, when she returned home from school, I asked her how it went with the new pens.
“Great!” she said.
“What color did you use when you drafted today?”
“Only black?” I asked.
“Only black,” she replied.