Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Short Share

Ethan's first grade teacher has an assignment for them each morning. When the kids come in, they sit down and write a few sentences about something that's been on their mind. They accompany what they've written with a couple of pictures. Then they have a chance to read what they've written out loud during their "morning meeting" on the rug.

It's called Short Share, and I'm convinced that the assignment should be a requirement for all early elementary students.

Short Share is the best. I wish I could save every one. I've set aside at least 5 or 6 so far because they're the type of thing that will be priceless in 20 years.

Short Shares give us an idea of how Ethan is progressing in his handwriting as well as his drawing skills, and storytelling ability. Better than that, they give us a peek into what he's thinking about and what he considers important.

Ethan is quite meticulous when it comes to his Short Shares. He plans them in advance; sometimes days early. I've heard him on Saturday mornings talk about what he was going to share on Monday. He thinks about the pictures he's going to draw. (These are still, by the way, very similar and usually rudimentary, even by first grade standards. We've all, his teacher included, accepted that art is not his strong point.) He also thinks before he heads to school how to spell words correctly (i.e., "Mom, how do you spell Patriots?"). He also at times tries to cram in every possible bit of information that he's pondering, even if it's on completely unrelated topics. Hence we have, from the other day:

To translate: Actually the Patriots played the Colts and the Patriots won! the score was 42 to 20. I woke up at 2:30 am and then went to bed at 10pm. Any way this is dangris. I was on the highway and I saw a truck on fire. it's true! And Eloanor why weren't you here for 3 days?

Of course, as with most first graders, there's no filter on what he writes, and not much elaboration. So the teacher doesn't know that when he says he got up at 2:30 a.m., that's because his little sister woke him up and he decided not to go back to sleep, and that he ended up taking a 2 1/2 hour nap in the late afternoon, which made him wide awake to watch the Patriots game until halftime.

I often wonder what his teacher thinks of all the Short Shares she's seen over the years. I can only imagine. I'm waiting for the day Ethan writes something like, "My mom and dad were arguing last night" or "My mom was crying because I wouldn't stop crawling under the table during dinner and goofing off."

Usually short shares are statements, but lately Ethan's been turning them into questions for others in the class. He also keeps playing around with certain figures of speech, which is why we keep seeing the words "anyway" and "actually." Yesterday's short share read:

I have a question for you kids. Do you know how much is a dollar? It's 100 peenys. Anyway guess what my birthday is coming up!

Usually short shares are about sports or something fun he's done, but sometimes he's shifted to other topics. Once he got political: 


"I agree with Luke because I also think that tom foley is good for aur state. But danol molloey is still goviner that means danol malloey is goviner for about 4 years.
One time he even called his teacher out with a question:
Befor school I played in the snow. Anyway I had a fun time at the feld trip and Mrs. rumrill I have a question why were you sitting in seat 24 on the bus?
Sometimes he'll write about something that we had no idea was important to him until it showed up in the Short Share:

I watched Pokeomon last night. Pokeomon is on netflix. Pokeomon even has a theme song it goes I wanna be the very best dad dad dadada and that's all I know from the song.
I don't know the whole song.
And sometimes Short Shares have helped us see something Ethan's been concerned about, even if he doesn't outwardly show it. I think my favorite was this one, as Anna's broken arm was healing:
My sister got her cast off. I am so happy. My sister still has a part that needs to be heled but it's not enough to get the cast on. Mommy told me that. 

I only wish I had something like this from Anna's earlier years. Thank you Mrs. Rumrill, for providing us with this treasure trove!


Kathy said...

Such a wonderful activity! I still have writing I did in the first grade. I wish that my teacher had us write short shares.

Laurie said...

Deb, I have this bookmarked so I can read it any time I'm feeling down. I love every entry you write but ...well..Thank you so much for this! Laurie Rumrill Miller