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I have been casually reading a book called, The Doodle Revolution by Sunni Brown. Reading the book has inspired me to create some fun, interactive posts for my Fanpage that were more related to art. I am no longer in the classroom, but the field of education remains such a vital part of who I am and what I am passionate about. I am very passionate about art as well, but it is often very difficult to bring the two together through social media... until now.. that is...
After reading an online article about the benefits of doodling a little over a year ago, I have seen more and more research and information surfacing on the topic.
I have always doodled while on the phone, taking notes, listening to a lecture, waiting for students as they take a test or on students' papers I have graded and returned. I know... I might have a sickness, but my students would get so excited when I left them a little doodle on their work.
I don't have a problem focusing for long periods of time and I haven't been diagnosed with a learning disorder (that I know of)- I just find that doodling clears my mind, keeps me from thinking about too many things at once, and calms my spirit. I am very creative, but I am also FULL of ideas and motivated to learn more. Although this does not seem like a bad quality to posses, I assure you that the qualities I possess can often be overwhelming. My brain NEVER shuts off... NEVER!!
I know that I am not the only person who doodles to think more clearly and relax, and that many people who choose to doodle while they think are often not "artists" or people who would not describe themselves as creative.
"It's just doodling!" some would say...
I was also probably the ONLY teacher I knew who encouraged students to draw on the back of their papers if they finished early, got stuck on a problem, or were trying to write a paragraph and could not think of how to formulate their ideas. I taught Kindergarten, 7th grade Language Arts, and I worked with middle school resource students for a short period of time while working on my Master's degree.
Back then, I had no idea that there was any research showing the benefits of doodling or that any research at all even existed on the topic. Now... I see research and studies related to doodling and cognition all of the time. I only knew how I was affected by the act of doodling and I noticed how it affected my little Kinders when I first began encouraging it.
I am working on putting together a series of posts to help you learn how to integrate and promote doodling in your classrooms with your students to help them become better thinkers and writers, but I first would like for you to have some fun with it yourself. This summer will be my launching off point for a huge project that I have wanted to write about for a long time now. I took notes and kept several hundred student work samples in various grades throughout the time that I worked in the field of education, because I knew that I wanted to help other teachers in this area.
During my short time working with a group of special education students for my Master's degree, I was able to encourage all of the students to write... and to LOVE to write. I am not a grammar nazi or the best at editing my own work, but I am very good at inspiring students to want to write. I even had my mentor ask me what it was that I was doing when one of the students, a boy named Corey, arrived early to school with his grandma one morning, so he could share a story he wrote for the night before.
When I arrived that morning, his grandma had already left, but there was Corey, waiting so excitedly and proud as I walked into the room.
He had this infectious smile on his face...
The kind of smile you see that automatically makes you smile without thought or intention.
He shared his story with me and I was so proud of him and impressed by his creativity. After we chatted, he handed me the paper and told me that the story was a present for me!!! To this day, it has got to be the BEST present I have ever received from a student.
What made this gift so beyond special was not the fact that he wrote me a story, because I have received many stories from students.
What made his gift TRULY special was that this story was his very FIRST story. The first story he had completely written on his own... without help...
It was a story that was not part of an assignment at school for a grade. This story was his very own invention, his own creativity, and the very first time he was truly proud of himself for writing.
Corey was in 7th grade at the time I had the honor of working with him. He was a special education student on an IEP, and with average to poor grades, and HATED writing. Actually, I don't think the word, hated, can even do his feeling's justice. Corey LOATHED writing!! I had 6 weeks to work with this group and it only took me one week to see a complete change of perspective from most of the students.
His grandma was so proud of him and excited that he was excited about school for the very first time, that she BOUGHT him a new LAPTOP for him to use to write his stories. Corey beamed with pride and all I could do was stand there like an idiot trying to fight the tears welling up beneath my eyelids. Corey was not from a wealthy family and had a pretty difficult living situation. He was being raised by his amazingly dedicated grandmother and struggling just to get through each grade level. Corey leaned in close, after telling me he got a laptop, and told me that the computer was only his. He did not have to share it and he was allowed to keep it in his room. This is a HUGE deal for a child that lives in a home where he has very little to call his own.
I will share more about Corey and many of my former students when I launch the writing series this summer. I set a launch date for June 1st and I plan on keeping that date!!
Now back to the topic of doodling. I am sure you are wondering what doodling has to do with teaching writing and reading, but I promise to explain the connection this summer for you.
I want you all to get an opportunity to play around with the idea of doodling and get your thoughts about how it makes you feel, what you learned or didn't learn about yourself, and whether you feel that doodling was beneficial to you in any way. Before we dive into the research, I want you all to just have some fun through doodling with a 10-Second Doodle Challenge I posted on my Facebook Fan Page this morning (Friday).
Sunni Brown suggests a quick doodle challenge in her new book, The Doodle Revolution, and I thought it would be really fun to invite all of my friends, fans and followers to play along. Click the link below to visit my Fan Page post to join in on the 10-second doodle. My 10-second doodle is already posted and I can't wait to see all of your 10-Second Doodles as well.
Post by The 3AM Teacher.
On the topic of doodling, I am very sad to announce that I will have to extend the submission date for my collaborative art project. You can click on the image below to read the post about my collaborative art project.
I have only received 7 entries so far, which is not nearly enough. I understand how busy the end of the school year is and I know that my own personal storms have kept offline the last couple of weeks to really promote the project effectively. I just want to send a HUGE THANK YOU to those that have taken the time to submit their art and I am not giving up on the project quite yet...
I am going to leave the project open throughout April and the month of May. I could really use as much help as I can get from all of you to help promote the project and hopefully encourage more people to join in on the fun. I will update the original post about the project and change the close date on the form. Click the link below to complete the form and submit your art or pin the image above to help spread the word. Thank you SOOO very much for your help!!!
Happy Friday everyone and I hope to see your 10-Second Doodles on my Facebook Fan Page!!!
I hope you all have a very blessed weekend!!