Opening Moment: Courtney read excerpts from Flannery O'Connor's essay "The Nature and Aim of Fiction".
"The basis of art is truth, both in matter and in mode. The person who aims after art in his work aims after truth, in an imaginative sense, no more and no less."Announcements & Questions: Brigid clarified some questions about portfolio sharing on Friday.
- Jane went first today, and presented a fractured fairy tale in the form of a well crafted children’s book! It explained how books helped Jane weather the "storms" of her childhood, eventually living happily ever after.
- Matt presented his piece about the lessons he's learned from teaching Kindergarten, which include "fake it until you make it," "always keep an extra pair of clothes in your car," and "start with love". Super funny delivery; his advice and storytelling were amazing and totally on point.
- Dustin showed an iMovie about tracing the lessons he's learned from music over the years - listening, creating, and dancing to it. The songs incorporated into the movie brought back a lot of great memories for everyone.
After finishing the morning autobiography presentations, we had some time to write. Then, we got some suggestions and examples about our Options for Electronic Portfolios from Brigid. We broke for lunch with time to play, explore, and struggle to discern which tool might the best use.
Darren showed everyone a link to a summer writing opportunity with Kate Messner (see his post below).
After lunch, we were given a reminder from Patricia about the requirements for our portfolios and then had some more time to work.
- Mercedes started us off with some more music, discussing the joy of self-discovery through mixtapes, summer camp, 16,000-foot-mountain-hiking, and working with the Navajo. Her vivid descriptions and beautiful pictures helped us visualize the many different settings of her piece.
- Darren presented his autobiography about the things we absorb (like sponges!) from the people around us. He honored his mentors and the inexplicable connections we can make with the people who come into our lives.
- Chris started off with a clip from The Wizard of Oz, and talked about the way the line "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" was what truly captured his attention, and how he has made it his mission in life to "pull back the curtain" and get his students to think.
We then broke for more individual writing/work time.
Our final activity of the day was a poetry workshop with Rebecca Redlon. She discussed the importance of poetry in the classroom and not "killing it with sticks". We did several different warm-ups and prompts, making lists of words using sounds, questions, paint chips, and newspapers. Rebecca shared her "poetry kit" in the ISFI 16 Google folder. We had a lot of fun sharing the weird, nonsensical stuff we all came up with.
Closing Moment: Dustin showed us a video from Louis CK and Conan O'Brien, reminding us that life really is pretty amazing and we should be happy.