#28 I believe writing is both words and pictures!

At the beginning of the month, I was wondering about emoji. ( HERE and HERE).
A colleague didn’t think kids should use them when writing their kidblog posts. I listened and wondered.

This post that I read yesterday which was typed in ONLY emoji solidified my thinking. I believe writing is both words and pictures! Therefore,  think writing with emoji IS writing.

As I type this, I’m recalling how years ago, some librarians didn’t want graphic novels in their libraries. Again, I wondered. I took time to read one, Smile. I noticed as I read that not only was I enjoying a good story, I actually had to work harder to comprehend this story told mostly through pictures.

Yesterday I cooked a special birthday breakfast for my husband – German Apple Pancakes. I saw this recipe on facebook. It was want I call a video recipe. I had to watch and pause a few times to ensure I was including the right amount of each ingredient. But I loved watching how to combine the ingredients and how to cook it in the cast iron skillet in the oven. It turned out yummy! And I was able to cook it because I could read both words and pictures.

Next month, I am attended TCRWP 2nd Annual Digital and Media Institute. I’m not surprised at all that this literacy think tank now offers an institute devoted to figuring out ways to help teach reading and writing specific to our digital and media world.

From emoji to graphic novels to video recipes, as a reader and writer, I will continue to honor both words and pictures!! Because I believe writing is both words and pictures!

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#13 and DigiLit Sunday – Transitons and emojis

 

A few weeks ago, I was in the car and heard this NPR EMOJI STORY:

When I’m reporting from my base in Brazil, I have had entire wordless conversations on WhatsApp, the ubiquitous messaging app, which Brazilians also happen to love. For making a date with friends, I choose martini glass, question mark? The response I get — handclapping and then clock, question mark. And on and on it goes. Portuguese is a foreign language for me, so having all these emojis is really useful. I mean, everyone understands the emoji for getting a manicure.

Then days later, my 3rd grade team ( five classes) introduced the tool Kidblog to all the 3rd graders. For the month of March, we are asking the the students to electronically write small moment stories, post it for the others in their classroom to see and then add comments to their classmates. At a team meeting three days after the launch I asked, “How’s it going with Kidblog?” Another teacher commented, “Fine, but I told them they couldn’t use emojis.” Another said, “I told them only at the end of a comment and just one.” I sat and as typical with me, in the moment, I often can’t find the words fast enough to respond and so I said nothing. I get why they were saying no to emojis. As teachers, we expect to see letters strung together to form a story told across many sentences. Adding emojis seems to just be playing and not writing a story. But I kept thinking about writing and emojis. If we are to write and tell our stories and if an image can help with this, why not use emojis whenever and how often we want?

Then this happened the next day in my room (I wrote about it HERE as my SOL#11):

“Look friends. Dr. Russo (our Principal) just asked me a question about blogging and now she is sitting outside our room typing. I think she is going to add her second small moment story to our blog!” 
As we gathered for Morning Meeting, a friend said, “She’s gone.”
“Should we see if she posted?” I asked.
“YES!” was the unanimous reply. 
I touched airplay on my smartphone to show my phone display on the smart panel. Then after logging into Kidblog, we could see it! She HAD published her 2nd piece. I had no idea what she wrote and I started to read this aloud…

As I read the lines, “Trust me, you (referring to the students at Discovery ES) are teaching all of us adults so much” my voice started to crack. Her words are so true and I felt so touched by words.

Next I heard, “Are you OK?”

Another friend said very kindly, “She’s just happy. My mom does that all the time. You should see her.” I chuckled and was glad he gets adults that cry when they are happy!!

Another student said, “You should add a comment that says you really like her writing and add a happy emoji that is crying.” 
“Does that exist?” I asked.  ALL in the room nonchalantly replied in the affirmative. 
 
That same day, I got this comment to my SOL#11:
Then today the DigiLit Sunday focus is TRANSITIONS. So I began to think: Are writers in the 21st century transitioning to using more than just the 26 letters in the alphabet? Our iPad makes it so easy to add an image, a music link, a video, and even an emoji. I am now, as Anna mentions in her comment to me, wondering about my definition of writing and I see a transition occurring.
This March, I am participating for the 3rd time in The TwoWritingTeachers March Writing Challenge (where I happily interact with Margaret Simon and learned of this Sunday posting!) As I look back, it has been 3 years of transitions for me personally as a writer. First, I was just trying to write and put words on the page for 31 days. Then the next year, I felt more confident and started adding hyperlinks and pictures to make my daily post clearer and more interactive. Now this year I am bringing my students along for the ride and I find myself only halfway into the challenge, and am pondering what is writing? Can’t it be letters strung together AND also just the right visual?
For me, I am transitioning to be the kind of writing teacher who will encourage 3rd graders to use ALL the tools they have at their disposal to tell their story that only they can tell. And I will encourage them to use emojis if it helps to make their writing clearer.
(And now that I have written about it, I feel ready to speak up at my next team meeting, too!)

"You should add the happy emoji crying to your comment."

I still feel new to the social media world or at least to all the ways one can communicate in writing through now in the 21st century. I’ll admit that I’ve use google to figure out what LOL means. And I like adding emoji to a text but I usually stick to using the same ones  – a heart, a cake with candles, flowers. Today, my students taught me that there is an emoji happy face that is so touched that it is crying.

 
It all started when I said, as the students were arriving, “Look friends. Dr. Russo just asked me a question about blogging and now she is sitting outside our room typing. I think she is going to add her second small moment story to our blog!”
 
As we gathered for Morning Meeting, a friend said, “She’s gone.”
 
“Should we see if she posted?” I asked.
 
“YES!” was the unanimous reply.

I touched airplay on my smartphone to show my phone display on the smart panel. Then after logging into Kidblog, we could see it! She HAD published her 2nd piece. I had no idea what she wrote and I started to read this aloud.

As I read, “Trust me, you are teaching all of us adults so much” my voice started to crack. Her words are so true and I felt so touched by words.

Next I heard, “Are you OK?”

Another friend said very kindly, “She’s just happy. It’s like my mom. You should see her.

I chuckled and was glad he gets adults that cry when they are happy!!

Another student said, “You should add a comment that says you really like her writing and add a happy emoji that is crying.” 
 
“Does that exist?” I asked.
 
ALL in the room nonchalantly replied in the affirmative. Just as Dr, Russo said in her post, “You are teaching us adults so much….Thanks for helping us grow.” INDEED!
 
These are some of my students’ comments to this post (also teaching me by their example!):

 

 

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Our class photographer took this photo while she was typing in the chair outside our classroom. He used his Skitch app to add the labels and then airdropped it to my phone so I could tweet it out!