It’s 4:30 in the morning and my mind is awake and brimming with activity. It won’t LET ME SLEEP another minute so I”m up and writing into this day, even though in just a few hours, Tuvia will be up with much more energy and he’ll be pushing me to shower, dress, drink coffee and get out to the cold car and drive up the highway for an early breakfast in Ellenville with my dad and brother and sister-in-law, who have just arrived from Israel and suffering from their serious jet lag.
But first I have to write about the last few days with Jack as we worked together virtually, to take one more serious stab at our chapter that will soon become part of Troy Hick’s latest NWP collaboration- Assessing Students’ Digital Writing: Protocols for Looking Closely
The process of creation has been slow. Two summers ago we began together as a group of seven, taking turns on Google Hangout, sharing our student work using a variation of the the NWP protocol for assessment.
Sunday summer nights with great teachers was a breeze…
Troy was confident we had a book to write, chapters for each of us based on our student work session. Jack and I worked together on our chapter. Everyone else flew solo with Troy’s support. But very early on in this process, I knew I needed to have Jack with me, given that the work I would be sharing came out of a collaborative project with him. We knew we worked well together so this experience would be just a new adventure for us.
And it was!
The chapter writing was demanding. We talked a lot, read tech educators for inspiration and connection, we reinterviewed our student two years after she had created her digital piece that we were working with and used that documentation. Then we wrote together, separately, rewrote, got lost in our words, took breaks and brought Troy into our process more than once. We got feedback from our teacher team and rewrote again.
And then we were done with the draft and we waited for Troy to do his magic with the publisher. And he did! He worked on the intro and concluding chapter and finally, just last week we got the official word that we were now in the home stretch and we had one week for one last rewrite
and rewrite we did:
I read aloud, Jack worked the computer and together we transformed our chapter. I don’t know that I had ever before been able to really read it as one complete piece of writing. I saw my sections, Jack’s sections and mystery sections that could have been written by either one of us. I couldn’t tell.
Our final rewrite was pure dessert and now, in Jack’s hands, with a few minor links and permissions to acquire, we are DONE.
The birth of our book is coming…
I hope our team gets to meet up in real time for its send off into the world.
And this is the Gravy: a Facebook comment from Michele Simonetty, a great Special Ed teacher from Dover:
The photo of Matt and me in this link is my absolute favorite “work” photo! It’s from a time when work wasn’t “work,” instead it was a challenge and a joy! I am so proud of the work we did together that year!