Today was a gem, an ending to a fabulous summer that felt more like the departing season than the one we will greet tomorrow. In the spirit of the sunshine, my new writers and I sans notebooks, pencils, and for many, magnifying glasses, just in case. My charges were raring to go after a brief discussion about today’s idea gathering mission. Our first stop was a brief pause to soak in the sights and sounds of children enjoying a break from the classroom -our first pinch of seeds. For the next twenty minutes we strolled around the perimeter of the playground peeking into the patch of trees that borders the fields. Much to my delight most of the students were “into” it. We looked like we were part of task force gathering important evidence. “I see berries!” “Look at this bug with my magnifying glass!” “Oh no, someone left litter behind!” “I caught a butterfly!” “Listen to the crickets!” “Hmm, I think I saw a rabbit hop away.” This seemed to be working. I think they were getting it. When we returned to the classroom, we topped off our lists with final thoughts, starred the ones that we thought we could write about, and talked about the specific snapshots that might lend themselves to poems. Haikus and acrostics were recommended by two students. Heads were nodding at these suggestions. Too bad we had to get ready for dismissal. I can’t wait to read their notebooks tomorrow!