The link above takes you to a wonderful site full of author journals for your perusal (via Storyshack). Having a look at these inspiring tomes and the one above from Mini Grey really made me think about the importance of allowing our children to explore and ponder. We expect them to able to write and be creative to a particular standard but sometimes don't give them the time nor the space to do so. I 'm guilty of that as a teacher as much as the next person. Sometimes we expect our children to make something look neat and lovely before giving them a chance to really THINK, explore and therefore truly learn.
At the last Ofsted inspection I remember having a conversation with the inspector who commented upon our ICT provision and said it needed to be much more part of what the children were doing every day not just in the ICT suite which the school was built with at the time. He talked about the fact that children and their families were very used to using all sorts of technology to find out and communicate these days and we had to mirror that in schools-that was in 2010!2013 sees many more adults and children owning touch screen phones, I pods etc and many schools are matching those experiences because we do indeed need to acknowledge what is at the children's finger tips daily and incorporate into active learning.
So when we are being creative and thinking do we give our children the same chances. Authors, artists, creators jot down ideas constantly. Chris Powling (author of 'The Mustang Machine) came to talk to one of my first classes about how he worked. They were a very hard to please Year 6 class but were enthralled by his talk. He produced a little notebook he always carried around where he wrote interesting things including names of children he'd not used in his books before. Sketchbooks/journals whatever you want to call them are more vital than we think for our children to be able to explore ideas and sketch things out. They create an ethos which is very important in this day and age around being able to try and get it wrong.
Many, many children (and it seems families too)are so concerned about getting it right first time it is stopping real learning and finding out. How many maths lessons have you had when you've seen children afraid to explore number and calculations for fear they'll put down something that's wrong? How many literacy lessons have you delivered where children are sitting with a pencil unable to write down anything and make a start because it might not be right. It's very difficult to create something then.
We do need to let our children ponder and muse more.....let their thoughts and doodles help them see pathways into their learning. Provide space where they can do this. Make their own books and journals to fill with their ideas to inspire now AND later. You can't expect children to be creative without giving them fuel for their creations. Look at how the authors in the link work. Do you think JK ROWLING came up with Harry Potter in one sitting with no revisions?? If we don't allow our children to journal and think in their own books we're being unrealistic about what they can truly achieve.
Jottings, journals, notes, sketches, doodles, thoughts, mind maps, pocket notebooks.: PLEASE can see them in schools, passed up from class to class to keep those little things in that one might forget otherwise OR notebooks on I Pods, folders on computers....it doesn't matter where so much as keeping those details, remembering the small things for BIG INSPIRATION.