Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Writing and Erasing Do Go Together {Slice of Life}

Paper.  Pencil.  Time at the airport.  

It's been a long time since I wrote anything in length without a keyboard.  My longest paper pencil piece of late might just be - "Mom and the dogs are out for a walk."  I had clearly decided to leave my laptop home for this trip and knew I had an article idea to play around with.  I found a comfortable spot.  I pulled out my new notebook, my mechanical pencil, and started writing.

The writing was flowing and then I needed a revision.  I saw a need to use different words.  This was a brand new notebook.  I didn't want to cross out and keep going.  I tell my students this all the time.   I know it's okay to cross out and keep going.  I knew I should practice what I "preach" but  I was actually quite proud how neat my handwriting was and I didn't want to change that look.  My problem wasn't going away, my words needed to be revised and moved around.   I decided this was my notebook and I knew how I wanted it to look so I used the eraser to revise my words.  This felt very awkward to me.  I had to remind myself an eraser is like the backspace button on my keyboard.  I consciously decided to use my pencil eraser a few more times and was very pleased with the results.  I actually liked using an eraser.  My writing was still neat, my thoughts were clearer,  and the eraser had become a great tool to have.

This may not seem like a big writing decision; erase vs cross out, but it was a struggle.   I encourage my students to cross out and keep writing; it keeps their ideas flowing, focused, and the erasers are used up really quickly otherwise with plenty of led to be used.  I never get out the pink eraser blocks from my closet because it's one more thing to think about, keep track of, and I think writing decisions can be made too quickly because erasing is easy.  However, on this day my ideas kept flowing, they were focused and the eraser was helpful.  Maybe my classroom writers need erasers as an option beyond the one on the pencil that gets used up too quickly.  

Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers group for hosting our writing community and you can enjoy other slices from today by stopping by the link provided.  Thank you for stopping 


  1. I love your discovery--maybe all writers need erasers as an option beyond the one on the pencil that gets used up too quickly!

  2. Isn't it amazing what we learn about teaching writing by writing? I love that you were able to reflect about this.

  3. When a teacher writes, discoveries are made. :-)
    What an Aha! moment for you to take back to the classroom! Can't wait to read this article one day!