Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Writers' Circle (Writers' Club) ~ Pear/Cheese Pizza Side Dish

What's Cookin'?

I vaguely remembered seeing a recipe with pears and brie cheese on a pizza crust but couldn't find it when I finally had some pears (I think it was in a cheese making book because I've been reading several of those lately).  I searched online and found a few recipes but ended up doing my own thing.

- Your favorite homemade pizza dough (enough for 1 pizza)(oil to lightly oil the dough once it's on the pan)
- 3 pears (sweet but still firm)
- About 1/2 C sliced, shredded, or crumbled cheese (a sharp cheese works well for this - I used raw Swiss which is really sharp)
- Honey

- Spread out your pizza dough.
- Lightly oil the dough (you could brush it but I just smeared it with my fingers).
- Peel the pears and slice into very thin slices.  Put all over the pizza in a single layer.
- Crumble the cheese over the pears (or place slices or sprinkle shredded cheese).
- Drizzle honey very lightly over the top.
- Bake according to pizza dough directions (mine was 400F for 18 minutes).
- Enjoy!

What's Schoolin'?

I had an inspiration over the weekend that has me *finally* excited about writing this year.  Our move affected many things (4 houses within 3 months can do that!) - a major "thing" being my school organization, teaching, focus, follow-through, energy, and plain umph (that's way more than one thing!).  Writing has been more haphazard than I would like at this point in the year even though they are writing for pleasure and using writing for a purpose in other subject areas (book reviews should be coming soon!). I even picked up a Spectrum Writing workbook for youngest dd the other day at the store... and later put it back.

Teaching a writing class right now as we are still settling in to our new town and *I* am still adjusting just wouldn't be a smart move.  However... I CAN host a once-a-month Writers' Club!  I'm thinking of calling it Writers' Circle instead so it doesn't seem exclusive (although I'll just start out with a few families and see how it goes).  This would just be a low-key, unstructured (well, more of that in a minute), safe, social place for the children to share writing pieces.  It can be works in progress, completed works, short works, long works, poems, pleasure writing, literature responses - basically anything the child wants to share with the group.  I got jazzed just thinking about it :).

Regarding structure... The beauty of it would be that it would fit a variety of ages, learning/teaching styles, programs (or not!), and can serve different purposes for different children/families.  That said, there WILL be a few ground rules.  First and foremost only positive responses to other people's writing.  I'd like to incorporate the Reading Response aspect of Writing Workshop.  In the Nancy Atwell model (In the Middle: New Understandings About Writing, Reading, and Learning), after a child reads his or her work the others respond with "I like the part...." and ask a question.  This helps build self-esteem in writing and assists in the most difficult stage in writing: revision.  We may just do this for those who are still in the draft stage or we may do it for all.  I'm still formulating the details.  Most likely I'll see how it's working for the children and just make the call as we go along.

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