Why "Lay a Path"?

I love the metaphor "Laying a Path”--so we use it to label both online classes and curriculum. It is a bit long, so we shorten it: LAP. As in, crawl onto my lap and I will help you . . .

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When my kids were young, I joined a garden club, read Michael Pollan, and made a friend who loved to create children’s gardens. The theme of PATH kept coming up over and over again. Paths create interest. Paths are inviting. Paths give a sense of movement. Paths are systems of travel. Paths lead.

I don’t have a big yard, but it is an interesting yard. In part because one of the very first things I did for my kids was create a garden path. That simple little path became a great source of play, movement, and imagination. The moment the stones settled, my children began to move upon them. Their ages ranged from about 2-8 years, but each one (and their friends) walked that simple little journey multiple times a day. Each new visitor (even adults!) would see the path and immediately trot forward, even though all it provided was a little loop. There is something about stepping stones that invite and delight.

LEARNING SHOULD BE A PATH. We want it to invite and delight. But for a struggling learner, not all learning is inviting or delightful. So a path provides small steps--Bits and Pieces of success.

A learning path breaks each step into its own accomplishment, so the next step is less daunting. Figuring out the steps is what I have spent a lifetime developing with my students. Amazingly, I now see my path in full bloom. Before, I had my path laid out, surrounded by seedlings. But now, with Rooted in Language, this path is a botanical bounty! Here’s why:

Every idea has been and continues to be kid-tested. Every strategy we share with you has been proven effective. Kids have given us feedback and shown us results. Every strategy I share with my SLPs and tutor begins to morph in amazing ways.

Moira is constantly adding and tweaking my ideas and adding her own, teaching in ways I never imagined! Together our ideas hitch-hike along, resulting in a better journey for our students! Moira brings fresh eyes and further depth. Every time I see one of Moira’s ideas on Instagram, I think, “Wow! This is even better!”

Every strategy and idea is run through other creative minds. Claire sees every piece of language through both her creative writing head and artist’s eye. She turns multisensory learning theory into a multisensory experience! Claire shares her ideas and insights in our Write, Draw, Think curricula.

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Every idea and strategy is made visible and enjoyable by Tracy. Tracy is a playful artist who paints crazy flamingos and wild botanicals. She loves color! She combines splashes of fun with refined details. Without Tracy, I am a pile of post-it notes, full of only words and clip art. Tracy creates the product and builds each material, making my path to learning inviting for all of us

Before any product comes to you, we at Rooted in Language share our improved lessons (in steps that are visible and enjoyable) with our own students. We test out which visual aspects best convey the concepts we hope to teach, and we make continual refinements. Every product represents months in the making, and years in my practice!

Our newest curriculum, LAYING A PATH: ANNOTATING LITERARY ELEMENTS, is meant to be a long slow journey for your school year. It is meant to be inviting and playful.

Don't rush through these rich concepts. Instead, wander with your kids. Take your time.

Enjoy the colorful world of literature--both the texts we provide and the ones sitting on your bookshelves.

Add notes to text (annotate) in Bits and Pieces--all stepping stones to critical thinking and analytical writing.

Rita Cevasco