#SixSentenceStory Cracking the Code

six sentence story copy

On Sunday Denise revealed this week’s Six Sentence Story prompt word: “CODE”. Come Thursday she will, via her blog, GirlieOntheEdge, open up the link for sharing stories told in six sentences, no more, no less. Here I pick up from a recent episode featuring a recurring character, Telling.


Cracking the Code

Sofie and Marlie played while their moms had coffee and got caught up, for they all saw less of each other since Marlie started home schooling with her dad.

“Maybe I should just leave Sofie off here mornings instead of school; she’s been having a tough time in second grade, I thought it was because she was missing Marlie even though Marlie’s in first grade, but after that conference I think it’s more. Her teacher was talking in code- ‘decodes with multiple strategies, strong comprehension, reads above grade level norms’- telling me what I’ve always known about Sofie and her love of reading, but then she went into all Sofie’s problems with encoding; ‘inconsistent application of phonetic strategies, resistant to employing graphic organizers, minimal and stilted prose with assigned tasks’- finally came out and just said it- Sofie sucks at writing.”

“She did not say that I hope, and my gosh, Sofie writes beautifully, always has.”

“Well, Sofie is now convinced that writing means perfect spelling and a set number of sentences forced into cookie cutter paragraphs, and she no longer comes home excited about her day at school and she hates to write.”

As the girls galloped by, expertly lassoing wild mustangs for the ranch they’d started in the living room, one mom told the other that she thought her work at home husband might have room for one more student.

38 thoughts on “#SixSentenceStory Cracking the Code

  1. I love that Marlie is being homeschooled and that Sophie is about to join her. It’s sad that some teachers can’t see beyond the boxes that need to be ticked to the children who want to learn. This is my type of story. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I, for one, totally remembered: the Palmer method, yellow pads with dotted line in-between the solid and blue Lindy pens.
    Can’t say, unfortunately, that I recall any encounters with …writing writing.
    Jargon, the favored bastion of those so insecure to require a professional bodyguard (or would that be, ‘leg-breaker’?)
    Fun as always.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This really struck a chord. I was in college when a creative writing instructor told me my “style” of writing (poetry) “was dead, no one writes like that anymore”. At Sophie,s age, children are most impressionable. The stupidity and ignorance of some teachers can have a lasting impact on a child. I’m not a fan of canned, meant to sound intelligent, industry catch phrases especially when talking about 2nd graders. (gee, is this the start of a rant? LOL) I’ll stop 🙂
    Enjoyable story! I look forward to more installments 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Unfortunately, the only creative writing assignments I ever had in grades 1 – 12 were in writing poetry, and that was at a time when poetry was all supposed to rhyme. I suspect creative writing then was considered something one did in their free time, after school. The emphasis as far as writing was concerned was in writing legibly, spelling correctly, and using correct punctuation and sentence structure. Times have changed and a lot of it is for the better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Spelling, punctuation, etc are important, in my opinion, but are not the be all and end all, should not be confused with “writing”. Despite what I have written here, I do know that there is a lot of good stuff happening in classrooms, with children writing for a variety of purposes and finding their voice.


  5. Life, of course, is about both~creativity and rules~but not in a restrictive, stifling way. It gets me so plum loco when people give the impression that somehow the rules of orderly writing are bad. I hope, though, that Sophie gets a chance to learn about the rewards of both ingredients of writing

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Cookie cutter creativity. Often fostered by educators as it fits so neatly into the lesson planner. I am thrilled the teacher in your vignette voiced her concern, that says to me she is thinking outside the box, and I doubt I would remove my child from her classroom just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. As a single parent, I couldn’t home school, but I’ve often wished I could have. The school “system” to two of my three very bright boys and so destroyed their self confidence that they were lucky to graduate from high school.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you SO much for sharing this because it’s been really cathartically appealing to me. Seriously, in 6 sentences, you’ve summed up how the high school system is failing students no matter how much good it may do. The words to express my passion for this topic often seem to elude me; congrats to you skillfully doing exactly that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow. You are welcome, and thank you for your comments. I am gratified that my story resonates with you and at the same time sorry that it does. I wish schools could be a positive place for all students, certainly not a place where spirits and spark are crushed.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Pingback: Alpha #sixsentencestories | ShiftnShake

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