Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Slice of Life - Productive Effort

I'm in my ready position and my iPhone lens is carefully placed between fence lines to capture some early Sunday morning softball catching photos.  I wait for the play and before I know it, she's right in front of me!  It's not the picture I planned on capturing which unsettles me for a minute and then I realize what if she catches this foul ball, I better start snapping photos.  

Let's think about what was happening on the other side of the fence and pretend we are A.  

The pitch comes in.  
The batter tips the ball and it up, over, and behind me.  
I have to spin half way around.
I flip off my catching mask.
I turn my head to the sky in hopes of seeing where this yellow ball is.
I reach really wide in hopes of catching this ball for an out.
While flipping, looking, and reaching, I'm also moving my feet backwards and side to side.
I didn't catch that ball.
The batter got to try again.


After I capture a couple of "standard" catching photos I look back through my camera roll and see the photo above.  I love this different angle of the game.  I'm pretty proud of the quality of this shot with my iPhone6.  Then I get ecstatic!  I just captured productive effort!  A made her productive effort public.  Her coach was so excited and praising this productive effort.  

Productive effort are probably the two most important words for me in Who's Doing the Work? by Jan Burkins and Kim Yaris, which I shared yesterday.  I can't wait to share this photo and tell this story to my second graders as a productive effort mentor.  If you own the book, productive effort is discussed in the Chapter 2, Read Aloud.  

Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting this writing community and for encouraging us to live a writerly life.


  1. That is a fabulous photograph - what a great connection to Who's Doing The Work!

  2. Love seeing your daughter so serious & ready, Mandy. And the connection is true. Looking for examples of "productive effort" & naming them for the student will be a learning for both teacher & the student.

  3. Love the photo!! My son is a catcher -- it is a lot of work. Constant thinking, planning and reacting. Enjoy the season.


  4. I've been reading Who's Doing the Work and those words did not jump out at me. So I will be revisiting Chapter 2. So glad I have such a smart friend to help me find smart thinking. Great shot! I have a new 6s also, so maybe I will be able to find some great examples to share when I go to visit/babysit my granddaughter in 2 weeks.