Celebrating in Third Grade

Last week in Third Grade we celebrated writers and the end of our first writing unit. Teachers organized a museum walk style share, giving students in all homerooms a chance to read personal narrative pieces authored by friends in other classes.

What did I notice?
I watched students move quietly from desk to desk, reading one another’s work- smiling, chuckling softly, gasping occasionally and writing responses.
I read notes to authors that included writerly words like lead and ending, detail, dialog and word choice.
I saw readers whisper to one another about the stories they were reading, building community and connecting.
I observed authors glancing  in the direction of their own pieces, looking carefully at the faces of their readers.
I saw sharing and learning and wondering.
I noticed readers looking over other comments, taking time to find something new to say about the piece they had just read.
I could feel the pride, vulnerability, excitement, admiration and respect in those classrooms among those writers.
I saw celebration.

As Ruth Ayres says at the end of her book Celebrating Writers,  “…we can make a choice to celebrate. There will always be an error, a refusal, an inadequate paragraph. Student writing will never be perfect. We live among the mess. We can choose to wallow in the doom. Or we can choose joy.”

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