Thank you Ruth Ayres for encouraging us to end our weeks with a celebration and hosting us each week here.
What a week it was for writing in our school.
Kindergartners wrote I Am Thankful books, working hard to stretch out their words, plan and create drawings to match their text, and use the word because to explain their thankfuls. I am always awed by how hard Kindergarten writers work to form letters, hear sounds, think through their thoughts and put it on the page. And there is nothing better than seeing the grin of satisfaction that spreads across their faces when they sit back, look down at the page and practically shout, “See? Do you see what I did? Isn’t it an amazing miracle?” The pride of young writers inspires me daily.
First graders dug into their all about books, planning carefully what to write all about, what to put on each page of their books, and what to label on their drawings. They are studying mentor texts and keeping expert lists. I’m pretty sure I am going to learn all about a lot of topics.
Second graders celebrated by sharing their small moment stories, proudly displaying books that were revised, edited and beautifully illustrated. Administrators and teachers gathered with small groups of writers to listen to, admire and talk about their stories. The best moment for me? When one writer looked at another and remarked, “Hey, you did a Jane Yolen there.” And the writer smiled and looked back at the commenter almost as if to say, “Of course I did.”
Third graders launched a personal narrative unit and it was great fun to see how much they remembered about narrative writing from last year. They are full of ideas and ready to learn how to write a strong lead, how to incorporate dialogue and how to show not tell in their writing. Watching them play around on the page, writing different kinds of leads, was so exciting. I thought about Lucy Calkins telling us at one of the June Writing Institutes to treat their writing like gold, to respond in a way that fills the writer with confidence and encourages them to keep going.
Fourth graders are nearing the end of their realistic fiction unit and when I worked with one class this week and we did a quick check in, I almost got goosebumps as we went around the circle, sharing quickly where we were in our work, and I heard words like “revising to explain better” and “adding scenes after the climax of my story” and “going back to write stronger verbs.” Their stories are so good, just like the fiction they are reading for pleasure- full of things that could happen and interspersed with details that closely mirror events in their own lives. Sadness, suspense, joy, friendship problems, victories on the soccer field- it’s all there. I can hardly wait for the finished products.
What a week it was for writers in our school!