May I brag for a moment? Our Second graders are fantastic writers. They also have amazing teachers who, this year as we’ve transitioned from the old Units of Study to the new grade specific curriculum, embraced the challenge of teaching two all new, very different units. Teachers introduced the new units, willingly rode out the hurdles, tweaked or making notes about future tweaks as they gone through each new unit this first time.
I’m only in their classrooms once a week, so you might think my hurrahs about the leaps that are happening are overdone. They aren’t. I’ve watched and conferred with and listened to and read their work since these writers were in Kindergarten. And I’m telling you- they have taken off.
In early winter, teachers introduced scientific writing, teaching their writers how scientists record, report about and reflect on experiments. (They also taught them how to design simple experiments.) Second grade writers embraced this new kind of information writing, and we saw a spark in a few reluctant writers that we’d never seen before.
But then, THEN, teachers introduced the writing about reading unit. Writers are learning the craft of persuasive writing, as they write letters convincing other readers to read certain books. And wow. Just wow. I’ve been watching the momentum build over the last few weeks, but today was extra special.
Today I noticed incredible growth. I found myself stopping the whole class for just a moment to say things like, “Writers, I am amazed by the volume of your writing. Do you know what volume means?” Or, “Wow, your writing is fabulous, and I can read it so easily, and you’ve helped me as a reader by putting punctuation and capital letters in places that give me clues about how to read your work.”
While conferring, I found myself saying to writers things like, “Listen, this is terrific. You have got the idea of persuasive writing. I love your word choice.” I am not kidding when I tell you I saw words like “predicament” and “hilarious” and “riveting” in their pieces. And then I found myself turning to writers and saying, “I’d like to give you a tip. Are you up for a challenge? Because the thing I’d like to teach you is really more like a Third or Fourth grade writing tip.” Needless to say every single writer I said that to nodded fervently and embraced the challenge I then presented.
I wish you could read what they’ve written. I was so focused on getting around to as many writers as I could that I didn’t even stop to take pictures.
Thank you for letting me brag about our Second grade writers and their amazing teachers.