Saturday, September 6, 2014

Nine Days Down with Kids!

As Friday, the 9th day of school, was ending, I told my writing classes how proud I was of them! Already they had done so much writing work. They had many small moments drafted into their notebook. They had picked one that was meaningful to them. They had drafted that one story out of the notebook. Then Friday they worked on being a reviser - they revisited the lead and many tried writing multiple leads to pick the one that they liked the best. Many found the heart of their story and revisited it to stretch it out. They added actions, inner feeling and sound words. So exciting to be a guide to Writing Workshop in a school where the kids have been learning in a workshop for their entire elementary experience. Now, as 5th graders, they respond so well to my guidance. I can't wait to go to work on Monday! I'll guide them to write a strong ending and edit and then publish with a celebration!

My co-teacher, who joins we three days out of six, brainstormed with me how the publishing party might go. I want to have a Symphony Share. But I really didn't want to "make" them take their messy draft and have to rewrite it to hang on the bulletin board. That task can cause some to hate writing. Together we decided that we'd let each student rewrite just their favorite part - maybe the lead, maybe the heart of the story, maybe the ending. And THIS will be made public on the bulletin boards! It is only 9:30am on a Sat and I have the last revision and editing lesson planned and I'm excited to go to work on Monday...yet I still get to enjoy the rest of today and tomorrow.

So far this year feels so different to me. FINALLY, I am in a school that values all I know about the teaching of writing learned over the past 6 summers at TCRWP! Planning is fun because I can draw from my past stories written and past lessons taught. But can also add new mentor texts and new responses to how the kids are writing. I like having a co-teacher to brainstorm with.

I still need to figure out how to strategically conference with students.
I still need to figure out how to document and use my conference notes.
I still need to know all 80 kid's names!

But for now, I'm going to celebrate the fact that I have found an amazing school where I get to confidently teach with a smart community of students, teachers, and parents.

And I got paid yesterday!!!
Life is good!

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