Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Writing Yardstick

measuring up, Suzanne

We are writers!  Everyday, we've had great conversations about sentences- What choices did the author make? Why?  We've taken cool structures and applied them to our own writing.  We have written, and written, and written some more!  

BUT...

We didn't start off that way.  It's important to consider the journey your kids have made (with you at the helm).  One great way for students to recognize and take pride in their accomplishment is by writing about it.

My campus has writing folders.  These are supposed to house key pieces of writing produced throughout the year.  Likely a far better teacher than I neatly filed these essays in a timely manner.  I, on the other hand, have these compositions haphazardly stacked upon stacked in a chair in the corner.  This week, we are going to sort and file this writing.  Why should I have all the fun when I've got 17 ready and willing helpers?!  (That's right folks- my class size is 17! I have appreciated it every. single. day.)

At the front of their folder, I want to include a reflection on writing.  We're going to follow Gretchen Bernabei's Story of my Thinking structure: 

Writing can be intimidating.  Allow students to think back on the preconceived notions they brought in to this school year.  Maybe they've always love writing.  That's perfect!  They can talk about that and reflect on how they've grown or skills they've strengthened.






Here is the perfect spot for students to think about skills and strategies we've practiced that really clicked with them.  What made the the biggest impact on your writing this year?  Pitchforks?  Writing structures? Comma Rules?  The more the merrier!






At the end of the school year, how do your students feel about writing and themselves as writers?  This is the money shot.  It is rewarding to see opinions that have changed throughout the year.  You did it!  You built a strong foundation for these writers and allowed them to see themselves as writers.  Bottle up that feeling and enjoy it as you finish out your school year! 


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