Writing surprises.. this is why I help students write

sols_6Ok – if you have not followed me this year and I am guess most of you have not.  Here is the down and dirty.   I have two classes  one morning 5 th grade literacy/science and one afternoon 4th grade literacy/science.  It has been one of those years you do not want to repeat.   High poverty, low skills, and in March we are still working on what it means to be a student.

BUT – we began the SOL writing challenge and I proclaimed we would write.  My classes are on day three since we started on Monday.  ( No school on March 1st – conferences) They yelled and complained about writing on day one but here is what I found today –

  • 4th grader writing about our new pea plants –  “it was small and the root and the plant was sprouting out like a little person trying to get out of the ground.”    Did you notice the simile?    
  • 5th graders moved quickly to writing after media, the room was silent with a timer moving to minute 19 when one student goes up to sharpen his pencil, at the very noisy sharpen and several students looked up and all said NO!  REAllY!   He very quietly returned to his seat and went back to writing.
  • 5th grade girl wrote about her feeling lost since her older brother has a new girl friend and he no longer comes home to talk with her and play games.  She was wondering what she had done wrong and how to make friends with him again.
  • 4th grade big time behavior student asked for a new notebook – he had thrown his other one away and would only write on line paper that he has thrown away everyday. Today he wanted to be sure his “writing was not lost.”   He asked if I would take care of it.

Not sure what is happening but the daily routine of quiet writing is opening a new space in my students thinking about writing.  The idea of a challenge to work towards is making a difference in a way I see but do not fully understand.

I also note that difference in myself.   I was writing the Tuesday’s post but falling off as winter came in but here I am working hard each night to be sure there is a post on line.

Writing surprises – amazing what a challenge will do for us!

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About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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2 Responses to Writing surprises.. this is why I help students write

  1. Kelly Mogk says:

    I love what your kids are doing with their writing and your reflection! I’m in a new district this year and teaching two sections for the first time — both 4th grade reading, writing, and social studies. Wow, it’s fast paced. And yes, we’re still learning how to be students, too. I love these kids to pieces, and the writing they share now that we’ve been doing morning writing for a while is unreal. I see so much of my own day in what you share here. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wilcox Carol says:

    So great to see all the positive changes that writing Slices is bringing about. If they have moved this much in one week, I can’t wait to see what they will be like at the end of the month. And I love the simile!

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