It's March! That means that I am participating in the Slice of Life Story Challenge. I am happy to co-host this event with the team at Two Writing Teachers. Everyone is welcome!
Friday, March 26, 2021
Slice of Life- 26 of 31: These kindergartners are writers!
One by one, the kindergartners showed up on the screen in front of me. For the last several weeks, Maria and I have had the privilege of teaching them, this small group of students whose only elementary school experience so far has been through a computer screen. These six students have demonstrated a love of writing over the course of the year, and their teachers suggested that they have some additional opportunities. How lucky are Maria and I to get to work with them a few times a week! We've completed a poetry unit, and today was the final day of a three-week storytelling unit.
And tell stories they did.
A. told a story in which she took the perspective of a dog who wished that its owner would stop reading a book and play. As the dog, she included talk, feelings, and even a message about the importance of paying attention to the people in your world.
K.'s story was more like a fable, and we told him so. "What's a fable?" he wanted to know. Maria won't be with me for the final two weeks of their enrichment writing, and I promised him I'd bring examples on Tuesday when we meet again.
And V. V. is the quiet student who absorbs every word in a teaching point. By the end of the third session, we could see evidence of all that we taught, and now, this six-year-old writes stories that are filled with dialogue, thought bubbles, and an internalization and demonstration of craft moves. He doesn't always volunteer to share his stories, but when he does, he reads them with expression and fluency, drawing the others into the worlds he creates with confidence and competence. I admire both his humility and his ability to integrate all that we teach him.
In today's final lesson with Maria, we challenged the students to write independently for twelve minutes before having their sharing time. If they felt "done", there was a Jamboard of what they could do to keep going. And then the challenge Maria and I had was to let those twelve minutes go by, watching the heads down writing, the mouths moving with verbal rehearsal, and the reading and rereading that was happening through screens. Maria and I texted observations, and we voiced over all that we were proud of, in much the way we might have done sets of table compliments if only we were live.
And then, when Maria and I invited them to read their stories in their best loud and proud voices, we both felt tingles.