Saturday, February 19, 2011

W is for Writer

Anyone who truly knows me knows I love to write, so it's only natural that as a teacher I want to foster the love of writing in my students.

This year I've stumbled upon an amazing bunch of budding authors. I'm not sure why this year is any different than past years, could it be our new reading program, is it my brilliant teaching, or just natural talent? I'm willing to bet it's a little bit of all of that...teaching brilliance aside.

Whatever the reason, I've really enjoyed watching them become more and more confident in their writing ability.

When the year began I gave them each a journal and explained that it was theirs to do with what they wanted. They could scribble, draw or write. It belonged to them and I was not going to tell how to use it. I only asked that they take it out at least once each day, usually after snack time and do something with it.
I had the scribblers and the name writers. Some who copied the alphabet off the wall day after day, some who drew only pictures of flowers or rainbows, but then I had a handful who put pencil to paper and came up with some nice little journal entries. Two little girls filled each page and asked for a new journal which I was more than happy to give them.

When we came back from winter break I decided it was time to get serious. So twice a week I sit down with a small group and write. "Tinkerbell" calls it "Serious Writing Time" and the name works so we stick with it. This is where we really think about what we want to write about, we pay attention to spaces between words, capital letters and punctuation. We don't worry so much about spelling, that will come in time.

I gave each child a new journal and was sure to take one for myself. I told them that one of my favorite things to do is to write because I can write what I'm thinking. It helps me get my feelings out when I'm feeling happy or sad. I told them that sometimes I write about my family or my best friend. Sometimes I write about a dream I had or a place I've been or I'd like to visit. I told them that I would be writing with them during Serious Writing Time. Not only because it's something I love to do but because I want to be a good example to them.
Some Very Serious Writing Going On Here!

They were very excited to get started so we did some brainstorming and decided a favorite animal would be the topic of the day.

I have writers of all levels in my classroom, some are still struggling a bit, putting only random letters on their papers with a name or a sight word mixed in here and there, and some are really taking off sounding out words with very little help from me. I am amazed with all of them and their commitment to becoming Serious Writers!
I hope you are as amazed as I am!


Mrs. Pearce said...

Wonderful writing!

I would like to recognize you with the "Stylish Blog Award." Thanks for having such an awesome blog and sharing your love of teaching!

Jan Pearce

Gina said...

Wow, I love your writing style and it's fun to read your blog. I too teach little kinders and I was just noticing their writing skills improve greatly. I have done writing journals too since the beginning of school. I also started home journals with one writing prompt 3 nights a week. For the parents, I sent home a detailed handout for them to understand what is expected at this age and how they can help (or not help too much). This grade is so awesome b/c the kids make such a big leap from the beg. of the year. Cheers to you for doing an awesome jog! WAY TO GO, TEACH!


Anonymous said...

Very nice post. It's fun to encourage beginning writers! You might like to check out the work of Matt Glover Take a look at his Already Ready and Engaging Young Writers. You may be surprised to see what can happen when you release them from journals and invite them to make books using little booklets of paper.