This year I have the distinct pleasure of being the teacher of an amazing bunch of budding authors. I am surprised each and every day by their ability as readers and writers. I love to write myself so whenever I see a child showing real interest in writing I do my best to encourage him or her.
During choice time, my kids have been wanting me to put together "books" for them. I just fold and staple a few pieces of paper together for them to use to play author. Since it's been occurring at choice time, I've tried to stay out of it and just let them create for creativity sake.
Most of our serious writing happens in their "serious writing" journal during writer's workshop. This is where we pay close attention to our writing. Topic, punctuation, editing, spacing is all part of our serious writing time.
One little cherub came to me last week with a book she had created titled"Mrs Colins Fafrit Gob" biy Tinkerbell (obviously not her real name, although these days you never know!)
Now unless you're really good at reading kindergarten writing you might not know the real title of this book is Mrs. Collins' Favorite Job.
Kindergarteners, because they are just learning about letters, sounds and how words work, spell phonetically. Reading kindergarten writing is not always an easy task and I often have to have the kids read their writing back to me, but in Tinkerbell's case, I've seen enough of her writing to know what she's trying to spell.
She worked on this little masterpiece for the better part of a week. This book was so good, and so carefully illustrated, I had to encourage more. It didn't hurt that it was all about ME!
So Tinkerbell and I sat down together as she read each page. I was teary listening to her. She was so excited about her accomplishment. We talked about "book spelling" and how real authors edit their work to make sure things are spelled correctly and that they've use punctuation in all the right places.
After carefully checking the spelling of each word, we made our way to the computer lab where together we typed and printed the words.
I cut out the sentences and carefully glued them to the pages of a new book. Over the next week she re-illustrated her story. I let her choose her medium, paint, crayons, markers or colored pencils. She chose the pencils, took her time and came up with some amazing illustrations.
She is so proud of her book she asked me to make multiple copies for her Granny in England and her grandparents in "Vreemont".
I couldn't be more flattered that I was the subject of her book and more proud of the effort she put in to writing and illustrating it.