Love, Laughter, and Literacy… All in Writer’s Workshop

There wasn’t always this much joy in Writer’s Workshop.  I remember our first team meeting (called MTI), back in September.  We were talking about our classes and I shared that I felt my class was filled with terrific students, but that I hadn’t found their passion yet.  During work time, kids just didn’t seem excited.

About a month and a half into school we had to skip Writer’s Workshop to go to an assembly.  When I told the kids, they kind of made their whiny booing noises and looked very upset.  I thought that maybe they didn’t really understand that the assembly was going to be something they would enjoy.  As I was describing the assembly, trying to convince them that it would be fun, one of the boys said, “We know, but we don’t want to miss writing!”

I felt like I’d won the lottery!

Well, last week Mr. Snyder was our substitute.  He was in for someone else today, and stopped by to say hello.  While he was here, he said, “I’ve been in a lot of classrooms, and I’ve never seen a class as excited to write as yours.”  What a compliment!

It’s true.  These guys LOVE Writer’s Workshop.  The joy really began once they realized that there is really no fear in writing, that it’s totally fun to tell your own stories, and that they get to make real books. Yes, there is work involved, but it’s rewarding and the process is enjoyable which doesn’t feel much like work.

The kids love spreading out though the classroom too.  A few kids will get to work in the Art Center in the hallway and a few more will get to work at the round table in the classroom.

If they need help with something, they ask a friend.  There is lots of chatter, but it’s usually related to writing.  I try to meet with individual kids during this time.  My goal is to help move them to the next level, whatever that may be.  Sometimes a student might need help with elaboration, and other times it might be a mini-lesson on where capitals go in our writing.  The kids are all at different stages in their writing development, but they are ALL fabulous writers.

Right now, there is a lot of buddy writing going on.  My boys, especially, love to bounce ideas off of each other.  Star Wars stories have become a hot topic.  In kindergarten, I generally lean toward asking kids to focus on personal narratives in their storytelling.  If first grade, I’m really going with the flow and letting them discover their passion.

If you walk into my classroom during Writer’s Workshop you will certainly see three things:
There’s love.
There’s laughter.
There’s literacy.
I’m a happy teacher!

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