|Day 10 of 31 posts for the Slice of Life Story Challenge hosted by the team at Two Writing Teachers, Stacey, Tara, Dana, Betsy, Anna, and Beth. |
Head over to the link up for seconds or to serve up your own slice!
It's been a long, good day, so today's slice of life shares four quick bits of fantastic.
2. Amazing students who are willing to work along side me as we practice writing analysis. Today was the day to reboot our reading journal writing. I demonstrated how to analyze word choice. I wanted students to practice with a short, whole text, so I used a poem and gave them the same option. Some used poems they have chosen to memorize. Some wrote to analyze how the authors' of their independent reading books used word choice to communicate theme or express an attitude (tone). I assessed three of the five classes immediately after the practice--tomorrow I will assess and confer with the others. Sticky areas, ideas that are still causing confusion: mood versus tone, word choice versus other literary devices, theme (statement) versus topic (single word).
3. We signed my son up for high school! Tonight was a registration meeting for students joining the IB program. I loved that some of my current students were working the evening program. They helped direct people to the meeting and stayed to answer questions that potential students and parents had--leadership, learning, connecting across the grades. The Big Kahuna met us at school and went out for burgers afterwards.
4. We got home after eight, but for the first time in quite some time, Collin asked me to read a paper he'd written and give him feedback. It's his research paper for social studies and English class. His teachers teamed up to teach the research process (love!).
I asked him what sort of feedback he needed and he told me straight up: editing--punctuation, capitalization, that sort of stuff. I pushed Collin to write when he was young, too young probably. I was a bit over zealous. We "wrote" a few mornings a week in our journals between kindergarten and first grade. One summer, maybe between first and second, we kept artifact journals and wrote about the bits we collected. It may have been too much too soon for a kid who did not like to color and wasn't sure which handed he was.
He wrote a lot in fifth grade though. Narrative and expository pieces. Lots of drafts and revisions. His teacher had attended writing institutes with Lucy Calkins in New York City the summers before she had Collin. Great writing growth that year and since. Still, I only read what he wrote in fifth grade when I was volunteering in the classroom. And then, I read everyone's work.
So, no matter that it has been a long, long day. No matter that I have driven my hundred miles and graded a set of essays and more than fifty reading journals. He asked.
He shared the paper with me on Google Drive and we agreed on my using suggestions. He's writing an informational report on the D-Day invasion--his first ever research paper. He grabbed his laptop and sat across the room to accept, revise or reject my suggestions as I made them. I suggested a comma here or there and corrected some capitalization, but boy, his writing is clean. The Big Kahuna watched from the couch--I think he was amazed Collin and I were working in the same document.
I am so proud of how he has grown. We had a talk about citing sources, and I suggested he build more references into his sentences (in text or in parenthesis).
I am so impressed with his interest in the subject and his ability to synthesize all he has learned about it. He wrote onto the seventh page (that is a lot of writing!) and he correctly created a Works Cited and a Works Consulted page -- something his teacher taught him how to do.
My English teacher self wanted to stand up and cheer but the Mom in me just grinned and told him how proud of him I am. I can't believe he's starting high school next year--but I'm not afraid either, because he's ready.