Saturday, December 8, 2007

It is a Workshop After All!

It has been a long time since I blogged. Life happens! It happens in rushes, it seems. But now, I'm back. Sometimes in my teacher-life things go by fast, but nothing earth shattering, or so it seems. This last week was different. So many little moments leaped out at me. Once again I thought, I HAVE to write! So this is my message board, my outlet to the world, my space to express my inner-most feelings about kids, teachers, and adventures in their lives.
My favorite experience happened in a kindergarten class. I love those babies. They are so fresh. They expect nothing from you except your attention and honesty. They give so much...hugs, smiles, and whatever is in their pockets at the moment. On this day we were going to work on basic stories. They had been reading a lot, but not their own stories. It was time to begin that. It is December after all!
I gave my mini lesson on how they read and listen to books all the time. They have stories, too. Say, why not write them like the authors do. I shared my story and wrote it for them on one sheet of paper. Didn't want to overwhelm them after all. Then I sent them out to write.
They scurried off to their tables and passed around the paper. They grabbed their pencils and began to sketch (not draw) their pictures. I went from table to table conferencing with these new writers. They didn't hesitate to begin. They all had stories. Stories about their pets, about the snow that had recently fallen, Christmas trees that had been put up the night before. They were great stories and they were eager to tell them.
But then I came to Bradley's table. Bradley had used the Magic Word of Story: ONCE on his paper. Then he had designed his picture. It was three stick figures. Two were larger that the other one. The smaller of the three was in the middle. There was a line running between all three of them.
"Tell me your story, Bradley," I said. He looked up at me with big, brown eyes.
"Well, Once I took a walk with my grandma and my grandpa, " he told me. I complemented him and then he looked up at me again.
"I need another paper," he stated.
"Okay, what do you want it for?"
"I have to add another page." I told him to go get it and he scurried off to find the paper.
Soon he came back with two more sheets of paper and began writing. As I watched, he added two figures to the second page and then three like the first page to the last.
"Tell me your story, Bradley," I said, while smiling with a heart full of pride.
"Once I went for a walk with my grandma and my grandpa." He turned the page. "Then grandma was lost. See, right here? She's gone." He turned the page. "Then she came back and we all held hands." He looked up and smiled.
He wasn't finished though. He started to search the room. When his teacher and I questioned him, he told us he now had to find scissors and a strip of paper. Why? Well, his book had to have a binder, didn't it?
Naturally, I had Bradley share with the class his book! Guess what most of the kids were making the next day! That is what workshop is all albout!!!! I LOVE IT!
I promise to tell you my other stories tomorrow!


Jen Barney said...

How wonderful that they are being such wonderful writers at an early age! Keep up the great work Kathy...

Sarah Amick said...

It was so nice to see you at Haley on Thursday, I was so inspiring to be there with others. Thank you for being a part of that!
Love the writing story. K are so much fun to see blossom.