The part of my job that I love the most is working with students as the work to write books. Today I visited a first grade classroom to support a teacher as she was struggling to implement her writing workshop. As a district coach with my expertise being writing, I get to visit lots of workshops. Today's group was working on All About books.
I watched the mini lesson as the teacher and kiddos put together a Fun Facts page for their class book. The teacher sent them off to work with the challenge to write their own Fun Facts page if that was where they were with their own books. They all rushed back to their seats and began their books.
One little girl right in front of me didn't have a book. She simply sat there watching as the others began writing. Finally, the teacher got her a piece of paper and told her to make her list of things she knew a lot about. She worked on that for a few minutes taking time to grab a word from the class word wall. After a few minutes she had talked to the teacher and made up her mind about what her book was going to be about. She sat and wrote four words on her paper, looked up at me and smiled.
I couldn't help it. I motioned for her to come show me what she had written. It was four words about a dog..."black and white dogs are fun". I asked if she could sketch a dog. She went to her desk and took out her crayons. I knew that would take away from the actual "story" so I shook my head and said just draw. So she sketched two dogs and brought it to me. I asked her to tell me about the parts of the dog. She told me about the face, legs and tail. I drew a line beside where she had pointed. She went back and added the words to the pictures...labeling. My next question was: What do dogs eat, I wonder? She said, "Dog food." and rushed back to add that to the 'story'.
I just love watching kids realize they can write just like everyone else. She became a writer today! And the good news is, I get to go back on Thursday!!!!