On the day before Thanksgiving vacation, I had the opportunity to visit a fifth grade classroom. This time I was not there to watch the Writer's Workshop or the Reader's Workshop. Instead, I was invited to be part of the sharing of their Data Notebooks. This is something that their school periodically does. Each child shares with their parents, grandparents or special visitor what they have been doing all year and how they have kept track of it in their notebooks.
I arrived with a large group of parents and grandparents. Since I now know these children well, the teacher suggested that I come and take part in the event. Many parents were there, but Caleb's parents were not able to make it. I was honored to be able to listen to him share.
This fifth grader is a wonderful writer with lots of voice and a real sense of who he is as a writer. I had talked to him as he worked on a book for a graphic novel he was writing. I had conferenced with him as he worked on his informational text. At that time, he informed me that he was no longer writing graphic novels. He had moved on to something else.
I sat next to him and listened as he shared his binder full of data. There were pages about the character study he had done in reading. He was so proud of receiving an A+ on that one. He took me to the computer and showed me the list of books he had read this year. We looked at his ISTEP scores from last year and how he was improving on that. He shared his writer's notebook with me...full of the beginning of graphic novels. The stories were amazing. He writes with humor and you feel like he is talking to you in his writing.
As we talked about where he was going next with his writing, I couldn't help but remember reading the book: Guys Write For Guys Read by Jon Scieszka. In it are boy's favorite authors writing about being BOYS! The chapter by Dav Pilkey was what kept coming to my mind. I told Caleb, "You are just like Dav Pilkey, the author of Captain Underpants." In the book he tells about being eleven years old and writing a series called Water Man. Giving Caleb's teacher the website: www.Pilkey.com, I told her that Caleb could check it out for all the comics that Mr. Pilkey had written when he was Caleb's age. Hopefully, this will encourage him to continue to be the great writer he already is. Who knows, maybe we will be reading his books REAL soon!!!