Maybe, it was one of the best weeks of the year. Maybe, we are getting somewhere. Maybe, I won’t completely lose my mind this year. Maybe.
Any week when I give myself a break from Lucy Calkins is like adding an hour of free time to every evening. Of course, that hour quickly gets filled up with everything else. I like the Units of Study, but I don’t mind at all taking days off from all the reading required to prepare for those lessons.
This week, we made anchor charts for responding to reading with a sketch/drawing, book review, and story mountain. My students held up their end of the bargain–I was able to confer with 18 students, three more than our goal. So next week 2/3 of them will get to choose how they respond to their reading for the week. I’m glad the class was able to do it. I’m looking forward to seeing how students use their new choices. I’m nervous about the weeks that we don’t meet my minimum conference requirements.
In writing, we finally had a sharing day. Six students turned in a published story for inclusion in our Volume 1 anthology. The stories weren’t the best–one was entirely dialogue, the rest had essentially no dialogue–but the class loved them and the writers enjoyed the attention. I think it will motivate students to work harder and more quickly on their writing–a lot of them will want to share next time. Hopefully, students will also be motivated to revise and improve their own writing after hearing what their classmates are trying.
The dialogue-heavy story is a good example. The author wrote some really wonderful dialogue–very natural, very funny–and read with wonderful expression. I think it will lead more students to try to imagine natural dialogue and put it into their stories. I need to meet with the author separately to talk about including setting, action, etc., but it was great for him to share and for students to hear.
Next week, we will commandeer Reading and Writing Workshop to work and prepare for student-led conferences, which start on November 21. I’m busy grading on-demand writing so that students can have time to reflect and set goals and think about what they want to talk about with their parents. I’m curious what they will say. We’ll be spending some time learning about having a growth-mindset.
I’m glad you’re with me.