Slice of Life: Starting the Year Write

(This is for the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by Two Writing Teachers. We write on Tuesdays about the small moments in the larger perspective … or is that the larger perspective in the smaller moments? You write, too.)

Three weeks in and my sixth graders are already writing up a storm. We’ve done a short story prompt (using a map of imaginary land as setting for an adventure); explored characters in a short story read-aloud with evidence from the text; designed a treehouse in their writing notebooks; and now are working on sharing and explaining their aspirations for life in our Dream Scene project. We’ve composed with media on the computers and doodled in the margins of text on paper.

I like to come out of the gate with a lot of different kinds of writing. This allows them to enter as writers from various directions — not everyone loves open response analytical writing, not everyone loves writing fiction — and allows me to get a glimpse of where they are at with skills and imagination and basic writing skills.

Some of my young writers are already amazing me with their skills. Others, they are already worrying me, too. My role is try to help my students at both sides of that spectrum, as well as those in the middle, to move forward and make progress, and find joy in the act of writing.

And so the year begins.

Peace (in text and beyond),

  1. Inviting all writers in with all kinds of writing is such a wonderful way to begin sixth grade! “…find joy in the act of writing” YES! This. I LOVE this!!!

  2. This post made me smile at your creativity! I will share this with my teachers, too. Sometimes the curricular requirements seem overwhelming; maybe these ideas will lighten up their writing lessons.

  3. Hmmm just reading your post makes me think of some ideas for writing and makes me want to just sit in your class creating. Sounds like a wonderful start to your year of writing. Can’t wait to hear how all of them progress.

  4. This post makes me smile and wish I was in your class. I love the idea of getting students writing in any genre and then refining our craft!

  5. You are instilling a love of writing and an energy in your classroom that is not easy to create. Reaching both ends of the spectrum, as well as those in the middle, is a challenge. Reading about how things are going in your classroom brings me back to my teaching days when I taught English as a Second Language: I wanted to reach them all and had to believe that I could to keep the momentum going. Sounds like your kids are off to a good start.

  6. Your classroom must be one of the most inviting places for writers! I love how you want all different kinds of writing from different angles! I love how you know, because you are a writer, that not everyone loves a particular type or style of writing! I can only imagine where kids will be able to take their ideas, their stories, their writing with you as their model and guide! Thanks for sharing!

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