Friday, January 3, 2014


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To write your mind is to create your story.

One of my New Year Resolutions is to write more...create.

I often tell my students that writing is simply putting down what you are thinking on paper. Writing can be about anything that is in your mind.  Writing can be recreating your day's story or creating a fantasy.  Writing is beautiful.

My students used to often say to me, "I can't write."  I tell them, "There is no I can't. What you think in your head, you can write.  Just say the word slowly to try to hear all the sounds in the word.  You can do it."  (By the way, I don't tell my students to just sound out the word, I find "say the word slowly to try to hear all the sounds in the word" is more directive and effective.)  

I love to see my students write their thoughts onto paper.  I love seeing them grow in their fine motor skills, spelling, sentence structure, grammar, and thinking.  The more my students practice their writing, the more confident they become in creating, dreaming, and sharing their stories, which is the goal.

However, the more I think about my writing, I've also realized that writing is difficult.  As an educator, I want to write to inform and inspire my readers, as opposed to writing (or "blogging") just to fill in space.  I want to create something that is worth reading because in today's world I know how valuable our time is in this infinite chaotic space that is the WWW.  

Being more selective and thoughtful in my writing is for me.  Writing for my young students is a completely different story.  

My first grade students this year, they write something every day.  They have writing journals that they write in every morning during morning work.  The writing prompts can range from what they did over the weekend, their reflection on a topic we learned, their thoughts on an event that happened, etc.  Beyond the daily writing journals we also create class books for our classroom library, which they love to read from.  

Like I said, writing is creating a story.  I'd like my students and their parents to look back in their writing journals at the end of the year and see the amazing growth they've made.  We started school in late August and the difference in their writing from beginning to present day amazes me.  Some of my students came to me with the emergent stage of writing (stringing random letters together to represent words) and within 4 months, they've past the transitional stage of writing (spelling words correctly by recognizing patterns) to the fluency stage of writing (writing in sentences resembling adult writing).  

I appreciate your time.  How do you get your reluctant students to write?  Please share your thoughts.  Thanks for stopping by.  

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