Friday, July 20, 2012

Daily 5 Chapter 6 Part 2

Hello Kinder Friends,
Let's talk about writing. Work on writing is a Daily 5 choice where children get to work on writing of their choice alone or with a partner. While working on writing children get to practice writing on something that matters to them. Let's face it, here choice is motivating. Over the last several years when talking to teachers about the Daily 5, I have heard that a lot of teachers skip Work on Writing because they already have a Writer's Workshop in place and because of lack of time. I will admit I have been one of those teachers until now...

Just the other day I was asked about being a writer and what that meant to me. I was puzzled because I really did not see myself as a writer. I just never really looked at it that way. I blog and so I am considered a writer...hmmm. My blog is just an extension of my journaling which I have done my entire adult life. So I guess I AM a writer. The truth is that I have always loved to write BUT I never viewed myself as a good writer so I kept that to myself. I was also asked when I discovered I liked writing. I discovered I liked writing in high school. I never liked writing for grades or for papers because I was not a confident writer. In one of my classes in high school, I had a teacher who gave us Take Home Journals. We could write about anything we wanted but we had to write something. The rules were simple. We were not graded on our writing we just had to write. We would turn in our writing and we would get a response from the teacher. These responses were very personal and motivating to someone who loved to write. And as a student it was a very wonderful experience to be free from the worry of a grammatical error and judgment. In that Take Home Journal I discovered I loved to write...and I still do.

As I was organizing my home office the other night, I discovered one of my old journals. I sat back and read it. I was kind of amazed that I could see that I had grown as a writer. I could see it in my own writing. I kind of had the same reaction as my own students do when I pass out their first writing samples on the last week of school. Sometimes old writing is hard to look at especially when you have changed and grown so much that even you can see the difference... This experience made me think and wonder why I would not give the gift of writing to my children just as it was given to me. After all, I wouldn't be writing this post if it had not been for my high school teacher. Maybe I would have never discovered that I loved to write. And sometimes writing has taken me to places that my own voice just couldn't. In so many areas of my personal and professional life, my love of writing has taken me down paths I might never have been...

In order to become a better writer we simply just have to write. As Ralph Fletcher says, "You don't learn to write by going through a series of preset writing exercises. You learn to write by grappling with a real subject that truly matters to you." So in Kindergarten, working on writing looks like:

Writing about a favorite book-persuasive writing.
Writing a letter to a pen pal or family member-self expression.
Reports on a favorite event or topic-non fiction writing.
Making lists-life skills and real world applications.
Poetry-creative writing.
Book Making-discovering the roles of the author and illustrator and learning to view yourself as an author.

In the Daily 5 framework, Work on Writing is simply sustained writing of choice. I know what you are thinking. Just like me you are probably thinking of the materials, the storage and the space for Work on Writing. Why not start off small? Wouldn't it be better to start off small than to wait another year to inspire some great writing? As I was participating in the Playful Learning book study, I learned something called...the invitation. I will share more about that in the coming weeks but for now the invitation is what invites a person to explore. I really connected with the invitation because it is something I have been doing for myself for as long as I can remember. Let me share with you My Writing Invitation.

This is My Writing Invitation and the reason is that it inspires me to write. I might only write a note to remember to write something or an important date or a to do list but it inspires me to write because it has my tools and it has my favorite Mary Engelbreit journal in it. And for me, if it gets written down it turns into reality...most of the time. So, what will your Work on Writing Invitation be? A Pen Pal Invitation to Work on Writing with a container full of stationary, envelopes, neat pens, pictures and names? Or will it be something else? You see, Work on Writing never seemed so simple or so much fun! You will have to let me know what creative ideas you come up with for your Invitation to Work on Writing. Be sure and let me know!

Kreative in Kinder
Hop on over to my friend at Kreative in Kinder and see what other teachers are saying!


School Sparks Renee said...

Love the idea that writing means writing about something that really matters to you! I think we forget that sometimes. Renee

Mrs. Wright said...

Thanks for sharing, I am sooo happy to find your blog. I am your newest follower.

First Grade Journal

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