The week began with treats and writing celebrations – a fitting way in which to mark Halloween.
At the end of our sharing time, my students collected their compliments and stapled them to their published pieces, and the room was silent for a while. Writers read what other writers thought about their work:what went well? what needed work? could you identify the “so what?” This led to conversations, and quiet self discoveries about how to be clearer in what we mean to say, and how to value each other’s voice.
Then, they collected their drafts, and the copies of their many revisions to create “work” folders. “Wow,” I heard more than one student say, “we put so much work into this.” Because, yes, over the last few weeks, we have been working hard to make our writing what we hope it can be, what we are learning it can be.
Today, as I begin the process of assessing this work, I see before me stacks of published pieces, work folders, and an open computer screen which reveals 42 writing folders in our writing workshop Google Classroom. Each folder contains narratives that went back and forth between my kiddos and me: comments shared, resolved, argued over.
Writing well takes time, effort, frustration and resolve. Writing is hard work. My kiddos have just begun their sixth grade journey of writing, and there is much ground to be covered…but today I will put off the business of assessing, and be content to simply honor their hard work.