Celebrate with Ruth Ayres Writes …. because we need to celebrate moments in our lives every chance we get.
Phase one of our nonfiction writing unit concluded with a lovely writing celebration. My kiddos cleaned out their writing folders, which were jam packed with drafts and notes and research, and happily stuffed everything into their writing portfolios.
What next? they asked.
Freewriting! I answered.
Instant pandemonium. Instant celebration and delight.
Although my students know that their writer’s notebooks are theirs to fill with any kind of writing, they also know that our workshop year moves from unit to unit, and our workshop week follows the predictable routine: mini lessons followed by writing and conferring time. Free writing time is something else. Free writing follows every writing unit; it’s a time without mini lessons or mentor texts or any of the other “stuff” we fill our regular writing weeks with. Free writing is 100% freedom to create whatever my kids want to write about in whichever fashion they choose and about anything they have an itch to scratch.
They love it.
Here’s what they created this week:
*joke books complete with illustrations
*new chapters for epic adventures in worlds of fantasy and in a certain dystopian middle school out in a galaxy far away (whose plot line I have given up understanding)
*short stories that only middle schoolers can invent
*an advice book
*a book of excuses for “lost” homework
*super secret writing projects folded into four and placed in a writing folder marked: PRIVATE! BUTTTT OUTTTTT!
All week, all around me, there was joyful writing. I celebrate that!