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Preview: Reluctant Writers’ Self-Reflections

I’ve been going through some of my former students’ end-of-year self-assessments in writing (adapted from Buckner’s Book Notebook Know-How) that were completed in June 2007. I’m doing this to find just a couple of good quotes about the way that my reluctant writers transformed, in their own eyes. Here’s what the most reluctant of the reluctant writers said about themselves at the end of their fifth grade year:


    Student A: In the beginning of the year I would describe myself as being distracted in writing and not wanting to write.
    Student B: I was terrible and all I did was rush.
    Student C: Not so good because I didn’t know what to do in my writer’s notebook.
    Student D: Well in the beginning I thought I was the worst writer ever.
    Student E: I don’t think I was a very good writer. I couldn’t really write in-depth.
    Student F: I would say that I didn’t really have my work planned-out and I needed my partner’s help a lot.


    Student A: Now I describe myself as wanting to write.
    Student B: I am an amazing writer. I flow. I understand myself because of writing.
    Student C: Very good because now I know what to do and how to use my writer’s notebook.
    Student D: Now I say I got better at writing since September. I think I write better entries.
    Student E: I think I have grown very much as a writer. I can work on editing. I am much better now than in the beginning of the year.
    Student F: I can say that I mastered writing. I understand what the difference between revision and editing is. My writer’s notebook has helped me immensely because I could write down ideas whenever they came to me.

  • What to choose… what to choose to show the transformation… And these are just the most reluctant of the bunch I taught that year!

    Stacey Shubitz View All

    I am a literacy consultant who has spent over a decade working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grade K-6, I'm a former fourth and fifth-grade teacher so I have a passion for working with upper elementary students.

    I'm the author of Craft Moves (Stenhouse Publishers, 2016) and the co-author of Jump Into Writing (Zaner-Bloser, 2021), Welcome to Writing Workshop (Stenhouse Publishers, 2019), and Day By Day (Stenhouse, 2010).

    One thought on “Preview: Reluctant Writers’ Self-Reflections Leave a comment

    1. I really like this idea. I have my students answer metacognition questions at the end of each essay to answer a few questions about their process; however, doing it at the beginning and end of the year and looking at them as a “whole writer” is great.

      Thanks for sharing.


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