Part of the reason I took a blogging break last week was because I was in San Diego presenting with some of my former classmates and instructors at the AERA Conference. We presented the action research projects we did while we were at Teachers College before an audience of professors. It was exciting to think about the action research we accomplished as graduate students since doing action research as a teacher now seems like a way of life. I cannot live without researching my kids so that I make more informed teaching decisions.
As regular readers of this blog know, I’ve been doing some action research with a few of my students since December. I deemed them “reluctant writers” in December. Now the three of them write daily; one of them recently started a blog instead of writing in his notebook daily. (Learn more about my present project by clicking here.) I’m amazed by all they’ve accomplished.
I took a public bow out of yesterday’s Memoir Monday due to personal reasons (click here to see what I mean). However, I read the response I received to my writing piece to my kiddos in Writing Circle yesterday. (The one line I’ll share in this forum was, “…but this rates up there with one of the best birthday presents one can get.”) They were moved. One student saw my reaction as I read the missigve from my father and said, “You’re making me want to cry.”
All three agreed that writing gifts are better than monetary gifts when it comes to family. Therefore, the three of them are embarking on independent writing projects, of sorts, in order to write a small moment story about an emblamatic moment in their life with one of their parents. It’s a big step for these “reluctant writers,” but they can handle it now. They’re up for the challenge and are excited to take it on.
I’m excited about their next journey as writers. I think they’re beginning to realize that their words carry power: the power to touch a person they care about deeply and to make someone feel loved. Isn’t that what scrapbookers and poets write for? Isn’t that why we all run to the mailbox daily hoping for more than just bills? We’re looking for words to move us, change us, inspire us. Imagine the gift we can give to our students if we get them all to see that their words hold this power.
I’m trying it with my Writing Circle now… will let you know how it goes as the weeks progress.
Want to see my part of the presentation? (It’s similar to other ones on our “Presentations” Page.) Here it is on Scribd.
I am a literacy consultant who has spent the past dozen years working with teachers to improve the teaching of writing in their classrooms. While I work with teachers and students in grades 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).