In the month of November I created a virtual choice board. The main purpose was to create asynchronous learning experiences for my students who were going to be inconsistently flipping between in-person and online learning. I introduced the choice board in class and showed my Grade 2 students exactly how they can access it on our class blog. That night I received an email from a student who shared a Google Doc with me. I was so excited to see that a student was using the choice board at home in the evening AND that she chose to complete some of the writing activities (instead of simply working on our Math website or using the guided drawing tutorials).
The next day, this student asked if she could share her story with the class. Of course I was thrilled to have her stand in front of the class and read her work to her classmates. What happened next blew my mind. That night my email inbox flooded with emails from students sharing documents with me. Some journal entries, some creative writing stories, some interesting animal facts they had researched.
This is when it hit me… I have a classroom full of authors.
Anyone who has seen me teach knows that I love to get silly with the students… So, I got up in front of the class and made a huge deal about a famous brand new author who reached out to me to share their newest short story with us. The class clapped and smiled as their peer read their story, which inspired more and more students to get up in front of the class and share their writing. In this moment I knew that my students were inspiring each other and supporting each other to foster this love of writing.
Seeing the support my students are giving each other makes me beam with pride, but what else can I do to foster this love of writing? How can I support their growth with editing and proofreading, without squashing the creativity and motivation? Is there a specific progression of skills I should be following? Are there workshops that our School Librarian can lead on creative writing/drafting short stories?
In the coming months you will see a series of blog posts around Structured Word Inquiry (SWI) and spelling rules, as that is my area of focus for this year’s Professional Growth Plan (PGP). I had chosen this topic last summer while reflecting on which area of teaching I really wanted to develop this year… The fact that this is my PGP focus in the same year that I am teaching a group of eager young authors is an extremely welcomed coincidence!
So what now? I will continue to find ways to foster this love of writing while starting to implement SWI and spelling rules into my teaching practice. I am also looking to you, my readers, to please share with me any insight/tips or reading recommendations (blogs/books/etc.) to help me find the answers to my questions about supporting my students growth as writers.