Last week I was able to visit a new classroom. Being in this 5th grade classroom was a double blessing. First of all, I got to work again with a really talented teacher friend and also work with some amazing young writers.
I had been planning on visiting their writers' workshop and finally it was the right time. Before the teacher had a chance to introduce me, the students were raising their hands and giving opinions of who I was and why I was there. One of the guesses was: She's an author! Well, maybe that's true, but not a published one like they were thinking. Finally, the teacher told them that I was there to help them with their writing and to help her with her teaching of writing. The children were very impressed! Really, they were!
They were beginning work on nonfiction picture books. They had already decided on a topic. They chose a topic that they were experts at, things they could teach others. I was able to talk to three of the children. Vernon was working on a book about football. But this book was to help younger players understand what type of gear they would need. After talking for a few minutes, I was impressed with what an expert he was. We did look at his subtitles and combined several of them so he would have enough to write for each one.
Next, I talked to Montana. She was writing about making cakes. Again, we decided it would help if she combined some subtitles. Instead of one for eggs, one for mixing and one for frosting, we figured out how she could combine all of those into the actual mixing the cake. She came up with four different subtitles. Last was Terra. Terra was writing about taking care of babies. It seems she is an awesome aunt, so she knows a lot about babies. Again, we talked about how to combine sub topics.
Since these three students all had the same issue, I talked to the teacher about how that would be a perfect minilesson for the next day. I can't wait to go back to this room and see how these books are developing!
Soon it was time for the students to get ready to go home. I promised them I would come back several times this year. As I was gathering up my things, Terra came up to me and handed me this note. She said, "Thanks for helping me. You are really smart about writing, just like my teacher said." See why I can't wait to get back there?