Do you ever feel like there are days when you are just so excited about the activity you going to do? Well that is how I felt about the activity that we completed today.
Let me give you a little background on what we have been doing:
- We have been completing a project making a necklace.
- We have spent about a week on learning vocabulary, being exposed to different types of how to texts and discussing the necklace making process.
- We have even made our own necklaces and experienced the process individually.
- We were going to write a How To on the process of the project.
In my mind we were set for the writing process. It was going to be a simple introduction, the students were going to write what happened first, what happened next, what happened after that, and what happened last. Then they were then going to add details to the pictures to help the reader understand the steps. And they were going to be excited about each step.
After I gave the directions to the students and there was so much excitement about what we were going to. I let them go freely to start the writing process. I started to look around and noticed that
- 2 of the students had started with ‘first’ and then they were writing the step
- 1 student was copying the first page of the book
- 1 student was drawing her friends that were at table and the necklaces that they had made
- 1 student was trying to rewrite a sentence based on her own experience
- 1 student was describing the necklace that he had made
Two out of the six students had started the writing just the way I had expected or as I had explained. Most of the How To texts that we had been studying over the week started with the number one or first but that was not what I was seeing in our writing.
I didn’t want to stop the students in the middle of their writing as most of them were very excited about what they were accomplishing. Each student worked on a little piece and then either showed me or showed a peer next to them. They were referring back to the texts, they were looking for the correct spelling, they were editing, they were going back and thinking about what needed to be added but most of all they were really proud of what they were accomplishing. But it wasn’t what I was looking for.
So who was in the wrong during this activity… Was it the students for not following my directions? Or was it me for giving such one way directions that they could/did not understand?
This semester has opened my eyes too many different ways I can accomplish writing in my classroom but I still am falling back on the traditional pencil to paper structured writing I have always used. I have started giving my students more freedom in the paper types they can use, the sentence structure they can use and as well as the final product that they complete. But I still notice that I have a specific product in mind, a product that I’ve always expected for my students.
If someone was to ask me how the lesson went today my first response would be it didn’t end up the way I expected but my second response would be my students were fully engaged in the writing process and for that I’m really proud of the growth they are making.
See the video narrative HERE