One of the things I am trying to work on this year is more writing time for my students. I am incorporating Writers Workshop into my daily schedule in an effort to build consistent expectations for what the students should be doing to become better at writing. One of the ideas I keep reading over and over is that writing every day matters. I know because I am trying to work at it myself.
Today was a special story day because of a little connection I made with one of my writers. We'll call her "L". At the beginning of Writer's Workshop today, "L" boldly stated, "Mrs. Rudd, I don't know what to write about!". I looked at her sad eyes and happily replied, "I know just what you need!" I ran over and grabbed my scarf and brought it over to her seat. I gently laid out the plan, "We just need to warm up your writing brain!" (Mind you the temperature was 3 degrees F this morning). So I wrapped my scarf around her neck and we chatted about topics she could write about. She finally settled on writing about her family...writing brain warmed...she proudly wore the scarf that warmed up her writing brain the entire Writer's Workshop.
As an aside, other children noticed her wearing my scarf. They were pining for the opportunity to wear it as well...I told them they would have to write me a letter during Work on Writing (part of the Daily 5) and ask to wear the scarf to warm their writing brains. The sweet part is, "L" wrote me the only letter asking to wear it again tomorrow. And will I let her? You bet!
I felt like today's little slice of writing life was a banner moment in gently encouraging my little first graders to take risks and spread their wings, learning to fly and become writers. This exciting moment felt good because it was more of a gentle nudge instead of a push. I feel like I've done a few too many pushes over the years. Although the celebratory moment seems small, I am so excited for the growth potential that I wanted to share this small moment on a cold, cold day with the whole world...