Thursday, May 23, 2013

Writing Conferences

I absolutely love teaching writing! My class this year has really seemed to enjoy writing right along with me. We've done so many great projects and activities together this year, and today, we held one of our last big writing conferences during Daily 5. Technically, mine is Daily 6....but I only tweaked it to work for me.

Anyway, at the beginning of the year, they wrote about "Sweet Summertime"....a topic that led to something they did over summer break. This week, we wrote about "In the Summer"....something they like to do in the summer. Today, we took an opportunity during Daily 6 to compare those two writings and reflect on their individual growth as a writer. During each conference, we also looked at the "In the Summer" writing and worked on the rubric together. *I have to give a shout out to Rachelle @ for her FREE writing prompts and her kid-friendly rubric. I love it!

I love that this planned conference time turned into spontaneous video making of some of the students' reflections. My iPad was sitting on the table with us, and one child asked to make a video of his conference. Soon....many students were asking! So, I thought, why not?! For one, they love seeing themselves on video, and secondly---what a great opportunity for me to learn from our conferencing and do better myself! This was such an awesome moment in our day today. I loved seeing them laugh at their writing from September, and marvel at how far they really have come!

Here's a few of the conferences we caught on video. There are a variety of students here---some who excel in writing, some who are shy, some who would never want to speak on camera before, and some who have come from not being able to compose one sentence to writing nearly on grade level, and legibly! Everyone has made growth, and I couldn't be more proud! It's inspiring me to search for more ways that writing conferences are held with such young writers. If anyone out there has something to share, please do!

At the beginning of the year, this child (above) said something I hope to never forget. It was the first time we were doing author's chair, and he started out reading very strong, but he quickly trailed off----sweating, red cheeked, shaky voice, trembling hands, and on the verge of tears. He looked at me with great fear and said: "Mrs. Powell, I'm trying really hard by I just don't think I can do this because it scares my heart." 

Ohmyword! Heartbroken. I felt so bad for him that day, it made me want to grab a tissue. But here he is at the end of the year, asking to make videos of his writing conference, reading in the author's chair voluntarily, blogging, and being an all around leader and role model. He's grown so much, and I am so proud of him! 

There are a handful of video here, but each one is great (I think) because they are being so reflective and honest about their writing abilities and their growth over the school year. I could not have been this tuned in with my writing abilities when I was 6 or 7 years old....and I am in awe of them! 

Here's one more video. It's super cute how giggly she gets over her beginning of the year writing. I couldn't insert the video though, so you'll have to click the link. Eh, technology!