Everything that happens in a classroom begins with a teacher that says “I believe in you”. This statement is the basis for my process in the classroom this week. I have been reading in Already Ready about the magic behind adding blank books to preschool classrooms. I was hesitant to try this because I wanted to inspire them to become great writers rather than intimidate and turn them away.

My little writers always end up being the ones who inspire in img_0770my classroom and this week was no different. Early in the week we incorporated daily story telling. I could not contain their excitement during this time, they were all dying to share their story. The idea was introduced and they immediately began volunteering to share. This form of oral story telling incorporation was only the beginning of the excitement for the week. IMG_0778.JPG

Thursday the magic began in the writing center! I simply placed two baskets on a table in the writing center. The first basket was filled with picture books we had read aloud, the second basket contained new pencils along with blank pages stapled together to make books. I made the announcement that there was something. new in the writing center but they were not at all interested in even seeing what was there. I realized that inspiration does begin with “I” at which point I realized I needed to give them some form of inspiration to visit the writing center. There were two children in the literacy center looking at books. I decided to start with them, what a better place to gain inspiration for writing than in a center filled with books. 

These two girls joined me in the writing center and became immediately over joyed as we talked about what authors do, and they realized that they would be the authors of these books. We used the books on the table to talk about what stories needed and how good authors claim their work with their name. 

They were so very proud of themselves. One child wanted to read her’s to her peers. The other one continually said “we can make these books and sell them like authors do. We will make a lot of money”. They worked diligently on their books and couldn’t wait to read them back to me. Their dedication to making these books was outstanding. I wasn’t expecting them to create a finished product, but they did!IMG_0773.JPG

This was my trial run for what I plan to continue into next week as we work to increase their interest in writing, and building stamina in this skill area as well. I have a video of these two girls reading their books I wish I could share here. It is absolutely priceless to hear them as they excitedly read their books that they have written and illustrated. Check back next week to see how these books are influencing their engagement with writing. I can’t wait to see what happens as they begin to share their stories they are writing during circle time, and how they will in turn inspire each other to become authors. I originally thought that the I in inspiration would begin with me, but I quickly saw that it begins with them!

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2 thoughts on “Inspiration begins with I!

  1. I love it when you capture the voices of students in your classroom. The child who remarked, “We can make these books and sell them like authors do. We will make a lot of money,” reflects how book-making takes “writing” from a school skill to a real life skill/practice. All of a sudden the audience for writing isn’t just the teacher. You write about how the inspiration starts with THEM (not you), and this is also true for WHO children write for. We want to create a community where children value sharing their own stories and hearing each other’s stories, moving the audience from the teacher to the children.

    I am amazed by all of the writing in these little books! The real power will come when these two children share their books with the rest of your class, modeling what is now possible at the writing center. I imagine you’ll see plenty of books emerging in the next few weeks. 🙂

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  2. “From kindergarten through 12th grade, our students are paying dearly for the lack of building one year’s instruction upon the next, demanding increasing complexity as we go, and supporting student writing in smart, meaningful ways that engage learners every single day.” (Culham, 2015, p. 220) This is a quote from an article I read this week titled “Call A Meeting With Your Writing Teacher Self”. I absolutely LOVE that you are introducing writing books in your preK classroom! Imagine they walk into my first-grade classroom and see blank books. They will already know what they are for and they will already have seen themselves as writers thanks to you! I can build on what you started in preK and Jackie in kindergarten. We have got to get everyone on board if we want to start a writing revolution in our school. I can’t wait to see what ideas your students come up with when making books.

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