As with all journeys, they eventually come to an end. As I sit here typing, I am thinking about all the wonderful ideas I have learned about writing instruction in the pursuit of my Masters in Reading Education. Over this past semester, with the help of Dr. Buchholz and the numerous articles and books I have read, I have learned how to be a better teacher of writing. I have developed a passion for writer’s workshop, using units of study and bookmaking to raise the level of writing that occurs in my first-grade classroom. I have seen first-hand the power of bookmaking, allowing students to self-select topics, and explicit writing instruction. Students deserve a large chunk of time dedicated to writing each day. They should be allowed to find joy in making books and living the life of an author and illustrator. Students deserve a teacher who is present during the writing process to offer feedback in the form of praise, suggestions, or explicit instruction in an effort to raise their level of writing. It’s been a journey worth traveling.
As I say goodbye to this blog, I look ahead to the new school year with excitement and optimism. My plans are to incorporate a full writing workshop into my day which I was unable to do this semester. Instead, I was able to teach a unit of study by Lucy Calkins and Amanda Hartman titled Authors as Mentors. This was one of the highlights of the semester. If all their other units are as fabulous as this one, my future first-graders are in for a treat. I have another first-grade teacher who is on board for doing writer’s workshop in the upcoming school year and beyond. I am on a mission to start a writing revolution in my school. I plan on giving a workshop for the primary teachers to educate them on writer’s workshop and share my excitement about all I have learned. I will probably have to buy all the units myself, but that’s OK with me. It’s a small price to pay for knowing I’m doing what’s best for my students with regards to giving them the best writing instruction I can.
Here is a link to my final paper. If there is a teacher out there who is not satisfied with his/her current writing instruction, I encourage you to read it. I hope you will feel a spark inside yourself for your own writing revolution.