Fifth and seventh grades found the boys with incredible writing teachers. Needless to say, they were not as pleased as I was to have the focus on writing take precedence in their respective language arts blocks.
For Kieran, the year required him to build his writing stamina. Writing was a non-preferred task that he usually let go to the last minute.
When he did write, he could produce well claimed and substantiated pieces. His creative writing was adventuresome and wild!
Before beginning to write every piece, he would constantly second-guess himself.
“I cannot use that word because I don’t know how to spell it.
I don’t have anything important to write. The teacher told us to never do this, or she doesn’t want us to write about that.
The teacher told us to never do this, (or) she doesn’t want us to write about that.”
He had created so many internal “rules” about writing, that he stifled himself as a writer.
Through patience and perseverance (at home and at school), the breakdowns over each assignment grew less frequent and less intense. Last year, his teacher asked to use his writing portfolio as a sample with her current students. I could see his pride.
Liam continued to experience the same issues with writing as in previous years. That year, however, he had to face these issues, because he had to write more often. He became better versed in strategies for solving his writing difficulties.
He had to write creatively the most. He liked this type of writing the least because he didn’t know what to write about. He often became overwhelmed by all of the choice.
He talked about topics with his teacher, peers, and then me at home. Eventually, he settled on something to write about and wrote a flash fiction piece. I will share his writing later on in one of my “teaching” posts. It was a successful experience.
He also began to shine with conventions. He confidently offered peers’ revision and editing suggestions. I had to laugh when his classmates would sometimes reject his comments, even if they were grammatically correct.
He learned to accept feedback from his classmates as well.
It was a huge growing year in writing for both boys.