Problem: There is about five minutes for sharing and two students have been scheduled to share a piece of writing. The first writer, Emma, has chosen to share the whole story she has been working on about a dog who gets into a lot of trouble. She has ten or more pages stapled together.
Events: Emma starts to share but has trouble deciphering some of her words. She has two friends helping, but the clock is ticking. It will soon be time to line up for lunch. Getting through the whole story appears almost impossible. The teacher makes a quick decision. She suggests that Emma read the first two pages, then tomorrow meet with anyone who would like to hear more. Emma continues her story about a clumsy dog who gets loose in a park. He spies a hot dog cart and starts running towards it.
Teacher says: Let’s stop right there! A dog, a hot dog cart…I wonder what will happen next? Who would like to hear more?
Hands go up. The teacher directs those interested to meet with Emma tomorrow during workshop to hear the rest of the story. She compliments Emma on her word choice and enticing beginning. The second child is called up to share.
Solution: A young writer’s work is honored. She is made to feel special in the eyes of her classmates.
I enjoy helping in a first grade classroom about once a week during writing workshop. And while I get to spend time with young writers, guiding their efforts and listening to their stories, part of the appeal is being in the presence of an exemplary teacher. She is a joy to watch.
I tried a different format for today’s slice just to mix things up a bit. I hope it works. Let me know what you think.