Thursday April 10, 2014
“I’m an author!” exclaims Gretchen with a toothless smile when she gets to the end of her story, The Big Surprise. “My favorite part is the page where my mom wakes me up and tells me it’s a snow day.” She reads the final page of her book with pride: About the Author.
Kindergartners at Rick Marcotte Central School have been writing personal narratives to describe “small moments” in their lives. Their teachers have been encouraging them to find creative ways to grab the reader’s attention, use vivid detail to describe events, revise and edit, and wrap it up with a great ending—in other words, the same hard work that all writers undertake in their craft.
At the same time, they’re practicing language conventions such as placing a capital letter at the beginning of each sentence and appropriate punctuation at the end. They use correct spelling on their “popcorn words” (those that pop up a lot, like the and it) and make sure their story has a beginning, middle, and end. They even illustrated their work with detailed, colorful drawings.
The students had a chance to show off their stories at a Publishing Party held April 2 in the Kindergarten classrooms. After waiting patiently for their turn, each had a chance to read their stories and show their illustrations to the “celebrity guests” in attendance, which included special teachers, office staff, and Principal Susan Luck.
“We write all year long here in Kindergarten,” explains teacher Jody Smith. “Writing and reading are so integrated; we read books to model great writing during writer’s workshop. Children then write from their own experiences--they write what they know. They become the authors.”
Hailey writes about a trip to the aquarium and her amazement at discovering a ship wreck exhibit: “What the heck? My mouth was open.” Ava wrote about visiting her grandparent’s house, with particular emphasis on playing with their cats. (In About the Author, we learn she is a fan of cats.) In Katie’s story The Great Vacation, you can almost smell the salt air of Cape Cod.
Some students said that choosing a topic was the most difficult step in the writing process. But not for Niara. She describes how she came up with an idea for her story, The Turtle Who Ran. “I take a walk from my head to my brain and I go to a box where all my stories are, and I pick one out. I picked this one to publish.”
SOURCE: Michelle Rosowsky, RMCS PTO