A few weeks ago, just before Thanksgiving vacation, I finished a coaching cycle in a third grade classroom. Together, the classroom teacher and I worked to help the students increase their stamina and see themselves as writers. One reluctant writer, Brendan, went from putting little on the page to discussing with me that he wanted to become a professional writer. Chris, a struggling writer, started out avoiding writing and ended the trimester taking his books with him on the playground to work on them during recess. Another student, Calla, a self-professed writing hater, ended up creating lengthy stories with characters suffering the trials and tribulations of third grade friendships. A day before the end of the trimester, their teacher read aloud a letter I had written to the class. I wasn’t present for the reading or discussion but the teacher said the children were very thoughtful about who they were becoming as writers.
I’ve decided that the letter and the reflective discussion that followed counted as a very simple writing celebration. It wasn't a celebration of writing but rather a celebration of writers. I didn’t really think about it as a writing celebration at all until I read Ruth’s post about celebrations and the transcript of her interview with Choice Literacy.
On my last day in the class, at the end of writing workshop, the kids were on their way out the door for lunch recess when Logan approached me and said, “I was thinking 'bout writing and I think we are all like airplanes going down the runway cuz we are just takin' off!”
Did you ever notice how brilliant third graders are?