Last week my class finished our Narrative Writing Unit. Kindergarteners are learning to write and that is not an easy task! Many of us are writing complete sentences, but some of us are still writing letters, labels, or even only using pictures to tell our stories. As a celebration, we shared our final edited pieces with a first grade class.
They worked for almost a week editing our pieces. Editing consisted of using a rubric to try and get our writing as clear as possible. For me, the ultimate goal was for each author to be able to ‘read’ their own writing. Even for friends only using pictures, could they ‘read’ the pictures and tell their story.
The last two days before sharing, they practiced. A lot. They read our stories to partners at least five times and then to me. I was very transparent with why we rehearse. ‘I don’t want you to sit down next to a first grader and forget what to do.’
Finally, they lined up and marched down to first grade, hugging their pieces to their chests like the treasures they were. The first grade friends were beyond sweet and supportive and my class truly felt like authors.
When we returned, the kids were feeling very celebratory.
“Mr. Halpern, we should have a party!”
“A party? What kind of party?” I asked, knowing I had nothing prepared. The sharing with first graders was my celebration.
“A dance party!”
So I cued up some music and we danced. A lot. We danced for about twenty minutes. There was spinning. There were dips. It was exactly what the moment deserved.