The 4th grade writing captivates us ALL because those were OUR students. We were the ones that first introduced them to the genres of narrative, informational writing (reports), how to (functional writing) and responding to literature. We were the ones that helped them learn to sound out unknown words and to use their sight vocabulary. We were the ones that showed them how to use the word wall to write new words. We were the ones that celebrated those early stories and smiled at the way they invented spellings. Our children at Chets Creek have been involved in a daily Writers' Workshop since the first day that they stepped onto our campus. We have conferred with them as authors and given them suggestions for how they could take their writing to the next step. We were the first to introduce them to a simple 3-point rubric so they would know when their writing was good enough (like the one shown, currently in Conte-Timmons-Happ's kindergarten classroom on the left).
As OUR 4th graders write this week, we will come early to remind some of our former students that we are pulling for them, that we believe in them, and that we know they will make all of us proud. You see, writing is not a 4th grade skill; it's a skill that we begin with a foundation in Kindergarten and add new strategies each year. These are OUR children and when the scores come in these will be OUR scores. We can't wait!