We are coming to the end of the second week of school. My students have been writing almost every day. We've covered ways to get ideas and now we are working on sentences (you know--subjects, predicates, fragments and run-ons). As an aside, I used and like the lessons on the County website for Sub-Ject/Pretty Kit and High Two's. Getting back to my point, though, after two weeks of writing, I now see what kind of writers I have this year.
It's amazing the wide range of writers that come out of the same classrooms from the prior year. Most of these students were in fourth grade together. Some kids are great writers who just let the ideas flow onto their page. Others are still locked up. Some want their work to come out perfectly the first time and are afraid to make mistakes. Others will not write a word unless they feel it is spelled correctly. I've seen pages of run-ons, as well as 3 lines on a page after several days. The word "I" is still being written "i" by a handful of kids and plurals are getting apostrophies. Informational writing is showing up when I've asked for narrative--there is comfort in simply relating the steps for doing something, I guess. I have yet to see a paragraph.
Oh, well. I guess I have my work cut out for me again this year. As long as I get words on a page, I have my starting point for each student. I also know that if I allow them to work forward from where they are starting that we will all be better writers by the end of the year. I love this journey!