This week, I started 15 Minute Friday writing with my class. We logged into our Kidblog, opened a new post, set the timer for 15 minutes, and WROTE.
Here's the first celebration: when I said go, the only sound I heard was the clicking of keys on keyboards. You know that feeling of tension in the room when someone is frustrated? There was none of that. EVERYONE wrote. Here's mine:
I can’t get the look on C’s face out of my mind. He was frustrated and confused in math, and rather than helping him, I just said, “Hmm…you’ll have to keep thinking about that,” and walked away from him. It killed me to do that. And if I would have looked back, I’m sure he would have been shooting daggers into my back.
However, after working ten more minutes, I broke into a wide smile when I heard him say softly to himself, “Oh! I get it!”
Thats what it’s all about for me. That lightbulb moment. That obvious memorable moment when learning happens.
Because here’s what I believe: I believe in the power of learning. I believe that intelligence can grow. I don’t believe that we are born with all the smarts we’re ever going to have. Learning sometimes hurts. It’s like growing out of a favorite pair of shoes or jeans. You wear them and they get tighter and tighter. Your toes hurt and you’re uncomfortable. Your bare ankles show. But…ahh…when you get your new shoes or jeans, they feel so good. They fit. Same thing with new thinking. The old thoughts are tight, but when that new learning or understanding comes along…ahh…it fits. It feels so right.
Next celebration: I just finished reading through all of their posts and comments, and let me just say that mine aren't the only anchor texts on the blog! Wow! What a great way for them to read quick examples of each other's writing and learn from each other!
Celebration #3: They were so surprised at how much they wrote in 15 minutes (me, too!) and where their ideas went once they got started. Many think they have the seed for an idea they'll want to pursue in writing workshop!
And finally: It is going to be so powerful to have these weekly bits of writing to use for formative assessment, conferencing, minilessons, and small group work in writing workshop!
Thank you, Ruth, for your 5 Minutes on Friday writing, which inspired this new RICH-ual in my classroom!
Check out all of the Saturday Celebrations at Ruth Ayres Writes.