We are 3/4 of the way through our state writing assessments. My kids completed a multiple choice section on Monday, a response to a writing prompt yesterday, and another one today. They have one more writing piece to complete tomorrow. This is hard for an 10 or 11 year old! Do you remember Double Dare? Are you familiar with the crazy physical challenges they used to have on this show? Well, I liken doing these writing assessment to a physical challenge for my fifth graders. I'm 36, and I find it impossible to sit in my seat and stay focused for more than 20 minutes. Yet here they are seated and hard at work for up to 2 hours and 15 minutes. Amazing!
I am writing this post to publicly state how proud, impressed, in awe of and amazed by my students I am. As I've looked at their work when they've finished (I can't help or give them any pointers to fix or change anything - I'm just nosy), I have seen writing pieces by 22 kids who are doing the absolute best that they can given their individual writing skills. I see kids who are taking their time, recreating and using our graphic organizer and writing process, writing in their best handwriting, and rereading finished products. Words can hardly express the way this makes me feel. Sure, I can teach the kids how to use correct grammar and capital letters. I can teach them how to use quotation marks and figurative language. I can teach them all sorts of magically words to improve their style. But on days like today, I can't make them use it.
That's something they have to do for themselves.
And over the past two days, they have all chosen to do just that. Use the strategies we've been practicing this year to the best of their abilities.
They have enough pride in their writing, thanks to many of you and the feedback that we've gotten on our blog, that they see themselves as good writers, and they want these unknown scorers to know exactly how awesome they are.
I'm extremely proud of my kids, and I tell them that over and over and over. I just wanted to let you all know it, too.