It’s Sunday afternoon in South Carolina: blue skies, sunshine, a crock of daffodils on the dining room table where I’m working. Spring is here, for at least part of every day; we wake up to temperatures low enough to ice the windshield, and by afternoon we’re thinking about turning on the air conditioning.
I spent the morning reading my students’ memoir drafts. They’ve been working hard, and they’ve done some terrific writing. Best of all, they are wonderful writing teachers for each other. I keep finding little pencil notes in the margins, one student congratulating another on a turn of phrase, suggesting a better word, gently asking for more detail about some point.
We’ve been practicing “Silent Share” all year: whenever we finish a piece, I collect all of the papers from both 6th grade sections. Students pull out a stack of sticky notes and read each other’s work, leaving a personal, specific, positive comment for the writer. I think these notes have helped them be specific and thoughtful when they read each other’s drafts.
Now to do the same for myself.