Sunday, October 06, 2013

Explosive Writing

We went to teacher interviews at Scott's school after his first week in grade one. His teacher noticed that he was very good at reading, but he didn't like to write very much. She asked him why and he shrugged a bit.

We explained to her how he had avoided singing for a long time, thinking that he couldn't really do it. And then one day in the car he suddenly sang along with one of his songs and said, "Mom! Did you just hear me?! I just did singing!" After that big breakthrough, he sang along with every song for weeks afterwards.

Reading was similar. Scott did lots of reading practice with R and knew how to identify all sorts of words, but once it was time to read a book he always took the passenger seat. Sometimes I would ask him to just read such and such a word and he would be adamant that he didnt' want to.

And then in August R worked with him a bit to brush up on his reading for school and he blasted through one book with hardly a mistake. He was elated. Suddenly he wanted to read everything in sight. He would go to bed with a stack of books and his nightlight. One morning I saw light coming from his room and peeked through the crack to see him in bed reading a book aloud to himself. I described this to the teacher and said that reading just "exploded" for him, and we thought writing would do the same once he tried it.

"Scott Bunny Trouble
The story was about Ralph kicking a soccer ball. And he was wrecking everything. The farmer thought Ralph was trying to eat his cauliflour. And he was sad and the other bunnies were worried and the mama was sad. My favourite part was when Ralph got free. The farmer letted Ralph free because he was the Easter Bunny."

Scott did up a book report between sessions of conference and then addressed and mailed the envelope himself that afternoon. He was very motivated because he has his eye on a Lego toy and was only 8 dollars short. I had suggested that he just read his book and write the report -- just write the whole thing fast without worrying about details. The whole process took him less than an hour and required no prodding from me. When he was writing it, he asked for some help to figure out what to write. I just asked him questions about the book and then told him to write down whatever answer he had just given me.

Afterwards he said, "I think writing exploded for me."


Grandma Wride said...

And I (the head of "Grandma's Book Club") was delighted to be the recipient of that explosion ! I absolutely loved his phonetic spelling--I could read every word. How fun to read the back story to this great book report. Way to go, Scotty !

CocoShirley said...

I love this post so much. I spend a lot of my time in education classes these days and figuring out how reading and writing click with students - this post made me want to cry!!! What a sweet boy. How cool to watch them learn and grow.