SOL16, Day 19: Literacy Unleashed

They come at lunch.  They grab the graphic novels. The chrome books. They write. Read. Gossip. Help.

She worked on an acrostic poem. Her friends coached into word selection.

I listen in.

They shelve books. File papers. Charge iPads.

He tells me his worries. How she said something mean. He said something mean back. He feels sorry he said it. We talk. He says he wants to write her. To tell her he’s sorry.

The bell rings. Our official class begins.

I meet with book clubs. They plan their reading for Spring break. Around us, students work independently on their opinion writing.

They grab the old charts to check steps. Pick up mentor texts. Look at their data scattered on the walls. One student asks if she can survey the classroom.  Other students follow suit.

“Do you think there should be zoos?”

“Do you think there should be school uniforms?”

“Do you think there should be tackle football in youth sports?”

“Do you think kids should be able to vote?”

“Do you think PE should be mandatory?”

I teach them the word abstain.

I work with groups on reading.

Yesterday, my students showed me what they could do without too much of me.

All was not perfect. Some took charge. Some languished. All engaged in literacy where they are right now. They were readers and writers. They showed what they could do. Right now.

I celebrate a joyful day of literacy. Untethered, unleashed.


Thank you, Two Writing Teachers for the March Slice of Life Challenge. It is an honor to be a participant. Read more slices here.

celebrate link up

And thank you, Ruth Ayers, for the Celebrate this Week link up. You provide the opportunity to continue to find the joy every day. Read more celebrations here.



20 thoughts on “SOL16, Day 19: Literacy Unleashed

  1. This is the best feeling ever when the students live the life of readers and writers without constant input from us. Perfection is overrated. Joyful Day of Literacy could be a title of a book.

  2. I love the insight into your classroom and all its happenings. It’s a good feeling when we know they can do without us. We do have those that still need some pushing, but it’s nice, this time of year, when we can see that most are doing the hard work of being readers and writers.

  3. It has been a pleasure to be allowed into your classroom for the last 19 days. This days sounds like the idea of its “just an ordinary day” one that you never know what is going is to bring.

  4. The buzz of a working classroom. You have brought them to this point, gently and gradually. Much to celebrate!

  5. What a beautiful celebration! Literacy at its finest. It sounds like you have created quite the literacy space in your classroom.

  6. You nailed it, a joyful day of literacy. This is what it looks like when students are at the forefront of the planning process of a skillful teacher. I could just imagine each little pocket of literate happenings.

  7. These are powerful moments when they are working independently. I try and remind myself how productive (or not) I am when I’m working with a group. I love the buzz in your room! AMAZING!

  8. Julieanne, there is life in your classroom and that is joyful. A powerful statement: Yesterday, my students showed me what they could do without too much of me.

  9. Because of the point of view you used to write the piece I felt like a fly on the wall in your classroom. The chatter in your classroom sounded like a bunch of kids who’ve really internalized what they’ve been taught and are feeling competent to make their own choices. It doesn’t get much better than that!

  10. I love this line “without too much of me” because it suggests growing independence but it also honours your connections. They know you are there as they do their thing!

  11. As it should be, right? Sounds like a perfect ending to your week, Julieanne. They’re getting ready to leave, and with your guidance they will be so ready.

  12. The best assessment is seeing what they can do on their own –if we don’t know we don’t know how to help them make their next step as learners. You were scaffolding, assessing and connecting to future instruction. Great snapshot showing how assessment and instruction are inseparable.

  13. A perfect day – LOVED the tweet out of TCRWP this morning from Shana Schwartz – something like, It’s not going to be PERFECT writing – they’re kids! I had to respond that it is actually ABSOLUTELY perfect in its imperfection. This too sounds like an absolutely perfectly imperfect and thereby realistically wonderful reading and writing day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s