I’ve been working in kindergarten classrooms this week. The teachers and I are working through a coaching cycle on differentiating instruction in writing using strategy groups. We’ve spent time looking at student work, studying learning progressions and writing checklists, thinking about what students were doing well and what we might teach them next. Then we grouped students by need, selected strategies to teach, designed strategy group lessons, and we were off! I demonstrated, teachers tried it, and then we co-taught, taught in front of each other, gave each other feedback, and revised our plans. Things seemed to be going well. We were growing as teachers and our students were clearly growing as writers.
Today I sat down with one teacher to take another look at her student writing in order to create some new groups. We started looking through the All About Books her children had written. All About Recess, All About Swimming, All About Under Armour (!). We were reading them, and thinking about what we might teach next. One group can work on adding details to their words, another needed spacing, another some work on organization. Then we came to a piece titled, All About Life. It went something like this:
Life is about loving your family.
Life is about ice cream.
Life is love (big red heart in the picture box).
I think we will leave this one just the way it is!