March conferences in first grade allow us the opportunity to really “show off ” the growth of our students. There was one child’s work in particular, that I was especially looking forward to displaying . Charlie, my most hesitant writer in September, was now one of my most enthusiatic participants.
Last fall I considered it a successful day if I could get Charlie to write even a page during writing workshop. Now if there was a delay in the morning workshop schedule he would complain we were not going to get enough writing time. His growth was utterly remarkable. I looked forward to laying out a piece from early September, large all capital letters letters which read : MY BTHR SAT ON A BEE. I would then lay out page after page of his March work for his parents to see.
Charlie’s collection of work centered around our current science unit on, “Solids, Liquids, and Gases.” My students were in the process of compiling their work into an informational book, complete with a table of contents.
The time came to share Charlie’s informational science writing. I opened his folder and turned to the first page. As I lifted the cover I noticed Charlie had added a dedication. I commented on this addition. “Oh, Charlie must have added this,”I said and I began to read: Dedcated to my techer for teaching me to writ all these things.
I stopped, so taken by surprise. I could feel my eyes begin to burn and of course the tears came. I quickly recovered and went on to share Charlie’s work. His mom grabbed my arm and thanked me. She also had tears after seeing Charlie’s beautiful work.
And there we were both bursting with pride. “Heart work” as Penny Kittle calls it. A perfect description.