“Look over your writing. Come to the rug ready to share something you’re proud of.”

The third graders began eyeing their writing. Some chatted with those around them about their work. My eye was on Fletcher. Would he have something to share? He hasn’t been writing much. We worked together on a plan and he still didn’t get much done. “He has great ideas,” I thought to myself.

As the kids gathered on the rug, ready to share, Fletcher hung back. “Do you want to keep working?” I asked. “Or do you want to join us for share?” I offered him an out. He came to the rug.

“You might share something you wrote that you’re proud of. Maybe you’ll share about how much you wrote today. Some of you wrote a lot….” (Volume is something we’ve been working on.) I caught Fletcher’s eye. “Or maybe you’ll share about something that worked well for you today, like making a plan.” I threw that one in for him. I wanted him to feel proud. I wanted to lift him up.

“Ok. Turn and share with your partner.” The room erupted in a buzz of writerly talk. Partners took turns sharing and listening. They’ve been working hard. They have a lot to celebrate. I was happy to see them noticing that themselves.

As the chatter began to fizzle out, I said, “Who can share what they heard their partner say?” We’ve also been working on listening. A few hands shot up. Kids shared things like “My partner wrote a lot today.,” and “My partner added an introduction to their essay.”

Then Fletcher’s partner raised his hand to share. “I’m proud-” he began and I jumped in.

“Remember, we’re sharing what we heard our partner say.”

“I know,” Fletcher’s partner continued. “Fletcher shared about how he used post-its to make a plan. I’m also proud of him. It’s impressive.”

Fletcher’s face stretched into a tight grin.

Writing partners can lift each other up. We are also working on that.


9 thoughts on “Impressive

  1. So many things. How you’re scanning in the fray to see what’s up, how you frame so everyone can feel success. You carefully craft this so we can learn and think about coaching moves. Then how partners share each other’s work, that accountable talk so vital to the work. You sensed he had planned, he celebrated that, and his partner knew what he needed, all at age 9. Strong.


  2. ” I threw that one in for him. I wanted him to feel proud. I wanted to lift him up.” THIS is at the heart of our work every day with every kid! This moment shows what can happen for kids when this is at the heart of our work AND when we give kids time and space to reflect and share! Thanks for sharing and YAY Fletcher and his partner!


  3. It’s an extra powerful slice because you zoomed in on Fletcher. It was great to see the scene from the perspective of just one person. And I love asking kids to share what they heard. It really does make them better conversationalists!


  4. My heart soared with yours and Fletcher’s at the end of this post, and part of that is because I was able to follow your support of Fletcher and all your writers through each of your teaching moves. What a wonderful example of how we can support all kids in our work, and of why it is important to do so. Thank for sharing this today.


  5. Oh … this warmed my heart. It was authentic – that moment when he said, “I know…” Lifting each other up is a standard we should be working on every day! Thank you – I needed this slice today,


  6. We’re working on that! I really like that refrain. It’s clear that everything is a work in progress, and that’s what makes it possible to celebrate those intermediate steps instead of just the final products.


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