October 28, 2014

Our first reading response letters!

The boys and girls have done a wonderful job on their very first Reading Response Letters! I'm so pleased with how this is all going!  

They're writing their RRLs based on that story I wrote called "This is NOT a Halloween Story". And what a humbling experience this has been for me! You know how you always find errors in your email after you hit send? Well, it's like that with this story I have written, only my recipients are a group of third-graders! 


With an editing team of just one, it's not always easy to find my own errors.  It's sometimes not until the kids read the story aloud that I realize...whoops, that's the wrong form of "there"! 

It's all working out just fine and it's been a really great learning experience for me and the kids. The boys and girls are seeing first hand that the editing process can take longer than writing the story itself! Students are also seeing how, as writers, we really do have to scrutinize our work to make sure it makes sense. You can't have a reader saying, "Wait a sec, two pages ago, you had the guy on crutches and now he's running a marathon with no explanation whatsoever. What's up with that?"   

It's also exciting (and very motivating) to read the letters the kids have written about a story I wrote. I think the enthusiasm I have for writing this wacky tale is contagious, because the quality of their writing and the speed at which this task is being completed is off the charts! 

Their reading response letters also feel very authentic because the questions they're asking are so genuine and honest. I've never written a story this long, and it's been fun to create something that meets my precise instructional needs (my mother always says when you want it done right, do it yourself!). 


And we're not done with this story just yet! Pretty soon we're going to consider these "EQAO" type questions pictured below. There's also a Venn Diagram I'd like the children to complete.  

I also have a fun surprise to share with the kids on Wednesday! Look out for "This is NOT a Halloween Story: the audio-book, coming soon!   

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