I have a group of writers at Alameda Elementary School that happens to be all boys. They're a very active bunch. They like to act out each other's stories as each reader shares. They get really excited when it's their turn to sit in the rolling chair to write. And they have discovered the fun of setting goals each week and then reaching them. If a student reaches his goal, I give him a jolly rancher. If he surpasses his goal, he gets two jolly ranchers. I'm not usually a fan of external motivation, but I am learning the power of rewards to build internal motivation and to help kids see what they can do.
These last few weeks of this writer's workshop session, as I help each student type his story, I am impressed! Their stories are creative and exciting, clever and descriptive, funny and unexpected.
I think it's time to add a page on my website for publishing student work.
Sarah Pemberton is a teacher, a writer, and the founder of Write Now!. Sarah lives in Portland, Oregon with her two daughters.