The good news:
1. We’ve published our first pieces of writing for this year. We read This Is How We Do It and used it as a mentor text. We wrote about ourselves using the structure of that book and illustrated our work. All of this writing is now in a binder in a new basket in our classroom library.
2. It also means we now have this new basket. It looks a bit like this (although this picture is several years old).
We’ve had such a basket in our classroom for many years (as evidenced by these dated pictures – taken, I believe, at my previous school when I taught first graders). It always started off with writing we did together and grew as their own writing gets added.
Having our first published book and a basket in the library for it and future publications is exciting. We’ll have personal narratives to add soon.
3. One of my kiddos had our published book about ourselves in his book box yesterday because he was so excited to read it.
The bad news:
1. I totally bit his head off for having the book in his book box. My expectation is that students read our publications but don’t keep them in their book boxes. My reasoning is that things get put in their book boxes and forgotten and it means no one else can be reading our writing. But I never told them that. I shared the published book. I explained the new basket. We celebrated it. I never said don’t put it in your book box. But I still bit this kid’s head off over it. And didn’t even realize I had done so. Last night it hit me. Ugh.
So, today, during our writing focus lesson I brought the basket up and shared my expectations and my reasoning. And publicly apologized to the boy I’d chastised. I told him it was totally my fault and that I shouldn’t have gotten on him. And I said that in front of the rest of the class. I screwed up and it was on me to own that.
Now I can go back to being excited about our basket that will, eventually, be full of our writing. Sitting there in our library near baskets of books by Kate Messner, Cynthia Rylant, Mo Willems, Rick Riordan, and Jan Thomas. Authors, all of us.