We are at the entrance of a new month which means MONITORING TIME! At the end, or in this case beginning, of each month I try to check in on everyone's writing. It seems to be a good time to get a fresh look at everything, set some new goals and see what students have accomplished. It will either be stressful or a relief! Today is the day, either way, to get a plan together.
As I pour over their work, make some piles, write notes and next steps, and figure out some mini-lessons for the week all I can think about is what author is going to inspire them next?
I hope to start a new author study this week but I don't really know what author I need to channel yet. We seem to be in a place where students are still lacking details and story elements. These are kindergarteners, their writing journey is just beginning. What will be the most powerful burst to push them forward?
We studied Mo Willems at the beginning of the year. We examined his illustrations while we were learning to draw.
We did a mini-study of Audrey Penn to look at how she develops her characters.
Laura Numeroff helped us see how a story can begin and end in the same way.
We read Author, A True Story by Helen Lester to show the journey of an author. My kids were riveted...she began her journey just like them.
We spent some time reading the Stanley books by Linda Bailey--she is so good at showing not telling with sounds and humor.
But now what? Cynthia Rylant, Audrey Wood, Eric Carle??? There are so many with so many talents!
What authors inspire your students? Do you have that one book or one author year after year that propels your students forward? Why? What is the spark or special element they attach to?