Thursday, November 12, 2015

family writing project - year 2

School gets out at 3:00 and most parents come to pick their child up. But, at Emerson, there's a small group of 15 who come to meet their children for Family Writing Project.

It's our second year with this after school club and we have a bunch of families return, but also some new families joining!

The afternoon begins with snacks and decorating writing folders. There is also a prompt on the board asking family pairs to make a list of family traditions.

When everyone has had some time to get a list going, families Mix and Mingle to get to know one another and share their family traditions.

The afternoon carried on with a read aloud - an example of a personal narrative. The story was called Kitchen Dance, and the teachers used it to demonstrate how authors write stories bit by bit. It was a beautiful story told in both English and Spanish languages that described a family dancing in the kitchen as they made a meal, and all the joy and love that went along with it.

When the story wrapped up, Ms. Bless and Miss Kriegl talked about the bit by bit writing - how the author didn't just say, "We danced in the kitchen," but instead, "We heard noises in the kitchen. We crept downstairs. We peeked through the door. Mom's skirt was twirling and dad was banging on a pan." Families were then encouraged to write their own stories bit by bit.

What followed next was the bulk of the workshop - time to write! Everyone wrote their own piece, but conferred together if and when they needed help. Teachers did some writing too, as their voices will not be left out of the end-of-project book!

As the session wrapped up, there was time to share, first in small groups, and then a few brave students and parents shared with the whole group.

What a great way to spend the afternoon! Finally a moment for the teachers to have time to write, too! Our six week Family Writing Project will continue next week.

Be sure to follow the awesome writing teachers who head this Family Writing Project - Jennie Bless writes here and tweets here. I'm still working on getting Amanda Kriegl on Twitter!

How do you engage families at your school?

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