First graders sharing the power of writing with others

Using pictures and words, first graders at VPS, last week, shared the power of writing and the importance of reflecting on their own lives.

Referred to as a Writing Celebration, all of the first grade classrooms at the school were full of adults—mostly parents and grandparents. The adults’ assignments were pretty simple. They were asked to put on their listening ears, circulate around the room, moving from table to table where students sat and listen while students read to them. After each reading, the adults were asked to critique and “put some sprinkles,” on cakes during the grading process. They had to use their imagination since the sprinkles were compliments and the cakes were drawn on paper. Teachers asked the adults to grade on content, capital letters, correct spacing and sentence structure.  

“We are not perfect,” said teacher Jeanne Harvey, addressing the adults. “But, we are improving and by the end of the year, we are going to shine.”

All of the first grade teachers said they think the parental involved celebration is very important. First grade is a magical year and learning to write is part of the wonderful experience, said teacher Kim Reed. Students in her class, she said, write daily in journals. They love it so much, she said.

Teacher Melissa Gasaway said there are so many facets of the writing celebration. It allows parents and grandparents to be involved in the teaching process. It provides an opportunity for the parents and grandparents to also watch the student progress. It provides an opportunity for the adults to learn about others in their child’s classroom.

“It also gives the students an opportunity to realize they have a story to tell and there are people who want to hear,” Gassaway said.

It is anticipated there will be two more celebrations before the end of the year.