September 26, 2017-#sol17
Thanks to Jennifer Laffin (@laffinteach) for starting the hashtag #DWHabit I am back to writing daily, something I know I should do (and enjoy after having done it). She sends out a word each day and says you can use it or not. Today I had no idea what I was going to slice until I read today’s word “voice”.
“Ms. Victor, my box from Heather Lang is here,” L. stopped me in the hall this morning.
“Oh, I can’t wait to see it- come by and show me if you have time,” I answered.
“Maybe at lunch recess,” she said.
L. was a student in my class last year as a third grader. She started at our school at the start of second grade without knowing a word of English and the progress she has made is truly inspirational. She is a girl who always has believed what she had to say mattered and she is happy to speak to a group or write her thinking. I used to get notes from her left on my laptop and I remember that she and a few friends stayed in at recess one day to write “Merry Christmas” notes to each of their classmates and all of the teachers in the grade. She definitely saw the power of her words. Last year her opinion writing work focused on shark finning. She added research to her beliefs and sought out the address of people who she considered changemakers that she could send her letter to.
As luck would have it last spring Liv (@thelivbits) and Heather Lang (@hblang) announced a contest (#artforsharks). I shared it in my class and in the end, two students entered. Early in September, the winners were announced and L. was the runner-up.
At lunch recess she brought up her unopened package and I watched her tear into it. There she found the books If Sharks Disappeared, Smart about Sharks, and Swimming with Sharks. Heather had autographed her book for L. and of course, L. was thrilled. Heather congratulated L. on her art and the blog post she had shared where she published the letter she had written. It was great to see her see that other people valued her voice! I love when students have real opportunities to share their writing in a way that matters to them.
*** Speaking of voice, here is another former student, Zhi Hong, still slicing!