My students come from varied and difficult backgrounds. They often do not see their parents during the day because the parents are working. My students are often the family member in charge of translating things into English, no matter how far below grade level their reading level may be.
As they mature emotionally and intellectually, my students are becoming wonderful writers.
They are exuberant, experimenting with ways to connect, with many playful pushes and questionable words from many languages, but now their horizons are expanding to embrace heartrending phrases, sentences, poems, paragraphs, and essays.
One of my students wrote yesterday of his job after school earning money to send to his brother who is in a hospital in a foreign country. One wrote of the gunfire that he heard in his village every day when he was little. The one I will think of every day is the one that I promised to never share.
Many students find writing physically and mentally difficult. I create pattern poems that give focus and structure to those who need it and a jumping off point for others. In the process, positive words are repeated and positive ideas are taking shape. When we write tomorrow, the line to be repeated in their new poem will be, "I am becoming a more caring person," and they will add ways that they are doing just that.
Chromebooks make it easier and more enjoyable for them to write.
I can read what they write immediately and give feedback. I can call out good examples of writing, which they love. One sentence will inspire a whole class.There are students who will write pages on a Chromebook, but who will not pick up a pencil..I know from experience that my students will happily use every Chromebook I get for years.
I look forward to reading and celebrating more of their writing this year. Last week, a boy wrote, "Because I am becoming a better communicator, I can explain more about myself and the things I do." A girl wrote, "I talk louder, because I found that I had a voice." Truly, it is Chromebooks that make this positive writing possible.
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