Sometimes they need to know, that we know, that they are capable. Sometimes they need to know, that we know, that they are capable of so much more than what they might exhibit.
We switch classes for Literature Circles (Book Club), whatever you want to call it. I call it, "Let them read, and enjoy a book time." The kids in one group were asked to write a brief prediction about their story before they started.
With no prompting from me, they politely shared what each had written. I looked in one little girl's book and she wrote her prediction in giant letters, sloppily written all over the page. Now, I'm all for giving my students ownership, but I have rules about some things. I quietly let her know that it wasn't acceptable, and she wrote it over, beautifully.
As they left to return to their classrooms, I pulled her aside, and gave her my heartfelt speech. "These are my expectations for you, (hand raised high in the air), they are not here", (hand close to the floor.), I know you can meet them." She nodded affirmatively, and walked to her class. (Now mind you, this is one of "those" students teachers tend to gossip about).
I say all this because at 7:38p.m., she emailed me a three paragraph essay about her winter break. We are now a Google school and we use Google docs. This little girl, at home, wrote a three paragraph essay, looked up my email, and shared it with me!!!!! Wow! I am blown away!
I read it and left a comment. Nothing about spelling, grammar. I praised her for the excellent work and thanked her for sharing her winter break with me.
She is making a statement, "I have no problem meeting your standards Mrs. M. Look what I can do! Look what I am capable of!" Hey, sometimes they need to let us know, that they know, that they are capable of so much more, and I love it!