Today I had a blast volunteering in my 11 year old's sixth grade class during their literacy and writing time. I helped them with the final proofread and edit of their Halloween stories. Oh, my. It was so much fun! The stories were so cute, funny, scary, creative, imaginative... They must have had a great time writing them. I certainly enjoyed reading them and marveling at their unfettered creativity. I wish I could just let my imagination go like that. I am getting better at it, actually. I was impressed with the kids' vivid descriptions and clever dialogue.
Those who were ready came back to the table where I was sitting and I read their stories aloud with them, circling any errors and making sure they understood what was wrong. Most of the problems I saw had to do with proper punctuation in dialogue. There sure is a lot to remember when punctuating dialogue. New paragraph for new speaker, punctuation inside the quotation marks, how to properly handle dialogue tags. No wonder they have a hard time with it. Overall, though, I thought they had done a great job. I can't wait to go back next time. I go the first Friday of every month. I almost hate to admit it, but this is so much more fun than reviewing alphabet sounds with the kindergartners. Not that I don't love teaching kids to read, too. Seeing them blossom into little writers is just so cool! One girl who wasn't quite finished bemoaned the fact that she didn't know where to go with the story. Oh, I hear you on that one! I won't say whose story was the best, but let's just say that I may have been more partial to one of them over the others. You'll never guess whose.