We have been hard at work on our writing skills. Students have been learning strategies to hook their readers and keep them glued to their story. We’ve been analyzing what authors do and we notice there are many common features in their writing…
We notice authors use sounds, dialogue, questions, action, thoughts and feelings in their writing. When they combine these different strategies, the writing becomes more powerful and the reader is engaged.
204 students have spent considerable time writing in ways that make their writing worth reading. Whether it is crafting an opening that “hooks” the reader, or developing characters and details in a way that keep a reader engaged, we are developing our skills in amazing ways!
So, as we put Once Upon a Time and The End behind us, watch and see how our skills and strategies evolve. Through reflection and revision, we will see vast improvement in grade 3!
I often share my own writing with students – so I thought my Valentine’s story might be a fun one to share with families, too. Don’t forget to send in valentines this week! Here’s my embarrassing narrative.
“The Secret Admirer”
The sky was a brilliant blue the day my teacher passed out the class list for Valentine’s Day. “Be sure to bring your lists home!” Mrs. Pollak said brightly as she handed us each one. It was February, 1980, and I was in the sixth grade. I was extremely shy, perfectly well behaved, and a great student. I loved my teacher, I loved Valentine’s Day, and I was starting to think I was in love with a boy.
All I had to do, was look across the room at him, and my whole face would burn up like a ripe apple. I would never have the courage to talk to him, or tell him how I felt, because I was just too bashful. But thankfully Valentine’s Day was right around the corner, and I’d have my chance to give him a hint.
Every year, students at our school designed Valentine’s boxes — beautifully decorated creations, which were then used to collect all of our valentines at school. My box was extra special this year, with pink stickers and white feathers, and I had used shiny white paper to cover it. It was beautiful. It was ready.
Next, I set about creating my valentines. Although I had left my list at school, I knew each name by heart and set to work… I created one for every student in the class, including him. The valentines were made of shiny white paper, with pink stickers and white feathers. (Even when I was 12 years old, I had to make sure everything matched!) Each student’s name was carefully written on the front, and I had signed each one with my name in cursive. They were beautiful. They were ready.
Back to the boy… I decided that sending him an anonymous card would be my best bet. He’d get the hint that someone liked him, and hopefully I’d get lucky and he’d notice me. I wanted to be very careful to create a valentine that was different than all my others. I used a deep red paper, with hand-cut white hearts and a few candies glued on the front. Inside – I wrote the following:
Dear Kile – I think you are very sweet and very cute. Love, Your Secret Admirer.
I was especially careful to disguise my handwriting. I did not sign my name. It was beautiful. It was ready.
The dark gray sky on Valentine’s morning did nothing to dampen my mood. I was walking on air, and spent a little extra time getting ready. I chose a special outfit, and had my mom help me with my hair. I even put on my BonneBell lip gloss and Love’s Baby Soft perfume! I packed up my box, my Valentines and my secret card, and set off for school. I could hardly contain my excitement, I was so happy. I was beautiful. I was ready.
The time came, late in the afternoon, when Mrs. Pollak finally told us it was time to pass out our Valentines. I left my box on my desk, and carefully made my way around the room, dropping cards into all the boxes I came to. I took special care NOT to drop his Regular Valentine into his box at the same time as his Special One. I did not want them side by side. I was certain that no one noticed when I dropped the red valentine into his box. My heart was pumping in my throat by the time I sat down in my chair.
Next came the part I had been waiting for – we all opened our valentines and arranged them all on our desks. I could see from across the room that he had opened his Secret Valentine, as it was on his desk with his others… My cheeks started turning pink.
Soon, Mrs. Pollak inquired “Did any of you receive any unusual Valentines?”
From the corner of my eye, I saw him raise his hand. I started to blush even more.
“I did, Mrs. Pollak.” He said with a shy smile in his voice. “I received a card from a secret admirer.”
“OOOhh!” said Mrs. Pollak “Do you know who it is from?”
“I think so.” He said.
“Well that’s exciting! Do you want to share?” My teacher asked him.
The whole class was now turned towards him, waiting for his reply. He was now also blushing bright red. He softly said “The mystery valentine has my name spelled wrong: K.I.L.E. It should be K.Y.L.E.”
My face grew red hot as he continued… “Only one other person spelled my name wrong the same way….. it was Suzy.”
Every face turned towards me as I tried to turn invisible. I was about to throw up all over my beautifully feathered box when I heard Mrs. Pollak, saying – “Well, Kyle – I wouldn’t jump to conclusions – I saw a couple of young ladies come in the room from down the hall while we were passing out valentines. My guess is that you have several possible secret admirers…”
Then, my wonderful teacher changed the subject by saying it was time to eat our cookies while we listened to her read our read-aloud chapter book. She read to us until the very end of the day.
As the bell rang, and I went to leave the classroom, Mrs. Pollak gave me a smile, a wink and quick hug as she whispered in my ear…. “Suzy, I admire how brave you were today, but next time? Remember to use the class list!”
We are still in need of drivers for Wednesday’s field trip to the Cotuit Art Center. Please let me know ASAP if you can help us out.
Our valentine share will be on Friday, but students can bring in their cards to hold on to at any point. Thank you!!