“This is the gold we work for—we are crafting lifelong readers and writers!”
The 2019–2020 school year was Morgan Huber’s first year teaching Collaborative Literacy to her fifth graders in Eden Prairie Schools, MN. Curious to know more about her students’ experience in reading and writing, Morgan asked her students to complete a GoogleForm survey.
Morgan used a scale from 1 (I dread it!) to 5 (I love it, and can’t wait to do it more on my own this summer!) and asked her students these four simple questions:
- At the beginning of fifth grade, how did you feel about reading?
- Now, at the end of fifth grade, how do you feel about reading?
- How did you feel about writing at the beginning of 5th grade?
- How do you feel about writing at the end of 5th grade?
Fifth graders are notorious for their brutally honest feedback, especially digitally! The feedback, however, spoke volumes about the positive change in student perception from the beginning to the end of the school year, even given the challenges posed by teaching virtually during a global pandemic.
“I loved having a class library, it gave me a change to have more books at home.”
“I honestly loved IDR and reading in the classroom. I always found an interesting book either from your library or the school library and I loved everything about it!!”
“I’ve learned that you sometimes have to take risks and then next time it will be better and you have to practice writing quite a lot.”
“I’m less critical about my work before it’s been corrected and rewritten. Also, I am better at generating ideas and I like writing more than just fiction.”
“A good writer can collaborate with other people, such as writing partners.”
“You often have to think outside the box, and you have to push yourself to be curious.”
These fifth graders felt personally invested, took ownership, and were excited about literacy—even given the challenging circumstances of ending the last quarter in a distance learning setting. Lifelong learners who read and write with enthusiasm despite where they are: this is certainly worth celebrating!