I have no experience with first grade before this year. So, I have nothing with which to compare things. However, I am constantly amazed at how excited these students are about writing. When we say it is time for writing workshop there is cheering. They can't stay in their seats during writing workshop because they want to show us what they are doing. I credit Katie Wood Ray's book, Already Ready for this energy. These kids see themselves as writers. Amazing!
We've been doing a study of Mo Willem's books. Today the astoundingly phenomenal special education teacher I work with (she was a first grade classroom teacher before) started an interactive writing with the kids of Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Truck. If you've read Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus you might remember that, at the end, the Pigeon sees a truck and starts thinking... My kids have been chomping at the bit to write about it for a few days. Now, about half the class is writing about the Pigeon in some form or another. I love writing workshop!