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Writing Showcase Spotlights Young Scribes


West Godwin Elementary School fourth-grader Abel Garcia stuck a Post-It note on a story written by his cousin, Rosa, a kindergartner. On it, Abel had written, “I love your details and drawings.”

“Just Write” is the school’s annual showcase of student writing for parents and classmates to enjoy during a gallery walk. Every student has a piece published, with original work and drawings. As students looked at peers’ work, they left notes of affirmation.

“I like when I share my writing (that) other people can see how I do my drawings and writing. For others’ (writing pieces), I like to see where their ideas come from,” said Abel, who wrote about his family and an adventure they had at a carnival.

Students wrote narratives and opinion pieces, and several classrooms integrated grade-level state writing standards with standards in other subjects like social studies and science, said Karen Baum, the schools’ instruction specialist.

Teachers have students write daily, said Principal Steve Minard.

“Writing is essential and our teachers have bought into that,” he said. “As a result they are doing great things.”

Fourth-grader Abel Garcia shows his writing
Fourth-grader Abel Garcia shows his writing

Superheroes and Birthdays

“It’s about celebrating writing, getting parents into the building and helping us celebrate our student authors,” Baum said.

Parents said they loved seeing their children’s finished and polished work.

“It’s interesting to see the different stories. Some of them are funny. They really like superheroes and birthdays,” said Hilda Garcia, who looked at writing by her daughter, third-grader Diana Santiz; and her nephew, first-grader Riki Alvarado.

First-grader Devin Wiersma wrote an opinion piece about how students need more gym time. His mom, Amanda Vanden Bosch, was impressed. “I really like being with him at school and seeing the things he’s done.”

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Another Way Godwin Students Showcased Learning

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Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese
Erin Albanese is associate managing editor and reporter, covering Byron Center, Kentwood, Wyoming and Grand Rapids Community College. She was one of the original SNN staff writers, helping launch the site in 2013 and enjoys fulfilling the mission of sharing the stories of public education. She has worked as a journalist in the Grand Rapids area since 2000. A graduate of Central Michigan University, she has written for The Grand Rapids Press, Advance Newspapers, On-the-Town Magazine and Group Tour Media. Read Erin's full bio

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