The “January Thaw” Has Begun #SOL20

Kindergarteners arrive at my door in September. Some know letters and sounds, and some don’t. Very few have written more than their name, mom, dad, cat, and dog.

They come to school day after day. Mini lessons happen. Mentor texts are shared. Mentor authors are discussed. They practice. We confer. They practice some more, and we confer some more. Little by little progress is made. The process reminds me of the classic Pete Seeger garden song, “Inch by Inch” — Inch by inch/Row by row/Gonna make this garden grow/Gonna mulch it deep and low/Gonna make it fertile ground.” (Click here to listen and watch.) Sometimes threads from the work we are doing outside of Writer’s Workshop slowly weave their way into their thoughts and out into their writing. We spend a lot of time outdoors learning about the animals that make their home here on our campus. We also watch birds and other creatures through our classroom window and on our school wildlife camera that captures their movements at night under our feeder station. (Click here to watch. It’s pretty cool to see who visits!) It’s not unusual for these animals to make an appearance in student writing from time to time, in addition to their science observation notebooks.

And then January rolls around, and something begins to happen. I call it the “January thaw.” It’s when all of a sudden things start to make sense and come together. It’s when magic happens, just like it did today for one of my Kindergarten boys.

Once upon a time there was a fox in the forest.
“Snow,” he said. “I love snow!”
Fox ran to find his friends.
“Hear it snowing?” Fox said. “It’s fun!”
“Bear! Bird! It’s snowing. It’s fun!,” said Bear. (Fox)
Then he went to sleep.

Magic. Pure magic.


Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday and every day in March. Won’t you join us? My #OLW for 2020 is CREATE. I’m looking forward to nudging myself to create new and different things this year. How about you?


5 thoughts on “The “January Thaw” Has Begun #SOL20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s