Skip to main content

Gifted Writers

I have an intimate group of four gifted writers twice a week. We share who we are and write about it. Then we share again and help each other write what we really meant. It's one of the joys of my week, this group. They are shyly starting to trust that I really do want to start where they are and move them to where they want to be. They asked me what the rules of their writing were today and when I told them there were not rules except that it was a true story about themselves. There was a palpable sigh, then one of the girls said, "It's never like that anymore. I miss writing."

"But you write every day," I said.

"We have so many rules and we are supposed to use the same transitional words," she explained. "It's like they want 25 essays about the exact same thing. Who wants to read that?"

I couldn't disagree with her logic. No matter how much we teachers say we are trying to inject life into their writing or follow the researched protocol of the program we are using, perception is reality. So I stopped talking and let them write for 30 full minutes. They shook their hands out and shifted their grips on their pencils. They stopped for a time or two to get some advice about what they were writing. After we wrote, we all shared and I modeled how to talk about the good writing that we were hearing. Writing is so personal and for gifted children who haven't gotten to share their way of thinking for a long time, this was an experience that changed them. They were chatting up a storm on our way back to their classroom.

"I'm going to start writing down how people talk."

"I'm going to carry my notebook around more."

This is their time to be writers who won't miss a day without their favorite activity.


  1. Nurturing the gifted writer is my favorite thing to do. So satisfying when they respond as yours did. Small groups are necessary for this sense of safety.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

5 Ways to Help Gifted Kids Find Their Gifts

When I work with gifted kids, I'm amazed by their lack of understanding about what interests them. They know how to surf the net exhaustively for Youtube videos that make them laugh, but not what skills and practices further their interests.

Developing interests and passions is critical to these students. Many people out there tell me that this is not just for gifted kids, that their average developing child needs to know how to do this too. While of course I agree that this is true, I also think that typical academic, fine arts, and sports programs are available in most communities are enough to engage and motivate most kids. Not true of gifted children who become jaded, disinterested, and shut down quickly when a program doesn't meet their needs.
Most people think of gifted students as being prodigies who know exactly where their gifts lie. This couldn't be further from the truth. In fact, I often question if some children who are identified as gifted will ever find thei…

Writing Short, Day 1

I've taken a new position. I'm now an editor and writer at a company called We Are Teachers. I do some article writing for them, but I also write very short pieces designed for emails or giveaways. I didn't think I'd like this kind of work, but I do! It brings me back to the importance of knowing how to write short. I've talked about this before, but here's the book I'm referencing:
And thank you, Roy Peter Clark, for soothing my guilt about writing specifically for the Tweet. In “How to Write Short: Word Craft for Fast Times,” this amazing writer praises Twitter’s 140-character limit as a tool for “intelligent cutting.”
So, as a way to get better at my new craft, I'm re-reading his book and actually doing the activities at the end of each chapter. The first: Practice writing plain sentences that contain a grace note, one interesting word that stands out. ___________________________________________
As did Proteus, I move forward into change. I figure, I …

DigiLit Sunday: Relationships

In the light of the moon, a little egg lay on a leaf..

On Sunday, I interviewed a woman named Julie Lindsay. She lives in Australia and started a company called Flat Connections. Her message to me was that Web 2.0 tools have changed the face of education. It brought the walls down so that we could all reach each other.

On  Monday, I read a book by Pernille Ripp, a teacher living in Wisconsin. In Reimagining Literacy through Global Connections, Ripp's message to me was to keep it simple when going global, the students just need to know they can connect and share who they are.

On Tuesday, I voxed Julieanne Harmatz. "Let's do this!" I said. "I've got a fourth grade, you've got a fifth. Mine is in Maine, yours is in California. Let's read together and share thoughts." She agreed.

On Wednesday, Julieanne emailed suggestions for three books she had multiple copies of. I book talked them to my students that afternoon.

On Thursday, I worked online with…