It was Writer’s Workshop in my classroom, the time of day where children receive a mini-lesson in a writing skill, get independent time to practice writing, and then share their work with a classmate. Tyler, one of my most prolific writers, asked me if she could go to the quiet corner to write. I granted her request, and she gathered her folder, paper and pencil, and settled down to work. After seeing Tyler go to a quiet spot, Annie approached me and asked the same thing. “I can think better over there,” she said as she pointed to a large table where I gathered the kids for reading groups. I also gave her permission to move to the work space. Finally, Kaden raised his hand and asked if he could go work on the carpet, and I nodded my consent. He always had trouble writing at his desk, staring off into space, or looking sadly at the heads of the writers bent over their papers while he had written so little. These kids needed space and alone time to do their best work.
A Typical School Day
These kids, and most kids, spend the majority of their day interacting with others. They come to the classroom where their desks are placed in pods, nestled in groups of 4-6 desks closely packed together. Throughout the day, they are physically close to each other when standing in line, working in groups, eating lunch, and riding the bus home. Classroom lessons include group discussions, small group projects, and buddy reading. After school, there are dance lessons, sports practice, tutoring groups, etc. More time spent with others, with little time and space to be alone.