Progress grades are due this week. I finally decided I’d better assign a fast write to find out what the kids are acquiring. I put three phrases on the board, a suggestion for a story, and then talked about how they could really write whatever they wanted. It turned out that I forgot that this was the class who hasn’t had me before, and many of them were totally lost. I should have just told them to write the story we’ve been telling and let those who wanted to change it a bit do so. Next time that’s what I’ll do, and I’m sure they’ll improve a lot on their output. But we’re not going to write for at least a couple of weeks now. I have to see what I can do to reassure them I’m not playing the “gotcha” game.