Part 5, the conclusion, and the ride home

The gentle rain on the roof, rolling into the gutters outside my bedroom window was soothing and I slept well last night, perhaps, too well. I had a hard time convincing myself it was a good idea to get out of bed and start the day. I finally got up went downstairs, started the coffee, and made lunch for William and me – salads.

Today is the last day of instruction in class and the kids have impressed me. Only a handful, and a small handful at that, have come unprepared with their writing. Of the writing, I have read I have been impressed with both their writing and thinking. In other places, I have been able to help with a suggestion or tow, but for the most part the process is going smoothly. Tonight, after school, we have parent-teacher conferences and tomorrow we have conferences all day long. It will be tow long days back to back and then Friday is Veterans Day and a day off, of sorts.

I finished my conclusion, though I know it needs work, I am on deadline and need to get moving and get to school. Revision and rethinking will have to wait for another day.

The Conclusion Paragraph Outline
The conclusion to any piece of writing should leave the readers feeling satisfied. It should give them a strong final impression of your main idea or of your purpose in writing the piece.

  • First sentence is a statement that helps the reader move from the last body paragraph to the reflection part of the conclusion. Usually starts with transitional phrases like, “After that day…” “So you see…” “Looking back on the whole event…”
  • 2 – 4 sentences – in between are a reflection on the whole experience. Writer states clearly what they learned and how the experience has impacted his or her life.
  • Last sentence is a final thought. It’s a clever little tidbit to leave the reader with, maybe it’s a return back to the original quote, a sentimental statement, or a lesson stated directly to the reader, a moral to the story.

Mr. Watkins’s conclusion
Paragraph 1

On the bus ride home, I thought about Coleen and her family and me. I had been so excited about Christmas break, but not about coming back to school. Now, I realized that coming back to school was something to be happy about. I got off at the bus stop, walked home, greeted my Grandparents, and went straight to my room to think and get my homework done.  Even though I didn’t want to, I did my homework. It took me longer to do my homework that night, but at least I did it, my classmate wouldn’t. Looking back, the event helped me to understand that though life was tough, at least I was alive and things could have been worse, much worse. I now understood how important it was to make what I had work, and worry less about what I didn’t have or couldn’t change.
Word count = 148

Paragraph 2
I had come back from Christmas break, but my classmate hadn’t, why? I asked myself, why? I am sure I wasn’t the only one to ask the question. The day was a blur and I couldn’t keep my mind off the Coleen and her family. I went from class to class and finally the day ended and I got on the bus and went home. I got off at the bus stop, walked home, greeted my Grandparents, and went straight to my room to think and get my homework done.  Even though I didn’t want to, I did my homework. It took me longer to do my homework that night, but at least I did it, my classmate wouldn’t. Looking back, the event helped me to understand that though life was tough, at least I was alive and things could have been worse.
Word count = 143

Note to Student: I wrote 2 paragraphs, I started one. Then re-started to get the overall theme and closing I wanted. Guess which one I like the best? I have 148 words in paragraph 1 and 143 words in paragraph 2; Mrs. Line’s word count totaled 102. Your conclusion should be a paragraph of about 5 to 9 sentences long with 75-150 words. Remember the balance. As it stands now, I am at 96-417-345-259-148. I will end up editing and changing the conclusion when I put all the pieces together and enter the revising stage. I have been typing my drafts and I recommend for you to do that over the four-day break. I will be busy talking with parents and sharing how you learn and how you can improve as a reader, writer, and learner. Your rough draft is due Tuesday 11/15 and the final draft is due the following day on Wednesday 11/16.

Throughout the process of writing my narrative,  I have reached out to folks I knew at this time in my life and who were with me that day, including my RWS teacher who replied to the e-mail I sent her Tuesday night.  What a joy it was to read. I have enjoyed the notes from classmates. I hope that for them I have helped them to Make the Days Count in their lives as well.

Today is gonna be a great day, it is raining, but weather is internal and attitude is just another form of weather. I am going to stay focused and make my own weather. Making the Day Count, one rainy day at a time, one parent conference at a time.

Is there an event in your adolescence when you experienced conflict and learned an important lesson?

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2 thoughts on “Part 5, the conclusion, and the ride home

    1. When I started MtDC in May 2010, I never thought I would be where I am now….. it seems hard to believe in the scant year and half where I have come with my own writing. There are times when I am so busy I don’t write because I have no time or use the time I have poorly. When I look back on some of my old posts I think WOW, but I am never satisfied. The more I write, the easier it gets, and I never seem to have a difficult time coming up with topics…. just time to write about them.

      Making the Days Count is about making the day worthwhile and there are days that are more worthwhile than others, as well. It is fun to see 7th graders realize that they are writers and watch them grow. That is my inspiration. Thanks for stopping by and making my day.

Thanks for visiting MtDC. How are YOU Making YOUR Days Count?