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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Writing Celebrations

How much do I love writing workshop?  The irony is that I really didn't like writing throughout my academic career.  In fact, writing cover letters, essays, blogs, etc. are still challenging for me.  However, this philosophy of allowing students to select their topics rather than assigning a topic is liberating.  The concept that everybody is an author is amazing.  The idea that they can emulate my their favorite authors (ie, Mo Willems) is incredible.  I really do love writers workshop...

Anyway, I was reflecting/reminiscing on past writing celebrations.  Last year, around this time, I had invited the kindergarten teachers to celebrate with us Writing for Readers.  We were showing off our legible writing, stretched out spelling, and neat work.  Each student left his/her writing piece on the desk while we walked around and read each other's pieces, like a gallery.  When the xylophone played a melody, we rotated tables.  Teachers were free to meander as they pleased.  In the end we reflected on what makes a writing piece readable.  So much fun!



I have so many other celebrations that I love:

*Visiting a kindergarten class and sharing our pieces in small groups.
*Sitting in two big concentric circles.  The inside circle would move around while the outside circle stayed.
*Sitting in groups of four or five and sharing the pieces.  It helps if there is one adult per group facilitating the discussion and reflection.
*Inviting parents!  Give them a compliment sheet to fill out after the celebration to give to their child or to another student in the class.  Students love compliments!
*Type an anthology of their work to send home at the end of the unit.

How do you celebrate the culmination of a writing unit?  I would love to hear new ideas!

Check out this writing workshop resource if you love writing workshop as much as I do!

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