Monday, December 13, 2010

A Proud, Proud Writing Teacher

Today we had a celebration! Today we had a publishing party!
Our class has been working on personal narratives for what seems like forever. We worked on them for weeks and then took a much needed break to explore some response to literature. Right around Thanksgiving we started working on them again. This time we began looking at model student work in the America's Choice rubric book and noticing what those student authors did well. We took those noticings and the standard to create a class rubric. This rubric became a tool for each child to see in a concrete way what was expected of him or her in regards to a personal narrative. Because of our farming theme, we decided on the levels of performance as "seed," "sprout," and "cornstalk." I've seen so much growth and more importantly to me- EFFORT- in the past few weeks. I am so proud of them and I can't wait to see what they will publish next!
Young Publishing Company is proud to say that all the students' pieces have been accepted by the company and therefore all our writers were celebrated today in our publishing party! Our party included reading our stories to eachother, a microphone, awards, and even a snack! :)  It was a great chance to encourage them to keep on writing and to remind them that they ARE authors!

On a personal note, I've spent many years teaching fourth grade writing, which in Florida means state testing in the form of FLWrites. Every year I push my students and was pleased that last year 2 of my students received top scores (which means I get to go on a limo ride with them in February!) First grade writing has been a big change. Fourth graders write nothing like first graders! Can you imagine? LOL So on one hand my expectations had to change, but the degree to which I push my students has not. I'm so excited to see my first grade friends already trying out a number of strategies in their writing that I've usually taught my fourth grade students. Woo hoo!!