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Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing

As a blogger, I know the power of the audience. It's you readers out there that make me want to blog, and make me want to make quality blog posts! Don't our children need this same sense of audience to motivate their writing? I think so!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!


Here are some ideas for celebrating the children's writing:


Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
1. Share in Class! Have one child read his/ her story to the class. The class is expected to listen and ask questions that "prove they were listening." This works well when the child is "mid-story" in order to get ideas on where to go from this point.

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
2. Small Group Shares! Have children work in groups of 2 or three to share their stories as above.

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
3. Share Your Best Sentence!  I like this one because there's usually enough time for each child to share one sentence. If the children know it's coming, that helps motivate the children to work on the quality of their sentences.

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
4.  Share With Someone Else in the Building! There are lots of adults in an elementary school who would be thrilled to "play along" with this one! It's a great motivator to promise a child that he can read his story to the custodian, or the secretary, or the cafeteria workers. It's a win-win!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
5. Share With Another Class! Plan to get together with another class in your own grade, or another grade to pair the children up for a big share! There are advantages to each age group: older, younger, or peers!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
6. Skype! - Do you have a class with whom you Skype?  What a great opportunity for children to share their writing! 

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
7. Write Letters! See THIS BLOG POST for the benefits of letter writing and a freebie!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
8. Bulletin Boards!  Post the children's writing on the wall for others to see!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
9. Class Books and Newspapers! These will be read by classmates (and parents) over and over!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
10. Publish! It's amazing how special it makes a story when it's typed up and a fancy cover is put on it. I allow students to take out each others' published books for Independent Reading time. It gets really interesting when we're talking about Author's purpose... the author is sitting right there in the classroom!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
11. Have an "Author's Tea"! Invite parents, grandparents, and administrators, and give the children an opportunity to read one of their stories to the group. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you make it. It's a great opportunity for a party, and a great opportunity to motivate your young writers with a live audience!

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!
12. Have a Class Blog!  I have to admit, I've never done this, but I'm planning to start a class blog very soon!  Imagine the thrill to see your own written work displayed on the internet!  Wait... I know what that's like, and that's why I can't wait to give my students the opportunity to do the same!  

Twelve Ways to Celebrate Writing: Here are 12 ways to help the children WANT to write. All of them are FREE and most are low maintenance!

If you have a blog for your class, or know of one, I'd love some input! I have loads of questions and concerns, so I'm looking for examples and mentors in the Class Blog department!

That Day That Teachers Dread?

Did you realize April Fool's Day is coming??? Some teachers absolutely dread this day. Are you one of them?

The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!


I'm a true believer in any opportunity to laugh!  As a matter of fact, laughter is healthy!  (See THIS blog post on the benefits of laughter!)  It's also great for the brain! (See THIS blog post on brain fitness!)



I do enjoy making the kids laugh, and I enjoy their humor.  But I kind of like to "beat them to the punch".



I set the rules first thing:  April Fool's Day is about making people laugh.  It is NOT about making people mad.



I stuck around for a while after school today setting up some things that will hopefully lead to a few laughs.



I wrote the morning letter for Monday. I usually write about the morning routine, reminding them of their daily responsibilities, and if anything unusual were going to happen on that day. Monday's letter says we're going on a field trip to Disney World. The schedule is set up with the word "field trip" at the top, and nothing else!



Here's the date for Monday:  (They have actually

earned 25 minutes, not 325!)
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

When you're 7, seeing things you normally see, but upside down, is pretty funny.  (Note the calendar arrow pointing to August, rather than April!)
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

Again, upside down is pretty funny when you're 7.
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

  Some of the names and stations for the morning literacy block are upside down... great stuff.  
The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

This is where we often put "exit slips" for reading.  They put a post it on their number, telling something about the story they read.  I put a post it with a personality trait on their numbers.  Hopefully this will make them smile!

The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

How do I bring April Fool's Day into reading?  I bring out my joke books! (Images are affiliate links to Amazon.)
          

And, of course, who understands the sense of humor of a seven year old better than Robert Munsch? (More affiliate links to Amazon.)
            

How do I bring April Fool's day into Math?  With Problem solving!  Check out my April Fool's Day Math Freebie!


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/April-Fools-Day-Math-Story-Problems-226758?utm_source=blog%20post%20the%20day%20teachers%20dread&utm_campaign=April%20Fool%20Math

Looking for more learning related to April Fool's Day?
Try these April Fool's Day Printables!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/April-Fools-Day-Math-and-Literacy-Activities-1175492?utm_source=April%20Fool%20Blog%20Post&utm_campaign=April%20Fool%20Printables

Interestingly, I have several of the same ideas, plus a few more on last year's April Fool's Day post!  HERE is the link to see that one!

Have a happy April Fool's Day!  
I hope you hear loads of laughter!

The Day That Teachers Dread? I'm one who looks forward to April Fool's Day in the classroom. Here are plenty of reasons why, including a math freebie!

What's Your High and Low?


I have a little tradition in my classroom that I've been doing for years at the end of the day. It's called "High/ Low". (In some circles, it can be called "Rose and Thorn.") It's when we reflect on our day and decide what was the best part of the day and what was the most challenging part of our day. 

What's Your High and Low? This blog post is about a little tradition I've been doing at the end of the day in my classroom and it's always a big hit. It helps me learn about my students and build relationships with them.

I got the idea from an old romantic comedy starring Bruce Willis and Michelle Pfeiffer called The Story of Us.




 It was a cute movie about a married couple with two children who were struggling with their marriage. Every evening at dinner the family would share their high of the day and their low of the day. That got me thinking about ending the day in the classroom the same way. I tried it, and it worked out better than expected!

Sometimes people ask me why I let the kids focus on their low of the day... don't I want them to be positive? Well, yes, of course I want them to be positive, but sometimes they have something that is bugging them, and it makes them feel better to get it out. (Just like the rest of us!) Besides, it helps me know what's going on in the classroom. (And even though they don't mention names, I usually know exactly who they're talking about, and can address it privately later!)

In the beginning, there's usually plenty of modeling on my part. My high might be about a success the class had that day, "I was proud when the class got a good report from the art teacher," or "Everyone caught on to adding hundreds today!"  Sometimes, it's an individual success, "John turned 8 years old today," or "Mary has a brand new baby brother."

I'm particularly careful to model what a low would sound like, since I don't want this to be the focus, and I want them to know I care about them. It might sound something like this, "Fred was out sick today," or "Fran got hurt on the playground today," or maybe "Someone hurt George's feelings." More than anything, it's important to model positive feelings. This is when you learn about your students and build those important relationships.

High/ Low of the Day usually works best at the end of the day. However, it can be used in the morning for special events, such as High/ Low of the month, High/ Low of vacation, High/ Low of a holiday, High/ Low of a test, and so on!

Here's another blog post about how I do High/ Low by having the children hold a Beanie Baby when it's their turn, then tossing the Beanie to the next person: How to Have Them Happy When They Walk Out of the Classroom.

What's Your High and Low? This blog post is about a little tradition I've been doing at the end of the day in my classroom and it's always a big hit. It helps me learn about my students and build relationships with them.



Maple Weekend

It's the end of winter here in New England, and we're enjoying a New England tradition:  Maple sugaring!

Maple Weekend: Facts, videos, and books to help children learn about how Maple Syrup is made!

Over the last couple of weeks, we've seen many a maple tree with buckets attached!  Yep, when the days get warm but the nights are still cold, that's the right conditions for getting that sap flowing! They collect that sap and boil away!

  • Did you know it takes 40 - 50 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup?

I love to use children's literature to teach science and social studies concepts.  
This topic includes both, a little history of the New England area, plus the science of trees and sap, as well as states of matter and evaporation!

Want to learn more about how maple syrup is made?  Here are a couple of informational books for kids about the process.  
      

Here are a few realistic fiction books that share the experience of maple sugaring:

          

  

It's truly a fascinating process!  There are several "Sugar Houses" in my area, and a true hint that winter is nearing an end.  The State of New Hampshire officially declared this "Maple Weekend" and many Sugar Houses are opened to the public this weekend!

Here's a little video I found on Youtube that demonstrates the process.


Doesn't it make you wonder how people figured out that draining trees of sap and boiling it like crazy would make a yummy liquid?  Did they try oak trees and pine trees?  How did they know to drill a hole in the tree and put a bucket underneath?  

Here's one fiction book that suggests how it might have happened, back in the days when Native Americans lived peacefully with the earth in the New England area:


Don't you just love books that put you in a totally different time and place? Historical fiction is one of my very favorite genres, how about you?

Maple Weekend: Facts, videos, and books to help children learn about how Maple Syrup is made!

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