Friday, August 8, 2014

Celebrations #TCRWP

Today wrapped up my week at Teacher's College, thanks to the awesome folks at Fund for Teachers!
I've met authors, teachers, leaders, and most importantly...people who are passionate about what they do! It's intoxicating, and I am so pumped to #getthispartystarted  next year!  

In processing all I learned this week, I think I'm going to share a few pieces at a time.  Today, we were wrapping everything up, and at the end of every writing unit you should include some sort of celebration.  It's an accomplishment to finish a piece of work....celebrate it, get your kids excited & proud about all their hard work. 
There are lots of ways to do this.  Cornelius Minor, @MisterMinor, shared a few ways on one of my first days here. One of my faves were business cards!  Business cards?  Well, after they finish 3 or so pieces of work, they are officially a writer. Give them some business cards that express that, they can hand them out to their friends, the cute girl down the street, and family.  Let them brag a little about what they've been doing in school!  I found some great free templates online that work with the cheap Avery labels template (5376) cheap and easy!  Click the pic to go to the website & download your own! Add any info you'd like...I recommend their name, WRITER, and the address to the blog where you can find their work.
He also had some other unique ideas in getting their work out there.  Find out where the people in the community go.  Talk to the people in those places.  @MisterMinor used the examples the laundromat, doctor's offices, or the local Target! He actually has a board outside their nearest Target, next to the ads, where he can post their finished writing pieces for reading. It seems like a strange notion, but putting their work out into the world is a powerful tool to make them realize how important their thoughts & ideas really are!  

Celena Larkey , @celenula, adds that we should celebrate not only the piece, but also the writer AND the process. Give them time to reflect.  Reflection can only lead to growth as a writer.  Feedback is also an important part of the process. *Before you have them give feedback, make sure you've taught them about constructive criticism & how they should be looking for good things too! Then there's the fun!  Have the celebration match the writing.  Informational writing?  Have a how-to fair!  Let them read their pieces and demonstrate what they were writing about.  The possibilities are limitless.  LET THEM COME UP WITH UNIQUE IDEAS TO CELEBRATE!! (I'm not talking cupcakes and coke)
Kids are way more creative than we are at times, so poll the peanut gallery & see what they come up with.

Sorry, that was a long post.  There's so much more to share, but I'll leave with this thought.  In order to become stronger writers with clear voices, kids need to work that writing muscle.  The only way to get them writing is to motivate them.  Pride in their work is the best motivation you can offer.  


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