Monday, September 18, 2017

Writing Celebration

Friday was the end of our first writing unit, which wrapped up narrative stories.  In order to celebrate the hard work students do over the course of the unit, we go on a gallery walk.  Students self-select their BEST piece of writing from the unit and leave it out on their desk.  Then, students walk around to each desk and review their peers' writing.  I set a timer so they look at each student's writing for one minute.  After all students review each story, they walk around and give a sticker to the five they thought really exemplified the goal of the unit: a strong narrative story that included detailed pictures with labels.  I only give students five stickers to hand out, so they really have to think about who to give them to and why.

Once everyone has given out their stickers, I read the three stories that earn the most stickers aloud to the class.  When I first started doing this method of celebrating at the end of a unit, I was afraid that students would just put stickers on writing haphazardly and I'd end up with mediocre writing read aloud.  This isn't the case. The kids know what they're looking for, and they may be a harsher judge than me when it comes to acceptable writing. 

It's definitely more engaging than having every child read his/her own story aloud to the class.  

Now we are moving in to Unit 2, Writing Like Scientists.  This unit focuses on teaching others what we observe in the world around us.

To write about what we observe, first we have to have something to observe!

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