Friday, November 2, 2012

End of Unit---Celebration Time!!!

I had the privilege of being invited to the celebration of the end of unit study on informational books by a classroom of fifth graders.  Naturally, I accepted. How could I not visit a room full of writers, illustrators and just plain great kids?
Students listened as classmate shares.
As I entered the room, I could tell it was a different day from my usual visiting time. The children were a bit more chatty. They were definitely excited. On their desks were several papers: rubric used on the piece, reflection sheet they filled out, a blank sheet for appreciations, and THEIR BOOK!  The teacher gave last minute instructions. They were to go from desk to desk and read their classmates books and leave appreciations. If all the books were being read, they were to go to the front of the room where various students were reading their favorite chapters. Anyone could do or listen.
Fourth grader adding an appreciation
The music started softly in the background. Students got up and moved around the room. It wasn't quiet, but it wasn't noisy either. You could hear all kinds of comments.
  • "You've got to read Maddie's book. It is so cool."
  • "Did you see Jacob's pictures?"
  • "I love Katie's dedication to her grandparents."
  • I cried when I read Addie's. The poetry in it was great!"
Reading a classmates work
The fourth grade classrooms, along with the principal and building coach were also invited to the celebration. They moved among the tables and added their comments to the books.

When the time was up and visitors had gone, it was time to go back to their own desks and their books.  Children were saying, "I can't wait to read the appreciations."
From an informational book.
This is the REAL reason we write.  It is almost always for others. As teachers, we can't forget to be sure students are aware of their audience. Who are they really writing for?  We must give them REAL reasons to write...not just for their writing folder or the teacher.

Great Job, Mrs. Norton's Fifth Graders!  I'm proud of all of you!!!!

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