Monday, January 23, 2012

Writing for Readers

Happy Monday!

I'm not so sure those two words should be used together...but you know what they say "Fake it 'til you Make it". 

Really, though, don't you just love it when your guest teacher gushes about your class?  Between a sick boy and a gimpy hubby I was out three days last week.  So it was a happy Monday...I spent lunch with my guest teacher {She was subbing in another classroom} and she just went on and on and on about how they just know what to do and do it...they really are a sweet bunch of kiddos who have come a L O N G way!!!!

We wrapped up our Calkin's unit: Writing for Readers.  It's one of my favorites.  Read more about it {HERE}.  The kids have been working hard to peer edit their pieces.  I'm amazed at how well they worked together, how they really took to heart "take care of your partner's feelings" when you help them out. I heard a lot of "I really liked how you made your 'a' but it needs to be uppercase".  So cute. 

If you're familiar with Calkins, after you "fancy up" a writing piece you have a celebration.  I'm a sucker for any kind of celebration - click {HERE} to read about some of our reading and writing celebrations.

Tomorrow we're going to celebrate our writing by having a "Sharing Circle".  This is the perfect time of year to celebrate this way because most, if not close to all, of the writing has been written with the reader in mind, so they should be pretty "easy" to read.

The way the Sharing Circle works is we all sit in a circle on our carpet.  We start holding onto our own story - when I say "switch" the kids all pass their stories to the left, right, left, right left.  Yeah, at first it's a discombobulated mess but they get the hang of it.  You read the story and if you finish before it's time to switch you look at the pictures or you read it again.  We do this several times, for as long as we can without getting the wiggles too badly.

Once we finish up we all say a big HIP, HIP, HOORAY!!!!!

And using this...

It doesn't look big here - but it's huge...SO fun!!!!  They haven't seen it yet, so they'll get a big chuckle when I pull it out of my closet!
...they each get called up one at a time to receive one of these:

And one of these {Pick up a copy for yourself by clicking on the picture - there's black and white and color...whatever tickles your fancy}...

Clipart: Scrappin' Doodles - I found the poem somewhere on the internet and can't remember where -if it's yours, let me know so I can give credit where credit's due!
Time to get back to The Bachelor....


  1. Great ideas! I love the microphone and the cool certificates, it's usually pretty hard for my little ones to get up in front of others I'm always looking for new cool ways of motivating them to do it. Including making a fool of myself using a microphone like that to sing Happy Birthday (I can NOT sing) to them on their birthdays in the most ridiculous voice I can possibly muster up! They love it and I can live with it if it helps them feel better about getting up there themselves!

  2. I love this! We've been practicing editing sentences lately and I'm hesitant to have them peer edit but I think it'd probably be great motivation. Thanks for the inspiration! : )

  3. Guest Teacher? Is that what you call a Sub? It sounds so polite!!!! :) I like it!
    I have a microphone. I've never really let the kids use it. I tend to hog it.
    Love the celebrations -- I wish I could do them but you know how those Curriculum Cops are. Seriously.
    A Teeny Tiny Teacher

  4. I like your celebration around the circle. I'm always looking for new ways to celebrate. Some of my celebrations involve gallery walks. I also like splitting the kids into two parts. Half of the kids spread out around the room while the other half moves around listening to authors and leaving them with a compliment before heading off to another author. Then we switch groups. By the way I love Lucy. I've recently posted about the revision unit and I just posted about the Tiny Topics Notebooks that we make for Authors as Mentors. Love it.

    Forever in First

  5. I love your certificates to hand out at the end of a unit, such a great idea!

    Thank you!

    Projects & Polkadots

  6. I just started using Calkins and I am in love!!!! Our reading program does not have a great writing program so I felt like I needed to find something better. My instructional coach/ BFF used it at her old school and had the program. She co-taught with me for a couple of weeks and now I have it up and going by myself. The kids can't wait to do writers workshop and beg to write longer! I really want my own copy of the program, but it is pricey. My bday is in February so I think I might ask my parents. I am keeping my fingers crossed!!!

    1. Kelly, I don't mean to eavesdrop, but I've seen cheaper used copies on sites like ebay or You might be able to snag one, because you're right. They are pricey! (I happen to have about 6 never-been-opened unit studies in my room right now, because I've done some professional development for my district on Lucy's resources, and we have extras. I wish I could give one to you.)
      Forever in First

  7. We are on our second microphone...the first one was partially chewed on by Beaver Boy(visit former post).

    I love your certificates!

    I am glad your guest teacher had sweet words to say. My kiddos come unglued when I am not there but then I tend to get the subs that are magicians or that bring magazines and read them while chatting on their cell phones or let the children jump off the tables with their socks off!

    Happy Monday means one day closer to the weekend! =)

    Heather's Heart

  8. Love! What great motivators for the kiddos! I love the certificates!

  9. I love the motivators! I was inspired by you, and ordered some of Calkins' books. I am excited to read all about it!

    First Grade Magic

  10. I am teaching this unit too! Love it! I am constantly amazed at how well my students are at helping each other revise. I gave them all purple pens to help with they work with their writing partners. Now they can't wait to revise and get some purple on their papers. But enough about me... I am loving your awards totally going to use them. They came at the perfect time. Also I am love your celebration and the sharing circle. I was wondering how else you celebrate and are you doing the authors as mentors unit next?
    Apples and Papers

    1. Hi Jessica,
      The unit I just finished was the Writing for Readers. The Craft of Revision comes next. I'm not to keen on that one and do A LOT of tweaking to it. I think I may skip Revision and move on to Authors as Mentors and then come back to Revision.

      If you click on the 2nd "click HERE" in my original post it'll take you to a post about celebrations where I talk about some of the various ones we do. LOVE 'em!!!!!

      Holly :)

  11. I love this idea! We have just really gotten into writing for our readers. They are doing awesome. So i think I'll remind them to clean up a piece and do a celebration. Thanks for the freebie. I love calling a sub a guest teacher, so sweet.

    First in Maine

  12. Thank you for your comment on my blog. We did have a great time. Love your ideas. I'm going to share them with my first grade friends.

  13. I love your sharing circle idea. I'm definitely doing that!
    Grade ONEderful

  14. Love this! Also, I gave you an award on my blog...check it out!

    Living A Wonderful Life


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...