We first published a "tweet" in one day to experience going through the whole writing process - immersion, generate ideas, choose, draft, revise, edit, publish and celebrate. Then. while learning how personal narrative / small moments go, we published our first personal narrative. Next, because our new school was celebrating with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, we quickly published a piece about a time in our new school. These got hung and read by the community as they toured our new school. It even prompted our district's Superintendent to write us a letter thanking us for sharing our school stories! Then finally, we went through the writing process one more time to lift the level of our narrative writing skills.
Friday at 1pm, all five third grade classes came together to celebrate with a Publishing Party. We opened the wall between two of the classrooms. Two other classes placed their writing on the benches outside in the hallway and the fifth class on the tables set up by the custodian. Next to each piece of writing was placed a GLOW sheet - a page for readers to write a glow about the piece of writing, a positive, specific comment. Each student was given a glow bookmark with sentence stem reminders of how a glow sounds.
With glow bookmark and pencil in hand, the students moved from classroom to tables to benches and back to classroom, reading!! The 107 students read about soccer games and family trips and time spent with grandparents. Then they wrote on the glow sheet a sentence - I like how you described the dog. I could picture it. - Your lead made me want to keep reading - I like the sound words you included.
Then the best part - we returned to our seat and read the GLOWS that others left for us after our story was read! I asked the class to read their glows, to think about the kind of writer they were as they began third grade and then to reflect in their notebook by writing:
I used to be the kind of writer who_______.
Now I am the kind of writer who ________.
I used to be the kind of writer who wrote short stories.
Now I am the kind of writer who adds details and writes longer stories.
I used to be the kind of writer who added some details.
Now I am the kind of writer who includes more action and dialogue.
I used to be the kind of writer who never used ...I forget what it is called...begins with a P.
Now I am the kind of writer who writes with paragraphs.
And my favorite -
I used to be the kind of writer who did not like to write.
Now I am the kind of writer who loves to write.
Today I celebrate all the writing my students did during Writing Workshop in just one quarter.
I am most grateful for all I learn from Teachers College Reading and Writing Project.
Their Units of Study for Teaching Writing allow me to teach my 3rd graders so well.