It’s the beginning of October so by now I imagine you have been in school for at least one month, if not longer… the first month of school you taught your kids how to live the life of a writer and how to build strong reading habits, which is great! Hopefully you have seen a good amount of progress and students are reading and writing with more stamina, engagement and volume by now.
So what can we do when we are finished with a unit and ready to start a new one? CELEBRATE!!! What do we mean by celebrate?
Rejoice with your students in the fact that they have come a long way and that they have made progress. No matter how big or small that progress is, they are no longer the readers or writers they used to be. Before moving on to a new type of reading and writing, it makes sense to give closure to the last one. Just tie it up with a big ribbon!
There are lots of fun ways to do this. Some of them were included in the Bulletin Boards Newsletter.
Here are some ideas that are not bulletin board related but also GREAT!!!:
Remember- for a reading celebration, you want the celebration to reflect the big work of the unit you just finished. Kids can think, talk, sketch and/or write to show this. For example- if kids were learning strategies for tackling trouble as readers, they might talk or write about some new strategies they’ve acquired. If kids were studying characters/series, they might sketch a character web or write long about a character they were left thinking about or even talk about a favorite character to a buddy. The celebration should be done in one day.
Here are just 5 ideas for reading celebrations:
- Gallery walks of reader’s response notebooks showing your best writing about reading- these pages can be flagged with post its.
- Have kids write a little blurb to share a new strategy they have learned in the last unit and are working on/getting better at. This could even be shared with a book buddy class that is older or younger.
- Create videos of book talks and set them up for parents/another class/administration to see.
- Bring the class together into a circle and have everyone go around and share something quickly that they learned or are thinking about one of their books or a strategy they are working on.
- “Pajama Day Read In” of your favorite books.
Remember- for a writing celebration, you want the celebration to reflect the big work of the unit you just finished. This celebration can include an apple juice toast and a cheers to our writing or some cookies or bagels or whatever treats you like. Or it can be super simple with no food and just be about the writing work kids did. Kids can read parts of their writing or the entirety of it to a partner/buddy/class/parents. This celebration should be done in one day.
Here are just 5 possibilities for writing celebrations:
- Have kids get up with their writing pieces and read their very favorite line of their writing. Then set up a classroom gallery walk where the writing sits out on the tables and kids can go around and read each other’s work and write notes of appreciation to each author.
- Read your piece to a small group of students in your class or in another class.
- Pair kids up and have them read their writing to each other. When they are able to, they can share something they were working on as a writer during that unit.
- Have kids share with a partner/buddy/group/class a strategy they worked on in that unit and read the part where they tried it out. Then do a gallery walk with kids writing notebooks or writing folders.
- Invite parents in and put kids into small groups to read the writing aloud. Partners can introduce each other.