This is the most satisfying step in the writing process- publishing! And we made it!

Missed our earlier steps? Check my earlier posts for 

I'm so excited for this part- and your kids are excited too! Publishing can happen in many different forms and it's great to celebrate what you've worked hard to create.

What are some different ways to publish writing?
Students should know what publishing is and really want to put forth their best efforts. It's great when you're able to use a variety of methods. 
  • Write final copies- practice using good handwriting and really put special effort into their writing.
  • Type into Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or another typing program. Students practice typing skills and can manipulate size and font.
  • Create a website. Use Google Sites to create a class website and fill it with the publishable pieces.
How can you celebrate with a publishing party?
Everyone loves to share what they wrote. I like to give my students options for how to share- from their seat, standing up at their desk, standing in the front of the room, or having a classmate read it for them (this especially helps out the shy students!). Add a little something to bring your publishing party to the next level.

  • Scary stories: use a flashlight and turn out the lights. Read the stories like campfire stories.
  • Poetry: create a coffeehouse- use a microphone (real or play!), have some hot chocolate and donuts for a treat.
  • Research projects: create art work that matches your project and set up your classroom like an art gallery. You now have a museum of fine arts!
Invite another class, or parents, to make it a larger celebration. Your students are going to be so excited and to share their work, and they love to know you want to celebrate them too! Enjoy everyone's success!

How do you like to celebrate your students' writing?

It's spring time and the weather is starting to look beautiful. As soon as the temperatures start to rise just a teensy bit, I'm itching to get outside as much as my students are. The back of my classroom is all windows, which make us all antsy and excited as soon as we see good weather. Unfortunately, I still have curriculum to teach. We're almost back from spring break, and I still have 2+ months of teaching to do.

So, how do you keep them engaged in their learning AND take advantage of their need to get outside? 

Before going outside, it's important to set boundaries. Remind students that they will have a job to complete and that if they can't complete this job, we can't go outside. I like to set an alarm on my phone to give them a specific amount of time to finish. 

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1. Measuring playground equipment: In their math notebooks, we create a simple chart. We have three columns- piece of equipment, estimate, actual measurement. We write down the names of the piece of equipment we want to measure. Sometimes we do the estimate inside and sometimes we do the estimate outside, just by looking at the equipment. We need our rulers (possibly some yardsticks), notebooks, and pencils. And our brains! Students are paired up to measure. Afterwards, we see if we had reasonable estimates, and how good our actual measuring is. If we have time, as a class, we go back to the playground equipment and I model measuring again for the big reveal. 

2. Nature scavenger hunt: This can be science-y, or just reorienting students to what's outside their school! Are there trees, flowers, leaves? Did they notice the flag pole outside? Is there anything that makes your school unique? What does your school sign lettering say? See what students can find while you're outside. Collect data! Talk about what you found when you go inside. Or maybe even write a descriptive paragraph about the amazing things you found! :)

3. Reading for book clubs, novel studies, or for fun: Students are asked to bring in towels, and we do some our reading outside, laying on our towels in the grass. Depending on our purpose for reading, we sometimes bring our notebooks, or post-its and a pencil. It's important to not have too many supplies because, inevitably, someone will lose something outside. You could also bring some sweet custom sunglasses outside, to show how serious you are ;) I picked up these neon wayfarer sunglasses from Amazon. It was easy to add the writing with a sharpie.

4. Take a break! Take a longer brain break and get some fresh air. Playing outside allows students to let off some steam (and I swear their attention span gets shorter the nicer the weather gets...) and the fresh air can help you feel relaxed. Don't have a playground to use? Stroll around the outside perimeter of the building and play follow the leader. Even the older students don't mind if it's giving them a break! And don't forget about you- take a few minutes to enjoy that vitamin D.

Do you have any fun ways to get your students outside? Let me know! 

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