Wednesday, May 1, 2013

What a day!

You know when you have a day that is just on?  Today was that day!  After 3 gloomy rainy days, the sun was shining, our ABC countdown was starting today and we were gearing up to publish our All About books.  It was going to be a good day from the start and it was (despite my lack of planning time today!)

First, the ABC countdown.  I want to thank DeAnne at First Grade and Fabulous for the idea to do an ABC countdown.  I had to adjust a bit because food is not allowed in our county, but the kids LOVED day 1... work with a stuffed Animal day.  The kids got to pick a stuffed animal to sit with them all day and surprising they didn't play with them or let them distract them.  It was great.  To view all of my countdown, you can visit my TPT store here.  Its a freebie :)  Tomorrow is Backwards Day!

Our All About books are set to publish tomorrow!  Two of my students published today.  Before they publish, I pull the rubric I use up on the board and I direct them to review it themselves before coming to me to publish their final book.  They normally go up there and look it over for 5 minutes or so, but I don't think they ever went through their book as much as I wanted them to. 

This time, I printed off the rubric and made them self-evaluate themselves.  They took 15-20 minutes to go over this by themselves.  They were actively looking for mistakes, looking up words, re-reading sentences... it was GREAT!  Here are a couple of pictures of my two boys who finished today as they worked through their rubric.

I think the most rewarding part of today was watching the child whose writing is above.  This child hated writing just a few short months ago.  He was SO excited to publish his book today and he was so happy with his work.  He has come a really long way in the past couple of months and I am so proud of him.  His book even had chapters.  His whole book was about transportation, but he had a chapter on trains, cars, planes and boats.  Such a good teaching moment :)

Last thing with our writing.  The other day we reviewed the idea of a glossary... just in case some kids felt motivated to attempt that.  I was happily surprised to see this little one planning his glossary.  He underlines important words with these squiggly lines he invented and he plans to define them at the end... yes!  Another writing victory :)

Today's writing time ended after an hour and fifteen minutes... yes an hour and fifteen minutes my first graders worked silently on writing!  And once again... they got mad at me when writing time was over.

Before I close... did you know it was administrators' appreciation day?  This is only the second school I have taught at, but we didn't celebrate this at my old school.  My kids each wrote a letter to the principal/AP and we bound it in a book.  One gem was...
"Can we have two weeks off?  I'll give you five bucks!"

Happy Hump Day!

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