Monday, October 6, 2014

Publishing Party

This year our school has adopted Lucy Calkins' units of study for our writing instruction.  I had used them a little bit last year, but I am seeing even better results this year!  We just finished up our narrative unit and celebrated with our publishing party.  The kids were so excited!  Warning, this post is a bit picture intensive, but I have a few tips for getting your students to self edit and revise.

Students gave each other feedback to make their written pieces better as we worked on revising and publishing.  This year has been AMAZING for revision.  The past two years seemed like pulling teeth when I asked students to revise, but now they are eager to.  One difference  is that we literally cut and paste.  Instead of rewriting a piece, they cut paper and tape it into the story where they need to revise.  They LOVE this!

An illustrator hard at work!
 We glued our finished pieces into "books" made of construction paper to make them a bit fancier.

One thing that I changed this year about editing, is that I had them edit it themselves.  I used to look at their work, make changes, and then have them rewrite (after tons of groans, eye rolling, and protests).  Unfortunately, the corrections never stuck and they made those same mistakes in later pieces.  During our training, we learned that students really need to do the editing in order to learn, and more importantly transfer that skill to other pieces.

 When they came to me to edit their work, I handed them a colored pen and told them to underline any words they thought they misspelled, or places where they thought they had made punctuation errors. They really re-read their pieces and made changes as they found them.  So much better!  For the spelling errors, I handed them a dictionary and showed the ones who were able to type how to use spell check in Word.

Look at the concentration.  Remember, the one doing the heavy lifting is the one doing the learning!

 Making changes as she reads.

They were so proud of their work!

When the pieces were done, the students each read 4 pieces and gave positive feedback to the author (on the sticky notes).
Then I hung them on our "bulletin board" of lockers.

Chapters??? Are you kidding me?  Woo hoo!  Last year some of mine struggled to write a paragraph.
Specific feedback.

It says, "I liked the way you used punctuation."

And what would a publishing party be like without a "little" food.  Getting nervous about our Halloween party though!

And the very best part?  I got my first book dedication.  Love it!

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