The shift to CCSS has made me look closely at my writing instruction to increase the rigor and to make sure they will be able to write a paragraph independently by the end of first grade. Giving my students a sense of purpose when they write motivates them to strive to improve their writing, which is why I give them the opportunity to publish a writing selection each week. Sometimes I post the writing on our Language Arts wall. Other times we post them on the classroom window, so that students can read them during recess. We have even sent writing with related art samples to our city's mayor and made a variety of books. For this selection, I decided it would be a good idea to mail the finished product to the subject of our informational paragraph that we have been working on, Jan Brett.
When I told the students that I was going to send their work to Jan Brett, they were very excited and settled down to work. I explained that once they had finished their final draft, they would paste it onto construction paper and decorate the borders just as we had seen Jan Brett do with her book pages.
Once I had explained the assignment, the class got to work on their final draft and on their borders. A student asked me if he could look at one of her books for ideas, and that started a trend. You can see some samples in the resource section.
I used this time to continue conferences with students who still needed support (see Day 4).
At the end of the writing session, I asked who wanted to share their final product with the class. My students enjoy sharing their work with their peers. Of course, it would be too time consuming to share everything all the time. Sometimes I give them a few minutes to take turns sharing with their elbow partner, and other times I select some to come to the front of the class and read to the whole group.