Saturday, April 25, 2015

Memoir Publishing Party - SUCCESS!!

I won't deny that it was wonderful to have Spring Break last week and that it was a little hard to return to school after a week off.

Well, not quite a week. I actually spent the first weekend completing grades and report card comments. I clocked the time again and it was only 10 additional hours from the 20 spent last Advisory. How did I cut the time in half? From the start of Advisory 3, I ONLY kept electronic notes! It was much easier to cut and paste since I recorded my observations/comments all quarter long electronically in a spreadsheet. Technology can cause me to work smarter and not harder!

Once back on Monday, I did an editing revision lesson based on seeing Mary Ehrenworth at TCRWP October, 2014 Saturday Reunion give a workshop on punctuation.

I used her slide:
Then I asked a student if I could use a part of his hockey writing and he agreed:

The take-away for the kids after our discussion of these 2 slides was that when we edit, we make sure to use punctuation and capital letters. But, now as 5th graders, we can step it up and try out different kinds of punctuation (like Mary did) and also try out different ways to vary our sentences to create a pace (like the 5th grader did).

We spent Tuesday finishing our annotations and printing another copy to hold and read from for the Publishing Party and then one annotated in the hallway.

Wednesday was Earth Day so we had only 30 minute periods due to our Walking Fieldtrip to pick up trash at the park in the neighborhood. I tried something new. I asked the students to reflect on their memoir and to specifically think about what they know they really worked on in structure, development AND conventions. Prior goal-settings, I had them pick ONE skill from any of the three areas and place their name ONCE on the classboard. This time I gave them 3 strips to write their name on and pick the 3 areas they were proud of for working on in this piece.
(The 1st period class is green, 2nd - blue, 3rd - red and 4th - orange. I am purple!)

I collected their memoirs and realized I needed to publish these as a class collection. They had worked so hard to combine all they knew about narrative writing and essay writing and had written amazing memoirs. I stayed Wednesday late and after the faculty meeting, I got the copiers going! After making a cover, I ran 30 copies of each for my four classes. The collections were btwn 30-40 pages each so I bought a stapler that can staple 60 pages and by Thursday night, I had a memoir book to distribute to each 5th grader at the publishing party.
I took this picture to show that thanks to Lucy's book, Shaping Text
four new memoir collections exist!!

On Thursday, we practiced for Friday by reading it aloud with a partner. Our partner was to listen and ensure that we used expression and used a loud enough voice. Then the listener practiced asking questions using the questioning cards. I modeled this first by reading my memoir with LOTS of expression and answering the questions from the comment cards politely.
I also asked who thought they would have a parent or grandparent come. I spent Thursday night (after stapling was done) making groups. I wanted to group the kids into 6 groups - 4 in the classroom spend out and then 2 groups in the hallway so we would be spread out and could hear the reader. And I wanted to ensure parents would be with each group. I prepared this handout for the parents because I wanted them to share a memory during the Publishing Party, too.
Friday was my favorite celebration yet!! WHY?
* I loved that there was time for each kid to read their meaningful memoir aloud.
* I love that so many parents/grandparents came (even my sister and mom came!)
* I love that the adults shared meaningful memories with their table group with many writing 6-word memoirs!
* I loved hearing students and parents say so many specific comments about how a writer crafted their memoir.
* I loved all the smiles each student reader had after they finished reading and sat and listened to their table group talk about their writing.
* I loved that the table groups started to sound a bit like a book club discussion...and the "book" was something written by one of my powerful!!

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