I love ending each week thinking about all that I have to celebrate. Join Ruth Ayres who shares a Celebration Link up on her blog each week. Thank you to Ruth for the inspiration.
What am I celebrating this week? All things literacy. Some conversations. Some great books. Celebrations of writing. Thinking. Sharing. Listening. Creating.
Celebrating . . .
1. A Skype visit with Liesl Shurtliff – author of Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin (one of the best read alouds out there!)
This was an absolute highlight of our week! I shared our experience on our classroom blog here (including how we prepared). This was our first author Skype so it was especially exciting! Liesl was so charming and the kids cannot stop talking about the day!
Students shared with Liesl that they had just had a book of stories published as well and that we had even had a publishing party. (Thanks Writer’s Exchange!) Such fun to find out that Liesl had brownies at her publishing party too! All about the treats!
Here is one of the many pixies that we shared with Liesl during our Skype. All of them can be seen at the link I shared above.
2. Friday afternoon in my class was hot. The air circulation is terrible. And yet, my classroom looked like this:
Recipe for such engagement? I asked the students to think about what their dream house would look like if they could design it, have it built (or build it themselves) and then live in it? We split into two groups and spent 15 minutes sharing our ideas. Ms. Wilks, our Project Teacher and I recorded all that was said on chart paper. Kids got totally excited just listening to what other people suggested. A few examples:
- Gummy worm walls that grow new candy when you pull it off
- Trampoline floors
- An aquarium full of dolphins to swim with
- Water slides leading to an outdoor pool
- Chalkboard walls to draw on
I quickly showed them the end pages in Chris Van Dusen‘s If I Built a House as some added inspiration. (Next week we will do a related project in Art) We then passed out writing books and told everyone to go draw, sketch, label and write. Some kids were so into it, they continued working through their Choices time.
In the middle of the brainstorming, one student who had been listening from his desk sailed a paper airplane over to us. Written on the back? Be Smart! He thought we were being absolutely ridiculous in our dreaming, “No house could have all of that!” I loved his message system! Not every activity is going to speak to everyone!
It was so interesting to examine all of the different ideas and how they were represented.
This little house designer showed me that she would have a book gnome (bottom right corner) that would get you any book you wanted for your book shelf. 🙂 A little reader with big book dreams like mine!
3. Last week we celebrated publishing a class book of stories.
To thank the amazing Writers’ Exchange for working with my class, I have been working on a blog post with the children’s words and photographs. We wanted it to be a sent along to surprise all of the staff and mentors who worked with us. It’s supposed to be a surprise but these photos are just too cute. So I’ve had to share one . . . or two . . . or . . . four. . . via twitter. It has been joyous both taking and sharing these photos (text comes from individual writing from each child). I’m hoping to have the post finished in the next few days.
— Carrie Gelson (@CarrieGelson) May 1, 2014
— Carrie Gelson (@CarrieGelson) May 2, 2014
Wishing everyone a wonderful week!