Archives for January 2014

Writer’s Celebration

Writer’s Celebration Day.  A day that my students look forward to each time they finish publishing.  A day to get lots of feedback from classmates, friends, teachers, and even administrators.  A day to feel accomplished.

Each time my students publish a piece of writing, we have a Writer’s Celebration.  This may look a little different in my room than it does other places, so I thought I’d share how it works.

I have my students put their writing piece out on their desk with a pencil and a Writer’s Celebration page.  I play fun music for the students as they walk around and make comments on each others’ writing.  Students are only allowed to write positive comments.  Not just any positive comment, but a comment that is specific to a skill or craft of the writer.  I always have to go over sample comments which range from idea development or vocabulary use to handwriting or the use of paragraphs.  I like for students to know what it is that others like about their writing.  They get better and better at it the more they do it.

I really love watching their eyes light up when they see what others have said about their writing.  And this is always followed by chatter with their table-mates about their comments.  And smiles.  :)

If you think this sounds like something you would like to do, I’ve posted the Writer’s Celebration page that we use.  Feel free to download it and use it in your classroom.  Be sure to let me know how you and your students like it!  Click here for the download.

Writer's CelebrationHow do you celebrate writing in your classroom?  Leave a comment below.  I’m always looking for new ways to praise students for their accomplishments!



New Theme

Yes, you’ve landed at the right spot!  I’ve changed my theme because the one I had previously selected on does not support my pages here on  So…I needed to change the theme.  Also, I’m getting ready for a whole new look once I get my new blog design, so I figured this was a good way to ease into it.

You can now see my pages listed at the top of the screen: About, Anchor Charts, Classroom Management, and Writer’s Workshop.  Click on those for more info.

Thank you so much to all of my loyal followers and email subscribers.  I’m also in the process of getting all of you switched over to the new blog.  You currently aren’t showing up on my stats.  It’s rough changing blog hosts when you don’t know much about how all of this works!  But thank you for hanging in there with me while all of these changes take place!

I currently still have the same blog button, and my new blog design will reflect that.  I’m sticking with black, white, and blue.  😉

Blog button

In the meantime, is there anything specific that you would like me to blog about?  Several of you attended a workshop today with Gretchen Bernabei and learned LOTS of new things.  I’m here to help you out in any way that I can.  If there is something specific you’d like to see that we do in my classroom, leave me a comment and I’ll get you a post about it!

Until next time…



From This to That: Narrative Upgrades

Not much writing for you tonight–just some samples of student work from the last couple of weeks before the Christmas break.  I took before and after pictures of my students’ writing.  I decided to let you actually see what their writing looks like–what we started from and how they made changes to complete their final copy.  For more information on what we did in between the rough draft and final copy, click here.  Enjoy!

Abram 1


Abram 2

Abram-Final Copy












Andrew 1


Andrew 2

Andrew-Final Copy












Chelsea 1


Chelsea 2

Chelsea-Final Copy













Daliyah 1


Daliyah 2

Daliyah-Final Copy













Destiny 1


Destiny 2

Destiny-Final Copy












Julian 1


Julian 2

Julian-Final Copy












McKeanne 1


McKeanne 2

McKeanne-Final Copy












Tony 1


Tony 2

Tony-Final Draft











These are the final products after going back and trying to focus on only ONE event, and then adding in thoughtshots and snapshots.  They appear small in the post, but if you click on them you can read them much better when they enlarge on the screen.  I’m so proud of the work that these kiddos have done so far.  Looking forward to a fun new semester…and learning even more!