Saturday, November 2, 2013

Celebrate Good Times, Come On! 11/2

Each Saturday join Ruth Ayres to share and celebrate events from your week. Looking for small celebrations has certainly improved my outlook on my week. For that, I am certainly grateful to Ruth and all of you who choose to celebrate with us.

Today I am celebrating fourth grade writers.  Last week was a great week in writing workshop.  Not because it was perfect.  Because we are moving closer to where I want it to be.

Our district fourth grade teachers focus on different writing each grading period.  Last nine weeks it was personal narrative, and this nine weeks it is descriptive writing.

Each student chose a topic and wrote a descriptive paragraph.  Many of them wrote about one topic and then decided to write about another one, giving them choices in which to publish.  Celebrating choice!

During this unit, I have used many mini-lessons from Two Writing Teachers which focus on adding details to characters, setting, emotions, and objects.  Specifically showing them how to add details to their writing instead of just telling them to "add details" was a lightbulb moment for them.  Celebrating revision strategies!

This week was the first week we had writing partnerships.  Talking to their partners and receiving feedback was so important.  They began to see the importance of writing for a reader other than their teacher.  Celebrating writing communities!

Finally we published the writing on Kidblog.  We started the year using Kidblog, but again, it just wasn't where I wanted it to be.  Many of their comments were what they would write on Facebook or other social media.  I wanted this experience to be more authentic.

After reading the blog from Katherine's students last week, I knew this was something my students needed to see.  Before they were ready to publish, I showed them the student posts and the comments.  They were impressed by the writing and was finally able to see what good comments were supposed to look like.  Celebrating publishing!

Here is an example of a descriptive paragraph written by Coleton, one of my students.

"I walked into the room and there stood Babe ruth.  He was a very large and fat man with small arms and legs.  He had a 5 inch cigar sticking out of his mouth, and a hat pulled down low by his eyes.  His head had chubby cheeks, and fit right on his shoulders.  They looked like boulders   Right there stood the greatest hitter of all time."

Celebrating writing!

Have a great week and may you blessed with many celebrations!


  1. So many great moments of workshop! My favorite was the partnership, when they realize they are not writing for the teacher, but for others too. That's an Aha! moment. What a great descriptive paragraph! So many details for visualizing. Awesome writing!

  2. I love the way you highlighted each part of the writing experience, Leigh Anne. What gifts you are giving your writers! Wonderful to see and to read about!

  3. I love and cherish these moments of writing. I am always inspired by my students. Thank you for sharing the work of your fourth graders. I can really SEE Babe Ruth. Awesome writing!

  4. I love how so many celebrations grew out from the writing workshop
    Happy Writing!

  5. I love how you used another blog post as mentor writing for your kids. Loved the descriptive paragraph!

  6. WOW! You found so many aspects of writing to celebrate! I kept going back to the part that my students don't like; revising. You celebrated revision strategies!

  7. What a great writing week in your classroom! (And you were probably working hard in reading, math and science, too!!!)