Wednesday, June 2, 2010

First Grade Celebrates Writing
May 25, 2010

Our celebration began with a reading by first grade authors of their research book. In preparation for this event, students researched one of three topics, animals, transportation or dinosaurs. Within these topics, students pursued areas of interest. It was exciting during the two months spent on this project to help children delve deeply into a specialized area. Along the way students learned strategies to read nonfiction, reflect on their learning, take notes, and write in their own words their findings. Illustrating their book was also a reflective process, one in which students reread their writing and determined what illustration would reflect their information. As part of the published book, students included a dedication page, table of contents and author's page.
A few days before our author's event, students shared their books with various partners and practiced reading with expression. Students shared strategies with each other. Some of the tips included, notice punctuation, read loudly, read slowly, read with excitement and lastly, to be happy.
We were very happy! Crissy opened our event by sharing her thoughts about the importance of reading and writing in our lives. Her words were inspirational. Students and families then met in small groups facilitated by either our first grade teachers, Cinda, Beverly, Jill, Cassie, our library assistant Gwen and myself. After each student read their book, family members had an opportunity to share a compliment and or something they learned. This was very meaningful for all.
The author's celebration culminated in the sharing of a breakfast prepared by our parents and linked to favorite picture books in our first grade. Plump, ripe blueberries were of course the perfect choice for the book Blueberries for Sal. Students then shared with their families all of their published books, including a personal narrative, poetry book, and fairy tale.
A truly glorious event to be remembered, savored and inspire our students to continue traveling on their path as deep readers and creative writers.