Monday, October 14, 2013

Christmas in September

Yes, I know it's October. Yes, I know my post will be about what happened in my classroom in September. But trust me, it's been a crazy few weeks, and...honestly, I kind of forgot about this one.

But yes, we had Christmas in September in Room 201! Let me catch you up on the details...

In fifth grade, our team of teachers learned what it means to be a writer. (I am actually not a writer. Our team member, Mrs. Bearden, is a fabulous I am learning from her!) We handed out practice notebooks at the beginning of the school year. These were to help us learn more about what it meant to keep a writer's notebook and practice before we got our official composition notebooks. We learned how to make observations just by watching people. Seriously, it sounds creepy, but we are not at all trying to be! We even went outside during first grade's recess and just watched and wrote what we saw and heard on the playground. We learned how to look through magazines to find catchy titles or interesting captions or thought-provoking pictures to help us think about our own story ideas. We also brought in our own photographs from home to remind ourselves of small moments with family members and/or friends. Students also learned that quotes can be a great way to spark a thought or a story idea. These are only some of the ways that writers keep a notebook! And they have their writer's notebooks with them because we often forget what we see or what we hear. So we jot it as soon as a thought enters our mind! We even live differently now that we're writers!

I went for a long run while training for my half-marathon and could not believe my eyes when I saw:
I made my husband stop so that I could take this picture with my phone. I just had to take a picture so that I could put it in my writer's notebook and write about the experience! Ew, gross!

Now, we had been practicing in our small notebooks for quite some time. The question would be asked, "When are we getting our real notebooks?" And the answer would be given, "Not until you EARN them!" Well, the time came in September...

On an unsuspecting day, students arrived at school and found 25 gifts wrapped in wrapping paper sitting on my desk. "What's inside?!?!" Lo and behold! When they unwrapped their gifts, they found their composition notebooks! Such excitement and joy entered the hearts of these writers. We were now official writers with our new writer's notebooks!

Students have since been collecting ideas in their notebooks. They have been writing their narrative stories, whether based on true small moments or made-up ones. We've published our stories and will be finishing up this fabulous unit this week. We can't wait for what's in store for us and our writer's notebook this year!

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