Celebrating National Day on Writing with Students

As I posted yesterday, National Day on Writing was on Sunday, October 20th.  I decided to celebrate with my students today.  We spent the majority of our morning writing.  We started off the day in the computer lab writing stories.

image

When we returned to the classroom, we compared upstanders to bystanders.  Earlier in the year, I had read the book, The Recess Queen, by Alexis O’Neill.  My students were able to understand the difference between upstanders and bystanders.  So, I read the book, The Juice Box Bully, by Bob Sornson and Maria Dismondy.  It’s a great story about how students help a new student acclimate to the class.  They all make a promise to be helpful and respectful even when someone is making poor choices.  My students wrote letters to the bully of the story giving him tips and advice on how to make the correct choices.  I was happy that my writing was also tied in to our Red Ribbon Week celebration.  During Red Ribbon Week we focus on having good character.  Here’s a picture of my students writing their letters.

image

Finally, my students participated in a chalk talk protocol.  It’s funny because we don’t use chalk and we don’t talk during this activity. Earlier in the day, I had a parent helper hang up ten pieces of chart paper that had a problem in the middle of it.

image

My students were able to write solutions to the problems on the chart paper.  They were also able to comment on other students’ comments.  My students completed this activity without any talking.  We definitely used writing to connect with each other.  After the activity, I debriefed with my students.  They said they enjoyed this protocol.  Everyone had a chance to share their ideas in a nonthreatening way.  I will definitely do this activity again.

image

image

All in all I would say this was a very enjoyable National Day on Writing.  I can’t wait for next year!  However, I am going to remember to write to connect all year long.  🙂

National Day on Writing

Happy National Day on Writing.  Sunday, October 20, is the National Council of Teachers of English fifth annual National Day on Writing.  Although it’s the fifth annual day, this is my first year participating.  Since it falls on a Sunday, I have decided to celebrate with my second grade students on Monday.  Click on this link for more information about the National Day on Wriitng.

The NCTE theme this year is writing to connect (#write2connect).  They encourage us to think about all the ways we use writing to connect with others.  So, I started to think about all the ways I use writing to communicate.  I realized that I use writing to communicate everyday.  Some of my writing is formal.  For example, I just started work on earning my administrative credential.  There are a lot of on-line assignments I need to complete.  Many of the assignments need to be formally written.  There are formating rules that need to be adhered to and there are topics that need to be addressed.  There is always a grade or score tied in with this type of formal writing.

I also do a lot of informal writing.  Not a day goes by where I don’t email someone.  It could be parents of students, coworkers, friends, or family members.  In fact, I email more than I actually talk on the phone.  I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing.  But, it is what it is.  I still think that talking face to face or phone to phone is best.  However, I understand that email is a necessary tool in my every day life.

Just like I use email every day, the same holds true for another example of informal writing.  That would be texting.  Of course, I don’t do this while driving.  And most times, I have my ringer/alert tone set to mute.  So, I don’t always know when I am getting a text.  It is frustrating to many of my friends because this is one of the ways they like to communicate with me.

Thanks to the San Diego Area Writing Project (SDAWP) I have my own Twitter account.  If it wasn’t for SDAWP I don’t think I would even think about joining Twitter.  However, I follow many of my writing heroes like Jeff Anderson, Kelly Gallagher, Regie Routman, Ralph Fletcher, and Donalyn Miller.  I also follow my favorite authors like Sharon Creech, Judy Blume, Georgia Heard, and Patricia Polacco.  I can also keep up with my SDAWP friends and share resources.  I did not realize that Twitter could be a valuable tool.  I get a tremendous amount of great ideas from educators everywhere.  Twitter allowed me to dip my big toe into the pool of social media.  As a result, I am also on Instagram, and I have this blog.  Thanks, Kim (SDAWP Director), for giving me a little nudge!  🙂

image

Writing is something I do every day.  On Monday, I hope to get that point across to my second graders.  Writing is not just something you do in school.  Writing is everywhere.