All year long your students have worked HARD on their writing. They have done every step to master the writing process and they deserve to celebrate all that hard work. In this post you’re going to learn some easy to implement ideas to help celebrate your little writers and all their dedication and effort!
The Benefits of Celebrating
From learning effective brainstorming to publishing a piece of writing, these skills are a BIG deal for them. Hosting author celebration activities are a great way for students to show off all the growth they’ve made, practice their speaking and presentation skills, and it’s a great way to connect with families. We love to invite families in to join in the fun and see the great work their children are doing!
Spruce Up Your Space
When showing off work, it’s nice to decorate the area to really lift the energy and get into the celebrating mood. Whether you’re into room transformations or not, sprucing up can be as simple or as fancy as you would like! You can add some tablecloths, flowers, crowns, awards, snacks, balloons and immediately students will walk in feeling special and honored!
Want to take it up a notch? You create an entire themed coffee house celebration fit with hot chocolate, aprons, special cups and students will enjoy celebrating their hard work in delicious style!
Roll Out the Red Carpet
Want students to really feel the celebrity spirit? Roll out the red carpet and author’s chair and you’ve got yourselves a ball! You can add THIS carpet and THIS microphone and watch your students be loud and proud of all they’ve accomplished in this writing unit! Don’t forget to capture some great pictures of the huge smiles you’re sure to have during this special event!
And The Award Goes To…
What’s a celebration without some cute crowns and awards?! THESE editable crowns and awards are an absolute fan favorite and are sure to make your little guest of honor writers feel super accomplished and proud! Check them out below!!
Feedback that Counts
Yes we’re celebrating but practicing skills don’t ever stop in the classroom. Giving meaningful feedback is an important trait and this is the perfect time to hone in on this skill. I love starting our author celebration day by reading THIS book with students to get the conversation started and then practicing what it means to provide meaningful feedback to peers. Reviewing what a critique is and what it sounds like can really support students. Complete the Meaningful Feedback Sort with students to help them understand the difference between simply stating:
“I like this.” vs “You used a lot of descriptive words.”
You can display a chart of examples for students to help them as they provide feedback to their peers during the celebration. Some students may want to give constructive feedback, but might be unsure how to do that kindly. Provide examples to support them. For example, if a student’s first instinct is to state, “This is boring”, you can prompt them to say something such as “I think if you added….. it would be a bit more exciting”. These prompts are quick and easy ways to help students hone in on this skill to help peers grow. The more they practice, the better they get, so help facilitate meaningful feedback with THIS freebie. Grab it by subscribing below!!
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Try a Gallery Walk
A celebration doesn’t always have to look like a party. Put a spin on an art gallery walk with student’s published works and let the festivities begin. ‘Author’s Share’ events are always SO fun and you can get as creative as you and your kids want. For our informational writing unit, we had each student print their animal, along with a QR code that would take them to the ChatterPix audio/video of the student reading their paper. Each tiny author is so proud and they love showing off their hard work!
We love to publish our work by using the ChatterPix app. They can take a picture of their work and record themselves reading their paper. It’s a great way to have everyone “present” and it’s also perfect for students who don’t like standing and sharing in front of crowds. Click on the picture to hear a student example!
Share the Event
Want to invite some special people to join in the fun? If you want another class, grade, admin, or family to come to your celebration, it’s important to create a schedule and set a date so that everyone is aware of when the event is taking place. You can use THIS easy to edit invitation to invite ALL the guests. Add a note on the invite for students to wear their Sunday best to make them feel fancy! It’ll just add a little more to the celebration. It’s all about the little things that make these events special.
You can also have families join in the feedback fun by providing heart post-it notes to have them leave some positive feedback for their children! It’s just another small element to help make students feel recognized and honored for all their hard work!
Additional Helpful Tips
Now that you know a few different ways to celebrate student writing growth, it is entirely up to you and how you feel is best for students to show off all their work. Organization will be important to think about so be sure to keep logistics in mind, such as how students will get to share, the time allotment, and the involvement of families.
If you choose to have a microphone and chair, know this option may take the longest since all students will take turns sharing. However, it is a great way to practice cheering each other on and celebrating each and every writer. A gallery walk allows students and families to move at their own pace and you can set up the feedback freebie at each desk as they rotate. If you simply have students stand by their work as families come by and listen to stories, it will be a quicker process. However, some students may feel left out if their families can’t make it so see if you can have a friend or other adult stand in for them.
You will also definitely have some work behind the scenes to make sure your author celebration is the best it can be! Be sure to make a very clear specific timeline as you work through your unit so that EVERY student will have a published piece for the author celebration. Also make sure that students are given ample time to practice reading their piece aloud ahead of time. This can be a scary experience for students so have them practice with a partner and encourage them to provide meaningful feedback as they get ready for guests to be invited.
Peer feedback is a big deal. Especially if your littles are just beginning to work on it. Allow time for students to practice giving feedback ahead of time. This is where you can practice the how and have them do it verbally before the big day comes. These types of things are really important when you have little writers. You can create a book or keepsake of their published work before the big day. Whether you want to laminate and bind their work or have them create a book using the Target Dollar Spot books, make it special. I guarantee it is something they will cherish for a long time!
Want all the fun with none of the work? Check out the jam packed Author Celebration Pack that has EVERYTHING you need for a great celebration! Check it out below.
Super Supplemental Writing Resources
Why not load your student’s up with ALL the support and resources for them to become strong, independent writers?! Once you experience the shift of your student’s writing after mastering small moment stories, writing just may become your favorite subject to teach! Below you’ll see some of the other writing topics I love to use during writing. You can also check out THIS post for how students use editing checklists to help make their writing better.
Grab the jam packed growing bundle as a great supplement to your own writing curriculum. This bundle has everything you need to support your little writers through the entire school year including mastering the writing process and learning how to edit independently. Check out what other educators are saying below!
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“This has been a good addition to my resources to help teach my students different types of writing. I have very little extra time and need great resources to help me use my time wisely. This has been awesome to incorporate into my day!”
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“I just love this resource! The visuals are great for my kinders and this was just what I was looking for my writing units.”
I really hope you enjoyed learning about celebrating your little writers and all their hard work! This really is so powerful and teaches your students SO many new skills! Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list! Not only will you get the most up to date tips, tricks, and classroom projects… and of course more fun FREEBIES including the Feedback FREEBIE! If you would like to learn about this and other things happening in my classroom follow me @sweetnsauerfirsties on Instagram.
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