How are you planning to celebrate the authors in your classroom? The longer I’m a part of writing workshops, not to mention the more I write, the more I believe in the importance of celebration. Celebration fuels writers. When I first started, I used to think perfection was needed to celebrate.
Since becoming a recovering perfectionist, I see what a sad stance that is. As writing workshop is established, take a minute to notice the writers in your classroom.
- Do they see themselves as writers? Then that’s reason to celebrate!
- Do they have ideas to write about? Then that’s reason to celebrate!
- Have they worked through their own writing process (even if revision or editing left a little to be desired)? Then that’s reason to celebrate!
- Are they ready to share their writing with others? Then that’s reason to celebrate!
- Have they established a writer’s notebook and want to write in it? Then that’s reason to celebrate!
A celebration doesn’t have to be a big-hairy-deal. On the contrary, it can be simple and joyful and provide the encouragement needed to continue this writing life. Here are a couple of ideas of ways to celebrate being writers:
- Have a toast. Originally I saw this idea in Colleen Cruz’s Independent Writing. Then last year, Tony Miller used it in his classroom. Just last week Christi Overman and Gretchen Willaman toasted in their second grade classrooms. Toasts are a simple way to celebrate being writers and to continue on with the work at hand.
- Let go of a balloon. Deb Gaby, the reading coach in my school district, is operating under the theme of: Change the World through Reading, Writing, and Speaking. Some of the teachers at her school suggested putting writing projects in helium balloons and releasing their words into the air. Can you imagine the excitement if someone actually sends a response to the school address after finding the balloon?
- Share with another class. Get together with another classroom and have students share their writing in small groups. Depending on the age, you can give students index cards to write a note to the author after each person shares.
Make a plan to rejoice with the writers in your writing workshop. It doesn’t have to be elaborate and it doesn’t need to include perfection. Just share and enjoy the happiness that comes from having written.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.