celebration · Slice of Life Story Challenge

Writing Celebration: In-Progress Writing

Celebration is important to writers, especially young writers. One way to tell it is time for a writing celebration is when the energy for writing begins taking a nosedive. Sometimes you know you need to celebrate, but your students aren’t “ready.” This year, I’m trying to get past the notion that writing celebrations must include polished writing. If adult writers only celebrated publication, it wouldn’t happen very often. We need to celebrate more than publication. We need to celebrate living the life of a writer.

Last Friday (the day before spring break at my school), Christi Overman (2nd grade), Gretchen Willaman (2nd grade), and Maggie Gayton (1st grade) brought their classes together for a writing celebration. The kids brought in-progress writing. Then they sat in small groups and talked about their writing. Sixty-three writers celebrating their in-progress work: sharing favorite pages, difficult parts, and future plans.

At the end, they took a detour to their classrooms, passing through the literacy room where they picked up their Writing Goodie Bags. Isn’t this one of the marks of a good celebration– a goodie bag?

Writing Goodie Bag: Blank books, fancy pencil, colored pen, and candy

Can you guess what they were most excited about? That’s right, the blank books.

You mean we can write these at home?

I can’t wait to make my book and bring it back to share!

Maybe we should have another celebration after break to celebrate all our new books.

What ways have you found to celebrate in-progress writing with your students?

Writing Celebrations gives teachers and students more energy for writing. Pictured: Christi (2nd grade), Gretchen (2nd grade), Maggie (1st grade), me

PS — Later in the day, those students who participated in SOLSC celebrated with a slice of cake!

10 thoughts on “Writing Celebration: In-Progress Writing

  1. What will spark a student’s inner motivation and inspire him or her to keep writing?

    If it’s a celebration of in-progress writing, that’s great. But does a celebration work for each writer? Or does each writer need something different?

    The group format of sharing pages sounds perfect. But, again, what about the child shy about sharing (or the child who shares too much)?

    The thing about writing is that the process is different for each of us… and so is the motivation to keep writing… and what works for one writer may (or may not) work for another.

    But it’s great to know there’s a classroom full of students who are so excited about writing — and blank books!


  2. What a wonderful idea, writing goodie bags. I also loved that they sat & talked about their writing. It’s so important to ‘hear’ from each other, just like comments!


  3. You are so right – celebrations do fuel the writer. I, like Elsie, am going to share this post with my teachers. Kids are social by norm, so this taps into their strength. Writing group is like a celebration; we share what we are doing and celebrate the progress. Love this thought. Thanks for the reminder.


  4. I will be filing this notion away to share with teachers. I love the in-progress idea and the multigrade share. What a great way to head into spring break.


  5. Looks like a great time to me! I think I get caught in the idea that celebrating comes at the completion stage too, so it was nice to have a reminder to celebrate our in-progress work.


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