Saturday, March 28, 2015

Author Celebration

Author Celebration
This week we held our Author Celebration for the students' nonfiction animal projects. Their final projects were incredible.  After reading, and participating in the book study Worksheets Don't Grow Dendrites we encouraged our students to explore other projects, when they were finished writing their book. We asked them to think about how they wanted their presentation space to look for the Author's Celebration and what projects could support their readers' learning. Some students made clay models, others made huge posters and turned them into diagrams with labels of their animals, other created digital projects, some worked on costumes. The creativity exploded in our classrooms. Surprisingly if you were to peek into our classrooms during this time you would have seen students completely engaged in their learning.  

The day before the presentation students completed this page: 

to organize what they needed to prepare for the celebration. The other really neat thing that happened was you could overhear students talking about the items they owned that would be useful to other students. Students brought stuffed animals for each other, sharks teeth, and costume items. It melted my heart to see this community effort to make each other successful.  

Our Author Celebrations are usually held in our classroom. This time we decided to make it even more special and hold it in our school library. Thanks to our awesome librarian she blocked off the schedule to allow us to use the library. It created such a special place for our students.
 The students loved being surrounded by all the “real books” and loved seeing their own books as “part of the library”. 
Parents, our Principal, Teachers, and other classes all came to parade through and meet with our authors.
We made badges for each student that read, "Author." This made them look so official! We also celebrated authors who created 3 or more books by giving them their own special corner and putting up a sign that read, "Featured Author."


 The students valued their space and made it their own… from bringing in stuffed animals (that went with their animal research), dressing up as their animal, some students set out little dishes of candy for their readers, some signed their autograph on paper circles for each, they brought tablecloths and bluetooth speakers for playing soft music or sounds from their animal.
Student Example