Saturday, October 26, 2013

Celebrating PUBLICation!!

This past week, my fourth graders celebrated the PUBLICation of their first writing products -- their mystery narratives.  It was such an exciting day, both for my student writers to see the fruits of their labors and for me to see the fruits of mine.

Publication is the final stage of the writing process.  It is the time where we take all of our hard work and make it PUBLIC, hence the 'public' in 'publication.'  This can be a risky time.  No one wants to put their hard work out there to bear criticism.  Yet if it's done right, it can be a time of great affirmation and celebration -- and also a great motivation to keep writing!

So this week, I'm going to share this motivation through the fabulous Joanne at Head Over Heels for Teaching's weekly linky party, Spark Student Motivation.

My 4th grade students have been working on their Mystery Narratives for the past three weeks.  We went through all of the stages of the writing process, but really focused most of our energy on revision.  When we were done and published, we celebrated by having a Publishing Party where we were able to read each other's books and leave "Raves from Readers" with our feedback.

Each student's mystery was bound into a book.

Students could visit the three 4th grade classrooms to Read & Rave about their fellow student writers' books.  Everyone had to Read & Rave about four books, but most students read more.  (Before we did this, we had a brief mini-lesson on how to leave positive feedback and discussed some sentence starters just to make sure we were all on the same page.)

It was SO COOL that even other staff members stopped by to Read & Rave! (I'll admit that students were MOST excited if a teacher had commented on their story.  I overheard one boy say "The librarian raved about my book.  It's like I'm a REAL AUTHOR now!!" to my ears!!  :)
After about 30 minutes, students returned to their home classroom to read their Raves and to have some punch and cookies.  As a teacher, this was one of the most exciting parts of the celebration because I could see the faces light up on the faces of all the students as they read the compliments on their writing.

So if you really want to MOTIVATE your student writers, give them a real audience and CELEBRATE their efforts!  Such fun!!

Speaking of fun, I hope you will come back tomorrow for my weekly linky party, A Peek at My Week, to let us in on some fun things you have planned for next week!  See you then!!


  1. What a great idea, Jennifer! Your students are very lucky to have you.
    Grade 4 Buzz

  2. It looks like it was at big success! It really is a great idea, and one that I will have to incorporate into a unit this year:). Thanks for sharing!

  3. Congratulations on a successful unit. It's always great to see students take such pride in their work! I absolutely love the Rave from Readers page. What a great motivator!

    Fit to be Fourth
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  4. What a great idea! You're right that this is SUCH an important step, and one that is often not given the emphasis it deserves. I love that you have such supportive coworkers that are willing to help you make your students feel proud of their accomplishments!

  5. What a great idea! I love that so many of your colleagues helped with the Raves! :)

  6. Oh so sweet! I love that staff members came to read their work, as well. Such an accomplishment. I bet those kiddos will be smiling all weekend!

    The 4th Grade Journey

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  8. What fun! I bet that really sticks with your writers. Wonderful idea!

    Christy Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road

  9. I am totally borrowing this for our next writing project. LOVE that they get feedback from staff members too! Thanks for sharing!
    The Blessed Teacher

  10. I love the idea of the Read & Rave and binding their stories! I am so doing this too!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  11. I love the sound of "Read and Rave"! How exciting to have your whole grade level and school participate! I bet your students were glowing! Thanks for sharing and linking up Jennifer!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  12. WOW - I LOVE this idea! I can totally see where this would further motivate students! And I think it's absolutely wonderful how other teachers took the time to stop by to "Read and Rave" as well!
    Crafting Connections

  13. Super duper way to motivate students! I always do positive comments from peers but I like the idea to mix up the classes and invite adults as well! You have my brain ticking away! We just finished up Bunnicula and my read aloud was Ghost of Fossil Glen so we are getting ready to review mystery elements and write our own. Tick tick tick! Thanks for the idea!


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