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10/03/2014

Tricks & Treats Blog Hop!


 Hi, teachers!! Welcome to our Tricks & Treats blog hop! I am so excited to be a part of this hop & so glad to be able to share a little trick & treat with you! We all know that good teachers can never have enough tricks up their sleeves, and there's no doubt you deserve a treat or two! 


 So my trick for you may seem incredibly simple, but I promise you it is one of the best changes we ever made in our classroom! A couple of years ago, I attended an AMAZING workshop on implementing Writing Workshops in our classroom. My co-teachers and I were crazy-excited to implement everything we'd learned. Since I am the one in the group that likes cutesie everything, I got to head up the share chair! Ladies & gents, if you don't have a share chair, this is an amazing way to get your students pumped about writing AND sharing their work!


Our share chair was just an up-cycled chair I found at an art auction fundraiser event. Then to go along with the chair I got a dollar tree microphone and snazzed it up with ribbon and tulle. I know that's a little girlie, but the kids ATE IT UP! Of course you could always make yours more gender neutral.


At the beginning of the year, when we introduced our Writer's Workshop routine, we made a REALLY BIG DEAL out of the chair. It was coveted, friends. Students were only allowed to sit in the chair when they were sharing their work.


I taught ELL, grades K-5, so we weren't sure how the older kids would respond, but they liked it too! The boys tended to pass on using the glitzy microphone, but they really enjoyed being in the spotlight and earning a chance to sit in the share chair. 


In our classroom, we did Writer's Workshop on Thursdays and Fridays, so the rest of the days, the chair was put away. That way, when students walked in & saw the chair, they knew it was writing time!


I hope you get a chance to try this out in your classroom. I would love to hear about your special share chair experiences!

Here are some other ways we made the share chair special:

The big board you see behind the chair is a foam board decorated with tissue paper and then painted. It folded in half and stored nicely behind some filing cabinets. This definitely helped create a wow-factor for our share time. (I bought the board at the same art auction as the chair).

We worked really hard on being a good audience. After each author shared, we snapped for them, like in a coffee house. :) This always made our authors feel proud of their work.

After each share, audience students were allowed to raise their hand & the author called on them. The audience was encouraged to give specific feedback & encouragement about the writing, and was also allowed to ask specific questions that may help the author clarify their writing. (We shared throughout the writing process, not just after stories were published). Giving the authors reign over the classroom, the authority to choose who they would like to call on, and the opportunity to discuss their work really gave the students pride and confidence.

During writing time, teachers held conferences with students. (We had 3 teachers in our classroom!). If a teacher was particularly excited, thrilled, impressed, proud, etc with a student's progress, she would ask the student to share.  This was a big honor! Students, however, were NEVER REQUIRED to share. They shared on their own terms, no pressure!

And that's my trick for you!

  

In the spirit of writing, I have a couple of great treats for you! 

Writing centers and tools are probably my favorite projects to work on. I have quite a few in my TPT Store and am flooded with ideas for more! (Make sure you follow me so you know when they arrive!)

This fun little ditty is a cube that I made last fall, and recently updated to include more goodness as a special treat for my Facebook Followers! Now, you can download it here for FREE! This pack includes two cubes with 6 prompts each (appropriate for about grades 3-5), as well as three "I Can" posters to display in your writing center, or in the hall with finished work! 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3KxvOxKYTIGTi00MW0yUDNHODQ/edit?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3KxvOxKYTIGTi00MW0yUDNHODQ/edit?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3KxvOxKYTIGTi00MW0yUDNHODQ/edit?usp=sharing

And since fall is my favorite season, and I'm definitely in a giving mood, I also want you to have the TOP selling item in my store, my Main Idea & Details + Evidence Graphic Organizer! A teacher friend of mine asked me to make this last year when she was struggling to get her students to use evidence in their reading answers & writing.  There are several different organizers in the pack. You can download the file for FREE by clicking here!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3KxvOxKYTIGcmdfYjJiQkFrWUk/edit?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3KxvOxKYTIGcmdfYjJiQkFrWUk/edit?usp=sharing

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3KxvOxKYTIGcmdfYjJiQkFrWUk/edit?usp=sharing

If you like this set, you can check out other graphic organizer sets in my store, including a couple of freebies!

Make sure you grab these items now, because they'll only be available for FREE for a short time!

And that's all, folks!! Happy hopping!


7 comments on "Tricks & Treats Blog Hop!"
  1. Your share chair is adorable! Thanks you for sharing.
    Lori

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  2. It's nice to see older kids enjoying the "share chair". My little ones always feel so important when they get to sit up front with me. Thanks for sharing! http://www.anchoredinlearning.blogspot.com/

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  3. Thank you so much for sharing pictures of your SHARE CHAIR. So great! I also love your backdrop. You are so creative!
    Best wishes!
    Jen :)
    TeacherKarma.com

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  4. I love your writing promp cube! Just another great way to keep them writing. Thanks! Friendly Froggies

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  5. The prompt cube is such a terrific idea! Great job! I also love the sharing time. We had a short share time in our morning meeting when I taught third grade. That meeting was the most valuable time of our day! Thanks!
    Carol
    Teachers Are Terrific!

    ReplyDelete