Just for fun I realized today is my 200th post. Have you ever had one of those days that would have been stressful if so much of it wasn't just funny? That was my day... It did end with happy hour though.
I still need to have my students do something for Mother's Day. One of my favorite lessons I have done for Mother's Day is from www.writingfix.com. The lesson is to write poems modeled after the book I Love You the Purplest. You can read the lesson, download handouts, and also download student samples for the lesson here. Students write a poem about their moms using color to describe them and what they associate with that color.
Sabra had a cute suggestion to make word clouds for moms and then mount them on scrapbook paper. We are definitely going to do this. We will also make cards. I am going to give them a large envelope to put their word cloud, poem, and card in. They can decorate the envelope.
I have a freebie in my store to make Mother's Day coupons, awards, and cards. I usually have my students write their moms a thank you letter.
Today is also Workshop Wednesday. The topic is how to motivate your students to write. Here are a few things I have found to be pretty successful.
1) Allow students to type when possible - Many of my students have been more successful typing than when they have to handwrite. (We do still handwrite though as well).
2) Give students choice - I love love RAFT (Role Audience Format Topic). It is a fabulous way to get kids writing, use higher order thinking, and allow for structured choice.
3) Model your thinking - I have mentioned this before, but I have seen more growth from my students when I model my own writing than even just through using mentor texts. Students like knowing that you write, too. It helps to see how writing really works.
4) Choose random points of view - My students get so excited about writing from the point of view of small animals or random objects. Why be a pilgrim on the Mayflower when you could be a rat on the Mayflower observing everything? Why not describe light from the point of view of a shadow? Why not describe the setting of a book from an object located in the setting?
5) Allow students to write with a partner - My students love writing together or swapping journals and finishing each other's stories. I have a couple students who have decided to start a daily comic together (that actually gets made like a couple days every other week, but they enjoy it).
These are the things that come to mind most when I try to remember what motivates my students to write. I am off now to see if I can find some scrapbook paper and envelopes for Mother's Day projects.