Writing Affirmation in the Classroom

I AM an author I KNOW how to WRITE The WORDS LIVE in ME And My Story WILL BE AWESOME

I AM an author
I KNOW how to WRITE
The WORDS LIVE in ME
And My Story WILL BE AWESOME

I just wanted to pop today and share a little piece of joy with you. I currently have 83 students in my 5th grade writing program. Our state test is this coming Tuesday. We (meaning me) are starting to really feel the pressure. So today, before beginning our practice test, I am leading my students in two ‘echo’ exercises. #1 is our (almost) daily tradition of S.W.B.A.T. (Students WILL Be Able To…) followed by the lesson’s standard. For example, my board today states “S.W.B.A.T. – Follow a Prompt and Write a Narrative.”

After that rousing chorus, as the students are turning to begin their work, I am calling their attention back to the other side of the board and leading them in the echo of “I AM an AUTHOR! I KNOW how to WRITE! The WORDS LIVE IN ME! MY STORY WILL BE AWESOME!”

Each class is given the opportunity to repeat this after me 3 times. The first time they are hesitant, not really sure what I’m doing. The second time they are slightly more confident but still not so sure of themselves and their abilities. The third time though…OH THE THIRD TIME! Their voices ring proud, strong, and true and you can just tell that they know what is what now. They are enthusiastic, they are pumped, and THEY ARE AUTHORS!

It is an amazing thing to see and hear and I am so very proud of each and every one of my kids. So proud, in fact, that I took a few moments out of an unexpected ‘free’ period to announce it to you!

Please keep in mind all of the kids across the states, and the world, who are about to start taking these tests. Encourage those you can and think of those you can’t. Sometimes a little affirmation goes a long way.

Aside

Back in the Big Chair

I am a teacher who doesn’t teach. That is not to say that I CAN’T teach. I am certified in Elementary Education, have a background in education, music, and literature, and have, in the past, very much enjoyed my time in front of students. I just haven’t ever taken that step to having my own classroom. I haven’t even substituted in about four years.

That Changed yesterday. I woke up severely early (5:03 am to be exact) and rode over an hour with my mother in order to show up at her elementary school and be a third grade teacher.

I’m a bit rusty at the classroom management thing, but I guess I did alright because they have already asked me to come back to the third grade next week! Can I tell you a secret?? I have always said that I don’t like the younger classes…fourth grade was where I did my student teaching and has always held the number one place in my heart. Fourth Grade still rules…but those kids managed to make me admit that I like third graders! I’m still a little amazed at that.

Of course, the librarian also gave me homework. It seems that two of their new books do not have Accelerated Reader tests written for them yet. I am definitely looking forward to both books (written by Oklahoma authors no less!) and, while I’m at it, I might as well write up reviews for you guys…right!?! Hopefully I will be including my books on that homework list soon. Until then, You can check out some other OK authors at http://okwriters.blogspot.com/. Oklahoma Writers & Authors

I actually met one of the authors a few years ago, when he came to read passages from his book Walking the Choctaw Road. If you haven’t read that, or any other, book by Tim Tingle, do yourself a favor and go find it. Mr. Tingle is a storyteller of his people, and is preserving his heritage, and the heritage of a nation, through his extremely well written works. (www.timtingle.com)

I haven’t met or read the other author, but after reading a little about the book, The Bulldogger Club: The Tale of the Ill-Gotten Catfish, and about Barbara Hay (the author) I have decided that I would really enjoy sitting down with this woman who displays such humor! (http://www.barbarahay.com/)

Does it make me more of a nerd to admit that I am super excited to read these? Or is the nerdy part that I am even more excited to make up the comprehension tests that my new ‘kids’ will be taking?