My little Kindergarten students have gone through the process of publishing their very first piece of writing! To get to this point, there were several steps I had to introduce to them first.
The first step was to choose their best piece. It was important that they reflected on what they had learned through the first unit and use these point to guide them toward choosing a piece where they had used as many of the strategies taught as possible. With the help of a checklist, the children were able to do so. Here is the checklist they had to look at:
Next, was fixing their chosen piece! The children then had to look at the strategies they did not use in this piece and edit it so that they included them. Because we use pens, this editing process required revision strips and picture strips that we could tape onto the page. The children described these strips as ‘Magic strips’ because they magically gave you another chance to make your page even better! I love that they came up with this on their own. The wonderful thing about using pens and revision strips is that as a teacher I get to see their process from beginning to end. I can see where they started and how they choose to improve their work or where they went back and noticed an error they want to correct. Pencils and erasers remove the evidence of this process for me. It also gives me an opportunity to say things like “I can see that you noticed you didn’t use spaces between your words on this page but you saw that and are now fixing it up!” Which compliments them on their ability to go back, re-read their work, think of ways to improve their writing and revise it. Here is an example of a child who looked at her piece and told me she didn’t use spaces on this page and did not add feelings, she rewrote the sentence on a revision strip to improve her work.
Finally, they had to ‘fancy up’ their piece. This included creating a cover page and reflecting on the best title for their book. It also involved coloring all their pages and making it even spiffier! We noticed that all books in our library are colorful so we wanted to make sure readers would enjoy looking at our books too!
To celebrate this very important achievement we all held our books over our heads and marched around the classroom chanting “I am an AUTHOR!” The kids love it!