The first idea we want to share is quick, easy, and super fun. This technique comes from the book How To Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov.
Celebrations (or props or shout-outs) are public praise for students that do something great. Who doesn't love praise???? When you teach these cheers, you engage the class quickly and provide powerful reinforcement. It can be a simple, "Uh-Huh, Uh-Huh" or 2 Snaps and a Clap or Two Snaps, Two Stomps. Whatever it is, you are sure to grab everyone's attention! You may say something like, "Wow! That answer deserves a Hot Pepper." Then the class will hold up an imaginary hot pepper, dangle it above their mouths, take a pretend bite, and say "Tssssss." It's a ton of fun and a great way to build classroom community. The best thing is....your kiddos will come up with their own celebrations. Talk about taking ownership!!
We also wanted to share an INCREDIBLE read aloud for narrative writing. Today we read the book, The Memory String by Eve Bunting. It's a wonderful book about character, values, and accepting new situations.
We used it to teach the concept of "show, not tell." If you are familiar with Lucy Caulkins' Writing Workshop you know the lesson on news reporter vs. story tellers. This book is PERFECT! Afterwards, we made story boards (like a movie reel) to demonstrate how to picture your story like a movie in your mind. Our kiddos were so into the lesson and really did a fantastic job.
Have a great evening, everyone. TGIF (tomorrow!)!!! :)