Students would choose one piece which they believed was an example of their best writing this year. For homework they would work with their parents to edit and type up their piece and email it to us. We would then publish and bind into a book each student’s piece alongside their black and white author’s photo. It would be titled “An Anthology of Year 4 Writing.” The highlight would be receiving their very own copy at their first ever book launch at Borders Bookstore here in Singapore. As published authors they would read an excerpt of their writing to an invited audience made up of their fellow classmates, families and school staff on the Story Time Stage within Borders Bookstore. This would take place in the evening so parents could attend and bring their child and family.
In class, we are fostering students’ development by using the Writing Process within the supportive conditions of the Writer’s Workshop. We make use of the positive benefits of Writer’s Workshop along with its strategies and tools to help students be the best writers they can be together. Each student has a Writer’s Workshop folder within which they hold all of their work at whichever stage within the Writing Process each piece is at. A student will work a piece through the process using the 6+1 Traits of Writing to help them assess the strengths and areas needing improvement. We have enjoyed learning about 6+1 Traits of Writing and the Writing Process both of which has been so valuable in
- helping us all to have a common language in which to discuss writing
- providing a process within which to scaffold learning
- learning more about writing, what it is and how it is done
- understanding ones strengths as a writer and precisely where and how one can improve
- being an author
Their Young Authors’ book launch and reading was a beautiful success. Each student over came any nerves to stand up to read his or her work with confidence and pride. It was a true celebration of their effort and development as authors in Year 4. Every family came to support their star author. Parents and siblings snapped photos. The crowd cheered in support of each author stepping up to read and applauded in appreciation of good writing. It was wonderful listening to each author’s words come alive as he or she read with the expression intended when written. Genuine laughter rippled through the audience complimenting the humor within some pieces. Other pieces were solemn and those authors too saw the intended affect unfold before their eyes. Students high-fived their peers stepping off the stage and generously encouraged those about to stand up to read. Representatives from across our entire school community turned out for the event. Our Maintenance team, Reception staff, School Nurse, Assistant Teachers, Teachers of all year levels and our Leaders came to show support for the Young Authors. This immeasurable feedback which each student received will stick fast for life fueling his or her belief, “I am an author.”
We would like to kindly thank our generous hosts Borders Bookstore at Parkway Parade. The manager Mr. Razi, Ms Jun and their lovely staff were extremely supportive and encouraging when we pitched our idea. By using our school’s binding machine and photocopier, this event was cost free, took very little time thanks to Photo Booth and Pages templates on our MacBooks, and is something we believe any school can have a terrific time doing.