Purposeful Writing and Clapping for Kids

I'm thinking of starting 'three minute' blog posts. I know, crazy, right?  But, I often spend too much time mulling over posts and with my other projects (including my son...see his hair from this morning at the bottom of this post), I thus limit myself to few postings.  So, here goes...three minutes:

At the Gulf Coast Conference on the Teaching of Writing this summer, teachers spontaneously clapped in the middle of my keynote.  Why?  I was presenting about purposeful writing and how it can lead to kids making a difference in the world outside of school.  One of our wonderful teachers, Libby Jacobsen, had her sixth graders so interested in Malala Yousafzai; reading about her, writing about her, talking about what had happened to her and her amazing courage and voice, that they decided to host a 5K run to earn money for the Malala Fund.  They created a Facebook page, fliers, buttons, and Tshirts.  The students even appeared on the local news to let people know what they were up to and how to support the cause.  They raised $2200!  There you go:  speaking, listening, viewing, incorporating media/technology, reading, writing, collaborative conversations, thinking, problem solving all rolled into FUN!  These kids were so empowered.  We hope they take that empowerment with them as they journey onward.

How might you push something your class is reading and writing about outside your classroom walls?  Just something to think about as we begin a new year of empowering learners!

And, now, for something totally unrelated (and I think I've been writing for about seven minutes):
Max's hair.  Talk about a challenge.  I have to smile, but I'm not clapping.

Have a great day! -Janiel


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  2. My first grade class used their opinion piece writing time to write a class letter to the cafeteria to ask them for ice cream as a dessert for all first grade students. We went down to the cafeteria together and read the letter to the cafeteria folks and waited for an answer. Several days later we
    heard back and all first grade students had ice cream at lunch! Very powerful to see a reward for your work! I hope to try something a bit more service oriented in second grade! Thanks for the post.

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  4. Oops! posted it three times by mistake.

  5. Oops! posted it three times by mistake.


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