Saturday, March 16, 2013

Five for Friday (Late) and an All About Writing Freebie

So, I hate being late, but I had a crazy busy, but fun Friday and did not get the chance to link up with Doodle Bugs until today.  

1. Lucky Families Bulletin Board- This week, I put up my Lucky Families bulletin board.  I found this great idea from Denise from Sunny Days in Second Grade.  You can get the template and parent letter for free over at Denise's blog.

As you can see, some of my kiddos (and their parents) went above and beyond the shamrock assignment with their big posters.  I don't mind though because it was cute and special to see all their pictures.

2. All About Book Author's Celebration- After revising and editing (free checklist at the end of this post) our All About Books all week, we had a fantastic Author's Celebration with another first grade class.  We had the kids buddy read their books to each other.  Then, my colleague and I gave out some special award certificates for the following categories:
  • Most Creative Topic
  • Best Demonstration of Expertise
  • Neatest Handwriting
  • Best Illustrations
  • Best Use of a Diagram
  • Highest Overall Quality
Giving out awards was a bit of a controversial thing.  In this culture of "Participation Awards," students have an expectation that they will get a prize for everything, every time.  My colleague and I decided together not to feed this mindset because it is not realistic!  Not everyone wins in life.  There are people who do a better job than others.  External rewards are few and far between.

Before giving out the awards, we praised all of our kids for their hard work and congratulated them on publishing, but then we gently explained that not everyone can be the best.  We also tried to use the awards as a motivator by saying that "you could get one next time if you work even harder."

Overall, I was pleased with how well the students congratulated each other.  There were some tears, but they went away in a few minutes.  I actually plan to give awards at the next two celebrations to both give other kids a chance to win and to keep teaching this idea that sometimes you will not win an award, but you can still be proud of your hard work.

3. New Jersey Tap Assembly-  After the tears of the Author's Celebration, we conveniently had a great assembly to distract and excite the kids.  NJ Tap came and did a very engaging and fun tap dance performance with songs through the ages.  It was very cool and fun.

4. Gary Thomas's The Sacred Search Seminar- On Thursday, I had the opportunity to go hear Gary Thomas speak about his book The Sacred Search: What if it's not about who you marry, but why?  Let's just say God used Him to speak to my exact situation the exact way I needed Him too. I learned a lot about what to look for in a future spouse.  As a result of a lot of things that have happened lately, including this seminar, my relationship status on Facebook is now "Single."  I am so thankful for God's direction and peace through all of life's ups and downs.


The 3-in-1 Concert Tour- Last night I had a BLAST at the 3-in-1 Tour featuring the following AMAZING artists:

It was one of the most powerful times of worship I have ever had.  Afterwards, I was convinced to not be an old lady who went home to bed, but to stay out to go to Houlihan's restaurant   I am so glad I went.  I had yummy fish tacos and a great time of fellowship with friends.

So, that was my week/Friday.  Thanks for sticking with me.  Here is a free revising/editing checklist for All About Books.  As usual, I couldn't decide which format I liked better, so I am sharing both.  Click the pictures to download. 


  1. Oh, I love Mandisa's songs - I bet she was great! I got to see Brandon Heath not long ago - it was a nice show. Bet you enjoyed!

    1. She is so great! I love how energetic and positive she is, while still remaining humble. Brandon Heath is great too!

      Compassionate Teacher

  2. The Sacred Search sounds like a great book! I'm glad God brought they right person into my life even though I was almost 30 when He did! I may have to get that book for my daughter.
    Owl Things First

    1. Hi Jenny,

      It's encouraging to hear that you were able to wait and trust God to bring you the right person at the right time. Also, while I haven't started reading the book yet, I can already tell it's going to be great based on what Gary talked about at the seminar. I bet it would be good for your daughter.

      Hope you have a good night!