Today is the fifth and final day of my five-day series on using
innovations in your classroom during writing workshop. For today’s post,
I’m highlighting My Teacher’s Secret Life
by Stephen Krensky.
I always save this innovation for the end of our series because it provides the least scaffolding. Like many of our kiddos, the main character in this book is surprised to find out that his teacher is a real person who has a life outside of school. When we read along together, we giggle as the cafeteria serves dinner to the teachers and the librarian reads bedtime stories. You can relate the little boy’s surprise when he sees his teacher at the super market.
After reading, I always let the students share their funny teacher memories. Almost every single one can relate to the ideas the little boy had about his teacher. It’s so cute to hear my third graders say, “A long time ago, when I was in kindergarten, I thought…” Adore!
For publishing this innovation, I try to move my students away from the templates and onto notebook paper or the lined publishing paper we’ll use throughout the year. I keep mailboxes full of cute thematic paper so students can pick and choose for their projects during the year. Since I don’t have paper for every imaginable book, I also keep colored copies of plain lined paper. If you don’t already have something similar, here’s a freebie of my vertical and horizontal paper options. They’re nothing fancy, but they bind better than notebook paper. Some years I also collect each student’s individual story and turn it into a class book. It’s cute to set out for parent/teacher conferences when parents have to wait in the hallway. You can also grab a copy of the covers too.
|Our Writing Center|
As a side organizational note, I keep masters of my paper on the bottom of each stack in the mailboxes with a sticky note that says “Last One- Give to Ms. Fultz!” Just in case those accidentally get used, I also keep masters of my paper in a binder, sorted by theme.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my Innovation Series. Don’t forget we’re working our way toward a $25 Amazon
gift card giveaway for one randomly chosen follower if my blog reaches
250 followers by the end of this series on Sunday! If you decide to purchase this book for your classroom,
I’d love it if you used my link.