An author celebration at Verne W. Critz Elementary

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First and second grade students in Tracy Behl’s combined class at Verne W. Critz Elementary School joined faculty and administrators in the sharing of their best writing collected during the school year. Teachers have been teaching writing methods and tools acquired from the Reading and Writing Workshop from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Ms. Behl explained that students have advanced in their writing significantly, starting with basic sketching and labeling of pictures to writing sentences and pages of information. For the author celebration, the students were given a writing assignment that compares and contrasts their favorite book or video to another. They learned how to write transitional sentences to make their comparisons flow and to explain more fluently author techniques that make their books or videos similar or different. Ms. Behl also helped the students type their writing on the computer for the author celebration. Literacy coach Jennifer Hayhurst added that the students recorded their work and that a QR code was created. This step allowed the students to play back their work and to allow parents to hear their children’s writing in verbal form. 

“Not only does recording the work help students feel comfortable listening to their own voice, some of the students have taken the initiative to self-correct their writing,” Ms. Hayhurst added.    

Each of the students rotated to faculty members where they shared their best work. Faculty, in turn, gave feedback of the student’s work by writing a short review.