Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

One Teacher's Guide To Elementary School Survival

Publishing- The Final Frontier

We teach writing everyday.  We ask students to complete work everyday.  So that means they publish work on a regular basis right?  Wrong!  How many times a year do you truly get students to take their work on that voyage to the final fronier of publishing?  3?  4?  If I am to be completely honest I would have to say around a half dozen for my class.  Not every piece of writing is meant for a published end.  Sometimes we all just need to write to experiment ro get something off our chests.   That being said, our students work very hard to create stories or essays and should have that experience of seeing it through to the end.  Publishing does not have to be the long and strenuous voyage that it once was.  It does not need to involve absolute perfection (they are children not pulitzer prize winners).  Published work has a new variety of forms.  Works can be narrated onto ipods and podcasted, put with illustrations in a power point digital story board, acted out and video taped and uploaded to YouTube, etc.  The possiblities are endless! 

I challenged myself to find a creative way for my kids to publish their work this passed week.  We have been working on the life cycle of a plant in science class.  We worked on creating a storybook to demonstrate the steps in the cycle.  This was most definitely a group effort.  Upon completion it looked good....not great.  Disappointed I went back to the drawing board.  I am a teacher who plays music non stop in class.  I need music as background music to center and calm me.  I noticed that my students have started to sing along without even realizing it.  Bring on my next light bulb moment! 

Ok, this next relevation may cause you to think less of me.  I am ok with that.  Upon seeing my kids sing along with Hey Jude, an aha moment struck.  I remembered an episode of Hannah Montana (yes, I really did just say Hannah Montana as in Miley Cyrus as in the Disney Channel- it's ok.  Take a moment to judge and/or laugh at my expense) during which Hannah composed a song about the bones of the body to remember them for a test.  Click on the link if you don't believe me!  I thought, why not compose a song about the life cycle of a plant?!   One bout of insomnia later and voila!  Take a peek at our YouTube sensation (woohoo up to 33 views!). 



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