IMG_5188I spent Tuesday and Wednesday this week at UNI’s Jacobsen Center for Comprehensive Literacy’s Reading Recovery Conference and I have come back thoroughly inspired.  I went to a seminar called Engaging the Disengaged Writer by Christopher Lehman, a New York Times Best Selling author and took away so much from it.  I went to it because I think I’m pretty good at teaching reading, but I don’t feel as strong in the way that I teach writing.  I would say that I definitely have disengaged writers in my room.  One of the things he talked about was putting the joy and passion back into it.  Another teacher had already done what I had done with the superhero strategies, but with Star Wars.  She also included a rubric of sorts on what level of expertise you were.  I thought this would be a better (and more positive) way to teach writing with my kiddos.  Even today, as I was modeling some writing to my 3rd graders I didn’t notice I forgot a letter in one of my words (I wrote animal instead of animals).  One of my kiddos said, “Ms. Acuff, you don’t want to be a Sidekick writer.  You have to reread what you write.” and it was then I noticed my error.  It was a good teaching point to the kids on how even I make mistakes and how there are little things we can do as writers to take us from Crime Fighters to a Sidekick and then all the way up to a Superhero.  Also, I left room at the bottom of each page so we could add more descriptions of what would fall into a category as we come upon things and so the kids can take some ownership of the rubric as well.  I want them to make this their own.  I have had a TON of requests for my Superhero Strategies so if you think this is something that would benefit your room as well I’d be happy to share this with you as well OR if you have ideas on how I can make mine better I would love to hear from you!

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