Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Conventions Club... Freebie Fall Friday is here again!

Holidays with our family are all about the kids! There is nothing like watching as they experience it all and create memories. It truly is the ultimate blessing. 

Last weekend we took all of these cuties to the pumpkin patch!

Now on to the Conventions Club! I would LOVE to take credit for this one, but I have to give it to my amazing 3rd grade bestie! She is crazy amazing, I'm tellin' ya. 

Last year we really felt like we perfected the way we teacher writing. The focus is on writing projects rather than allowing students complete freedom in writing. We were finding that allowing them too much freedom produced little to no writing and a lot of time wasted during workshop. By working through writing projects each child created a piece that they took through the entire writing process and they did this several times throughout the year. The quality and quantity of writing improved immensely. 

Still, there was one major element of their writing that was not improving. Conventions. We would conference with students, practice editing together, peer edit, use editing kits, songs, the list goes on. Still we would see lowercase letters at the beginning of sentences, missing periods and spelling errors of those no-excuse words. The editing they were doing on their rough drafts was not carrying over. So the Convention Club was established!

The Conventions Club is an exclusive club for students who are meeting or exceeding in the area of conventions on all final copies. 

Here is How it Works:

1. Any time students turn in a final copy that we grade the authors either stay in the club, are made a part of the club or removed from the club. 
2. We keep a poster up with the Club Rules and the names of the members. The members write their names on the laminated poster in Expo marker just in case they have to be erased.
3. When they enter the club they get a members card. If they are removed from the club they have to give up their card. 
4. If members are a part of the Conventions Club they receive the following privileges:
-A pen to write with! THEY LOVE THIS!
-5-10 minutes at the beginning of writer's workshop for a "fun" activity. It was always something simple like drawing or sometimes I will give them a word search or they get to play a partner game. It's also not every day, but when they are given this opportunity other students are working diligently on their editing skills :P

I know that it might seem like a bit much to have a club that kids are added to and removed from and everything is not necessarily "fair", but it has really worked. We have seen a huge difference. By the end of last year every student had been a part of the Conventions Club at one point and the list of names  in the club at the end of the year included almost every student. 

Remember that as the teacher you have the ultimate say in it all. The idea behind it is that authors will show consistent use of proper conventions. When you see them showing consistency reward them by adding them to the Conventions Club! If at any point a member was not showing consistency I would take the opportunity to conference with them and they would be removed from the club until they again showed proper conventions in all writing. We also made sure to make it reachable for all students. I had a couple of kids last year who were working on writing 3 complete sentences with a capital and period in each. If they were meeting this goal they were a member. The club should not be unachievable for anyone. :)

Here ya go! Happy Freebie Fall Friday!!
Click the picture to grab yours.
This comes with two posters and Convention Club member cards!

And because I am the featured blogger this week over at Teacher Blog Addict I have another little something for you!

This is a simple pumpkin glyph for when your littles just can't 
focus any longer on those days before all that candy!!

Continue the hop with All Things Apple

Then go grab more freebies over at TBA!

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