In Cindy Piano’s third grade class, Friendship Soup is cooking. The students plan, then each one brings an ingredient. Then they get busy mixing and measuring. Slicing and stirring. The smell of soup fills the halls of Steen Elementary School in Bogota, New Jersey. By lunch time, soup is on. Cindy does this with her classes every year. The kids love it! They talk about it and write about it and make up stories about Friendship Soup. Wouldn’t some taste good right now?
Two of my favorite teachers, Cindy and Nicole, in Bogota, NJ had a different kind of writing celebration recently. They decided it would be fun to swap classes for the celebration of the writing launch. On the chosen day, Nicole’s class went into Cindy’s class and vice versa. Each child read at least three stories, then wrote a note on an index card for each student author. Cindy and Nicole had talked to the kids in advance about how to write the notes. And since the teachers had collaborated throughout the unit, the kids all knew what to look for in the writing (good beginnings, good endings, etc.). Everybody had a ball! The kids felt like real authors with a real audience. And they loved reading their comment cards. What a great way to celebrate in writing class!