Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We're Publishing a Book!!

If you haven't heard of Studentreasures Publishing, I highly recommend you check it out! It's the perfect way to create an awesome first grade keepsake that will last forever. It also allows students to get an truly authentic experience the writing process. 

What exactly is it, you ask? It's a free publishing program that will take your class created book and publish it into a hardcover bounded book! They also publish individual student books which is probably better for upper grades. By the way, I am not getting paid by Studentreasures to say awesome things about them. Just thought I'd get that out of the way. :)

I discovered them last year during my first year of teaching. How? I don't quite remember. However, after getting a sample book (a book published by some other class), I decided to give it a try. There was some incentive for getting a book published before the end of November so I went ahead with it. I worked with my class to create a Thanksgiving-theme book, Turkeys in Disguise! It was hard work and as a first-timer both as a full-time teacher and with the program, my timing wasn't great. We ended up spending three full days straight working hard on creating our book. But it turned out awesome! Below is a video of the class reading their published book.

I was so proud of my class! I even bought a copy and mailed it to my 2nd grade Master Teacher (who taught me everything I know). (By the way, parents are given the opportunity to order copies for themselves.

Well, this year, I decided that I wanted to wait until we get closer to the end of first grade (after we have developed our writing a bit more) to work on our book. This year's class book's focus is on helping others. This time, I made sure to spread the work out. We spent a little more than a week working on our book by going through the entire writing process. I don't really have pictures of them working on the book besides them illustrating...I was too busy playing the role of editor!

This book was definitely a team and partner effort! The kids brainstormed situations in which someone or something needs help and asks the reader "What would you do?". Rather than posing questions only, I had the kids also answer the questions. So they worked as desk partners. One person wrote the question while the other person answers the question. The illustrations were when the real partner work came in. I told the students that they have to work together to make their illustrations make sense (each student had their own page so they draw their own illustration). They needed to discuss what the characters in their scenario looked and dressed like so that the pictures go together. Everyone did a wonderful job with that. The illustrations turned out great!

There are other ways in which we worked as a team and had to make class decisions together. However, I kept going on, this post would never end! :)

We finally finished everything today and it has all been shipped off to Studentreasures. I'm can't wait to see our book when it returns to us!

Here's a quick preview:

Yep, I took these in the car! Realized that I forgot to take pictures before shipping them off! :)

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