Monday, April 14, 2014

Cinderella Unit - The Publishing!

[Spring Break has officially started! Woohoo! Heading out to Vegas tomorrow so I thought I'd better wrap up my posts about my Cinderella unit before I go. :) ] 

With all the research and planning done, it was time to make the final drafts of our Cinderella stories!

(If you are just visiting, it would be a good idea to read the previous posts to learn about the research we did and the planning that lead to the publishing of these stories.)

Before I begin, I want to mention a project I do with my kids every year. During my first year of teaching, I discovered Studentreasures, a publishing company that takes student work and publishes it into a hardcover book FOR FREE. (yep, free!) I decided to try it out and was super happy with the results (the parents were too). This is a perfect keepsake and a great gift for family members. Since then, I decided that I was going to publish a book with my kiddos every year. Studentreasures publishes class books and individual student books (individual books have a small fee). Visit an old post of mine to see the class books we published during my last two years in first grade.

So, back to Cinderella. Being in second grade this year, I wanted to do something more advanced writing for our published book. This Cinderella unit was perfect for that. I decided I would collect everyone's stories and make a class book of Cinderella stories! Each kid would get one page for their story and one page for illustration. Since technology is becoming a new emphasis with Common Core, the kids would type up their stories so that it would fit on one page. Perfect idea, right? :D

With the planning all done, I had the students rewrite their stories on a clean sheet of paper so that it's easier for them to use as a reference when typing. Our district recently assigned every student a Google account so the timing was perfect. I did a brief lesson with the students on Google Drive and Google Documents while in the computer lab and everyone created a document for their Cinderella stories and shared them with me. This way, I could always keep track each student's progress with typing their story. 

In addition from our weekly Computer lab time, I also borrowed the Chromebooks from the computer lab on the days our computer teacher was not at school. The class all spent the next three Writer's Workshop sessions typing their stories on the Chromebooks. Some time was also spent at home typing too (as part of homework).

Also made sure to utilize the classroom computers for typing too!

Once the typing was done, I gave the kids another mini-lesson on using and selecting fonts in Google Documents. I gave the kids some time to choose the fonts that they wanted to use in their stories just to give each story a more unique look and allow the students to have more ownership of their stories. 

With the stories officially done, it was time to make the illustrations!
Some chose to refer back to their character and setting sketches in their story planners to help them get started...

....while others just went for it!

Studentreasures asks that illustrations be done in marker so that was exciting for the students since we don't often use markers in the classroom (I prefer colored pencils and crayons).

Once all the illustrations were done, it was the teacher's time to work! I printed out everyone's stories on the pages provided in our publishing kit. I also scanned the illustrations and printed them out on the publishing pages too. The reason I did was because I requested our publishing kit late and didn't want to wait for it to arrive to make our illustrations. Some students were able to draw directly on the publishing page itself. However, this experience, I actually prefer scanning and printing. When kids draw directly on the page, there are many chances of smearing (especially with marker) and also accidentally marking the other side of the paper which has someone else's story printed on it. Either way, the final product looked great!

Illustration draw directly on the page.
Illustration scanned and printed on the page.
Of course, our book wasn't complete yet!

We still have the title page..

...dedication page...

...and most importantly, the cover!

The kids all contributed to the cover. They each drew a picture of the lost article in their story. Cute huh? We were originally going to draw small Cinderellas but I think the lost articles actually look better!

Shipping our publishing kit back to the company tomorrow. Can't wait to see it come back as a hardcover book! I do a big celebration when the books arrive but I can't share that until it happens! Guess you'll have to wait another 2-3 weeks to find out how we celebrate! xP

And this concludes the three post long recap of our Cinderella unit! Phew! Thanks to all of you who stuck with it and read all three posts! I hope I can share more stuff that happens in the classroom in more details in the future too! :)

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