It Worked!

So, I shared here about what a ridiculously insane teacher I am.  Basically our dog died, my kids wanted a new one, husband did not, finally came around, but first I used this opportunity for a writing lesson.  Um, okay.

Last week my students wrote persuasive letters to my husband to convince we needed to get another dog.  Let's just say he had a good laugh Friday night.  But it worked.  Meet our Ruby.  She's some sort of Gordon Setter mix.  Let's just saying Ruby's enjoying the good life and is very happy to be out of the pound.

Here's how our writing week went:

Monday-Brainstorming and planning


Wednesday-Revise and Edit.  Insert screeching car breaks sound here.
How much do your kids love revising.  I think their little eyes usually look at me like, "Are you serious lady?  I just wrote this stupid thing."  We'll just say they are typically unenthusiastic.  But this year's kids did it.  Fo real.  Some really super awesome, I can't believe it's the sixth week of third grade revising.
What magic did I mix up?  I wish.  But here's what I DID do.  Two years ago Nick Bruel (of Bad Kitty fame) visited our school.  He shared with us that it took him six months to write Bad Kitty.  Six Months.  He spent most of that time revising.
**Nick Bruel-thank you for coming to talk to our kids and making a point to talk about revising!!!!!!!
I shared that with my kids.  I also heard a little nugget somewhere (Jeff Anderson or that writing Dr. guy?) that you should revise your age.  So, if you're 8, you revise eight places in your story.  Should they revise just for the joy of revising and making their story as amazing as possible?  Yes, but this is my real life.  It forces them to get started.
I think it also helped that they were crazy enthusiastic about this writing topic.  Authentic writing will do that.

Thursday: Final copy

Here are some of my favorite tidbits from last week:

While brainstorming:
He could send the kids outside with the dog to get them out of his hair.
You could teach him really good tricks and get rich.

From the letters:
You could take the dog on walks to get exercise.  That way you won't get fat.
You could send the kids outside with the dog.  You could drink your coffee and read the paper and just relax in the peace and quiet.

After writing:
"So, we do all the work, and you get a dog?  That doesn't seem right."

After final copy:
"Alright, now it's your turn to get me a guinea pig."

Now I get to show them this sweet picture today.  Lucky us!


  1. What a gorgeous dog! I be that canine is so happy to have a family, great persuasive task! BTW are you going to help the little tike get a guinea pig?
    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings

  2. What an awesome idea! They really do prefer writing for an audience other than us, right? Especially to see that their writing has power to get someone to buy a dog. Cool. I know what you mean about revising--even 5th graders still struggle with it. I've found that if I keep the revising within their notebooks (like, "Try it like this. Now try it like this," etc.), the revision is front loaded. Like I've forced them to try 2-3 strategies first. Then, when they go to draft, they choose the one they like best. Not perfect, but it's working with my current class!

  3. Cute idea for the writing prompt!! I love it!! Thanks for stopping by my blog!!!! Did you see my tshirt that I got at my conference on my blog? I immediately thought about you as soon as I got this tshirt!


    The Tennessee Teacher

    I'm an education student and would love some encouraging followers to come visit me!

  4. Those are some great after writing comments. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  5. "Now it's your turn to get me a guinea pig." HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Love it.

    Craft of Teaching