Today I am linking up with Amanda from Teaching Maddeness for her Friday Flashback Linky Party and Teaching Blog Addict for Freebie Friday.
I have been wanting to share some Spy Report (free download) examples with you and had time to take some pictures this week. We started these two weeks ago when we returned from winter break. Remember my new-found mission of making sure I focus some of our time on kindness and character---I was reminded that "Show, don't tell." is the best way to learn, meaning that I need to make sure that I give students opportunities to develop kindness, show appreciation, give apologies, and practice being the kind of person I want them to grow up to be.
Here are some of my beautiful favorites....and we are just getting started!
tagxedo.com (like wordle) to create his Spy Report. I really like the way he used the tagxedo to brainstorm and then wrote examples and reasons why he used those adjectives. (I think this is a great way for a student who has trouble elaborating to do their spy report.
This student chose to write in the format of a real "spy" report. Notice the real fingerprints all around the document and the type-set that looks like it was typed on a typewriter.
And....this one is one of my FAVORITES so far. Is it because it is about me? I think so. Is it super creative? Absolutely. This student chose to write a Ms. Russell (that's me) pie recipe. (Have you read Enemy Pie? We did last year and used is as a creative writing possibility for our writer's notebook--write different kinds of pie recipes.) Look at that "It leaves an unforgettable impact on your tastebuds...It goes above and beyond the pie standard." What I LOOOOVE LOVE LOVE most about my kids' spy reports to me is that they really do get to know me and describe the "true" me in their reports. (I'm also crazy, intense, high strung sometimes--but they pick the best qualities to write about!:)
Why I love this assignment:
* This assignment really allows for student creativity. While I teach genre studies during writing workshop, Spy Reports allow students to write in whatever mode they want and express their creativity and voice as a writer.
* You will see amazing things happen with reluctant writers. As they feel the “warm fuzzies” of sharing what they appreciate about someone and hear good things about themselves, they really buy into this assignment.
* One week, you will have a student use a really creative genre, the next week, many students will have written in this same mode. Writing ideas spread like wildfire!
* Because this assignment happens each week, you should see major growth across the year. Things that you place importance on in your regular writing instruction (grammar, spelling, vocabulary, painting a picture, dialogue, etc.) should show improvement in spy reports.
Grab my SPY REPORTS directions (including tips for the teacher) for free from my teacherspayteachers store. It is a word document so that you can modify it for your classroom.