Celebrating with Class! And a mentor text to boot


This post is part of Ruth Ayres Celebrate Link up. Thanks, Ruth for this great opportunity to celebrate!

I have 3 School Celebrations to share with you.

  1. Today I get to celebrate with my students! In fact, in a first ever turn of events, I’m celebrating on my blog while they write their first ever celebration pieces. It’s a double celebration, or maybe triple. We started by reading I’m In Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor/pictures by Peter Parnall. This is a beautiful book, and I am celebrating the way the pictures and words go together to make you feel the celebration. After we read, we brainstormed things we could celebrate:


IMG_4582 IMG_4581

We talked about all the ways we can celebrate by writing…

  • paragraph
  • story
  • list
  • poem
  • pictures

Now we are writing. It’s quiet, which is nice. Some students are watching my writing, which is also nice. I like writing in front of my students, even though it does feel a bit odd.  A few students are still settling into the stamina of sitting and quietly writing without distracting themselves or others, which I understand. It’s September. I’m celebrating September writing! 

2. This year I teach 2 ELA classes back to back. I’ve just read I’m in Charge of Celebrations for the second time this morning. Before the school year started, I thought I would be bored teaching “the same” thing two times in a row. I’d like to call a celebration for that NOT happening. I’m anything but bored. Today I got to read I’m in Charge of Celebrations TWICE! Today I got to fill my board with even more celebrations with my second class. Today I get to connect with 50 students through the power of reading and writing. I’m lucky.


3. Speaking of I’m in Charge of Celebrations. Reading a book like that 2 times in a row made it an automatic mentor text. As I read it I felt the pull to write about a celebration in the style of Byrd Baylor… Again writing in front of my students, while they write. As students finish writing a celebration, I challenge them to write again, choosing a poem this time, or a list, or a paragraph if they just did a poem. And I start thinking about celebrating my own children and their school:

Celebrating September 
A school year where all 3 children go to the same school!
Thanks to Byrd Baylor's inspiration

Friends, I wish you had been there
to hear
my children,
giddy with anticipation
share the names of 
reading buddies
make plans for
meeting for worship
discuss the rules
for the elevator

All three
of my babies
are not babies anymore, 
I know. 

All three
are in the same school now
with the chance to
be more than siblings
It's possible to 
be more 
than siblings
Now they are 
Part of a family
a community.

I've decided that September is a celebration 
for school. 
Not just any school celebration.
I don't want a day 
markers and post its, 
notebooks and pencils
stickers and baskets
I want a day to celebrate 
that my children 
get to spend 
their days
in the same community
they get to 
share common ground. 
They get to 
be more
than siblings.

I hope you have a lot to celebrate this weekend!

10 thoughts on “Celebrating with Class! And a mentor text to boot

  1. I adore Byrd Baylor’s books, and this is certainly one you can read twice, or more! Loved your post all the way through, & that you wrote your own ‘Byrd Baylor’-style poem. It is lovely to have the kids all at the same school! Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I found I’m In Charge of Celebrations while working our book sale last week! I was so glad to pick up my own copy & I’ve created a mentor text shelf just for me…I’m retired, but still writing. I also picked up a copy of What You Know First and The Important Book. I love that your three are sharing common ground. My two did that and even attended the same university for a few years. It was fun to see them in the same community, and to hear them sharing common memories. The mom journey is the best one. So glad you celebrated school and your family today!

  3. How wonderful that you can celebrate celebrating with your students! It is too often in life as we get older, we only appreciate the things we don’t have anymore. This negativity just kind of sneaks up on a person. I love reading all the posts on Ruth Ayres Celebrate link up. I am brand new to the meme but I look forward to next week already. I am currently studying education (middle grades math and English) so I am interested in hearing about (and seeing) the workings of a real classroom.

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