Phonics Writing Bulletin Board: -ow/-ou Houses

I'm proud of me today!  I changed the students' work on my primary bulletin board this afternoon!  (It had been about 6 weeks since I'd put new work up. I know, it's quite embarrassing.)  As I've written about before, it's very easy for my perfectionist tendencies to keep me from accomplishing tasks, because I always want to wait to do things until I have time to "do it perfectly."  Well, the problem with that kind of thinking is that those times never come.  So I can get behind on a lot of things.  Like changing my bulletin boards.  

But I'm trying reeeeallly hard to let things just be good enough. For example, it has to be okay that the spacing between the first and second rows is larger than the spacing between the second and third rows.  (Don't act like you didn't notice!)  And I'm not going to let myself freak out about the fact that the bottom row is curving upwards slightly towards the middle. With 35 kids this year, I need to let myself just be proud that 1.) they all understood the assignment, 2.) they all (with a few exceptions) completed it, and 3.) for the most part they all did a really good job!  After all, isn't that what teaching is supposed to be about?  I mean, instead of beautiful bulletin boards that look like the Paper Source windows?  (Not that I don't still dream of creating beautiful bulletin boards that look like the Paper Source windows . . .)

Check out some of my students' writing!  I am so proud of this student!  Listen to that incredibly interesting writer's voice!  And this is a student who is in one of my lowest reading groups!  Granted, he misspelled his sight word said, reversed his b in boy, and forgot to capitalize the first letter of most of his sentences, but those are just mechanics! I can EASILY teach him to fix those simple errors. It is  much more difficult teaching students how to choose interesting subjects, and to then create something that people want to read more of. 

And what about this little gem?  Reading things like this makes my heart smile.  

This happy little student not only wrote a wonderful little narrative, complete with characters, setting, and sequence of events, BUT, he capitalized his proper nouns!  (I just need to teach him that the word king in King Cowder is part of the name, and therefore needs to be capitalized as well.)  And, he made up a word (Cowder) using his new spelling pattern!  (Unless he meant to use his spelling word chowder, which is definitely a possibility.  I'll have to ask him to read it to me tomorrow to know for sure.)  And I love that he didn't just write "Once upon a time," he wrote "Once upon a long long time"!  Yay!  This is so exciting!  My firsties are becoming writers!