Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My first Award

My sister-in-law and blog designer gave me this award! She deserves the award more than me, but I'm thrilled nonetheless!

Her award inspires me to write more. It makes me think of something else too. There's nothing more fun and challenging for writers (young and old)than to enter contests.

Adult writers can find all kinds of contests everywhere. Contests can be found online. They can be found in magazines and newspapers. If you see a contest that interests you, go for it! It's not about winning or losing, it's about having fun while you write. If you happen to win, it's a great publishing credit. If you don't, it's a good experience...especially if you write for the simple joy of writing.

Writing contests are a great way for teachers to inspire their students. Nothing is more fun than a writing contest in the classroom. Keep it simple. Have word list contests...remember those lists we talked about? Announce a contest to find the most creative words on your student's lists. No pressure...just fun. Every child in your class will strive to add just one more word to that list that describes cold or winter. Every child in your class can have a winning word.

Parents, you can use the same kinds of contests at home. Make them easy. Make them simple. Your child will begin to feel the success and joy that coincides with a playful love of language and words.
Ready? Set? Go! Tell me about the contests you've entered or created. I really want to know!

Oh, by the way, I'm going to figure out how to pass this award on. I've seen some fabulous blogs in the few weeks that I've been blogging!


Glue Girl said...

Jan, I so agree! I'm an inveterate contest enter-er! I just won my category in a cooking contest not too long ago. It was my first time entering, and it was fun! Lat year I had my students enter a "Top Dpg" contest sponsored by the Marion County, Ohio, Auditor's office, telling why their dog should be Marion County's Top Dog and plate # 1. Persuasive writng - doncha know - and I made a big hallway display with pictures of our dogs and copies of the students' papers, and the Auditor's ooffice never even responded, nor did they ever publish the winner! I wa so angry about that. This year the contest was open only to K-3 kids, and it was a coloring contest. You know what I think happened? I think when they realized the difficulty of reading all those written entries, they got lazy. Anyway, we sure do love entering contests!!

Suzanne said...

I think you're right - encouraging a competitive spirit can be a fun and effective way to teach.

Congratulations on your award. I was awarded one by a fellow blogger a while back and it really raised my spirits.

Sandy said...

Nice segway (sp?) into a writing exercise, very creative.

What a bummer the auditors office let the kids down like that in Marion...think I would give them a piece of my mind for that. Marion....gotta hop over to gluegirls...I grew up in Marion.

Perhaps you need a contest here Jan. Funny you wrote about it, as I've been thinking about it for the past week. We'll get our heads together. Now I need more caffeine.


Lavahlo said...

Stopping by to say hello. Found your blog through your SIL ;O)
I am interested in teaching an adult to read, any suggestions would be great!
Hope you are staying warm.

Susan Marlow . . . said...

OK, how do you find all these things to post about? I admire you, Jan! And that's great that you joined me for the Bible Reading Challenge. But somehow, the Mr. Linky didn't work, so I had to come over here another way. To use Mr. Linky, copy and paste your entire URL address into the box for it (even the http:// part).
I posted a funny picture on my blogspot. Come on over and see it. :-)

Susan Marlow . . . said...

I'm going to TRY and use my Blogspot blog to focus on writing, and my homeschoolblogger blog to focus on everyday happenings and homeschool stuff. I think I'm crazy.

Susan Marlow . . . said...

Grrrrr....I had a ton posted and then I exited the web. Dumb.
Anyway, a good way to connect with homeschoolers is by commenting on their blogs (Homeschoolblogger is a good place to roam). But it's hard for them to find you unless you create a blog on HSB. It's EASY. You can also join Show and Tell Fridays, which then folks will come over to your blog to visit. Drop in on Friday and you can click the link to the host and add your name . . . if you have something fun to Show and Tell. That's how I got connected.

And creative ideas? Hmmm... I have an entire writing workshop on line, with free colored downloads! I just checked and one of the downloads (characters' feelings) has over 1,000 downloads! I have dozens of kids taking the workshop at one time or another. They all love it. I even mail them certificates when they complete the course and post their picture and blog on the sidebar. Go over and see it!

You can click on the lessons and see what I've done. All the downloads are from my Reach for the Stars writing workbook, which the Old Schoolhouse Store sells as both a print version and an e-book download.

But I can't ever think of short, cute things to post like you do. I suppose I could take some lessons from the WW blog and post over here. But how do you get people to come to your blog on blogspot? That's why I'm at HSB. I get a ton more traffic over there. Over here I feel I'm just floating around like a tiny ship on the sea. On HSB, it's like I'm in a community.

And yes, I got your comment on my HSB blog. It's only the Mr. Linky that didn't work.

Susan Marlow . . . said...

Oops, the link is:

Glue Girl said...

Jan, I love popping into check out what you've written and to see who is commenting on your posts b/c I have picked up several ideas from those people. I jumped opver to the Homeschooling blog site Susan has and checked out her first writing lesson. It's neat b/c we have been working with story elements and I wish I had her little chart to hand out to my students. The only thing she didn't have on her story element chart that I include with my fifth graders is after resolution we have conclusion. I tell kids it is the "happily ever after" to the story that ties everything together and makes out brain happy b/c there are no loose ends. I also love the knitting/crocheting bridge project things Sandy leaves. Anyway, thanks for the kind words! And I will check out your books and tell kids I "know" you! Oh btw, I had a student ask me this question today in guided reading group when we were discussing Roald Dahl and making text to text connections between some of his books, "So, how does a writer write a book anyway?" It was really neat b/c I had taken the whole group to the com lab to view the Roald Dahl website, and their was na interview with him from years ago before he died. He said, "When I get an idea, I don't rush right out and start writing. I walk around it and sniff it. . ." So then we had a good discussion about connotation ;-) and what exactly does THAT mean. Very satisfying to have someone ask that kind of question! Anyway -

Sandy said...

Hey, noticed a contest for young writers in your google thing; but the deadline's in 3 days. Too bad we didn't know about it sooner.

Putting on thinking cap

Kidslinked said...

Jan has a great understanding of how to help children write better. Her advice is so timely to my needs with my daughter being 7. I use this all the time with her - this is great!