Celebrate It!

A celebration slows down time just long enough to live it and love it and remember it.  Celebrations give us time to catch our breath and then take our breath away.  A good celebration mixes it up: past with future; accomplishment with hope; holding tight with letting go.  Celebration gathers us as witnesses to wonder and forces us to admit we knew it all along–even on the hard days: life is good.

When Vivi announced that it was the third day of third grade, there was a hint of celebration in the air. And now these third graders have already told me that Wednesday will the third day of the third week of third grade and that we should do something special at three o’clock. And so we will.

Last week we decorated our Writer’s Notebooks and had a Notebook Celebration. Rose made sparkly pencil grips with pipe cleaners. We passed out the grips on new glittery pencils.

Magic pencils help us write… Make our words vivid and bright!

As we arrayed the notebooks on the rug.  We watched them, side by side and row by row, become a quilt of who are. I read I Am In Charge of Celebrations by Byrd Baylor.  This  story  is about a girl who lives in the desert and celebrates the moments that “make her heart pound:” the day she saw a triple rainbow, the night she saw falling stars, her chance encounter with a coyote.

We are in charge of our own celebrations.  We name the moments that make our hearts pound.  We write them.  We share them.  With pencil on paper we celebrate them.  Last week soccer goals, touchdowns, two wheelers, dolphins, and first perfect cartwheels were written out 0n the first blank pages of notebooks.

We put on some music and  these third grade writers stood on chairs and shared their writing.  We had a toast with paper cups filled with water from the water fountain.

To the writers I see… To the writers you’ll be.

We’ll be in charge of our celebrations.  We won’t let the moments that make our hearts pound melt, like snowflakes, unnoticed.   We’ll write.  We’ll celebrate.  Life is good.

About Annie Campbell

Annie Campbell is a National Board Certified third grade teacher and loves her work. She especially enjoys teaching children how to be enthusiastic readers, writers, and problem solvers. Every year, she hopes to inspire her students to be committed citizens who know they can make a difference in the world around them. When she is not teaching, Annie enjoys cooking for family and friends; she likes to lose herself in a good book; she loves discovering new ideas, restaurants, perfect picnic places, and movies with her husband, Ben.
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9 Responses to Celebrate It!

  1. Sparks says:

    Forty-one years ago, I tripped on a cobblestone in the Old City. There were many witnesses to my fall, but no one knew quite what to do. After I got myself up, unhurt, the crowd dispersed, but one young man, much shorter and thinner than I, patted me on the shoulder; when I turned to face him, he said “Madam, when you fell, my heart ‘beatted.'” My heart “beatted” when your story today reminded me of that interlude and again when I looked at the array of beautiful notebooks and thought of the stories they’ll tell.

  2. Gayle Hefty says:

    Dance to the music!

  3. Stacey says:

    Look at that gorgeous quilt of notebooks they created! How lovely.

    I love that they have bought into the Baylor concept of being in charge of their own celebrations. Beautiful!

  4. onesunflower says:

    How wonderful that your students have caught a spirit and the community you’ve created around that spirit is so nurturing.

  5. Tara says:

    What a beautiful way to celebrate Writing Workshop…and the joy of writing!

  6. Lynnelle says:

    What a great time of celebration time!!!

  7. Jill S. says:

    Annie, there are only a few things that I want more than to be a student in your class. Thanks for making me feel a part with each of your entries.

  8. Antionette says:

    I loved this piece “Celebrate”. The sentence ‘Magic pencils help us write. Make our words vivid and bright! I love it.I felt a ticklish feeling after reading this sentence.

  9. marvene2 says:

    This was a heartfelt, inspirational piece. Everyone can relate to a time of celebration. Sometimes it’s those moments in life that you don’t want to end. We can all reflect back on a time we celebrated something. I liked the sentence “We are in charge of our own celebrations. We name the moments that make our hearts pound”. This is so true. We can determine within our own lives what we choose to celebrate. After we write about it, we can look back and see that life is good. Those are the moments that make life worthwhile. I can remember celebrating my high school graduation. I was so excited to be done with school, not realizing I had many more years to go. I am looking forward to celebrating my college graduation. I use this as motivation and I can write about it, just like your third grade students.

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