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Hillside Kindergarten Class Celebrates Writing With Bookstore

Hillside students rush into their brand new 'bookstore' after a short ribbon cutting ceremony. Some students at Hillside Elementary School were able to take a trip to the bookstore this past week - only they were shopping for books that they had written themselves.

Students in Krista Annunziato’s kindergarten class learned how to write opinions and reasons to prove them in their writing unit this month. After finishing writing their own books for the lesson, Annunziato, with help from English as a new language teacher Kristen Calle-Aimi, decided a special celebration was in order.

“After each children's writing unit we do a book celebration,” Annunziato said. “So, for this book celebration, we decided that we were going to create a kindergarten bookstore.”

Kindergartners working hard The bookstore featured the students' own books, complete with covers and illustrations to help them stand out to their classmates. With signs and pictures displayed for their bookstore, Annunziato thought the best way for a grand opening would be to hold a ribbon cutting.

“When we cut the ribbon they all just ran in,” she said. “They saw it all and said ‘oh my god I'm a published author’ and they really felt ownership over what they wrote and were really proud of themselves.”

The students were able to browse for books written by their own classmates and while they picked out their next favorite novels, Annunziato noticed that their approach to writing had changed for the better.

“This really motivated them because they really took a lot of time on editing, adding detail, and adding pictures to their final books,” she said. “I think that they saw their writing and what they've done over the last several weeks and really saw the improvement in their process.”

The teachers found the bookstore to be a creative way to showcase their students' work, and while it is a great chance for the students to reflect on their writing, Annunziato and Calle-Aimi want to make sure they’re also giving themselves the credit they deserve.

Signs-advertising-Krista-Annunziatos-students-bookstore “This is the beginning stages of writing and we celebrate that,” said Annunziato. “We’re teaching them to celebrate all these little moments to build their confidence.”

For Annunziato and Calle-Aimi, they plan on expanding their kindergarten bookstore celebration throughout the year. Finding that the students look forward to the ribbon cutting, the teachers also found their students are now looking forward to writing as well.

“It makes them want to keep writing and that’s helping to boost their confidence to try other things,” said Calle-Aimi. “They were so proud of themselves.”

“We want to make writing fun and exciting and this was the way that we can do that,” added Annunziato.