November 30, 2012

Good Writers Write Bold Leads

Our focus this week has been, "Good writers write bold leads."  We've looked at and read MANY examples.  The kids have been practicing them in their Writer's Notebooks.

Instead of starting a new piece, students are using Post-Its to practice different types of leads on stories they've already written.

They've done a great job and have enjoyed writing exciting openings.

After kiddos learn a lead, it's added to our writing board with the examples of books with that type of lead.

Here's what my writing board looks like!

November 14, 2012

Two Page Informational Spread

Now that's a post title!  We've been learning a lot about informational text and how these books are set up. Students have been learning about diagrams captions, maps, and other ways to display information.

We've been learning about turkeys this week.  GOBBLE, GOBBLE!  I thought this would be the perfect time to have kids display the information they learned in a two page spread.  Here's the book I use.

We talked about borders and how they could be effective in sharing information.  Working with a partner, they created a border.  They came up with great ideas.  Some drew turkey prints, while others drew eggs, or turkeys.  Once they created their borders we looked at the book again and how Jim Arnosky displayed the information in his book.

Let me just say having a color printer at school is A-MAZING!  I didn't want the kids stressed out over making the illustrations so I printed some of his illustrations in color and found some images online.

Students did have to include one diagram in their informational spread.  I had one student tell me turkeys were hard to draw.  Of course I agreed and he quickly came up with a solution.  The hand who doesn't remember making those in school?

Each group picked four pictures and worked as a team on how they wanted to lay out the pictures.

The solution...the famous hand turkey!

I then met with each group to go over what information they planned on sharing.  Let me tell you, they learned A LOT about turkeys!!  I also helped them by making the lines on their spread to keep their writing organized and together.

I think for our first time doing this they came out really well!!

November 5, 2012

Harvest Arts Festival

Here a just a few pics from last Friday.  The kids celebrated Harvest Arts Festival.  They listened to music, created collages, and at the end of the day we had a performance by Planet Pan.

This is a steel drum band from George Stevens Academy and let me just say they had us ALL dancing!  Sorry no pictures because I was so busy moving with my class!!

Here are some of the collages kids created.

November 1, 2012

A Week In Review

For Halloween week, the kids have been so calm and settled.  Lucky me!!  Here's what we've been up to.

We wrote our opinions on if we liked Halloween or not.  We brainstormed a list of reasons why we liked the holiday and why we might not.  The kids then stated their opinion, supplied reasons, and wrote a wrap up sentence.

This week our focus in writing has been using describing words.  Students created a monster and filled in a character map.  They created a short writing piece describing what his/her monster looked liked.

Students have also been learning that good readers retell the beginning, middle, and ending of a story. After reading Where the Wild Things Are, students had to retell the story. They completed the art below to go along with the book.

The Lyons' Store also opened on Halloween.  Here's a picture of JoJo in disguise!