Monday, April 22, 2013

Opinion Writing

I am on a writing kick I've noticed. However, I really feel like the students have done a great job with writing this year, and I feel like they really understand the writing process. We've amped up the amount of writing the kiddos are doing in all subject areas, and it shows. Makes a teacher proud! :-)

Anyway, we've informally done opinion writing all year, but we started a formal unit on it just recently. Here is the anchor chart we made for opinion writing:

I'm excited to see how their writing turns out. They were allowed to write about whatever topic they chose. More pictures to come later! 

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Monday, April 15, 2013

Owl Moon and Descriptive Writing

Happy Monday! We recently finished a unit in shared reading using the book Owl Moon. This book is such a great book for helping students practice visualizing, helping them to use and apply context clues, and helping them to identify descriptive words. 

With common core, we are integrating even more writing. My students had to read the story and visualize what was happening at different point within the story. They then drew a quick pic of what they were visualizing and wrote a sentence to describe their quick pics. Then, we close read the story to find out more information about our text dependent questions. We had a book talk to discuss the story and to choose lines from the book that really spoke to us and that were powerful to the story. My students had awesome thoughts, and it's always so cool to see them analyzing a book at such a young age! 

After reading the book, we then went back and close read again to find examples of descriptive words. The students worked together to find examples and to create a list of descriptive words. There were a ton in this book! We talked about how those descriptive words can help readers paint a picture in their heads and that they help readers to use their 5 senses to imagine that they were there in the book. I found an awesome owl craftivity on Amy Lemons' TpT website that was free (check it out HERE), and I printed it on cardstock. I then traced the body of the owl on lined paper and made enough copies for each child. The students then took what they learned about descriptive writing to write Who Am I riddles. They had to write about themselves using descriptive words, and then they were able to put together the owl craftivity and color it. I then stapled it on top of their writing, and hung them on the back bulletin board. The kiddos love reading them during Daily 5 time to try to figure out whose is whose!  See the pictures below! :-) The kiddos did a super job, and we will continue to work on using descriptive words in our writing!

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Friday, April 12, 2013

Animal Research Revisited

Well, as some of you have noticed, I took a mini-hiatus from blogging and TpT. There really wasn't any particular reason, I just was enjoying some me time I guess. The hubby started a new position a few months ago, and he has his nights and weekends free now (this was quite a rarity in days of past), so we have just been nesting and enjoying spending time together, eating dinner together every night, and taking walks each evening! Anyway, I had a reader actually e-mail me to check on me and see if everything was ok since I hadn't blogged in a while. I thought that was so sweet, and it's nice to know that people are out there reading my posts, so thank you Tabitha!

Well, I think I had posted a while back about my animal research project informational writing unit that I had on TpT (go here to check it out). This unit was made out of necessity, as my own kiddos were working on this during writing a while ago. I just realized the other day that I never posted pics, so here they are!

The kiddos did a terrific job. It's so fun to see them take a piece of writing through the writing process and to see the final results! 

Anyway, have a terrific weekend, and now that I'm officially back, be expecting more posts next week!
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