Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
My third graders are currently engaged in The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, through read aloud. Some have their own copies, and enjoy following along. Those who don't are listening intently! This is a great book! I introduce two new vocabulary words each time I sit down to read to them from the book. Students must annalyze the words by writing the definition, use it in a sentence of their own, write a synonym and antonym for the word, and illustrate the word. They also each have their own character webs for which they are to write down characteristics (appearance, thoughts, actions) about the main character, Edward. At random we will stop and discuss the story. Students are then encouraged to make notes on their webs. This experience is one that the kids really look forward to each week.
It was a very busy fall season! I have been implementing one big writing project after another. Therefore the ole' blog has taken backseat!! My students have been busy studying about so many things in Social Studies and Science. Our current writing project has been tied closely to Science. Students have been writing informational paragraphs on whales. Before this particular writing project, students compared and contrasted the baleen and toothed whale. They are very familiar with these terms as they research the selected variety for their report.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I love fall! It is one of my favorite times of the year! Our third graders are having the opportunity to participate in a "mobile" pumpkin patch that is traveling to area schools. If you have the opportunity to take a field trip to a pumpkin patch, that would be even better. This is the "kick-off" event to our writing project. The great thing about this unit is that it ties in with the Science unit about the "plant kingdom."After students have spent time with the mobile pumpkin patch, the have each received their own little pumpkins. They have been educated on the process of growing pumpkins as well. Back in the classroom, I read to the students Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson which is wonderful book with great illustrations about the story of a garden and its pumpkins.Students are allowed to create Pumpkin children with their pumpkins. They add eyes, hair, and accessories. The first writing activity that we will do with their pumpkins is to create a "lil punkin' " baby book. They must measure, weigh and record the measurements of their pumpkin baby. They will also create a "family pumpkin vine" (family tree) for their pumpkins. This will include themself and their parents. The baby book will conclude with a story that students will write about their pumpkin baby's first day, as well as their first adventures at home. Yes, students will take their pumpkin baby home for a few days and write about what they did. This is a great journaling experience. I also encourage snapshots of their experiences together to include in the baby album.The remainder of this pumpkin writing unit will actually involve studying about characteristics of several different variety of pumpkins. We will learn the characteristics of three different kinds of pumpkins. I also provide my students with a fact sheet of the many characteristics that all pumpkins share. Now we are ready to compare similarities and also the differences. We use the venn diagram as an organizational tool to begin with. From this point we are ready to begin the rough draft paragraph.Students are engaged in the Step Up to Writing process by Maureen Auman. It is a great tool for writing their paragraphs.When this process is finished, everything is stored in a double pocket folder that each student has decorated. All portions of this project, including the informational pages are included. This makes a great portfolio to refer to when students write their next comparison/contrast paragraphs.