Saturday, September 28, 2013

Peek at my Week

We've been working hard in 3rd Grade! I really am enjoying teaching this group of kids. There are a couple of friends that are challenging but that's how it is every year. Here is a peek at what we did this week.

The kiddos picked their first story to publish last week. Before we get to revising I decided we needed to go over complete sentences. So I began by making an anchor chart together with the kids on subjects and predicates.

Then they had to read their first draft and look for a sentence that had a subject and underline it in red and look for a predicate and underline it in pencil. The next day we used the Complete and Incomplete Sentence Sort from my Sentences Supplemental Activities Pack. Table groups worked together to sort the sentences. 

You can see this group almost got it right. After they sorted them they had to discuss what the subject and predicate were of the complete sentences. I gave them a test from my pack at the end of the week and most of them did well which made me really happy! I can always refer back to these lessons when we write to make sure they are writing complete sentences. 

In Reading we worked on story elements. To model it I used the story Oliver Button is a Sissy because we had already read it for making connections. We used the hamburger to organize the different elements. Throughout the week the kids worked on their own hamburger using the book Little Grunt and the Big Egg. I just love that book!

I will be returning to story elements and plot development but realized that I really need to go over inferring first so they can analyze characters and how they develop. So on Friday I did the trash lesson from Comprehension Connections and the thinking stems. 

(I wish I would have remembered to take a picture of the trash.) If you haven't read this book it's a must for hooks before teaching the reading strategies. The kids had a ball making inferences about the trash so I know this lesson will stick with them. Inferences is my favorite reading strategy and I can't wait to do more next week. Well I hope you enjoyed looking in at some of the things we did this week. I realized that next time I need more pics of the activities in action. I have a busy weekend ahead of me and I hope you all have a great one!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Writing during Literacy Block

I have to say that things are going really well during independent work time. Most of my kiddos can work independently for a sustained amount of time. During my literacy block I have the kids write for one of their stations. I started out the year having them just continue the work they had done during writer's workshop. But I wanted to change things up to keep it interesting. So I am starting with three different activities they can choose from. 

The first activity is Roll and Write a Story. There are many versions out there like this one by Jordan Reads that I found through Pinterest and can be downloaded from TPT. I took ideas from   several ones I found and made my own.  I laminated three of them and used foam blocks for the dice. The kids choose one of the publishing papers that I created and write their story on that. They continue working on their story each time they have writing as one of their stations. Once the story is finished, they turn it in so I can bind all the stories together in a book.

Another activity I have added is writing prompts. Depending on how this month goes and how popular it is, I plan on changing the prompts every month. I got my prompts for September from Second Story Window and here.  I simply wrote the prompts on colored index cards that I had cut up and placed them in a purple tin I had gotten at Target a while back. I added a label and it was ready to go! They can change out the prompt two times while choosing one but have to keep the third one. They answer their prompt on one of the publishing papers and turn in so I can bind those also into a book.

The final writing activity I included in the station is class journals. I got this idea from Pinterest. The kids will pick a journal that has topics such as pets and special memories. I store them in a magazine bin and the kids choose one to write in, write their name at the top of the next blank page and then write according to the topic. 

I keep all the materials in my writing station which is a work in progress. There is nothing spectacular about it but it works for us for the moment. (If you look closely, you can see the baggie I taped to the desk on the left hand side. It is holding the dice for the Roll and Write a Story activity.) 

So there you have it! The kids really enjoyed this station when I introduced the new activities last week. I plan on adding and changing out activities throughout the year to keep the interest going. What kinds of activities do you you do for writing outside of writer's workshop?