Best Book I Have Not Read

Writing, Reading, Teaching, Life, Attempting to Balance it All

Happy 4th Grade Poetry Writing June 2, 2010

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“Did you even know you had it inside of you?” a fourth grade teacher asks a few of her boys during a recent writing conference.”

“They love poetry. They have been my most reluctant writers all year and today they didn’t even realize they worked right through snack time!”

What happy Writer’s Workshop quotes to end the year.

 

Writing Workshop Power April 30, 2010

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I am so fortunate to be able to witness the power of writing workshop in many buildings, grades, and classrooms over the course of  the last two  years. While I continue to be amazed and impressed by all that I see, nothing has given my heart quite the zing as having my son’s teacher describe his writing as a “Writing Workshop Teacher’s Dream”.

Wow! Those weren’t words that I had ever thought I’d hear about my son. Not that I don’t have high expectations for him, but reluctant writer was how I would have described him last year in first grade. And the beginning of second.

At the beginning of this school year, he was the classic “tough nut” when it came to coming up with ideas for writing Small Moments stories. His teacher ended up giving a topic list to us as homework, as he had given one too many ‘shrugs’ when she tried to help him. She even had ideas to ask him about-She knew his sister, his dogs, grandparents.

Somehow, through persistance, patience, good teaching and mini-lessons galore, my son has emerged as a writer. He writes for fun.

He wrote a non-fiction book, has moved on to haiku and other poems and is internalizing the belief that he is a writer and that he can write with an author’s voice.

Writing Workshop is hard work for the teacher, as well as the students, but it is so worth it!

 

Reason to Click My Heels Together! April 29, 2010

What event could bring  Franki from A Year of ReadingKaren from Talkworthy, Karen from Literate LivesKatie from Creative Literacy , Stella from My World-Mi Mundo, myself and others under one room tomorrow?

Could it be a sale at Cover to Cover?

The announcement of the Newbery?

NCTE?

OCTELA?

Good Guesses but wrong.

We will all be in one room to hear and watch Samantha Bennett , author of That Workshop Book: New Systems and Structures for Classrooms That Read, Write and Think, work in Katie’s second grade class and Karen’s fifth grade class. I am very exciting to have colleagues from three different grade levels that will be attending tomorrow, as well as a student teacher from the building. What a great professional development opportunity that would not be possible without the hard work of the volunteers for The Literacy Connection, including my friend and guru, Carol.

While we won’t all fit in Karen’s and Katie’s classrooms, the rest of us get to watch over close-circuit television, with debriefing sessions in-between.


 

Student created Strategy Posters Reading and Writing April 16, 2010

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Poetry UOS-Grade 5-Writing Lesson 5 April 3, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:21 am
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Writing Lesson 3: Collecting Seeds—Writing About Important Topics

Materials

• Mentor poems about personal experiences or mentor poets who have written about personal experiences or important things in their lives, such as “Mexican Dummy Time,” page 21, “T-Shirt,” page 24, or “The Photograph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina; “Autumn Thoughts” or “Aunt Sue’s Stories” in The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes; or “Weeding With Dad,” page 52, or “Faking It,” page 75, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves

• Overhead of teacher-created poem about interesting or important topic

• Chart paper to create “Where Poets Get Their Ideas” chart

Intended Learning

• Students write poems about important events, people, or places in their lives to gain understanding of where poets get topics for their writing.

Big Ideas

• Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.

Mini-Lesson

Connection

“Look for the poetry that grows under your feet.”

Rainer Marie Rilke

For students to write poems, they need things to write about. Explain that they may be lucky enough to find poem ideas just popping out of their heads—but unfortunately for most of us, it does not work that way.

You could tell students an author you rely on to help you with ideas for teaching students to write is Ralph Fletcher. He advises us to use our memories, reflections, and dreams to spark poems. Tell students you will read a few short poems from authors who did just that.

Teaching

Select poems from mentor texts about personal experiences or mentor poets who have written about personal experiences or important things in their lives. Read aloud a series of poetry and ask students to think about where authors got their ideas for these poems.

Active Engagement

After each poem, have students talk with their partners about where the author most likely got his or her idea for the poem or why they think the author wrote the poem. Begin charting information on a “Where Poets Get Their Ideas” chart.

Link

Tell students you tried writing a poem about something important or interesting in your life. Share your try-it with students.

Explain students’ work today is to write at least one poem about something from their lives. Tell them if they finish their poems before Independent and Small Group Time is over, they can write another, or they can list ideas in their notebooks for other possible poems.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students write poems about important events, people, or places in their own lives.

Sharing/Closure

• Students share with partners some poems they wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out with the whole group.

• For homework, ask students to use what they learned today to write another poem at home tonight.

 

Poetry UOS Grade 5 Writing lesson 4 April 2, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:56 am
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Writing Lesson 4: Collecting Seeds—Writing in the Style of Another Poet

Materials

• Mentor poems or poets whose short poems connect to your student’s lives or ones that will be easy and fun to imitate, such as ones from Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves or all the small poems and fourteen more by Valerie Worth

• Overhead of teacher’s poem

• “What We Notice About ________’s Poetry” chart (see end of lesson)

• Resource: Regie Routman’s Kids Poems

Intended Learning

• Students write poems imitating mentor authors to experience alternative ways to write free verse.

Big Ideas

Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.

• Clarify and compress ideas so meaning is created with precise words and phrases.

• Select language carefully to create images, mood, and impressions.

Mini-Lesson

This lesson can be repeated more than one day if you want students to mentor themselves after several poets with distinctive styles. Students often find particular styles or forms they especially like when given these opportunities.

Connection

Explain to students that some days during the poetry unit, they have total choice on topics and form, but they can learn much from studying styles and forms of published poets. When they try writing different kinds of poems or imitating different poets, they often find particular styles or forms of poetry that work especially well for them.

Tell students for that reason, today (or over the next several days, if you plan to study more than one poet) they notice things about one particular poet’s style and write their own poems trying to imitate that style.

Teaching

Select poems from your chosen mentor poet. Read aloud several poems and ask students, “What do you notice?” Create a “What We Notice About ________’s Poetry” chart of what your mentor author does as a poet (see sample at the end of this lesson). Regie Routman recommends typing this list later, so student can keep copies in their writing folders.

Active Engagement

After each poem, have students talk with their partners about what they notice about the mentor author’s poetry. Their noticings could be about topic selection, style, form, or other things. Chart this information.

Link

Tell students after thinking about the poet’s topic choices, style, language and so forth, you tried writing a poem imitating this style. Share your try-it with students.

Explain their work today is to write poetry in the mentor poet’s style. Remind them to use the class “What We Notice About ________’s Poetry” chart to help them write in the poet’s style. Use specific examples in your directive, such as “Write about…and use some similes to create images.”

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students write poems in the mentor poet’s style and form.

Sharing/Closure

• Students share with partners some poems they wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out with the whole group.

• For homework, ask students to use what they learned today to write additional poems at home tonight.

What We Notice About ________’s Poetry

• Often writes about _______________

• Uses similes to create images

• Uses sound words

• Uses punctuation to emphasize meaning

 

Writing Day 3 Poetry Unit of Study Grade 5

Filed under: Poetry,Uncategorized,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:27 am
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Writing Lesson 3: Collecting Seeds—Writing About Important Topics

Materials

• Mentor poems about personal experiences or mentor poets who have written about personal experiences or important things in their lives, such as “Mexican Dummy Time,” page 21, “T-Shirt,” page 24, or “The Photograph,” page 19, in My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River by Jane Medina; “Autumn Thoughts” or “Aunt Sue’s Stories” in The Dream Keeper and Other Poems by Langston Hughes; or “Weeding With Dad,” page 52, or “Faking It,” page 75, in Baseball, Snakes, and Summer Squash: Poems About Growing Up by Donald Graves

• Overhead of teacher-created poem about interesting or important topic

• Chart paper to create “Where Poets Get Their Ideas” chart

Intended Learning

• Students write poems about important events, people, or places in their lives to gain understanding of where poets get topics for their writing.

Big Ideas

• Develop awareness of sounds of words and rhythm of phrases.

Mini-Lesson

Connection

“Look for the poetry that grows under your feet.”

Rainer Marie Rilke

For students to write poems, they need things to write about. Explain that they may be lucky enough to find poem ideas just popping out of their heads—but unfortunately for most of us, it does not work that way.

You could tell students an author you rely on to help you with ideas for teaching students to write is Ralph Fletcher. He advises us to use our memories, reflections, and dreams to spark poems. Tell students you will read a few short poems from authors who did just that.

Teaching

Select poems from mentor texts about personal experiences or mentor poets who have written about personal experiences or important things in their lives. Read aloud a series of poetry and ask students to think about where authors got their ideas for these poems.

Active Engagement

After each poem, have students talk with their partners about where the author most likely got his or her idea for the poem or why they think the author wrote the poem. Begin charting information on a “Where Poets Get Their Ideas” chart.

Link

Tell students you tried writing a poem about something important or interesting in your life. Share your try-it with students.

Explain students’ work today is to write at least one poem about something from their lives. Tell them if they finish their poems before Independent and Small Group Time is over, they can write another, or they can list ideas in their notebooks for other possible poems.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students write poems about important events, people, or places in their own lives.

Sharing/Closure

• Students share with partners some poems they wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out with the whole group.

• For homework, ask students to use what they learned today to write another poem at home tonight.

 

 
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