Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Happy 4th Grade Poetry Writing June 2, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:50 am
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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.

 

Poetry UOS Grade 5 Lesson 2 Writing March 31, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 9:55 am
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Writing Lesson 2: Using the Writing Notebook-Creating Poetic Languages and Phrases

Materials

• Note cards cut into strips

• Four or five mentor poems of your choice

• Students’ writing notebooks to access “interesting, engaging, or intriguing words and phrases” from Lesson 1

• Lists of words from Skills Block lesson, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, “small words,” endings (optional)

• Overhead samples of words on strips

• Teacher’s writing notebook with pre-written poems or poetic phrases

Intended Learning

• Students use interesting and engaging words to create poems and/or poetic phrases to develop a clearer sense of poetic language.

Big Ideas

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

Mini-Lesson

This lesson borrows the idea of a magnetic poetry kit, allowing students to experiment with words and phrases to create poetic rhythm, images, mood, and so on.

Connection

Connection

Remind students that poets select and use words and phrases in ways that create images, mood, rhythm, and emotion.

Select and read four or five phrases or short poems from your mentor poems demonstrating this statement.

Teaching

Tell students they will write words from their interesting words lists on tickets (i.e., note card strips). Explain that you have also cut word strips from the Skills Block lesson where students listed words representing parts of speech. They will use their words, borrowed words from their partners and classmates, and words from the Skills Block lesson to create poems or poetic phrases.

Tell students they may have seen this idea before: using magnetic words to create poems. Spread out some overhead sample word strips.

Demonstrate how to pull some word strips together to create a poem or poetic phrase inspired by some mentor poems. Explain how when you created a small poem or phrase you really liked, you copied it into your writing notebook.

Hold up your writing notebook to show students where you wrote five or six short poems or poetic phrases created from word strips.

Active Engagement

Students copy interesting words from their writing notebooks onto word strips and cut out ones they prepared from the Skills Block lesson. Allow students about 10 minutes (but no more than 15) for this part of the lesson.

Students may not have time to copy and cut out all of their words, but it is more important to move into the “creating poetic language” phase than having every word on a strip.

Link

Give students guidelines and time limits for copying and cutting out words. Students may borrow words from their partners if needed. Tell students they do not need to copy all words they wrote in their notebooks, only those they especially like.

Let them know, however, everyone needs a minimum of five or six short poems or poetic phrases written in their notebooks by the end of Independent and Small Group Time.

Independent and Small Group Time

Students work independently or with partners to create short poems or poetic phrases.

Sharing/Closure

• Students share with partners some short poems or poetic phrases they created and wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out one or two of their favorites with the whole group.

 

Poetry UOS grade 4 Writing Lesson 1 March 29, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:44 pm
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Writing Lesson 1: Using Notebook Entries to Inspire Poems

Materials

Overheads and/or student copies of “Figure 10-8A. Belinda’s notebook entry” and “Figure 10-8B. Belinda’s first draft (The No-Nonsense Guide to Teaching Writing by Davis & Hill)

Intended Learning

• Students use entries in their writing notebooks as seeds for writing poems, so they can expand on topics interesting to them or consider them in new ways.

Standards (Benchmarks)

  • Write responses to literature that summarize main ideas and significant details and support interpretations with references to the text.
  • Use full range of strategies to comprehend a variety of texts, such as nonfiction, poems, and stories.
  • Generate writing ideas through discussions with others and from printed materials.
  • Plan, draft, revise, and edit writing.
  • Produce informal writings (e.g., messages, journals, notes, and poems) for various purposes.

Big Ideas

• Use techniques to craft poetry, including line breaks, literary language, and imagery.

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

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

Mini-Lesson

Connection

Tell students they can use entries from their writing notebooks to write poems. Today they create poetry from previous entries.

Teaching

Tell students rereading previously written notebook entries can provide inspiration for writing poems. Sometimes a topic, a line, or a description can give them ideas for writing poems.

Show students “Figure 10-8A. Belinda’s notebook entry,” page 162. Read the entry to students. Show them “Figure 10-8B. Belinda’s first draft,” page 162. Read the poem aloud.

Facilitate a discussion with students about how Belinda used her notebook entry to inspire a poem. Point out words or phrases she lifted from her notebook entry and included in the poem as well as how she rephrased ideas and feelings.

Active Engagement

Ask students to work with partners to look through their notebooks to find entries they could use to inspire poems. Students might want to circle words or phrases they might use in their poems.

Link

Have students continue the work they started with their partners. After searching through entries, students should try to write poems inspired by these entries. Encourage students to experiment with writing poetry just for the fun of it.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students write poetry independently in their writing notebooks.

• Confers individually or with small groups.

Sharing/Closure

• Two or three students share their poems or pieces of poems and tell why they chose these entries as inspiration

Notes:

At the end of this unit, students revise and edit three to five poems to publish in take-home books.

 

Fifth Grade Poetry Unit of Study Writing Lesson 1

Filed under: Poetry,units of study,writing workshop — bestbookihavenotread @ 7:38 am
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Writing Lesson 1: Using the Writing Notebook-Collecting Interesting Words

Materials

• Poetry exemplars and anthologies used during Reading Workshop

• Students’ writing notebooks

• Teacher’s writing notebook

Intended Learning

• Students use poetry mentor texts and the world around them to record interesting and engaging words in their writing notebooks to develop a clearer sense of what it means to read and write like poets.

Big Ideas

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

Mini-Lesson

In her book, Poemcrazy, Susan Goldsmith Wooldridge stresses the importance of collecting words. She is always collecting words (“they’re free”) and writing them in her notebook.

Connection

Explain to students they are surrounded by words, good words, all the time. But unless we slow down and notice, we often miss them. Remind students that, in Reading Workshop, they have begun to notice the way poets use words and phrases to create imagery and emotion. The exercise today will help them as they begin to write poems.

Teaching

Tell students they are about to go on a word hunt. Their job is to look around the room and find interesting, engaging, intriguing words, or words they just like, and write them in their notebooks.

Model by reading three or four words recorded in your own notebook, such as “Yo!,” “wondrous,” “swiped,” or “pling.” Say each word slowly to “savor” the words’ sounds.

Ask students to look around the room for words they can see from their seats, on labels, posters, book covers, posted poems, and so on. Circulate around the room noticing students’ progress.

After a minute or two, ask a few students to share out. Again, enjoy the words’ rhythm and music.

Active Engagement

Give students three or four minutes to move around the room, looking for words and listening to the rhythmic or unique sounds of the words.

Tell students they are to write seven to 10 more words in their writing notebooks. Remind students they do not have to worry about the words’ meaning right now; they just need to pay attention to sounds, rhythms, and music of the words.

When students return to the group, have a few share out one or two of their interesting words. Choose students whose words reflect a variety of word choices, including nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, onomatopoeias, and so on.

Tell students today during independent writing time, they browse through some poems and poetry anthologies on their tables to find more words to add to lists in their writing notebooks. Students may already have poems in their book bags, depending on whether they have done the Reading Workshop Lesson 1: Poetry Pass -An Interview With Poetry .

Independent and Small Group Time

Students work independently or with partners to list possible words.

Sharing/Closure

• Students share with partners some words they found and wrote in their notebooks.

• Several students share out one or two of their favorites with the whole group.

• Close Writing Workshop by rereading one or two mentor poems, savoring—but not discussing—the language.

 

 
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