Best Book I Have Not Read

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

Summer is always a little crazy… July 13, 2010

Filed under: ALA,book clubs,KidLit,reading workshop,summer reading,TCRWP,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 8:42 am

I enter summer, knowing full-well it’s going to be crazy. It’s always too fast, and make me wonder how I manage to work full-time during the school year. This summer has proven to be crazier than normal. In case you are interested, here is a week-by-week breakdown of the craziness.

first week June-last week of school for kids; swim team starts

second week of June-hubby and kids go on vacation with my family to NC. I have an extended contract so I stay to finish up the 2009-2010 school year. Breathe a sigh of relief that all the administrative team seems to be staying in place for next school year.

Realize that I miss having multiple dogs in the house and add another puppy.

third week of June-

Monday evening-our superintendent announces he is leaving for another district.

Tuesday mid-day-my direct supervisor (Director of Educational Operations) announces he has accepted a job in another district (ARGH!)

Wednesday and Thursday-lots of extra meetings

Friday-leave for D.C for my first ALA

Sunday-return from D.C. with van full of books!

Board member steps down…

last week of Junemidweek: first set of house guests arrive. So happy to see my college roommate and her family! It’s always too long between visits.

last week of June-end of week: one set of house guests leaves, another arrives two hours later-So happy to have Guy’s cousin, wife and baby visiting us! They have the happiest baby on earth! It’s also beginning of arrival in town for husband’s family reunion AND 25th high school reunion.

Fourth of July weekend-house guests, street fair, family reunion AND pack to leave for Teachers College

Our beloved Director of Technology dies unexpectedly of a heart attack.

First week of July– 17th annual Reading Institute at TCRWP. (Great learning opportunity-if you ever have the opportunity to attend one of TC’s institutes, you WON’T be sorry! )Hot beyond belief in NYC (103 degrees at 6 p.m. near the former World Trade Center site (see photo).

get home Friday night very late after multiple delays with flight

Our Director of Student Services accepts another job.  We are a small, relatively stable district. We go years without anyone leaving.

Saturday-all day class at Muskingum University. Approximately 18 hours after leaving Columbia University’s campus in NYC.

Sunday-drive to Michigan and back to deliver son to summer camp. Wish I was staying for a week of Lake Michigan!

Second week of July-let the meetings continue….new board member and interim superintendent named-whew.

What I was looking forward to was a month of reading on my screen porch, with a lap full of puppies. In the plans were-the new Units of Study for Reading books by Lucy Calkins, The Last Town on Earth by Thomas Mullen for my upcoming book club, and as many ARCs from ALA that I could manage. Progress is slow, but I have started the first book in the reading series (such a great resource), finished Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (Fantastic!), and at least checked out the book club book from the library. I’ve also learned to type with the lap full of puppies. Unconditional love and affection is worth a few little potty-training accidents.

Instead, I’m reminding myself daily that with each new challenge there lies opportunity. Here are a few of my favorite change quotes:

“Change is the essence of life. Be willing to surrender what you are for what you could become.”

“Everything changed the day she figured out there was exactly enough time for the important things in her life.” Brian Andreas, Story People artist

 

Reading Units of Study June 21, 2010

I’ve been on the lookout since I got the e-mail from Heinemann saying Units of Study was published and that pre-orders were being mailed last week.

And here it is!

I was going to be cleaning the basement-now I’m planning on jumping right into the new Lucy Calkins, TCRWP, Units of Study for Teaching Reading Grades 3-5. Expect posts all week about this topic from me! Wheee!

 

Poetry Unit of Study Reading Lesson 5 Grade 5 April 3, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 5:32 am
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Reading Lesson 5: How to Read Poetry Aloud—Paying Attention to Line Breaks and White Space

Materials

• Poetry anthologies and copies of poems at a variety of reading levels for independent reading (see Reading Resources in Unit at a Glance)

• Student copies of three short poems they are not familiar with and one of the poems cut into word strips and arranged in pocket chart with wording in order, but different line breaks and white space

Intended Learning

Students hear and read poetry aloud to learn how line breaks and white space determine poems’ meanings, rhythms, and sounds.

Big Ideas

• Understand poetry elements, including word choice, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, metaphor, and visual design.

• Create mental images to understand literary language and deepen comprehension.

Mini-Lesson

Connection

Looking at the class chart “What Is Poetry?” point out how students already realize that white space and line breaks are essential poetry elements. Tell them line breaks and white spaces are as basic to poems as paragraphs are to prose. Discuss how many poems are arranged in lines and how poets decide on line lengths.

Today we look deeper at the power of line breaks and white space. Remind students what they learn today will help them become better poetry writers.

Teaching and Active Engagement

With the poem’s words in original order, direct students’ attention to the poem in the pocket chart. Ask volunteers to read the poem aloud, thinking of possible meaning and rhythms they hear. Then, with the poem’s words remaining in original order, ask for student input on rearranging the line breaks.

Ask volunteers to read the poem again with the new arrangement. Discuss how line breaks affect the poem’s meaning. Repeat the process with new line breaks, then read and discuss how the new line breaks affected the poem. Finally, show students the poet’s version of the poem and read aloud. Talk about how poets decide line lengths to influence meaning and sounds.

However, by using appropriate language-level poems and taking time learners to experience the effects of different poetry arrangements, this lesson can be very effective in developing the “ears” of budding poets and poetry readers.

Link

Students experiment with line breaks for at least one of the two other poems you chose. Direct them to first read the poem aloud, softly to themselves, to hear the poem’s sound and rhythm. Next, ask them to rewrite the poem with line breaks and white space that make sense to them.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students read from poetry books and/or teacher-selected poems.

• Confer with individual students and/or provide small group instruction.

Sharing/Closure

• Group students who worked on the same poems in pairs or small groups.

• Ask them to show and read their poems and explain their thinking about the line breaks and white space.

 

Poetry UOS-Grade 5-Writing Lesson 5

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 Day 4 Reading April 2, 2010

Filed under: Poetry,reading workshop,units of study — bestbookihavenotread @ 6:19 am
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Reading Lesson 4: Poetry Read-Aloud—Savoring Sound, Rhythm, and the Music of Words

Materials

• Poetry anthologies and copies of poems at a variety of reading levels for independent reading

• Chart paper, student copies, or overhead of several teacher-selected poems with exceptional word choice,         onomatopoeias, and rhythmic language (read beforehand to consider word choice, rhythm, and language to highlight)

• Students’ writing notebooks

• Class “What Is Poetry?” chart started in Lesson 3 (see end of lesson)

Intended Learning

Students hear and read poetry aloud to experience and appreciate poetic language.

Big Ideas

• Understand poetry elements, including word choice, rhythm, rhyme, imagery, metaphor, and visual design.

• Create mental images to understand literary language and deepen comprehension.

Mini-Lesson

For more tips on reading poetry aloud to students, see Guiding Readers and Writers by Fountas and Pinnell, pages 418-419.

Connection

Explain to students that history tells us poetry was first a way to communicate orally. It is best enjoyed by hearing it read aloud. Today and every day during this study, we will savor poetic language by hearing poetry read aloud, which help us when we read poetry, as well as write poetry.

Teaching

Modeling reading poetry is the first step in helping students read it for themselves. Convey the poem’s rhythm and meaning with your voice and avoid a long explanation or presentation before or after the reading.

Read the first poem you chose without students seeing the words. Read it again and allow students to see the poem on chart paper, overhead, handout. Ask them to listen carefully, paying close attention to elements, such as the sound and music of the words. Briefly allow students to “Turn and Talk” about words or phrases they particularly enjoyed. Point out onomatopoeia and ask students to think about how the author wants those words to sound. Read them again along with any other interesting and powerful words or language.

Active Engagement

Read aloud other poems you chose, following the same steps as above. After the “Turn and Talk,” encourage students to add words they really enjoyed to their writing notebook lists. Ask a few students to share words they found particularly musical.

Link

Today students work in pairs or small groups, reading poems aloud to one another and enjoying poetic language. Ask them to choose one poem they feel has strong poetic language and musical words to read to another group during Sharing.

Independent and Small Group Time

• Students read from poetry books and/or teacher-selected poems.

• Confer with individual students and/or provide small group instruction.

• Circulate to support pairs and groups with their practice.

Sharing/Closure

• Pair groups of students to share selected poems. Add poems “are meant to be read alou • d” to the class “What Is Poetry?” chart (see end of this lesson).

Reading Workshop Lesson 4: Poetry Read-Aloud—Savoring Sound, Rhythm, and the Music of Words

What Is Poetry?

• Has line breaks

• Creates images in readers’ minds

• Creates emotion

• Is generally short pieces of writing

• Uses powerful language

• Uses figurative language such as similes and metaphors

• Uses random indentions

• Has different line lengths

• Songs are poems paired with music

• Are meant to be read aloud

 

Poetry UOS Grade 5 Writing lesson 4

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.