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Read and Write 180-Day 78

I loved what we did with writing today. Maybe it wasn’t a lot of writing but I loved it anyway! 🙂 If you have been following me lately, you know that I have d.r.o.p.p.e.d. spelling from my instruction and also taken away the english workbook page that wasn’t getting us anywhere, and I have replaced those with writing. Writing has always been put on the back burner so I’m bringing it to the front! Yesterday we finished up our persuasive writing with the reindeer job applications ( will post pictures tomorrow hopefully), and we began a little unit on informative writing today. We are going to write informational reports on reindeer-real reindeer! So today I showed them a video clip about reindeer (caribou), and we read some slides full of information. Let me back up. Before we did all that, we decided “what’ we would want to research and write about in our reindeer reports. Here’s what we came up with in both classes-THEY came up with this.

1. Eating habits

2. Where they live

3. Physical characteristics

4. Habitats

So, back to the information slides. We read it and took notes. I REALLY stressed what plagiarism is and how NOT to do it! I told them how to jot down notes from the information they are reading. The notes will be what we write our reports from-NOT the articles. We talked about having at least 3 sources, especially when gathering information from the internet. I’m excited about doing this report writing with them. Here’s the link to the information/video clip we used today.

http://kids.nationalgeographic.com/kids/animals/creaturefeature/caribou/

I am proud to say that on our english tests last week the majority of the grades were A’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We finished reading our story today-Juan Verdades: The Man Who Couldn’t Tell a Lie. Tomorrow we will partner read it and discuss.

Only 9 days left until Christmas vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂

Read and Write 180-Day 71

Monday, November 28, 2011

Monday all day long! 🙂 Hit the snooze button at 6:00 am and didn’t wake back up until 6:38 am!!!!!! Cold, cold, cold. Rainy. Internet didn’t work when I got to school. Left some books at home so couldn’t make the work packets (I know the kids were sooooooo disappointed!). 🙂

Looked forward to going to the dentist ALL day 🙂 since I didn’t exactly follow the directions they gave me last week when they put a temporary crown on and told me NOT to eat anything chewy on that side of my mouth. Those milk duds made me do it!

Anyway, the school day actually went well! AND I DID SMALL GROUP INSTRUCTION! ON A MONDAY! 🙂 I’m patting myself on the back right now. LOL!

So over the holiday break I did a lot of thinking about reorganizing my teaching to put more emphasis on reading and writing and not so much on spelling and english. Not on the isolated part of those 2 subjects anyway. This is what our day looked like today:

English- We still labeled a sentence (we will continue to do this everyday). We labeled the parts of speech, subjects and predicates, and identified the type and kind of sentence it was. (Declarative, Exclamatory, Interrogative, Imperative) (Simple, Compound, Complex, Compound Complex). Then they wrote a paragraph using this sentence. Sort of a short story. With a title. I think they enjoy doing these. Well, as much as 6th graders can enjoy doing anything remotely related to school! 🙂 Our sentence today was:

The gobbling, plump turkey trotted hesitantly through the grassy, open field Thursday.

One title that struck my fancy was “The Hunter and The Hunted”. 🙂 We then discussed one student’s paragraph using the ELMO. We ALWAYS give stars (things we noticed they did well) and wishes (things we would like them to focus on improving). We do this EVERYDAY. I hope it pays off!

Writing- I am introducing persuasive writing this week. We are going to fill out a job application to try to get Santa to hire us to be a reindeer. I got this fantastic idea from pinterest-I think a 1st grade teacher had posted it, and then I found where a 5th grade teacher had modified it to suit her older kids. I read them the picture book “How Santa Got His Job” so that we could discuss things we noticed about Santa Claus during all of his jobs leading up to his Santa job and how they prepared him for that ultimate job. It’s a CUTE read aloud! Then we brainstormed for all 3 sections of the job application in our writing notebook.

1. Talents and skills

2. Why I want to be a reindeer

3. What makes me a good reindeer

Tomorrow we will take these notes we jotted down and put them into paragraph form as a rough draft. This will probably take a couple of days.

Reading- Mondays will be devoted to building background knowledge for the upcoming story exposure to the reading strategy and skill for the week. So here’s an outline for today. Our story this week is an auto-biography “Learning to Swim”.

Read Aloud-I chose NOT to use the 1 page story in the textbook and to instead use a picture book “The Ant Bully“. Since our strategy for the week is predicting that is what I wanted to focus on with the read aloud. BUT-it is HARD to predict when the majority of the kids have seen the movie!!!!!!!!!!!! So really we just enjoyed a good read aloud today!!! Gotta remember that for next time! 🙂

Strategy- We created an anchor chart for our predictions for the story. They talked with their partner about their predictions, wrote them on a sticky note, and placed on the chart (forgot to take a picture!). I discussed the difference between simple and complex predictions and the importance to KEEP predicting as they read a text!

Question of the Day-Discussed this. The question was “Why is it important to stay calm during a crisis”.

Skill-We read the skill story (short 1 page) in the textbook and practiced the strategy and skill for the week. Then we did a sequencing worksheet together using the ELMO.

Small groups-We had about 35-40 minutes left in class to do small group instruction. I only pulled 2 groups of 4 students each in each class. Not everyone will be pulled in a small group each week-it just depends on their needs. I used the below level leveled reader which has the same vocabulary that is in our weekly story. It’s also to build background knowledge. The title was “Rip Current Rescue”. I read it aloud to them while they followed along. We only got to page 8 out of about 20!!! Why do them make such a loooooong leveled reader if we only are supposed to use them on Mondays and Fridays??? I won’t be using them on Fridays, just Mondays. Anyway-we made predictions, inferred, discussed vocabulary. Then they had to go and partner read the rest of the book (the 2nd group will partner read tomorrow). It went VERY WELL!!!!!!!!!!! I even had one of my reluctant readers ask if he could take it home and finish it because he liked it!!!!!!!!! YEA!!!!!! He ended up finishing it at snack this afternoon!!! 🙂

I LOVE SMALL GROUP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO MUCH MORE INTERACTION WITH THE KIDS!!!

Check back tomorrow to see if it goes just as well! 🙂

2nd part of persuasive unit

During our 2nd part of the persuasive unit that we are beginning we shared our homework. The kids had to find an example of a persuasive piece and fill out a form about it which included:

1. Who is trying to persuade you? 2. What are they trying to convince you of? Was their argument convincing and why or why not?

They loved sharing their pieces (we didn’t share all-will have to continue tomorrow)-I think that next year I will do this unit at the beginning of the year(should have done it this year but just getting my feet wet). I will actually show them some commercials since they LOVE to talk about these! 🙂

Will post again tomorrow!

Tried persuasive lesson today

I tried the 1st part of the persuasive lesson from readwritethink today with my 6th graders. The lesson is broken into 4 parts of 40 minutes each, but I am going to stretch it out even more than that. I only did the part of the 1st lesson where we chose yes or no to the statement: Winter is the best season. Then we shared our arguments about why we chose that answer. We talked about how persuasion is when you are trying to convince someone to believe what you do. Then they worked in teams to record reasons why their group should win the prize that I am offering
(a special snack). I let them share their arguments. We will share again tomorrow.

The lesson went well-they had a good time coming up with reasons why their group should win the prize. Here are a few reasons:

Our team members work well together. We don’t interrupt the teacher. We always do our work. We will share the food with the rest of the class. (Sure!) We eat more than the other students. AND——–

We don’t pass gas in class!!!! 🙂 Leave it to 6th graders!!!

This part of the lesson was very interactive!!! Will post again tomorrow on the next part of the lesson.

Going to try persuasive writing

I have NOT focused on writing in my 6th grade classroom this year! GASP! 🙂 Our reading program took up soooo much time-along with english! Well, I am trying to change that! Of course, I am changing LOTS of stuff right now.

I am going to teach them how to write a persuasive essay, and I found a link to readwritethink for a complete lesson on persuasive writing. Tomorrow (Monday) will be day 1 of the lesson-it will probably take me the whole 2 weeks to get it done. I’ll try to post each day to sort of give an update on what we did. Here is the link to the lesson plan:

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/convince-developing-persuasive-writing-56.html?tab=4#session1