Friday, March 9, 2012

Writing with TEXT Features!

This week we learned about how authors use text features to emphasize different words or to draw the reader's attention towards something special on the page. After reading the Dr. Seuss story I Can Read With My Eyes Shut we created our own sentences about something we can do with our eyes shut. When we wrote the sentences, we focused on writing our words with using one or more of the text features we learned this week. They did a wonderful job adding various features to make their text standout!

Authors/Illustrators Hard at Work!

For the past week, we have been working on writing and publishing our very own class book. For the past several years all of the classes here at MME participate in this writing project.

To start off, we brainstormed ideas as to what we would want to write about. We discussed the writing had to be something we all were interested in, since we were writing the book together. To help with ideas, I read books that were written by previous kindergarten classes, as well as two second grade classes. After coming up with several ideas, we decided on writing about what we want to be when we grow up.

To begin the writing process, we orally stated what we wanted to be when we grow up and I wrote those sentences down so I could help them remember the reason why they chose what they chose. The sentence they recited was "I want to be _____ when I grow up, because ________."

The following day, we wrote our first draft. We discussed how when an author writes a book they may not write it perfectly the first time. They usually have to go through several drafts before they decide on a final version. I explained the job of an editor and that I would act as their editor. We discussed parts of their sentence that were great, parts we needed to fix and a few parts we needed to add to make the writing the way we wanted it.

After writing the first draft, we then composed a second draft using the corrections that were made with the first draft. Most of the students were finished after the second draft and were ready to move to the final draft. A few decided they needed to revise a part or two before being ready for the final draft.

Once we decided on the final draft, we discussed the importance of taking our time on the final draft to make sure it was exactly how we wanted it to be so we made the best piece of writing for the reader.

Finally, we completed the illustration in a similar way to the sentence. We drew a practice draft for our first illustration and a second draft. After both drafts, we were ready to complete the final draft for the illustrations.

Below is a short video clip of the students hard at work on their writing and/or illustrations. Busy little bees!

Come Skating

This week's poem was called Come Skating and was written by Shel Silverstein. The class did a phenomenal job this week with their expression. Yesterday, we took turns reading the poem individually and we enjoyed hearing the different types of expressions we heard when each student read the poem. I was very proud of how the final performance went today!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Use Text Features cont...

This week not only have we been focusing on the strategy "Use Text Features" but we have been learning about the famous author Dr. Seuss. It just so happens that Dr. Seuss was a huge fan of using text features in his books. One of our favorites from the week as been Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? We enjoyed finding all of the text features in this book, as well as reading and making the noises throughout the book with the character.

  • Words BIG!
  • Made words bright and colorful.
  • Words went down!
  • Words went up!
  • Words were smaller.
  • Words were curved.
  • Put lines around words to make them stand out.

Use Text Features

Our focus CAFE strategy this week is on "Use Text Features". We started the week off by reading a book called Night of the Veggie Monster. We discussed all the different ways the author used his text aka his words to emphasize important words he wanted us as the readers to focus on. Below are examples of what we found the author doing with his text!
  • Words were bigger (some smaller)
  • Words were darker
  • Speech bubbles
  • Capitalized letters
  • Curved the text
  • Dots to continue sentences
  • Letters went up and down or just down

Below are examples of the pages from the book showing the different text features we found.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Daily 5 Math Mini-Lesson--Missing Addends!

Last week we practiced making different ways to make the number 10. This week I placed the same manipulatives on the board for the students to use, but instead of having them move the items and create/write the addition sentence, I started with one addend of the addition sentence, a missing addend and the answer. The student(s) could use the mainpulatives to find the answer and/or if they knew they answer they were to place the correct number in the missing blank.

Daily 5 Math Mini-Lesson & 2 Choices!

As our 3rd nine weeks draws to a close, we have started to focus on our 4th nine weeks Common Core State Standards. The main skill we have been working with in the past week is ways to make the number 10. We first started out doing this as a whole group activity. I drew two circles on the board (the second day I drew two squares) and placed 10 shapes inside the first circle. I had the class help me fill in the missing parts of this addition sentence using the items from the circles ___ + ____ = 10. We continued to do this until we found all 11 different combinations inside the circles to make the number 10!

After completing this activity whole group for several mini-lessons, I put the same lesson as an option for students to choose from during "Math by Myself". The students take the Ways to make 10 paper, bag of 10 dots, dry erase marker, eraser and dry erase board. They take the dots and divide them between the circles on the page putting different amounts in each circle. After placing the dots, the student counts the dots and then writes the addition sentence on the dry erase board.

Another choice during Daily 5 Math's "Math with Someone" is when the students take a bag of shapes, clipboard and a Shape Drawing paper to a spot in the room. Their first job is to sort the objects by size, which is our third skill in sorting with the Common Core Standards. The first two were to sort by color and shape. After sorting the shapes by size, they can then create a picture using the shapes. Once the picture is created, they draw the picture using shapes on their Shape Drawing paper. The video shows two groups working on their sorting and the pictures below the video are the groups creating a picture to draw.