Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quotation Marks, Narratives, and FREEBIES!!

It appears I can only manage posting once a week these days. I guess one long post is better than nothing!

I taught my second graders how to use quotation marks this week. I saw an idea on Pinterest from My Mommy Reads to use the Mo Willems Pigeon books and knew it would be a big hit.
First, I read Pigeon Wants a Puppy and I explained that the author used speech bubbles but that in most books we wouldn't have room to have a speech bubble every time a character talked. Instead, quotation marks take the place of the speech bubble.

I wrote one of the quotes from the book showing how the speech bubble would look using quotation marks. I had labels printed that I added to the anchor chart to point out the features they needed to remember. You can download those labels by clicking on the picture.
Then, I let students pick a different quote from the book they wanted we to write up on the anchor chart. We brainstormed different dialogue tags we could use as well. I had students take turns coming up to the chart to add the quotation marks, comma, and ending mark.

Last, I showed them how to draw their own Pigeon using the directions from Mo Willems himself. Click on the picture to download.

Of course, one Mo Willems book is never enough so we also read The Pigeon Wants a Cookie. You'll notice some of my students drew the ducking with no directions! I wanted the pigeon pics to be cut out so I could neatly arrange them around the anchor chart but some of the kids really, really, really, wanted to do a background or thought it looked just perfect in the middle of the chart, etc. UGH!  I forced my OCD side into submission and decided this wasn't that important so I'd let them have it their way since often it has to be my way! ;-) I cringe whenever I look at it but they LOVE it and draw pigeon pics in any spare moment they get.

I made a quick review for the Smartboard that I will use next week. It is a reminder of the rules followed by more Pigeon quotation sentences to correct. Click on the picture to download.
Both my first and second graders have been working on narratives. I explained that there are two types of narratives: personal or fictional. I then broke fiction down for them into realistic or fantasy. I made tree maps for the Smartboard and we sorted sample plots. Totally nothing fancy (I am new to this technology) but it worked. My students have difficulty moving items with their fingers. Anyone have any Smartboard tips for me? Click on the picture to download.
It is pretty easy to find picture book examples of fiction but personal narrative it tougher. Luckily I am a huge Patricia Polacco fan and know that most of her stories are true from her childhood so we read Some Birthday!
During Writer's Workshop, I let the students choose if they wanted to write a personal or fictional narrative. After they shared their writing, we discussed whether we thought it was a personal or fictional narrative. I also always have the audience share one positive comment about the author's writing.

This last girl sweetly wrote about her mom being so sick her grandma had to come over to help. In just a few weeks she has gone from saying she can't read or write anything without help to working so hard and completing an entire story all by herself!

Alright friends, I'd better start on my Weekend To-Do List. Hope you found something you can use.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Narrative Elements FREEBIE

This week we worked on Narrative Elements. I explained that a narrative was just a fancy word for story and then we went through each element using these anchor pictures.
 I don't use problem/ solution anymore because I found that although many stories have one, not all do and the students were at a loss as to what to write. I did make sure to use those terms as we were identifying the beginning, middle, and end though.  I also like that this way of writing the plot supports the skill of summarizing more effectively.

Again, I used the back white board as my teaching area.We read a few stories and practiced identifying the narrative elements together.

We also identified the Author's Purpose referring to last week's board. I finally got a better picture.  
Then I asked the students to try using the same story map to plan their own narrative. I explained that a narrative can be fictional or personal and I let them decide which type they wanted to write.
You can download the anchor pieces and the story elements sheet {here} for FREE.

I also introduced the writing process this week using my posters.

   I had them brainstorm to decide if they felt like writing a personal or fictional narrative.
We discussed how we would be using a story map to plan this week.
As they were ready the students moved on to the draft stage.
Next week we will move on to read, edit, revise, etc. These posters are available {here} with a variety of different options.

We went on a fun field trip this week that I will have to post about later because I am off to a hair appointment. How often do you get your hair cut? My split ends have been driving me nuts so I am thinking I may need to visit a  little more often...


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Author's Purpose ideas

Boy, I've forgotten how much work it is to start all over at a new school! Juggling the new curriculum, different expectations, commuting, and my boys' flag football schedules is keeping me rather busy!

This week I taught Author's Purpose to both my 1st and 2nd graders. I have VERY little bulletin board space so I used the whiteboard by my read aloud area to display these posters as an anchor chart. Please forgive the awful phone pics, I am lucky I managed a pic at all this week! The kids LOVED the PIE acronym! Thanks Cindy for the cute posters that saved me much needed time!
 I held up various books from our class library for the students to identify the purpose. Persuade is more difficult but I found some examples of letters on that worked well.

We also read I Wanna Iguana and discussed how the boy was trying to persuade his mom in each letter.

I love Gail Gibbons books so I chose Alligators and Crocodiles as an example of Inform but any nonfiction will work. I also took the opportunity to front load about text features.

We enjoyed Shel Silverstein poems as examples of Entertain. My favorite is "Sick" what is yours?
During writer's workshop, the students each chose their own purpose for writing. I have one first grader who is very down on his academic abilities but he was extremely motivated when he realized he could write all about cars. This kid can spout off car stats like an obsessed male adult. Unfortunately I forgot to grab photos of the first graders writing :-( but here are some of my second graders.

Can you tell I have some plane boys?
This guy knew so much about his subject he ended with to be continued... ;-)


All the authors got a turn sharing their work and the class identified their purpose at the end.

It was a good week.


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Lakeshore Learning at Home

Do you have a favorite teacher store near you? My go to store is Lakeshore Learning. Not only do I buy many teaching supplies there, but I purchase gifts for my nieces and nephews as well. 

I was super excited when I was contacted by Lakeshore Learning and asked to review an item from their new Learning Starts at Home collection that is now in all 57 stores and online.

I chose Let's Play School because this is definitely something I would have bought when my son, Casey, was five. He went through a "playing teacher" phase and I searched around town for a bell, pointer, chalkboard, etc. This would have been so much easier and there is so much included!
 Look at all this great stuff! 
Lakeshore did an amazing job including everything the child would want to play teacher.
I couldn't believe they even included a reward system with prizes! Rolling a reward cube was a brilliant, easy idea for a child to incorporate.
A stack of different certificates with a variety of stickers.
A calendar with a write and wipe pen.
A roll book!
Report cards and a red Fair pen! Do they know what teacher's like or what?!
Spelling tests, a teacher pencil and self-inking stamps!!!
Name plates, bell, whistle, and a hall pass!! 
A chalkboard, chalk, pointer, clock, and American flag with stand! I didn't take another picture of the United States puzzle since it showed up well in the first photo.

Lakeshore thought of EVERYTHING! 
My son would have gone crazy for this set! 

The other Lakeshore Learning Starts at Home products look equally amazing. Click HERE to go check them all out. (The Read Around the House Treasure Hunt was a favorite of my boys.)

How would you would like to pick up an educational Christmas present for your child (or niece/nephew in my case) at 20% off?
 Click HERE to get your coupon good until October 31st. 

Now the only hard part is deciding who gets what. I am determined to get my Christmas shopping done early this year.


Monday, September 2, 2013

Said No Teacher Ever VIDEO

We've all seen the posters on Pinterest. Have you seen this video entitled Said No Teacher Ever.
I laughed out loud.