Saturday, December 9, 2017

Three Cheers for 4th Graders!
We collected a HUGE amount of food.  They created fabulous posters, made announcements, and made presentations in front of classrooms.  The folks at EMU will pick up  our donation on Monday morning.  Thanks to everyone who sent things to school for donation! 
Reading our writing OUR LOUD is SO helpful!

We are writing a LOT.  We write about our reading, and have started to write about Flora and Ulysses, which we all LOVE.  Make sure you ask your kids about the book!  Our latest writing project has been to use our five senses while writing.  Last week, we started editing our stories.  This is a very difficult process!  It takes time.  It also takes a lot of practice. 

Here are some things we are working on:
Reading our own writing OUT LOUD (your brain can fool you when you read things in your head, listening to something out loud gives you a better shot at hearing mistakes you’ve made).
Checking the entire piece for CAPITAL LETTERS!  Ah!
Punctuation marks
Do the sentences make sense?
Spelling (circle words you think are spelled incorrectly)

We read the book Punctuation Takes a Vacation which shows what happens when punctuation isn’t a part of writing.  It’s important that kids are doing their editing, not you.  Practicing this skill will help them become better writers – and being able to edit is a fabulous skill to have. 
Flora and Ulysses

We spend a lot of time writing ABOUT the books we are reading.  It isn’t often that we use a picture to write a story that could be ABOUT the book we are reading.  I loved the stories they wrote based on this picture.  Some of them wrote about Ulysses, while others wrote stories that had nothing to do with the squirrel.  Ask your kids what THEY wrote about!  A lot of kids have been sharing their stories and it has been SO fun hearing how creative they are. 

Kids write in their reader’s notebooks, writer’s notebooks, poetry notebooks, and Seesaw assignments.  Such wonderful writers!  Yay!

We have been working on our book areas.  We have SO many books in our classroom and I am working hard getting books your kids will enjoy into their hands.  I spend a lot of my time finding books for your kids to read.  I want them reading!  Reading out loud at home is a great idea too.  They hang on every word I read while reading books out loud.  Kids should read EVERY SINGLE DAY.   Although I don’t give homework over break, I expect them to read.  But, that being said, I don’t ever want them to feel like reading is punishment.  Some kids have a difficult time falling in love with reading, and that’s okay.  Listening to books (either read out loud by you, or listening to a CD) is a great way for kids to get experience with books, even if it’s not something they feel comfortable or able to do on their own.  The public library has a HUGE section of books on CD.  HUGE!  Check it out! (See what I did there?)

Saturday, December 2, 2017

For the LOVE of Poetry

Not only do they continue to write amazing poems, they continue to perform them in front of their classmates!  I love seeing how proud they are of themselves after they finish reading.  Kids who normally don’t share continue to find their inner poet and share with their peers.  Yay! 

We are studying how to include VOICE, NEW VOCABULARY, and RHYTEM. 

Pippi is crazy!  Writing sentences to prove this point!

Learning how to write a great summary!  It takes hard work, but they are rocking it!

We are really busy in our reading groups!  Kids are reading fun books and I love meeting with them.  Last week, we really worked on expanding our writing about the books we are reading.  We take sticky notes that we’ve written about our book and expand our thoughts.  What EVIDENCE do you have to prove your statement?  Why do you think this?  We are learning to include examples from the book to support what we are saying.  We continue to work on our editing skills as well.  What do we need to add to our writing?  Will the reader understand what I am trying to say? 
Kids are also working on their summary writing skills.  What information is important enough to share with people, but doesn’t give the story away? 

Please chat with your kids about the books we are reading in class!  They should be reading about home too.  EVERY SINGLE DAY!  Kids should be reading at least 25 minutes a day.  This includes being read too!  Read together!