Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Writing Update!

Hey friends!

I'm here this week with an update on our current writing unit!

My district follows the Lucy Calkins Units of Study for writing. We recently wrapped up our personal narrative writing and started our Non-fiction unit. We started with writing How-to books. The kids helped create a How-to Ideas chart. I tried to be clear to them that it needed to be things they actually knew how to do. They did pretty well with their ideas!
The next day I had them imagine and act out making hot chocolate with a partner. Then they shared out what they thought the steps would be. I recorded them and then read them back...out of order. They laughed and told me that the steps have to be in the RIGHT order. Oh, silly me ;)
So far, so good!
I have been using the Lucy Calkins Writing Units of Study since I started in this district (6 years). This year, we started using the Lucy Calkins Reading Units of Study. So far, I like it! We have spent our reading lesson time following some of the lessons and creating charts to go along with them, and then practicing our reading during reader's workshop. 
Chart on the Left: Reader's Build Good Habits
This chart took us some time. Each step was a separate lesson. I put up one at a time as we learned and practiced it together. This is a chart that I reference daily before I send them off to their workshop stations and read to self time.
Chart on the Right: Reading Strategies
This chart goes up at the beginning of the year. These are the strategies they are familiar with from kindergarten.
Chart on the Right: Lose Bad Habits & Pick Up Good Ones
This is from the Calkins Units of Study. It reminds students of the things they frequently do that they should quit, and things they can do to help themselves instead! It is a great reinforcement for our strategies. These two charts are behind our guided reading table for quick reference.

Our school has taken down the Halloween decorations and put up the fall decorations. Check out this cute bulletin board! It's in our main entry way and has "thankful leaves" from each student and teacher in the school. :)

Here is a little random act of kindness that I put in the mailbox of a teacher friend this week. We all know that these little Reeses trees can help on those rough days!
And she repaid me by putting this large spider on my desk while I was out of the room.
I hate spiders! Haha. The look on the kid's face on the left is probably what my face looked like when I first saw it!

We have tomorrow off for Veteran's Day...and they are forecasting tornadoes! Boo.

Have a great week!

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