Camryn captivated his audience as he presented his poster. He did a super job at being the super hero last week! Way to go Camryn!
Last week Dylan could be seen walking the halls with his cape billowing behind him. Dylan is always safe, responsible, and respectful. Thank you super Dylan!
I ran across this website that had a great list of funny books for kids. Many books are in a series, which is awesome because if a kid gets hooked on a series, they can get hooked on reading for life as they read through that series, they begin to see themselves as readers. Take a peek when you get a chance and visit your local library, book store, or shop on amazon for some of these. A book order will be coming home soon, but many of these series are not sold through Scholastic.
I love getting pictures emailed to me from parents. It makes ny heart so happy to see kids reading. Logan's mom sent this to me- Logan read to Zeke , a therapy dog at the library last night.
I always struggle as a teacher when it comes to students peer editing stories. I think it is because writing is such a personal thing and to have someone comment on it makes the writer very vulnerable. It is also tricky to have third graders do it in a constructive way and take their responsibility seriously. Their partners are counting on them for some help in their writing!
On Friday, we edited for punctuation, spelling, and capitalization. Students got with a partner and went through their stories. I was so impressed with how seriously students took their jobs to be editors! It was wonderful to see. Here are a few pictures of the excellent editors.
Visualizing is a reading strategy that we have been learning about and practicing. Visualizing helps us understand books better because in order to visualize we need to slow down, think about what we are reading, and zoom in on the details that the author is giving us so we can paint a picture of the story in our head. We discussed how sometimes the picture that you are visualizing changes as the story progresses because the author is giving you more information and details as you read, so you need to be constantly searching for ways to adjust your mental picture or to change it all together. I must say that students really got into visualizing. I read a section of Jam and Jelly by Holly and Nellie and then it got so quiet as they sketched what they were picturing. Some students really were able to capture some of the detail the author used.
This is a great strategy to practice at home. You can read aloud to your child and have your child orally tell you what he/she is picturing or draw it. Another fun way is to have your child read to you while you sketch what you are picturing. It is good to discuss how you knew what to draw. What words did the author use that helped you know what to draw?
Here are a few examples:
Last week, after studying the third grade rubric that would be used to score each student's writing, we took a look at some personal narratives that other students have written in previous years. At their tables, students discussed what the story would get , either a 1,2,3, or 4, and why they would give it that score. Students had such good discussions and used language from the rubric to back up their opinion. It was great!
We decided that this would have earned a 1. We talked about how it isn't a small moment or a seed story and there is no description. It is more like a summary than like a story.
Although this still lacks a lot of detail, we talked about how it is at least a small moment. It isn't about Halloween, rather about making their Halloween costume. It needs more detail, a catchy beginning and a strong ending. This was a 1.5 or maybe a 2.
We thought this would earn a 3. A 3 is right where they need to be. It has paragraphs, dialogue, and the writer worked on the ending, so it doesn't just say "The End." It could have had a catchier lead and even more detail.
This is a 4! It has it all! And wow- a 4 is above and beyond what is expected.
Students picked their one seed story (small moment) that they were going to commit to for the rest of the unit. Then, it was time to work on leads, or beginnings, for our stories. The first step was to see what other published authors have done, so we looked at beginnings to books that we have read together and we noticed that these authors started their stories with a description of the setting, dialogue, a sound effect, an action, or a combination of these. They made for awesome beginnings that made us want to read the rest of the story. Their beginnings hooked us!
Then we looked at a paper and added it to our binder of some examples of boring beginnings and then how an action, dialogue, a description of the setting, or a sound was used to make the beginning a lot more exciting.
Then, I tried out some beginnings for my seed story. I wrote three beginnings for my one story as I tried starting with an action, then a sound effect, and then some dialogue. I then picked my favorite one.
Students then had a turn to try writing three different beginnings for their one seed story. They had to try starting with an action, a sound effect, dialogue, a description of the setting, or a combination of these. Many students got it! Some did not. I used a quick feedback sheet to let each student know if they hit the target of writing a catchy and effective lead to a story. We do most of our writing in our writers notebooks, so a lot of it doesn't come home, but I wanted you to see how your child is doing so far, so their beginnings are coming home with the feedback sheet attached.
Some students just didn't get it, in spite of the modeling and examples. For many, it was just an issue with staying focused and listening. In spite of all the modeling, some students wrote a summary of their entire stories!
Here are many examples of effective leads that were written, so that you have a clear picture of what was expected.
Spelling and punctuation didn't matter. I just wanted the kids to get their ideas down and focus on their word choice and hooking their reader with a good beginning. I fixed them up with spelling and punctuation after so that when they copy it into their notebooks, they will at least have their beginning edited. Each student got feedback on the form that is shown below. I then pull the students who didn't hit the target and reteach and help them best I can, without writing their story for them.
Please, take a moment tonight or tomorrow to go over this with your child. If one doesn't come home, then it means they didn't turn one in yet. Students had plenty of time to finish it. Ask your child about his/her story and if it is a seed story or a watermelon story. Have your child retell the story to you, with detail and description.
Mrs. Ellis's Class
Learning & laughing our way through third grade.