You can order online at www.scholastic.com. Our online code is FLZP8. That will get us bonus points to get free books for our classroom. You can always send in the order form with your child with a check made out to Scholastic Reading Club. Thanks for considering ordering books for your child. Let me know if they are gifts, and we can arrange a pick up.
Writing can be such a struggle for some kids. They sit there and stare at an empty paper and try to think of something, anything to write down. Other kids, it seems, can't focus long enough on a blank piece of paper to think of an idea. They get distracted and their minds start to wander. And then there are those who have to think about what story to begin with because they have so many ideas and could write pages.
We have been discussing some strategies for those that are really trying, but just can't think of anything to write. Often we generate ideas by making lists. So we listed important people in our lives and moments we have spent with them. We also thought of important places in our lives and moments we have spent there. Then we pick off of our list and try to get our stories down. At first, we don't think about spelling, paragraphs, or punctuation. We focus on getting our ideas down. We are trying to get a few stories in our notebooks before we choose one to work with for a bit. Today, we went back and reread our stories, no matter how far we got, and added details about our setting. There are sadly still some students who are staring at blank pages. If you think of it, ask your child what he/she wrote about. Maybe even brainstorm important people and moments spent with that person. Remind your child that we write about small moments, not HUGE events. It doesn't have to be something big. Stories are all around us. They fill our day. We just have to pay attention to them.
During writing time in our classroom, soft music plays while the students write. They may spread out, get settled and then they write, and write and write. If they finish a story, then they begin another one. There is no talking, no sharpening pencils, no wandering around the room or getting a drink. It is precious writing time. I can't wait to see what the final pieces will be!
I can generate ideas for a personal narrative.
We have been working on creating a list of ideas for writing personal narratives. Some students have no trouble thinking of moments from their lives. Other students need some strategies to help them generate ideas. One strategy is to think of an important person in your life and write about a small moment you've shared with that person. Another strategy is to think of an important or special place and write about a moment you've had in that place. As another strategy, students brainstormed all the people, places, and things that hold a special place in their hearts. They then created a heart map where they drew and labeled the special parts of their hearts.
On Friday, students made a goal for this year by completing the prompt "This year I hope to. . . " Students had such a variety of goals they made from reading more books to running faster miles in P.E. It is going to be a great year!
We then put our goals under the front flap or our superhero costume. Students had to decide on their super power and make the rest o their superhero. These will be hanging in the hallway for a bit before coming home.
To get to know one another better, students were broken into groups and sat around Venn Diagrams made with hula hoops. After I put a statement on the board, students sorted their names into the right hoop. For example, one statement was "I have brothers. I have sisters, or I have both brothers and sisters." I learned a lot about the students, too!
What a wonderful group of students! Students came into our classroom with smiles and some nervousness. They started by coloring a superhero mask. We had an assembly to review the school expectations. Then we talked about our third grade survival bag. To have a successful year we have to be flexible (rubber bracelets), laugh (laughy taffy), believe we are smart (smarties), make mistakes (eraser), stick together (stickers), play (play-doh), write (pencil), read (book), and leave our mark in a good way (bookmark).
We had some time to play with our play-doh before going over some procedures and enjoying some superhero cupcakes. Yum!
What a wonderful and smooth first day. Thank you so much for all the supplies you sent in. Our classroom is stocked for the year!
Mrs. Ellis's Class
Learning & laughing our way through third grade.