January 22, 2009, Thursday
Day 3 Reading and Writing Enrichment Class
Our sixth graders came in and drew a topic from the basket and took their note card and their writer’s folder to their desk. The timer was set shortly before the tardy bell rang for five minutes. Seconds later everyone was fully engaged including Pam and I. I drew the topic “my missing basket.”
For reader’s moment, I read the article Obama retakes oath of office after Roberts’ mistake from cnn.com. I had their ears.
Next, I quickly repeated the mini-lesson on what is a quick write. Then we did a quickwrite using the book When I Was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. I read the book and I asked students to use the line of repetition from the book “When I was young, I..” as the starting point of writing. Students had three minutes to write and as I observed they wrote. I shared and invited them to share and they would not. Student one allowed me to read her writing to the group. It will take more time to develop this young community.
Pam read them a short narrative that Jack Prelutsky wrote titled My Father’s Underwear. This came from Prelutsky’s book Pizza, Pigs, and Poetry. Then she gave them each a copy of this short narrative and a highlighter. They were asked to reread the narrative and highlight five sentences or phrases that caught their attention. I used the document camera to project the story as I read and underlined. Everyone was engaged except one student.
We intended to show students how Prelutsky used this short narrative to write a poem. We ran out of time. Therefore this narrative and their underlined sentences or phrases will be jumping off points for students to quickwrite. We want our students to see how we get ideas from other people’s writing.
Student Bravo has been engaged since we started the class three days ago. The first day he was not a happy camper. Bravo has had behavior problems in other classes but has been well behaved in our class. He did display a terrible attitude on Tuesday. He has kept to himself and today I did see him write something.
Time came to an end quickly and Pam explained the exit slip. Our students are familiar with exit slips since they are used their other classes. There exit slips consisted of a short summary of what we did today, but one student wrote that she liked what we were doing so far. That fact give me hope. I would like to push the exit slip to maybe a guiding question(s), three pluses and a wish, or some other idea. We need to put some more thought on this part so we get the bang we need to happen.
January 23, 2009, Friday by Pam F. (I was in Philly)
We went through the routine–We shared a couple Draw It Outs (two or three volunteered to share) and I read mine.
For the Readable Moment, I read Obama’s letter to his daughters, and they appeared to listen and think about it. We did stop and discuss several points/questions.
The mini-lesson was How to Choose the Right Book. I introduced the word “MNEMONIC” and after quickly reviewing Roy G Biv and My Mother Just Served Us . . . . ., I gave them FIT and BLIPA for choosing the right book. F (Find), I (Investigate), T (Try/Trade) and B (Blurb), L (Length -as well as size of type), I (Interests you), P (Pictures –as well as illustrations), A (Ask someone). We talked about each component and used books for examples. I wanted to talk about the five finger rule, but I forgot (even though I had written it on the board).
The Quick Write was either “How do you choose a book” or “What makes a book good”–Their choice of prompt.
Then we went to the library for book talks by Heather and to check out books. I told them that we will be reading Monday and to bring their books with them. Actually we ran out of time, but several had books selected, and Heather is holding them for them to check out later today. Heather did a great job on the talks–all students seemed engaged.
Of course, we ran over and were late getting to the library. We didn’t get to exit slips. Sorry.
I just found out that these same students are in an ELA class, have Mrs. Whaley’s class, and are with us. And, several have no PE at all during the day. We may need to incorporate some active activities or strategies. Thoughts, comments?????
Rosie will do the class on Tuesday. She dropped by very briefly at the beginning of class today. I told her I’d get with her later today, but that we did want to make sure we followed the routine we have established for the beginning of class.
January 26, 2009
Students entered the classroom and started Draw it out, let it bubble. After about five minutes I put the students in two lines facing each other and they took turns sharing with each other. One line moved and went through four rotations of sharing what was on their card. I tried to listen but had to watch and manage two kids to keep them on task.
For readers moments I share the story Kelly, the flying angel from Chicken Soup for the Kids Soul. The story was engaging about a pony, an angel, divorce, a psychological drama. I had their attention and we moved on to the quickwrite.
We used Prelutsky’s story My Father’s Underwear for the Quickwrite. They took a line they had highlighted from Thursday and used it as a starting point. I took some to me to review their writing folder and they did a pretty good job in giving it a try. I was impressed that they adapted to the strategy.
Next I had each to count off from 1-7, then the ones met and twos and so forth. They took turns sharing what they had written before they went back to their seats.
The next twenty minutes the students read silently. All were really engaged except for three boys. I prompted them and did not have much luck and I let it be since they were not disturbing anyone. Student Y actually did more today than ever.
In place of exit slip I gave them paper, colored pencils and crayon and told them to draw their stories. Cool Stuff! Tomorrow Pam and I will be gone and maybe on Wednesday we let them quick write about the pictures they drew today.