Welcome to a stream of ideas as I venture on a journey to develop young writers. This blog will be influenced by my current reading list, conferences, colleagues, your comments and of course the students I work with each day. The connection between all forms of early literacy will also frequent the blog and their importance in the writing process for young learners.
It never ceases to amaze me how gratifying teaching can be. It is all by itself a satisfying and driving career for me. Then I check my email and get a message like this:
are probably one of the most dynamic people that I have met, in a long
time. If anyone would have ever told me that my daughter's Kindergarten
teacher would be life changing to my family, I would have said,
"Doesn't everyone cry on their kids first day of school?" Thank you so
much for the last 1.5 years. What you give back to these kids is once
in a lifetime. Happy Birthday to one of the best people that I know!"
I am excited to be visiting Amy at The Poem Farm today with my students. We celebrated poetry month with our Chalk-A-Bration on April 30th and Amy is featuring it there on her blog today. You too can join the Chalk-A-Bration on May 31st to share your original poem, a favorite or an illustration--or get really ambitious and do all three with chalk! See you there.
What did you say? You want to know the history of Chalk-A-Bration? Here is the link.
Poetry Friday is hosted by Ed at Think Kid, Think! Be sure to drop in and comment on the many wonderful poetic offerings.
I attempted to write a poem using the starter, "wanting memories." It is from a song that my husband sings around the house and constantly has in his head (therefore it is in my head as well).
However, wanting memories soon became winter memories.
replaced with blooms
with sunset hues
As you can see my poem has been chalked in celebration of a very fun week with fellow chalkers. If you have a moment you can check out the other chalk poets who contributed to CHALK-A-BRATION 2013. If you have a hankering for dusty palms join in on May 31st!
Today is CHALK-A-BRATION and Slice of Life! Two things that put an instant grin on my face. :)
If you can't chalk today and want to link later this week I will still add you to the post. On Poetry Friday, unless the weather is uncooperative, I will be chalking again and link back to this post for blogosphere friends to see.
My students will be doing their chalking during the day so I will update this post as the day goes on, comment on other chalkers and add their links.
Here are my a-brations to chalk about:
I love the shadow on this one. Below the chalk is the typed version of this quote
from Osho's book, Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously. There were no
line breaks in the text of the book but I broke it up to fit my canvas.
"A poet lives through the heart and, by and by, in the heart he starts listening to the sounds of the unknown." ~Osho
Here is a notebook peek into my chalk poem:
Wet pavement put a damper, literally, on my chalking all of April. It was a clear beautiful weekend until it started raining AGAIN! But, got my chalk done and only had to endure a little sprinkle.
A few weeks ago some HOW TO writing was tried out in my kindergarten classroom. In the beginning we read examples, talked and did a shared writing example. Students explored the HOW TO's with hands on activities and we really immersed ourselves into teaching someone else how to do something.
Then we got further into the process.
Students were able to talk with partners and with the group in our "sharing circle" about their ideas. I had modeled the planning process of the HOW TO with both words and pictures. It was now their turn. Here is one example of what a student did with the plan. I am a bit partial to this story since it is about writing a book. Sigh...
Everyone filled out the plan and talked about it with a "knees and noses" partner. Then each got started on their booklet.
"How to Make a Book"
"First you talk."
(I think it also says, "about writing" but she did not say that when she told me and I didn't notice right away...ugh, opportunity missed).
"Then you get a piece of paper. Get a pencil and crayons."
(It is fun for me to notice what she needs here. She has it organized for herself but not with her reader in mind. Some lines might be a good next step for her when she has multiple things to say on a page).
"Then you color."
(Did you notice the perspective here. She has done the drawing so we see the back or above the writer. I loved that).
"Then you write."
It took about two-four days for students to do their plan and then transfer it to a booklet. I modeled this process and showed student models who had moved quickly into this phase of the writing. It went quite smoothly and the students seemed very satisfied with their work. Then we moved into stage three...publishing and celebrating. Coming soon.
We started working on HOW TO non-fiction writing about two weeks ago. The students did better than I expected...it seems like that happens a lot! I should start by saying we read some HOW TO books prior to starting this process. We began by taking a subject they knew a lot about already, hand washing. We made a plan that matched the format they would receive in a few days.
The students watched and participated in planning a HOW TO shared writing using words/phrases. Below is the chart of this work.
Then we continued to read books that taught us something new! You can see we also tried out these fun projects.
After reading about slime we made a short plan summarizing the steps we would use when making the slime using words and pictures.
This slime recipe was what I always called Oobleck. It is corn starch, water and food coloring. This was the recipe in the book so we went with it!
It was a fun day to start thinking about what students would want to teach someone else. Can't wait to share Writing a HOW TO...With Kindergartners--Stage Two.