Sunday, March 4, 2012

Monitoring and Author Study...Who will it be?

 A sunny Sunday yellow Slice of Life Story, hosted by Stacey and Ruth at Two Writing Teachers.

We are at the entrance of a new month which means MONITORING TIME! At the end, or in this case beginning, of each month I try to check in on everyone's writing. It seems to be a good time to get a fresh look at everything, set some new goals and see what students have accomplished. It will either be stressful or a relief! Today is the day, either way, to get a plan together.  
As I pour over their work, make some piles, write notes and next steps, and figure out some mini-lessons for the week all I can think about is what author is going to inspire them next?
I hope to start a new author study this week but I don't really know what author I need to channel yet. We seem to be in a place where students are still lacking details and story elements. These are kindergarteners, their writing journey is just beginning. What will be the most powerful burst to push them forward?

We studied Mo Willems at the beginning of the year. We examined his illustrations while we were learning to draw.

We did a mini-study of Audrey Penn to look at how she develops her characters.

Laura Numeroff helped us see how a story can begin and end in the same way.

We read Author, A True Story by Helen Lester to show the journey of an author. My kids were riveted...she began her journey just like them.

We spent some time reading the Stanley books by Linda Bailey--she is so good at showing not telling with sounds and humor.

But now what? Cynthia Rylant, Audrey Wood, Eric Carle??? There are so many with so many talents!

What authors inspire your students? Do you have that one book or one author year after year that propels your students forward? Why? What is the spark or special element they attach to?


Jen said...

I loved reading your post. I want to whip out my notebook and take notes. You are amazing doing this work with kindergarteners. Often I feel I hear, "They can't do that." It makes me sad. Your post is so honest and real about your teaching. Thank you!

I Love the book Hurricane by David Weisner. I think the part where the boys go out and explore the fallen tree is a great example of stretching out a small moment and adding lots of detail. I've used it with 3rd graders before. I love talking about mentor texts!

Robin said...

I have been thinking of doing a mini study on Laura Numeroff for the same reason! I feel like my students are ready for a new perspective and I think she has a good one to offer next. I have also been thinking of a mini study of Anna Dewdney. Her Llama Llama books are great at showing details in the pictures and facial expressions/body language that shows feelings. Let us know what you decide on...we are waiting to find out how it goes! :)

JenniferM said...

I love that you said, "their writing journey is just beginning." I can't imagine teaching such little ones, and I'm always amazed to read about what you do with them. Your author studies sound incredible, and I'm sure your next one will be the same! P.S. Thanks for your encouraging comment yesterday!

The King Zoo said...

Our school district has a Kindergarten Academy, separate from all the other elementary schools. They focus on writing and I am so impressed with their curriculum and success. Keep writing! And thanks for the ideas.

wakeupandwrite said...

My students are a year younger than yours and we are in the same spot - goal is to add more details. Of course my students are doing it in their pictures and their oral story and yours are probably doing it with words/writing. My most powerful tools are doing re-draws and re-writes of my own stories or using wordless books and rewriting the story over and over again.

Robin said...

What about a Mem Fox author study?