Commas (Poster)(Poster2) *to separate items in a series. * to separate an introductory element from the rest of the sentence. “First, we will stretch.” * to set off the words yes and no (e.g., Yes, thank you) * to set off a tag question from the rest of the sentence (e.g., It's true, isn't it?), * to indicate direct address (e.g., Is that you, Steve?).
Titles: underlining, quotation marks, or italics to indicate titles of works.
Grammar In Our Classroom Typically we read a picture book that has rich language and then we analyze one sentence, a MENTOR SENTENCE, and learn from the published author. We follow these steps: 1.) NOTICE everything and anything that we already know 2.) LABEL each word "Parts of Speech" 3.) REVISE with specific goals in mind 4.) IMITATE: Follow the structure of the sentence but have the freedom to create a unique sentence to strengthen our own skills. --------------------------------------------------------------------- Example below of an "A" paper (or an Elementary '4') because this student has a complete paper, that is neat, and it shows that they were following along with the lessons. There is no extra messy doodling and their name is in the top right corner.
Cursive Practice All Year - It is a point of pride to be able to write in cursive. Having the ability to read cursive is still important. Having the ability to "write" it is up for debate. There are convincing arguments from a Yale research study that writing in cursive increases our memory. However, typing is also now taught in the elementary schools. Less time is available to learn cursive. To find a balance between these modes of communication we spend some time with both but we highly recommend having a typing program as well as "paper and pencil" for at home practice.
Unit 1: Personal Narrativediagram Focus Question: How can writers learn from published authors to create deeper stories that connect scenes and can be told differently depending on the meaning the writer wants to bring forth? Mentor Text Options: F.Y.E.O. For Your Eyes Only, Joanne Rocklin A Day’s Work, Eve Bunting Time of Wonder, Robert McCloskey Baseball in April and Other Stories, Gary Soto Stevie, John Steptoe Charlotte’s Web, E. B. White
Strategies for Writing Personal Narratives * Generate ideas - Story-tell - Special people, place, emotions, lessons in life, story-tell & write & story-tell & write & write & write
* Choose an experience that makes a movie in your mind, and focus on what made it memorable.
* Add descriptive details that will help to paint a picture in the mind of the reader.
* Use concrete words and phrases to tell your story
* Include sensory details to help the reader "feel" your story. * Plan, organize, and pace your story using a story mountain. Story Mountain * Work on the turning point of the story * Use transitional words & phrases (where and when) to manage the sequence of events. Transition Words, Phrases & Clauses
* Slant/angle your story by telling the internal story – your thoughts, feelings, and responses to what was happening.
* Try a flashback - step back in time and recalling past events or thoughts. posterphrases
*Try a flash forward - step forward in time and considering future possibilities.
* Elaborate - add actions, descriptions, dialogue, and thoughts. *Work on some leads – action, setting, character, dialogue, and thoughts * Work on some conclusions – resolve a problem, change feelings, learn a lesson, reach a goal * Revise by rereading many times. Use a revision checklist & add, change, or delete when necessary.
Temporary Breaks from our Units We sometimes take a break from our units so that we can do some "free" writing, increase our writing stamina, and dabble in some fun yet purposeful writing experiences. We also read text by published authors in order to prepare for our next units: Opinion Essays, Persuasive Essays, and Informational Content Area Writing.
Unit 3: Informational Writing diagram Focus Question: How can writers gather, focus, and logically organize information about a topic and share it with an audience? Mentor Text Options: The VW Bug, Jasper's Story, Revolutionary War, etc...Student interests Strategies for Writing Informational Books 1. Immerse Yourself in Informational Text 2. Brainstorm Topics & Subtopics 3. Draft all that you know about your topic 4. Focus on Precise Vocabulary for each subtopic, commit to a topic, & add to your glossary list. 5. Table of Contents for Organizational Purposes 6. Research Subtopics 7. How to Paraphrase as you Research 8. General Beginnings for Each Chapter 9. Add Text Features 10. Consider your Text Structure for each Chapter 11. Narrative Informational Style 12. Transition Words and Concluding Sentences for each Paragraph 13. Introduction Page: Grab your readers attention & give them an overview of your topic 14. Conclusions - review what's most important 15. Continue to notice styles & structure of Mentor Text (ongoing) 16. Glossary 17. Revise & Edit 18. Publish Final Book Poster of Key Lessons
Classroom Writing Assessments: * daily effort & stamina * organization of notebook * Pre and post assessments for the 3 writing types: 1. narrative (story) 2. informational 3. opinion/argument State Assessment (M-STEP): * I would highly recommend practicing typing at home if you have the opportunity. * A Possible Assessment Task from this relatively new test could look something like this: Task 1: Read and take notes from three different informational sources (text & video) and then write a narrative piece incorporating factual information. (Oh, my! this is a lofty task that we will need to practice.) Classroom Activity To Practice: First Read: Great Boston Molasses Flood Second Read: Scholastic Informational Narrative; Third Read: Article by John Platt; Video