Monday, October 11, 2010

Fifth and Third Grade Writer's Sparks Notebooks Launched!

      It's been a busy start to writing this year! Currently, I am coming in to all of the third and fifth grade classrooms as part of my literacy coaching. Third graders have analyzed mentor texts in order to start the process of the collection of interesting vocabulary, rich language, ways the author "showed, not told," and writing idea inspirations. Fifth graders have heard and discussed excepts from Spilling Ink as our current mentor text, with Ralph Fletcher's work as a mentor in future lessons.

      By the end of the week, all third and fifth graders will have received their own writing sparks ideas notebook! A huge thank-you goes out to Michelle Ybarra for constructing the third grade's set of notebooks. She did a wonderful job of helping! During some of the coaching lessons, there will now be times where students collect language or generate ideas. Teachers will incorporate opportunities to use of the notebooks as well. Sections include: 

  • Sparks from Reading and Writing
  • Real Life and Observation Sparks
  • Imagination and Fantasy Sparks
  • Descriptive Words and Phrases - Words to Add Spice to My Writing
  • "In Other Words" - Fresh Ways of Saying the Same Old Thing
  • Character Names and Character Traits That Interest Me
  • Settings I Could Use - Time Frames and Places

        We want the students to feel empowered to use elaboration, word variation, construct strong leads and satisfying endings. These experiences enrich their writing that they create during writing workshop. Of course, students need to be able to respond to a provided prompt for Benchmark and SOL writing pieces. All students will have ample opportunities to practice prompt responding both with their classroom teacher's instruction, as well as with my instruction. We will continue to develop proper paragraph structure through practice with both myself and the classroom teachers by going through the POWERS writing process. 

       I would like to thank all of the teachers for their openness to a different perspective as I come to classes. Matthew Whaley's classroom teachers are wonderful to collaborate and coach with!

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