Week 5: What We’ve Done

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Another short week this week.  We had Friday off for Fair Day…and oh my goodness it was great!  Except that I can’t seem to get through with everything…that’s becoming pretty common around here.

But that’s what teaching is all about, right?  Flexibility.  Yes.  *I keep telling myself this!*

We finished up our writing on Tuesday.  It was time.  Past time, really…so some of them even took it home for homework.  But ALL of them finished it and brought it back on Wednesday for our celebration.  I couldn’t believe it!  First time EVER to have 100% of students bring back such crucial homework.  Yay!

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On Wednesday, we celebrated our writing.  It was so much fun!  It was so neat to see the kids walk around and read each others’ papers and comment on what they liked.

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I’ve written about it before, but we don’t stand in the front of the room and read papers.  Ain’t nobody got time for that! (I know, it hurts me to write that…but that’s what they say, right?)

We put our papers out on our desks, along with our Writer’s Celebration page, and we walk around and make comments about the things we noticed about the papers.  It’s kind of a magical time for everyone involved. :)

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I’m not even going to lie, though…we sat together on the carpet beforehand and talked about what sorts of comments are actually helpful to students and which ones don’t do a thing.  You know…Great writing!…or…I love your story!  Those do NOTHING.  Maybe give you a self-esteem boost…but that’s about it.

Look at those comments up there in that picture!  Isn’t that just awesome?!  The author of this paper REALLY knows what he/she did well.  I love it! (We will work on how to spell “paragraph,” don’t worry!)

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Last one.  I just love celebrations.  We walk around to oldies music blaring.  We have a great time.  And I *might* bring in cookies and fun treats for them.

The best part?  The smiles.  The ear-to-ear grins that ensue once each author returns to his/her seat and reads the comments.  That’s always my favorite part!  When we sit down and talk about what we noticed overall, I always have someone who speaks up and says, “This makes me feel so good!”  It should, kid.  Well done!

That’s pretty much all we did in writing.

In grammar, we talked about pronouns.  I created another folding page to put in our notebooks, but I totally forgot to take a picture of one.  I’ll try to remember to snap a pic and put it into next week’s post.

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On Thursday, it was time to put all this hard grammar work to the test.  Students were asked to write a journal entry after reviewing nouns, pronouns and verbs.  I gave them a good, solid 10 minutes to do that.

Some students can really get a great amount written in that amount of time, while others are still struggling with getting their thoughts onto the paper.  So for their assessment, I gave them the option of using their own journal entry or something I typed up.

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Here is the page some of them opted to use.  They were asked to find 3 nouns, 3 verbs, and 2 pronouns (just like you see up there in that first picture).  Students were required to write their proofs out to the side or above so that I could tell they knew what each one was.

The kids are pretty pumped about their assessments being so “easy.”  But aren’t we supposed to assess them the way we teach them?  If you have them journal every day to try out new rules and prove things in grammar, shouldn’t we test them that way, too?  *Food for thought!*

Anywho…this is what we did for week 5.  At some point, this HAS to get faster…but for now, we are just sort of plugging along a little at a time.  We will get there.  Just have to give it some time.  😉

How is your year going?  Have you been able to move as fast as your own lesson plans? Haha.

I’d love to hear from you!

Ta ta for now!

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Comments

  1. Looks like y’all had a great celebration! Congratulations! In the past, I’ve had students post their essays outside and put comments on sticky notes. I like the idea of all the comments on one sheet of paper. Maybe I’ll have them do their own class and one other class. Do y’all do Six Weeks tests?

  2. You said that students are required to write their “proofs” out to the side or above. What are these “proofs”? Are they in one of Gretchen Bernabei’s books?

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Yes ma’am! This is from her Grammar Keepers book. LOVE it! It has made a HUGE difference in the level of understanding with grammar!!

  3. Rose Ann Lively says:

    I was trying to find your noun and verb foldable on TPT, but could not find it. Do you have it available on another website?

    • Kayla Shook says:

      I don’t have them posted yet. I just have a little bit more to do to get them ready. Look for them this weekend. 😉

  4. Kayla, I love the thoughtful comments your kiddos left. What a great celebration. Isn’t it fun teaching writing this way? Glad your year is going well so far!

  5. I am loving your post. I am learning so much and just ordered a bundle of Gretchen Bernebei’s books. I was going over lessons for the next few weeks and was wondering what text structures you will use for the expository kernel essays .

    • Kayla Shook says:

      I’m going to start with a favorite place. Not sure which other ones I will use…and I have them start creating their own by about December. :)

  6. Beautiful work! I don’t know what is my favorite part – – the easy assessment with such great mastery or the smiles and the walking around celebration. Or your beautiful paper with that kid writing on it. I wish every child of mine could have had you as a teacher.

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Thanks, Gretchen! You sure know how to give a great compliment! You need to come by to see what we are up to soon!! 😉

  7. Alison Cooley says:

    Ok so I somehow just found your blog and TPT store and I basically bought all of your products! Sadly, I just now found your scope and sequences and we are already going into week 7 of the school year. What is your suggestion that I do ? Just go right into week 7 ? Or go back and try to play catch up ?

    Thanks !!!

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Hi, Alison! Thanks so much for your purchases! 😉 As for the scopes, I would suggest starting now with expository unless you haven’t done narrative yet. If you went straight into expository, I would recommend doing narrative for a bit. It is still a TEK even though it isn’t tested anymore. It’s a great way to get to know your kids and not intimidate them.

      Anyway, I guess what I’m saying is that it depends on what you’ve already done. If you’d like to shoot me an email to texasteachingfanatic@gmail.com and let me know where you are and what you’ve done, I’ll gladly give some suggestions of how to go ahead and implement the scopes right away.

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