Week 6: What We’ve Done


Ok.  Seriously.  Life has been overwhelmingly a *little* hectic these past couple of weeks.  I’m not gonna lie…I might even leave out some things because two weeks ago feels like 2 MONTHS ago.  Anyone else?  Tell me I’m not alone!!

I’ll get week 7 up soon.  Just not tonight.  I have a presentation tomorrow and I kinda need some sleep.

So here goes…

After finishing up our narratives, we dove headfirst into looking at expository writing.  But I didn’t let them start writing one yet. *Insert evil laugh: Muahahahaha* No, not because I’m mean and evil, but I wanted to try something a little different.


We started our week with “Grandma.” I’m totally using an old picture because I forgot to take a picture of our new one.  It’s really cute.  It’s the same basic information, but I decided to allow kids to draw their balloons rather than cutting and gluing.  I’m feeling the time constraints BIG TIME this year, and it was just faster.

We did this for two days.  And the kids really enjoyed it.  So it was a complete WIN!  You can read a previous post ALL about Grandma here.


After that, we spent the rest of the week looking at expository writing.  I pulled some expository essays (from right here on my blog) and allowed students to look at them and study them.


Table groups came together and created posters (Ok, it’s totally just some big sheets of manila paper cut in half…don’t judge) to write down what their groups noticed about the writing.  I really wanted them to notice that they can use the same tools in expository writing as they learned about and used in their own narrative writing.  But THEY figured it out rather than me having to tell them.  Great when it works like that, eh? 😉


Grammar was so much fun this week!  We started working with what makes a complete sentence.  The first step is to look at two word sentences.  It ROCKED their little worlds when I told them a sentence only has to have two words.  Like…they didn’t even want to believe it.

We started with the lesson from Grammar Keepers, but then we had to make it a little fun 4th grade style.  I wrote out words on little pieces of paper (I *might* have written them in the 10 minutes before the kids arrived) and handed them to each table.  We had a competition to see which table could come up with the most sentences.

Some were right.  Some were very wrong.  Kids struggle with this.  But we talked about each one they created and discussed why it was complete or not.  The silver lining in all of it is that they really don’t deal with two word sentences on a daily basis in writing.  So there’s that.

We did talk about how sometimes authors use it as a craft to slow down a moment or show specific emotions.  In their journals, they did a great job trying out that strategy.

Oh…almost forgot.  We also did the lesson on verbs again since it’s part of The Sentence Wringer.  Nothing special with that one since we had already covered it.

And there you have it.  Week 6 is in the books.

Are you feeling the sluggishness of school right about now?  Feel like you’re running in quicksand, making lots of moves but not going very far…or anywhere?  You. Are. Not. Alone. Let’s talk about it!  Leave a comment below.

Let’s hear it! :)





  1. Angela Long says:

    I totally feel you! Time is of the essence and yet I have little time to allow for creativity and deeper learning. I appreciate you writing it all out, so I know I’m not alone too. Thank you for sharing your world!

  2. I totally feel you I have been trying to keep up with your writing scope and sequence but I am finding myself getting behind. I am a pre-k teacher now teaching 4th grade writing and I am grateful for all your materials and Gretchen Bernebei but feeling very overwhelmed and hoping I am doing this correctly.

    • Kayla Shook says:

      Hi, Amy! I’m sure you are doing GREAT!! First thing: DON’T STRESS! If you can’t keep up, just figure out what you can cut. There are several lessons that students don’t HAVE to have. If you have to stop one thing to get caught up on something else, free yourself to do that! I know I am behind my own scope, too…but I’m going with the flow and keeping the general framework in mind. I have less time this year than I did last year, and I’m still trying to figure it all out. BUT…I’m not stressing about it. I know it will get done. Haha…can you tell I’m not a Type A personality? 😉 Hang in there and just know that you are doing the best you can for your kids. Sometimes, especially at the beginning, it’s hard to get them moving. Once they are in the routine and know what to expect, it goes much quicker. I’m confident you are doing the best job you can!

  3. Amy, as a first year teacher in Texas I totally agree with you!! I’ve done an okay job keeping up with the 4th grade Scope and Sequence… I’m just a few days behind, but with my 3rd graders, I feel like I’m never going to catch up!! I’m so grateful that I ran across Kayla’s blog though because Gretchen’s books and style of teaching are life savers!!

  4. I really feel the constraints! We follow a scope and sequence that has us just now starting narratives! Expository writing will not begin for another 3 weeks. I feel like I am spinning my wheels and waisting precious time!

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