Sunday, September 9, 2012

Short and Sweet ~ maybe

The messy desk that greeted me this weekend!
Can you tell I have afternoon duty on Fridays?

Well, my head is racing with all that the weeks ahead hold, for my class and for me. That must be the very reason I feel so scattered this weekend. I dropped by work yesterday; you know, to get caught up on all the reading response notebooks stacked on my desk. One guess as to what I brought home with me. Just guess what is right here in the chair next to me...hmmm. I wonder. Guess I will have to keep this post short and sweet. :) 

This next few weeks are some of my favorites in Writing Workshop. We have spent hours adding ideas to our notebooks, and now we are going to start adding some craft! I love pulling out sensory detail and figurative language. We usually have lots of fun with this, so I am excited to see how this year goes!

The Lonely Scarecrow by Tim Preston is one of my faves for sensory detail, but we will definitely revisit this sweet story when we focus on figurative language. This lonely scarecrow has such beautifully written story. I share it every year! 

Under the Silvery Moon by Colleen McKeown is another story full of sensory detail. We listen to the sounds of the night as a mother tries to sooth her little one with a lullaby. Again, purposeful language and detail are used, making this an easy choice as a mentor for sensory detail. 

I was so happy when I stumbled upon the beautifully illustrated See the Ocean by Estelle Condra.  I often use this to teach sensory detail, but in all honesty, the sensory detail is somewhat implied through the story of the little sister. So lots of inferring discussion can take place here as well. I love to share this so we open the door to all the many ways we can use sensory detail, even if we are not describing all that we can see with our "eyes."

Of course, I would not begin to teach sensory detail or figurative language without the wonderful Owl Moon by Jane Yolen. Certainly it is a teacher favorite. Every year I pull it out and students ooh and ah because they remember and love the story. As we continue sharing author's craft these next few weeks, we will be reading with our "writer's eyes." We will then be ready to add amazing sensory detail to our own writing!

Our neighborhood maps in our writer's notebooks. Just one more place to store our memories and ideas to pull from later! Ralph Fletcher - How to Write Your Life Story.


In reading we will spend the week focusing mainly on common themes found in literature. Beth Newingham has some great resources on her Scholastic Blog. So some of the great texts I share will be a discussion of theme. 

Before I found The Friend, my very favorite picture book was The Farmer by Mark Ludy. Precious does not begin to describe the illustrations and moving does not touch the endearing story. Love, love the sweet farmer and all his story has to share! An excellent mentor for perseverance!

Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka has a bit of a theme to it, but my goal in using this text this week will be to help guide some of my sweet kiddos in "reading the punctuation" and help with the appropriate fluency. 
Such a fun, easy read.

Well...was that short and sweet? Probably not. But as I said, is to hoping I can pull myself together enough to write a couple dozen reading response letters. ;)

Happy Reading!

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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for some new ideas for mentor texts! I plan to use The Farmer. It looks so cute!! I LOVE Owl Moon already and use it every year. Thanks for some new ideas! Julie