Tuesday, October 16, 2012

I've Got Character....Traits!

We are half way through October and it has already been the busiest month yet!  I have.not.stopped.  Here is what has happened in the past week...

Last Thursday was one of my best days yet in my new position.  I spent my day doing what I love, planning out curriculum!  That is one great thing about my new job.  I get to spend time at work planning!  Thursday I went to another school in my district and helped them plan Reading Workshop for their 3rd graders.  It was great sitting down with other teachers and talking curriculum!  (Only a teacher would find that enjoyable!)  We worked on getting their unit on book series up and running.  My tip to any teachers that are planning on using Calkins book series units, make sure you have several copies of multiple books in a series.  So suggestions for 3rd grade would be

Over the years I have learned that in order for children to become better readers, they need to practice reading.  This year with the Common Core standards, I am ecstatic that all students are allowed and expected to read independently for longer stretches of time.  I love using the Reading workshop to teach reading skills and Calkins character unit is superb!  When  I taught this unit in 3rd grade, we used the book Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo as my mentor text throughout this whole unit.  I made a poster with Opal in the middle and came up with all kinds of traits to describe her.  We kept this poster up all unit.  Several times throughout the unit we would add new traits that came up as the book progressed.  This was great because I was able to have discussions with my students about how characters change.

 Here are a few anchor charts from this unit (ignore my shoes! I had to stand on a chair to get the pic!)

 We also included discussions on Flat and Round characters.  I created these posters of them that we used on an anchor chart.  These really helped my students begin to see how a character is important to the story and that minor characters support the main character.  Pick up yours here for free!

The second grade teachers at my school have been working on the Writing Workshop unit about Authors as Mentors and used Kevin Henkes as their mentor author.  To tie this into their character study, they used Lilly from Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse.

They used Lilly as their character map.  After really studying about how Lilly acted, they had their students draw pictures of themselves and add words around them that describe them.  I love looking at these as I go down the hall!

Well I'm off to do a model Kinder lesson on pumpkins!  Wish me luck!  For all your Kinder people out there, this is new territory for me....check back later to see how it went!


  1. Love the anchor charts...shoes and all :)

  2. Hey Elisabeth!
    You've been Boo-ed! Head over to my blog to link up and join the party!
    Lovely Nina

    Lovely Little Learners


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