Monday, April 8, 2013

A Spring Break Surprise and Some Writing Help

Oh how I have missed Monday night taco night! Last week I was enjoying my last night at the beach (I'm not sad at you hear the sarcasm???) and while we did enjoy some delicious Mexican food, it is just not the same as my normal yummy tacos. No one takes care of me like Raul and Jesus! It was so good to get back in my usual routine and it actually helped me get through my first day back from Spring Break.

Speaking of Spring Break, for those who went back today, did you survive? I am soooo tired! It never fails, after returning after an extended break, it is always to get used to working all day. I think one of my teachers said today 43 days till summer can't come fast enough!
I have a funny story about Easter Eggs to share with you! Kindergarten classes dyed eggs the Thursday before we got out, which is over 10 days ago, and today one of the teachers found a "surprise" in a students book bag....a dyed egg!!! The best part was that the egg had gotten smashed open in the bag and anytime you walked near her room, you caught a whiff and it almost made you sick!  Get out the Clorox ASAP!!!!

Today I worked on planning out our next writing unit. I am working with first grade and they are doing authors as mentors in Writing Workshop. When thinking about authors you want to study there are a few important things to think about.

1. Which authors do you enjoy? Think about your favorite go to authors for read aloud and shared reading. Why do you like them? Are they appealing to your kiddos?

2. What does this author do in his/her writing (writer's craft)? Which items do I want to focus on and have my students practice in their own writing?

3. Are there more than one book written by this author to use as mentor texts during this unit?

Once you've answered these questions, you'll be ready to choose the author who you will study during this unit. Choose about 3-4 books to use as mentor texts during the unit. After you have decided on your mentor texts, look through them and find which author's craft items you will highlight in this unit. Then its time to begin your monthly overview.

This is a sample of what could be done in a Writing Workshop using this genre.

After this, its easy peasy to create your writing mini-lessons! 
Do any of you use overviews to help plan out longer units????

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