Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Little Bit of Everything!

Warning - this post is very random! It's been a busy week (and it's only Tuesday!) so I have a little bit of everything to share. Over the past week, we've been learning about making connections. I explained to them that there were three different types of connections that good readers make: text to self, text to text, and text to world. It's so funny- as soon as I teach text-to-self connections, they all have connections to EVERYTHING in the story. (You know how these go- "I have a brother named Timmy also!" or "I have a shirt like that character.") So needless to say, we spent a lot of time talking about which text to self connections helped them to understand the story and which ones didn't. I think they get it now! After they learned about the three different types, I made this chart for the students to record their connections as they made them while reading. They wrote their connection on a sticky note and posted it on the chart. At the end of reading workshop, we shared some of the post-it notes on the chart.

In writing workshop this week, we are focusing on oral storytelling. We had several trainings last year about the importance of students orally telling their story before writing. This has proved to be very helpful! This week, I introduced the story structure chart that includes the rise and fall of a good story. It shows how there is a want/problem in the story, obstacles in the middle, and then a conclusion at the end where the problem either gets solved or doesn't. (We talked about how not all stories have happy endings where the character gets what they want.) After introducing this diagram, I read several stories that followed this structure. A couple of books include Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes and Thundercake by Patricia Polacco. Today, I modeled how to tell a story and traced my finger along the diagram to make sure that I included all of the parts of my story. Then, they got a turn to oral storytell to a partner. I had them sit "eye to eye and knee to knee" and trace their finger along the lines while telling their story.

The kids loved doing this! At the end of writing workshop, I had a few volunteers tell their story to the whole class. This really helps get them ready to transfer the ideas from their head onto paper. They can't wait to start writing!

Okay, now for the last piece of my random post- the desk fairy visited our classroom today after school! I found these cute little award coupons to give to students when you find nice, neat desks in your classroom at the end of the day.

I told the kids last week about the desk fairy and then totally forgot! They've been coming in the past few mornings and saying "Oh man.... the desk fairy must not have visited last night!" Today after school, I finally delivered some awards and even added a little bit of curly ribbon to spice it up. I am so excited for them to see who she visited tomorrow! =) I also learned that I need to remind them how to organize their desks because it took me quite a while to find two desks to award! Some of the desks looked like a tornado hit them. I'll do a little refresher tomorrow on organization!!

Well I hope everyone had a happy Tuesday. Tomorrow is hump day... hang in there!


  1. Is the story structure chart available in your TPT store? Thanks!

  2. I would love to have a copy of the structure chart as well! Is there a link or do you have it for sale in your TPT store? Thanks so much!

  3. BTW, my email is ana.mumaw@gmail.com (see comment above!)