Oct 11 2010

Paragraph This!

Hi Everyone!  Miss B here.

We’re talkin’ paragraphs these days. We’ve been writing narratives and sometimes get stuck when it comes to why we paragraph and where do the paragraphs go?

I found this great site that captures what I want to share with you about paragraphs. It lists all the reasons why you would want to start a new paragraph and then explains each one with more detail.

I strongly encourage you to click here and check it out!

What do YOU struggle with the most when it comes to paragraphing?

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Oct 07 2010

Writing Workshop Strategy: Timeline It!

Published by under Writer's Workshop

Today we learned how to use a timeline in 2 different ways when writing a personal narrative:
  1. To help you elaborate a part of your narrative that needs it–this could be ANYWHERE within your narrative
  2. Early on in the drafting process, after you have selected your entry, the time line will help you list, step by step, the points you want to be sure to include in your narrative.

As a class, we selected a recent ‘small moment’ event that we all shared. We decided on our 3 minutes of dancing that we did following a rather long period of mandatory school testing.  We learned that it is important to replay the event in our minds in a step by step way to help relive the moment and remember all the important parts.  If we realize we’ve forgotten a step, we can always go back and add it in our timeline.  No problemo!  :)

Check out Miss B’s personal example of an entry she made about her very first time tow-surfing (that means being pulled behind a motor boat while standing on a surfboard). She shared this with the class and showed how she revised her first paragraph after realizing she was missing some important details.

Just so you all know what I mean by tow-surfing, here is my Canadian friend Matt doing exactly that.

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Sep 17 2010

The Write Stuff!

Published by under Writer's Workshop

It’s celebration time!

Our first published personal narratives (say that 5 times fast!) are ready for your wonderful comments. They are published on each students’ own individual blog.  Where can you find these student blogs? Click on a student name on the right hand side of this blog. Just scroll down until you see names.

I am so proud of the level of care and engagement with this first writing assignment. But, just as my friend Lucy says, “Just when you think you’re done, you’ve just begun.”  This is so true!  We will continue to raise the quality of our narrative writing with your feedback and by learning more from mentor authors and mini-lessons.

One of the ways we can improve is to give others the chance to give us helpful, constructive feedback.  So bloggers, please leave a comment on some of those narratives. We’ve jump-started this process by having the students look closely at 2-3 of their own classmates’ work.  We called this a ‘Gallery Walk’ where the students were partnered with 2-3 other classmates and had to write ‘two stars and a wish’ for that students’ writing.  A ‘star’ is considered something that person particularly liked about the piece, something they noted as done well.  A ‘wish’ is a piece of constructive criticism–how can that student improve for next time?

Check out the photos below of this ‘Gallery Walk’ in action. Thanks to Ms.McAloon for the idea! Click on an individual photo for a larger view.

Thanks in advance for commenting!

Miss B. and the Gr.5s of Room 230

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