This Week in Room 204

January 4-8

Writer's Workshop

This week we started writing informational texts in Writers Workshop. We are writing a class book called, "How to Make Hot Chocolate." I have introduced terms like materials, ingredients, and procedures. Thinking about what steps to take to complete a task is very important. The students helped me follow the procedure of how to wash my hands. Specific language is very important. For example, instead of instructing me to, "Put soap on your hands", they rephrased it to, "Squirt soap onto your hands." Talk about simple procedures your child may do at home like how to make your bed, how to brush your teeth, how to make pizza, etc.

Writing Homework

Writing prompts

As you have noticed, we added more writing practice to homework. Please help your child sound out words, not necessarily spell them correctly. Make sure your child is able to hear all the sounds in words. I will record how I do this homework with my child and post it next week. Some tips...

1. Underline the important words in the writing prompt. That way your child can refer back to the question to help with spelling.

2. Keep your sentences simple and try to use simpler language, especially if your child is having trouble hearing all sounds in words.

3. For a challenge, add details to the first sentence.

4. Sketch and label the picture. We are very used to this because of writers workshop.

Visitors in the Classroom

I have had weekly visits from my Cotsen mentor, Mrs. Ward. The early birds are used to seeing her face and presence in the classroom. She often records my minilessons for my viewing. It is a way for me to reflect on my practice to make myself better for your kids. I look at both myself and listen intently on what the kids are saying and how they are acting. I often have meetings or conferences with about 4-6 students a day, checking in on what they are feeling good about with their reading, listening to them read, and re teaching them a strategy we've gone over or addressing a new strategy. I will post what a typical minilesson looks like and the structure of a conference. Stay tuned!

Other teachers and professional development educators have also visited my room. The kids are very good at focusing their attention on me and doing what they are supposed to be doing, being scholars!

Interactive Writing and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Each morning, we start off by warming up our brains and reading books our class has created. These books, called Interactive Writing books, are a chance for students to learn content, practice penmanship, practice sight words, sound out words, and practice sentence structure. We have written books using math positional words, numbers, science, and social studies.

Below is an example of Interactive Writing books we did this week. Not only did they learn about who MLK was, but they wrote a book about him. After the book is done, I make copies of them for the kids to put in their Readers Workshop bag and it becomes a Shared Reading experience.