A Glimpse into Merriman's Menagerie
As for academics, we have jumped right into using quotation marks in dialogue. We started this skill right before break and have continued to work on it. It is a tough skill; however, students are getting better at it every day. This week we reviewed the rules for quotation marks and punctuation in dialogue. We then worked in small groups to practice this skill. Each group was given an Elephant and Piggie book (written by Mo Willems, one of my favorite children's authors). The picture books themselves are written using speech bubbles. Each group then had to practice turning the speech bubbles/story into paragraph writing. They had to add the "explainer" in their writing. The "explainer" is the person/character who is speaking and an explanation of how s/he is speaking. For example, if the sentence was as follows: "I love Elephant and Piggie books!" shouted Mrs. Merriman to her students. The dialogue is "I love Elephant and Piggie books" and the explainer is "shouted Mrs. Merriman to her students," which explains who is speaking (Mrs. M) and how she is speaking (shouted). With this activity, students had to really work on developing "the explainer" without overusing any words. They were given a "Said is Dead" worksheet that gave them a list of words that would work. The kids enjoyed this activity and worked well together. Their biggest struggle was remembering to start a new paragraph when changing speakers. After practicing dialogue in small groups, students also had a handout the next day to practice that skill.
We have also begun working on narrative writing. Students drew a picture of their favorite winter break activity/event and from that turned it into a narrative piece. This was their lead-in to learning about what the state of TN wants them to have in their narratives. In third grade, the state of TN expects that they write a narrative that is either made up or real depending on the topic; has a clear beginning, middle and end; uses dialogue; and ends with all loose ends tied up. This week we learned about the expectations and that the word STORY is a great way to remember the elements of the story. Each letter in the word 'story' represents a specific element. We looked at the story of the three little pigs and also analyzed a personal narrative using the same winter break prompt that I wrote. With both, they were able to see how all the elements can be found in good writing. Next week, they are going to look at their initial narrative piece and revise it. We will also be looking at another narrative and working through the writing process with it.
· Reading folders will be passed out on Monday. Please make sure to sign your child’s Reading log and to write in the minutes read each Friday. Also please have your child read ALOUD for the 15 minutes (over that is not necessary); at this age, they need to work on inflection (how they read...pausing at punctuation and changing tone depending on the punctuation).
· Spelling choices will resume this week and are due on Friday.
· We are still quizzing on regions, so please make sure your child is studying their states nightly. Don’t forget www.sheppardsoftware.com is a GREAT site to do this.
· Third grade is hosting ROAR this Friday. It is a movie theater theme. More information will come out next week.
· Please check with your child regarding their supplies. There are several students who are missing scissors which we use several times a week. If your child is missing scissors or other supplies please send more so that they will have them for the remainder of the year.
· If you have not signed and returned your child’s report card please do so on Monday.
Analysis of "Breaking Bed"
We read Mrs. M's narrative to see if it had all the components for the narrative organizer we learned about
Graphic organizer for narrative writing
"Breaking Bed," written by Mrs. M
This was the narrative we analyzed. It was an example using the same topic that the students were given (a winter break event). We analyzed it using the story graphic organizer.
Analysis of "Breaking Bed"
Students will be quizzed over the state identification and abbreviations on Wednesday. The landforms will be a different quiz given later.
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