Skip to main content

We've Been Busy!

I've taken a long break from my blog.  
During my time off, I've finished my master's degree, gotten things started in my classroom, and am pregnant!  
My husband and I are over-the-moon-happy.  I'm 16 weeks pregnant today!  So, I'm starting off a new school year with a new perspective: someone else is going to be teaching my students for part of the year.  Eek!  This means I'm going to remain organized and structured!

For starters...
I rearranged my classroom and weeded out many items I no longer need.


Following Responsive Classroom, we've done guided discoveries, begun sharing, played "getting-to-know-you" games, created our Hopes and Dreams, developed class rules, and decided on class jobs.  This year, I asked my students to develop their own class jobs:
 Students created a list during the first week.

 I rewrote the jobs, using alliteration (for fun and as a reinforcement skill).  Students decorated the cards and I laminated them onto a large poster paper.  I then cut open the top slit.  

 Popsicle sticks go in each pocket.  These get rotated weekly.  We created two blank pockets for any possible new students!
Here are our class jobs:  2 Classroom Cleaners, 2 Chair Chiefs, Notes & News, Morning Meeting Leader, Line Leader, Door Duty, Paper Passer, 2 Lunch Luggers, Phone Friend, 2 Book & Compost Buddies, Table Tender, and Substitute.

In writing, we've discussed the "Reasons People Write" and the "Topics People Write About".

 From the many specific topics, we created a more general topic list.

Students created topic lists in their journals and created a free-write, topic-based story.  We will use this piece again at the end of the year, to reflect on our writing growth.  In learning about the writing process, students created Biography Poems.  They planned their thinking on a graphic organizer, drafted, revised, edited and published these.
    Here they are during the peer conferencing/revising stage:


Popular posts from this blog

Shoebox Dioramas to Talk about Setting (Free Rubric!)

I was looking for a fun activity to use, to focus on the importance of setting details.  My students had a BLAST creating these dioramas, to represent setting elements.  

Check out these details!

They also needed to write short, descriptive PLOT cards to go with their presentation.

Click on the Rubric to download for FREE!

Constructed Response--Writing about Reading (Freebie)

Fourth Grade students have been writing a constructed response nearly each week, during the second trimester.  They read a short article, consider the prompting question, plan their ideas using evidence from the text, and draft an one-paragraph response.  

To begin this form of writing, I modeled the whole process (reading the text, highlighting or underlining evidence to support my answer, planning, and then writing my response.)

It is important for students to understand what it means to "construct" an essay or response.  So, we spent a great deal of time talking about the art of building your ideas, while using evidence directly from the text.  Students and I conference each week, and we score the pieces together!
Click on the Rubric image to get one for FREE!

Students have read science articles, texts about the writing process, and are now moving onto persuasive articles!

Nonfiction Reading--Text Features and Text Structures

Here are some examples of the Text Features fourth graders are learning about, with regard to reading nonfiction texts.
Students look for common text features for nonfiction, such as the way the text is organized (examples on the blue chart), print features, graphic features, and illustration features.

Students will also be learning more about common text structures for nonfiction. The purpose of a nonfiction text may be: to provide description, a definition, to show sequence or chronology, it may be to compare and contrast a concept, to show cause and effect, or to show problem and solution.  
Students will learn the definitions of each, how to use signal words to determine each, and will use prompting questions to guide their search.  

The yellow graphics show Description structures:

Printables listed at my store in teacherspayteachers!