Monday, November 17, 2014

Writing Mini Lesson #8- Table of Contents and Progress Grade for Notebooks

How was your clincher lesson #7?  I like to stop after clinchers and revisit Table of Contents.  I have students double check page numbers with their Table of Contents and fix any mistakes.  It is also a good place to pause and grade their progress!  Here is my example of Table of Contents.  I like to add the picture related to the skill so students can quickly think back and remember our lesson.


I feel it is important to grade the notebooks on occasion.  Since this is the end of paragraph writing, it is good place to pause and grade.  The grading sheet is set up so you can grade once or take four grades at 25 points each and count it as one grade.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

Writing Mini Lesson #7- Clincher and Hamburger Model

Now that you have finished Mini Lesson #6- Relevant Details, it is time to finalize the paragraph with a CLINCHER!  FYI-  This lesson is for ending a paragraph not a concluding paragraph for the end of an essay.  That will come later!

1.  Share the slide to explain clinchers.  They need to close the door to their paragraph!!!

2.  Students need to take notes about clinchers on the door.  Then glue the left side of the door to the notebook.  Swing open the door and write the clincher to their paragraph started in lesson 5-6.

3.  Have your students use the HAMBURGER MODEL to put their ideas from the previous lesson together.  Topic sentence from lesson 5, relevant details from lesson 6, and today's lesson on clinchers.  When they are finished, have them write the paragraph out in their writing section of their notebook.


4.  If your students need more practice, give them examples of paragraphs without the clincher.  Have them create the clincher!  This is a great homework assignment to revisit the day's lesson.

5.  Now that the paragraph lessons are complete, why not give an assessment?  

I hope you enjoyed this lesson!  Lesson #8 will be about TABLE OF CONTENTS!
as always:  ROCK 'N' WRITE!!!

Secret Garden Unit Revised!

I am so stinking excited to teach Secret Garden this year.  I took my old version of the unit activities and completely did a facelift!  You won't even recognize it!  This extensive unit is based on the story, Secret Garden, by Frances Hudgson Burnett and is a aligned to COMMON CORE standards with oodles of reading skills!

It has chapter questions and activity sheets that I create into a student notebook, a vocabulary quiz and a unit test.  The test has 26 questions based around BLOOM'S TAXONOMY!!!!  Answers to all the questions and tests are included.  If you are a Facebook fan, I am offering a free copy today to a winner.  Go to to enter!

Knowledge- multiple choice
Comprehension- sequencing
Application- predicting and finding results
Analysis- Figurative language related to the story
Synthesis- Relating character behaviors
Evaluate- Explaining thoughts and ideas

Here is a sneak peek!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Writing Mini Lesson #6- Relevant Details

Are you ready for your next mini lesson?  The previous lesson was on topic sentences which leads us into this lesson on relevant details.

1.  Start off with a whole group discussion.  Introduce the teaching slide.  Make sure to talk to your students about how they don't need to include all of their details.  Choose relevant or powerful ones.  Point out the example given below.  Notice how the writer left out information about swimming.  There were enough experiences and relevant details that swimming wasn't needed or maybe the writer didn't have enough details about swimming to include it.

2.  Notebook with partners:  Remember to write first!  What are relevant details?  They are VIP-P- very important pieces to the paragraph!  Other notes are found in the yellow box above!  Answer the question, "Why do you think the writer did not include all the details?"  Choose relevant or powerful ones.  The writer can leave out information if there are enough experiences and relevant details to make a strong paragraph.  This example was taken from an essay about choosing summer as a favorite season.  The topic sentence is a reason for liking summer----going on vacation.  Have students write relevant details to support this topic sentence.  Then color and cut out.  Glue the title at the top and the organizer on the page first.  Next, glue just the top of the VIP-P box and place it over the organizer.  Now you have a flippy flap!

3.  Students then use this organizer and form a paragraph.

4.  Come back to whole group or small groups and share paragraphs.  Be proud!

5.  Do your students need more practice or do you want to reinforce the skill?  Use a printable where students search paragraphs for details that are not relevant.

Waaaallllaaaa!   You have given your students a valuable tool for writing!  Next up:  Clinchers!  

Rock 'N' Write!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Mini Lesson #5- Topic Sentences

You made it to lesson 5!  Woo woo!  Now that your students are writing complete sentences and fixing fragments and run-ons. it is time to transition into paragraph writing!  Paragraphs need to have topic sentences.  It is a way of organizing and telling the main idea of the paragraph!


This is an awesome place to introduce indenting paragraphs.  Remember that pointing out indentions in their text books or stories can always reinforce your lesson!

Once the students understand topic sentences, pass out the printable and let them work in notebooks.  Just like in previous lessons, they need to write first!  Then color, cut and paste.  Paste the title at the top and then the graph in the middle of the page.  Paste just the the upper edge of the "Main Street" square on top of the graph.  This will allow the students to flip it open for an interactive feel.

For this section, students brainstorm ideas for a paragraph of their own.

Next, students use their brainstorming skills to write a paragraph using a topic sentence.  Shoulder partners can point out the topic sentence or share as a whole group.  Students can hold a hand up to their ears if they hear the topic sentence.  This will help keep their attention!

Last, the following independent printable will give students more practice.

Wahllllaaaah!  I hope you enjoyed the lesson!  Stay tuned for Mini Lesson #6- Relevant Details!


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Can I brag?

I don't like to brag but when I got this feedback on one of my Interactive Writing Notebook bundles, it totally made my day!  It amazes me that she took the time for such a thoughtful comment.  Whoever you are Diane P., you rock!!!!

Writing Mini Lesson #4- Run-On Sentences

Trick or Treat!  I don't know where you live, but I am in Charlotte, NC and about 8:00 last night while giving out candy in our culdesac with all my neighbors, the skies opened up and it started raining like cats and dogs, then hailing!  I've seen hail in my lifetime, but this was crazy!  It was coming down strong and didn't stop for a long time.  We all scrambled grabbing our chairs, candy, other food we brought out to share, etc.  I felt bad for neighbors with little ones because it was scary!  I can only image what it was like for those trick or treaters who weren't close to their homes!  I'm sure there is going to be some damage in the area.  My daughter took this picture of looking out of front door.

Your post Halloween treat will be a lesson on Run-On Sentences!  Do you like to use acronyms with your students?  I like to use FANBOYS to share conjunctions with my students to help them remember how to fix run-on sentences.  Although I create many acronyms for my students, I can't take credit for this one!  It has been around for awhile!  I use this slide for teaching run-ons on my smart board.  It helps to have students come up with examples of using conjunctions other than AND!  They want to use AND for all of them!

Next, students work in their notebooks.  They take notes on the outside and work on examples on the inside.  I let them work with their group.  Just like the previous lessons, all writing needs to be done first before coloring and cutting!  See below for student sample.

For more practice, I have them write their own run-ons and a partner corrects them.  If I feel they need more time, we share some of them on the board for a whole group lesson.  Last, my students work on a printable independently so I can assess their knowledge.  Sometimes I use it for a daily grade but mostly use it for extra practice.

I couldn't leave without posting a picture of my family from last night because it totally represents us.  Social Media has taken over our lives!  It isn't the most flattering picture of me but whatcha going to do.  I can't look fabulous all the time, right?  Ha!

I hope your students are Rockin and Writing!  Stay tuned for the next lesson on:

Writing Mini Lesson #5-  Topic Sentences!

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