Monday, August 24, 2015

Writing Mini Lesson #29- Variety of Sentences


     Do your students have million dollar words in their writing from our last mini lesson? Now it is time to move onto a variety of sentences. This is important in student writing to avoid the monotonous tone. "He did.... He has.... He then did...." Blah blah blah. Variety of sentences is also part of DARE to Revise- Exchange.

With a Variety of sentences, I like to give students a specific topic and have them create sentences using each of the following with the topic in mind.  For example:  Bears hibernate.

1.  With a describing word-  Furry bears are hibernating.

2.  With a question-  Do all bears hibernate?

3.  With a transition word-   After winter, bears wake up from hibernation.

4.  With the word to-  To see a bear hibernating, creep quietly!

5.   With an -ing word-  Hibernating is normal for bears in winter.

6.  With an excitement word-  Yikes!  The bear woke up from hibernation!


Here is an example of how to change writing in story:

Splash! Pam jumped in the freezing lake and grabbed the bottle in the water. Hillary helped her get the paper out of the bottle. What could it be? They revealed a map of a hidden treasure. They didn't hesitate and started to follow it. They knew the location of the island that was on the map. Pam and Hillary got in a paddle boat and paddled like mad across the lake to the island.

With a Variety of Sentences:

Splash! Pam jumped in the freezing lake and grabbed the bottle in the water. Helping her get the paper out of the bottle was her friend, Hillary. What could it be? They revealed a map of a hidden treasure. Without hesitation, they started to follow it. Knowing the location of the island on the map, Pam and Hillary got in a paddle boat and paddled like mad across the lake to the island.


     Wow! Doesn't that make a difference in the story? It flows smoothly and isn't choppy. Smooth like butter! Below is a student example. This student did a great job! The only one that he didn't have a correct example was "describing words". He used food as his first word. He could have used "delicious food" or "steaming food" or "colorful food". I think I need to help him copy words correctly! Variety of Sentences is on the very first sentence. He still didn't spell it correctly. Pet peeve!




Next writing mini lesson #30- Jammin Conclusion

Like always, 
ROCK 'N' WRITE!!!!

If you would rather have all of the these mini lessons (over 400 pages) in one spot along with tracking forms, goal forms, prompts, practice sheets, etc, etc. Click on the pic below! Boost those test scores with a year-long writing program!





Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Giveaway time! I hit 4,000 followers in my TpT Store! Woo woo!

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would reach 4,000 followers in my little store!  I love all the sweet people who comment and email me.  For that reason, I want to offer a quick giveaway!  It will end at midnight tonight!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Writing Mini Lesson #28- Million Dollar Words



Mini Lesson #27 was Rockin Beginnings. Did you rock it out? I hope all my teacher friends had a rockin beginning today! This was the first day back in our district. It is always an exciting time! Digging through resources and materials, getting new class lists, decorating rooms, seeing friends and colleagues, fun times! Next up on the writing mini lessons is Million Dollar Words. Hit that lotto! Start off with the mentor text: I Love You the Purples by Barbara M. Joossee.

"The lake slowed its thrashing to a soft, even beat. The mosquitoes dipped low to the water and the water bugs skittered on top. The moon glowed on one side of the lake while the sun shimmered on the other."

Next, introduce FAAVS (Figurative Language, Adjectives that sparkle, Adverbs that shine, Verbs that strengthen, Sense Words that sizzle) It is a great way to help students remember things they can exchange and sometime add to their writing. I like to post these on a bulletin board to use throughout the year!


FAAVS:

  Example:  The dog went down the road.
  Add Figurative language!
  A dog as tiny as a mouse went down the road.
  Add an Adjective that sparkles! 
  A dog as tiny as a mouse went down the steep
  road.
  Add an Adverb that shines!
  A dog as tiny as a mouse quickly went down
  the steep road.
  Add aVerb that is strong!
  A dog as tiny as a mouse quickly bolted down
  the steep road.
  Add a Sense word that sizzles!
  A dog as tiny as a mouse quickly bolted down

  the steep, rocky road.


When students are at this stage of writing, provide them with a thesaurus, student resource pages, and a million dollar dictionary.   Then take the class writing piece and add/exchange million dollar words. Here is one of my examples.

 
Students then need to take notes.

Need more practice?   Give them a simple sentence and have them add FAAVS to make it a million dollar sentence!   Example: A cat went up a tree.


GREAT IDEA:::As I walk around the room, I look for student samples. I then give a couple students a $1,000,000 sentence strip. They write their samples on the sentence strip and may put their name on it. I post them in the room.




I hope this will help your students with word choice!   Next writing mini lesson #29- will be DARE to Revise- Exchange- Variety of Sentences

Like always, 
ROCK 'N' WRITE!!!!

If you would rather have all of the these mini lessons (over 400 pages) in one spot along with tracking forms, goal forms, prompts, practice sheets, etc, etc.  Click on the pic below!  Boost those test scores with a year-long writing program!

FIRST AND SEVENTH GRADE RECENTLY ADDED!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Writing Bundle for 1st Grade 50% off for 24 hours!

Hot off the press!  Don't miss out first grade teachers!  This will give you model lessons, tracking forms, rubrics, teacher slides, practice sheets, and so much more!  It covers the whole year and all Common Core Writing Standards as well as many Language Standards.  You won't be disappointed!  The other grades (2-6) have been best sellers and I've had requests to do first grade, seventh grade, and eighth grade.  I'm hoping to have 7th and 8th done soon!  Can you tell I am excited?

Click on the title page below to go to my store for the 50% off just in time for Back to School!








Monday, July 27, 2015

Back to School Tips, Freebies and Giveaways- Over $400!

Can I get a woo woo?  Upper Elementary Snapshots is on fire!  We have come together for a HUGE giveaway just in time for Back to School!  What a great treat for all the hard work you do each and every day with our future generation!  You deserve it so don't hesitate to enter!  I wish you luck on one of our great prizes and enjoy some freebies and tips along the way!  Each teacher is offering something on their blog so don't forget to skip around to each one!    

Here is my tip and freebie:


TIP:  PUT NUMBERS ON EVERYTHING!  I MEAN EVERYTHING!  It makes it so much easier to assign a number to each student.  IT WILL SAVE YOUR YEAR!

It helps when:

FILING PAPERS


ROSTERS (SEE ABOVE THE MAILBOX?)
CUBBIES
 BEHAVIOR CHECKLIST
BOOKS
NOTEBOOKS
PENCILS
ERASERS
WRITING PROCESS
JOBS (# on clothespin)


EVERYTHING!  EVERYTHING!  EVERYTHING!

Why put numbers on students' personal belongings?  If someone claims it is his or hers, we can look at the number!  Argument done.  Move on.  I use labels on most things with names and numbers.  I use circle dots with numbers on cubbies.  Some things, we just write the numbers on with a sharpie.  Save time and arguments over what belongs to who!

What is my freebie to you and only you?   Team jobs!   


There are 12 created for you and blank ones to create your own.  Directions are included to have the same font, etc.!  Editable!  Here are a few examples:



I sell these in my store but click on the bulletin board picture above for a free link!  You can edit to your liking!


Visit each blog, claim your freebies, and enter the amazing giveaway!  You will have a chance to win one of four $100 TpT gift cards!  You can do a happy dance as you purchase all the goodies to start off your new year!


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Writing Mini Lesson #27- Revising a Narrative Essay- Exchange- Rockin Beginnings



   Writing mini lesson #26- was how to Rearrange text in revising.  Now we will focus on DARE to revise focusing on the E-Exchange.

The first mini lesson under Exchange is Rockin Beginnings.  Exchange the beginning of your story for a rockin one!

Start by reading the mentor text, The Paper Crane by Molly Bang and/or The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  

Here is another example to share.  Discuss how it grabs your attention!


Love, Ruby Lavender
By: Deborah Wiles
“Murderers! You can’t have them all!” 
Ruby Lavender leaned out the car window 
and shook her fist. The car lurched to a 
halt in the dirt yard of Peterson’s Egg 
Ranch, and Ruby scrambled out the door. 
She ran in bare feet as fast as she could 
into a dusty sea of chickens—a sea of 
chickens being herded toward their death at the chopping block.


Next, explain there are 10 different ways to make a rockin beginning!

1.   Onomatopoeia
2.   Question
3.   Amazing Fact
4.   Quote
5.   Excitement
6.   Opinion
7.   Humor
8.   Repetition
9.   Shocker
10. Curiosity


Use examples:  Dinosaurs

1.   Onomatopoeia- Stomp, Grumble, Growl
2.   Question- What if you came eye to eye with a Tyrannosaurus Rex?
3.   Amazing Fact-  Did you know the Brachiosaurus was 39 feet tall?
4.   Quote-  (doesn't have to be famous)  My friend said, "This place is ancient!"
5.   Excitement-  Oh no!  The dinosaur is going to eat me for lunch!
6.   Opinion-  I think the change in climate killed the dinosaurs.
7.   Humor-  (simile or hyperbole)  The dinosaur is as fast as lightning!
8.   Repetition-  Help!  Help!  Help!
9.   Shocker-  It all started when I was in the mouth of a Brontosaurus!
10. Curiosity-  Imagine going back to the time of dinosaurs.


Ask students:

Which do you prefer?

   1.  Hi My name is Pam.  Or  Crash,  Boom, Bam!

   2.  I have a favorite teacher. Or  
       Have you ever had a teacher you will never forget?

   3.  Benjamin Franklin was famous in history.  Or  
        “If everyone thinks alike, then no one is thinking.”
        Benjamin Franklin once said.

   4.  A memorable vacation was skiing.  Or  I  jumped out of 
        the car, grabbed my skis and ran to the slopes!

   5.   Slides are fun.  Or  Whhhooooeee!  I love to zip down the slides.
        More slides are needed for our playground!

   6.  I want a dog for a pet.  Or  Roof!  Roof!  A dog in the house is
        like sunshine on a gloomy day.

   7.  I want Smoothies served at lunch.  Or  Smoothies!  Smoothies!
        Smoothies!  
   
   8.  The Revolutionary War was in the 1700’s.  Or
       “No!  Don’t shoot!”
   
Take notes and keep these ideas for each time students write!  It will be a great resource!


Next writing mini lesson #28- will be DARE to Revise- Exchange- Million Dollar Words

Like always, 
ROCK 'N' WRITE!!!!

If you would rather have all of the these mini lessons (over 400 pages) in one spot along with tracking forms, goal forms, prompts, practice sheets, etc, etc.  Click on the pic below!  Boost those test scores with a year-long writing program!


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Writing Mini Lesson #26- Revising a Narrative Essay- Rearrange


     Writing mini lesson #25 was DARE to revise- A- for Adding details and transition words.  This lesson will focus on DARE to Revise- R- for Rearranging!

Rearranging is an important step to revising.  Rearrange text so that it is logical and effective.  If one or more sentences are not in the right order so that the paragraph makes sense, rearrange!  Move it to the correct spot in the paragraph.



     It makes more sense for the sequence of the story to have the boys break out in laughter after Bob asks them if they saw his phone.  The story already said they were laughing.  Now the story is taken to the next level when they laughed at his question.  FYI-  Later in the revision process, more words are changed to make it an even stronger paragraph.

Also, make sure the details are relevant to the topic of the paragraph.  If they are not relevant, it is time to rearrange!  Move it to another paragraph!  I hope this helped you and your student(s) understand one more step to revising!




Next writing mini lesson #27- will be DARE to revise- E for- Exchange- (Rockin Beginnings)


Like always, 
ROCK 'N' WRITE!!!!

     If you would rather have all of the these mini lessons (over 400 pages) in one spot along with tracking forms, goal forms, prompts, practice sheets, etc, etc.  Click on the pic below!  Boost those test scores with a year-long writing program!







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