Saturday, October 6, 2012

Writing, Writing, and more writing!

I'm just gonna go ahead and admit it....I stink at dealing with busy schedules and stress.  Yep, I turn into a cranky, whinny, pity-party kinda girl.  It's one of the things I desperately need to change about myself.  The stress of the past couple of weeks has really gotten to me.  I've neglected blogging, I've neglected my house, and I've neglected my family.  I've been so tired in the evenings that I just want to crash the minute I walk through the door.

Anyway, I'm hoping this weekend will get me back to feeling like my old self.  I'm planning to get caught up at school (or at least as caught up as a teacher can be....let's face it....this job is never really done....ever!), caught up at home (even get a little fall decorating done), caught up on catching up with family and friends ( my Wildcats are fixin' to kick KU's butt at 11:00 today!!!! :),  and caught up on snuggle time with my two favorite peeps (We're cleaning house after the big game, but I'm thinking if we crank some music and act a little silly we'll have fun....we always do)....yep, life is good!

 On to the truck load of writing we've been doing in my classroom.  Over the past 2 weeks my little 4th graders have been working on writing.  We worked  on a lesson on writing personal letters and they wrote their own personal letters to me about the book they are currently reading. We use this personal letter format...

This was tough for them, and  after careful grading this weekend, I can see that some of them will need lots more practice.  I did have the best time reading their thoughts on their books though.  I just love looking into their little brains and seeing what makes them tick :)

We also finished up our leaf projects.  I got the idea from Doris at Third Grade Thinkers.  I provided an assortment of fall colored leaves for the kids to choose from and a piece of construction paper.  Then I asked them what they thought we would be doing with these supplies.  They all thought we would be doing some type of fall tree or fall picture....wrong!  When I told them they had turn their leaf into something else their eyes went buggy!  I told them they were to glue their leaf onto their page and make a full color picture, but their leaf had to be something else.  They could color it, draw on it and fold it, but they couldn't cut it in any way.

You should've seen their little minds working.  They came up with some super creative ideas!!  They finished the project by writing a descriptive paragraph about their leaf.  We spent some time peer editing and then wrote our final draft.  I wish we had more time to spend on the editing and publishing piece, but this project just got away from me and we ran out of time.

We wrapped up this past week with a full 20 minute Work on Writing session.  I truly thought this was going to be a disaster.  I still have some peeps struggling to do Read to Self for 15 minutes, so I thought writing would be a tragic fail.....not the case!  I found a fun prompt in a book I've had for years and put it on the white board and told them they had to write for 20 whole minutes.  You should've seen their faces.

But guys, they did it!  They really wrote, and wrote and wrote....they didn't want to stop.   They were so proud of the fact that they'd written for 20 minutes, and of the projects they'd created that they were beaming.  They are all begging to share their stories on Monday.  I think the key here was the prompt....they just LOVED it!!

Here's the prompt to try with you own kiddo's.  "September  is the 9th month of the year.  In honor of nines please use this story starter to write a story about nines.  Nine brothers and nine sisters lived in a nine-story house.  On September 9, 2999 they...."

I can't wait to listen to them read these to the class over the next week or two.....I just love it when something works and my students get as excited about it as I do!!!


  1. I love that leaf writing! I did a similar activity with my Kinders last year (we do tons of divergent art stuff like that) but it completely bombed. They all turned their leaves into....leaves! Just wanted to say I'm also feeling quite exhausted and like I'm always trying to catch up this year.


    1. Sorry you are also having an exhausting year, but it's always nice to know your not thanks for sharing! It's got to get easier at some point.....right?!?!



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