Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things and Writing

So I haven't posted in a little bit, so I was determined to come on tonight and post something, even though I'm tired.  When I started the blog in the summer, I had plenty of time but not enough stuff to write about every day.  Now I have enough to write about, but no time!!!  lol  My weekends are jammed packed from now until Columbus Day.  It's crazy.  More craziness is coming though!!  We have conference week coming up.  We do goal setting conferences where we set goals for the students to work on during the year, so we have them early.  This year because of the way Columbus Day falls, they start October 1st!  Plus, we have that intervention block I mentioned in a previous post where I'm trying CAFE for the first time.  Then I was asked to be on my district's writing committee (which was really nice, as I'm the lone representative for 2nd grade in the whole district), but it's another thing.  We also have whole faculty study groups starting, a new state teacher evaluation system that I had a meeting about and the list goes on.  So with all of that I'm also teaching.  lol
Last week I introduced my class to personal narratives and the writing process for writer's workshop.  I also do shared writing to introduce whatever new type of writing we are doing so they have a model. So everyday last week they helped me with writing a class personal narrative about the first day of school and I modeled the writing process for them.  We talked over and over about it and the next day I would review everything we had done previously.  So this week we start Writer's Workshop where they have to write their own personal narrative and you'd think I hadn't done any of that last week!  lol  Most of them tried just jumping right into their rough draft.  I was like wait!  Where are your ideas and brainstorming sheet?  Remember when we did this?  And I pulled out the huge chart paper we had used   and referenced everyday last week with our ideas and brainstorming on it.  And of course, as I'm sure you all know, you have to re-explain it pretty much individually to each child because even though I just told the person next to them what to do, they are doing it wrong, so I tell them, and another person nearby is still doing it wrong!  lol  After 20 minutes of re-teaching the idea/brainstorming process again everyone was on the right page.  Then miracle of miracles one of my plans that I came up with this summer for writing, worked!  I decided to make my students special pens to use during writer's workshop.  I got the idea when I read somewhere online about how it's a good idea for students to use pen when doing their rough draft for writing so they don't erase and worry about it being perfect.  I thought let me turn those pens into something fun for kids to write with, how about feathered plumes?  So I bought some ballpoint pens from the dollar store and a package of feathers from Michaels (I already had floral tape from when I made flower pens with my class one year for a mother's day project) and I turned all of the pens into plumes.  I picked ballpoint pens, so we wouldn't have to worry about a cap, they could just click and go.  Let me tell you, those pens were a HUGE hit!  They were so excited to be able to use them I had like 5 kids come up to hug me afterwards (awww, 2nd graders).  I told them that they were special pens to only be used when working on stuff for Writer's Workshop.  They keep the pens in their writing folder along with all of their other writing things.  They are so excited to write now!  We also began Work on Writing this week for Daily 5, which we do in the morning (writer's workshop is at the end of the day) and they were excited about the fact that they could write pretty much wherever they wanted in the room and they could write about whatever they wanted.  Plus I have so many references for them.  I have the fabulous writing center from A Cupcake for the Teacher, the wonderful writing idea cards from Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter, the class shared journals from one of the Monday Made-its (sorry I can't remember which one right now!), and the calendar cards that have the writing prompt on them.  So they were happy doing that and using all of those things.  Now I had also told them that they could use Work on Writing time to also work on things for Writer's Workshop (we hadn't started it yet).  The next day after Writer's Workshop had been introduced with those pens, that's what so many of them picked to do for Work on Writing.  lol  This afternoon we had to take our district writing assessment instead of writer's workshop and they were bummed!  I gave them the option of doing writer's workshop as they finished their assessments (their other option was Read to Self) and they cheered!  lol So it's the little things!  I took a picture of my plumes, but it's on my old phone (I upgraded to an iphone 4s this weekend, my first iphone.  Didn't want the new one.  Got this one since it went down in price with the new one coming out).  So once I transfer the pic off my old phone I'll post it so you can see them.  I'll also try and take a picture of the pens in action during writer's workshop tomorrow.  lol
Hopefully I'll be better about coming on here too because I really do have tons of things I could talk to you about.  Hope all is going well with you and your kiddos!  :)


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