This was the first week of our new Unit of Inquiry, How we Express Ourselves. Our central idea is that stories can be constructed, retold and interpreted in different ways. We began by sharing the stories that the students are reading for our weekly guided reading sessions.
Everyone is used to our routine where one group works with me and the rest of the students work independently, reading their guided reading books, adding them to their reading logs, and writing a brief summary in their reading journals. Up to this point, the summaries have been quite simple ones. The students have used the writing prompts: This book begins when….Then….Next ….In the end. Now that we are looking more closely at what makes a good story, we will add a review element to our summaries. This week, we started by adding what the students think about the book they are reading. For example, in their opinion, is the book a good book, or an interesting story, and why? Next week, we will co-construct criteria for what makes a good story so that we can begin to be more detailed in our summaries, making them more like book reviews. Many students asked to share their summaries this week as they wanted the class to hear about the books they are reading.
We then began to think more about the writing process. In our Writer’s Workshop sessions, the children are excellent at generating ideas and writing creative and original stories. We are now looking more closely at the proof-reading or editing process. When we edit our writing, we look for part of writing that we are “Tickled Pink” about and areas where we have “Room to Grow”. The students and I use green highlighter to highlight spelling mistakes, missing full-stops etc. We use a pink highlighter to identify good writing habits. Together, we came up with this list of areas of check when we edit our writing:
1. Correct spelling of “no-excuse” words.
2. Upper case letters at the beginning of sentences and full-stops at the end of sentences.
3. Finger spaces between words and printing that is easy to read.
4. Do my sentences make sense?
Ms. M: Why is it important to edit our writing?
Because we need to know what you think you did really well, and what you think you need to work on (Ali).
You need to know how you are doing and what is difficult. If you got lots of tickled pink for using capitals or finger spaces, you are really good at it (Ryu).
When you are tickled pink, you were really careful with that thing, and when you see some room to grow, you can watch for that next time (Seonyul).
Next time when you write you can remember to spell the word correctly, or you will always have upper case letter at the beginning of sentences (Vivian).
We explored different ways to write stories this week and the students were very creative!
Here are some more photos from our week…