Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Author's Purpose

Next week we will be covering author's purpose. Here's a few things we plan on using in class.

I found this super cute anchor chart on Pinterest to introduce author's purpose:

I also made a page similar to the anchor chart to add to the reader's notebook. 

For an independent activity...sorting titles to show the author's purpose.

My favorite activity is this writing lesson:

I gave each of the students some goldfish crackers. Then, I put strips of paper in a bag that said inform, entertain, or persuade.  The students had to pull a strip of paper out of the bag.  They wrote a story about the goldfish crackers that went along with the author's purpose strip they chose. They were so excited to eat their crackers as they wrote.  It was very interesting to see what they came up with.  (I let the students use the goldfish container to help them if they were writing to inform.)
My super nerdy husband recently gave me a little tutorial on QR codes.  I was so excited about using them in class!  I just made these author's purpose cards to use at a station.  They read the short passage, mark the author's purpose, then scan the QR code to see the correct answer.  Fun!  Can't wait to use these.  I am laminating them so the students can mark their answers with a dry erase marker and then erase for the next group.
This has nothing to do with author's purpose, but I also wanted to review main idea a I made main idea cards as well.  I used the same passages, but they have to mark the main idea and scan for the correct answer.
A really great app to use for scanning QR codes is:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Learning about Non-Fiction Text Features

This week we introduced Non-Fiction text features.  This wasn't all new for them...we have been looking at non-fiction and discussing it a little all year.  This week, we are really going to go into detail about the features, why they are important, and how they can help us.  We are also going to compare fiction and non-fiction.

First, I found these great anchor charts on Pinterest!

We looked at many non-fiction books and discussed the different features.  We added this page of notes to our reader's notebooks.

Next, we will go over our essential questions for this unit.  The class will get this page with the essential questions and a chart to list the purpose of the non-fiction text feature.  This will be added to their reader's notebooks too.

 After using the anchor chart above to discuss the differences between fiction and non-fiction, the class will complete the fiction/non-fiction features chart with a partner.

(we plan to use the venn diagram to take notes and add to the reader's notebooks.)

During our non-fiction unit, we plan to discuss determining importance.  You can find some really great lessons in these books!
Reading With Meaning by- Debbie Miller

Comprehension Connections- by Tanny McGregor
Strategies That Work by- Stephanie Harvey and Anne Goudvis
Interactive Read Alouds by- Linda Hoyt
Tanny McGregor has a determinig importance song you can download.  Here is a book mark with the words. We practice this throughout the unit and add the words to our reader's notebooks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Non-Fiction Writing!

Our next unit in writing is non-fiction writing!  I know the class is going to be SOOOO excited to move on to something new. (me too)

I follow The Units of Study writing curriculum by-Lucy Calkins.  I love it!  If you don't know about should!  It's amazing!
Here's the website if you want to learn more!
The kit includes a CD with printable paper and graphic organizers, but I made a few of my own things to help out during my lessons.
In the non-fiction unit, we will start with how-to books.  I begin by making a list of some non-fiction topics we could write about. I plan to have the class add this list to our writer's notebooks for them come up with their own ideas and refer back to.

I will make an anchor chart as we go to list all the information about how-to books, but I also made this mini notes page to add to their writer's notebooks. 

We use this paper to plan and write our how-to steps:


When we get to the point where we will publish a how-to book, we have a checklist to make sure we have everything we need.


I added all of these pages to a flipchart so I can model the process.


Here is the grading rubric for their how-to book!
Next up...All-About Books!
This will be an anchor chart, but I also add the notes to their writer's notebooks.

For the all-about books, they will be adding several different kinds writing pages.  They can add a how-to, different kinds of something, listing, all-about page, parts of a thing,and table of contents!  It's so much fun!  I love to see what they come up with.
These are a few of the pages I will have out at the writing table for them to use in their all-about books.

When we are ready to publish, we have a checklist to help us get ready.
I also added all of these pages to a flipchart.

Here's the rubric for All-About Books!
I hope that some of this is helpful to you!

Monday, February 4, 2013


My kids loved the prefixes/suffixes flipbooks, so I decided to make some flipbooks for our lessons on verbs.  We used these to take some notes and review with partners.

I started the lesson by showing them this Vicky Verb anchor chart that I saw on Pinterest. 

We discussed action verbs and created this flipbook to add to our writer's notebooks:


Later in the week, we discussed verb tenses.  We used this flipbook to write verbs that were past or present tense.