Friday, March 7, 2014

March Madness

Boy... we have really neglected our blogging again!

This is what is happening here in Chicago:

Who has two thumbs and sick of winter? This chick!! The last picture is from the parking lot at my school. On a beautiful, sunny, Chicago day, one can typically see the skyline from here. Yep. Not this day. On a positive note, warmer weather is on it's way and hopefully we can get our kiddos outside for recess! They have been indoors for TOO long.

That's what's happening outside, what's happening inside? When I started thinking about this blog post, I wanted to write about Daily 5 math. However, then March rolled around and March Madness is far more exciting! In our Lucy Calkins series, the students are writing about reading and creating book nominations. Well, we decided to spin this one into nominations for a "Tournament of Books!" Great, right? I'm so thrilled about it and the kids can hardly wait! Let's take a look at what this looks like in the room...

First, we talked about nominating books and why books receive awards. I modeled how to create a t-chart that show my two favorite books. Each of these, we have read together, so the students helped me come up with reasons for why they deserved awards.

The students practiced this on their own. They did a great job! Little did they know that they were in the beginning stages of writing an expository piece! (FIRST GRADERS!!) Wahoo! Next, we talked about how the book we choose should be one we are passionate about and can write a lot! I chose my favorite book, Air Mail to the Moon. Then, we examined my reasons and chose the top three that I could write about.

On this anchor chart, I put colored boxes around them to match the map that we will use during our pre-writing stage. From there, I have modeled how to transfer them onto their maps, write introductions, and add detail (rationale) to support their reasons. In addition, the students are using their books to find proof and quotes from their books. It has been so amazing to watch! Check out their work so far! Today, we will finish up their conclusions and get ready to write sloppy copies next week! Just in time for March Madness! Thankfully, I have a huge wall outside my classroom that will work perfectly to create the brackets. I haven't quite figured out the voting process yet, but that will come.

Yay for getting children excited about writing! (especially the boys!) ;)

Check out the whole product below!
March Madness: Tournament of Books

Happy Friday, everyone!

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