Friday, March 9, 2012

Week in Reveiw 3/5-3/9

This was a GREAT week in 5th grade!

First of all, we celebrated World Read Aloud Day with a VERY special guest: Katherine Applegate, author of our current read aloud The One and Only Ivan. (I will be devoting an entire post to this experience because that is what it will take to sufficiently explain how utterly awesome it was.) She honored us with two sessions (one for each class) of reading aloud from the book and talking about being an author. It was wonderful!

We are STILL working on our persuasive essays regarding the right to chew gum in school. I have learned that, despite my immense fear of them, writing conferences are more useful than simply editing the work for my students. Turns out what I thought was easier, is actually MUCH harder. Also, what will they learn it I am doing all of the editing and they are just copying my corrections. Lesson learned. I really did enjoy sitting down with my students, listening to them read their work out loud and then say things like: "Oh! I don't like how that sounds. I am going to change it to..." Yes, the process is taking longer, but it is much more meaningful for them. Plus, they are doing all of the work as I guide them through it, instead of me doing it all for them. Wish I had caught on sooner!

Because the kids are so engaged with our read aloud, I have begun to also use it as a teaching tool. I do not teach a lesson WHILE reading aloud, we just enjoy the book during that time. Instead, I pull past excerpts to help with my instruction. Why pull in an additional text when the kids are already familiar with one that will do the same job? This week's lessons revolved around figurative language, which any good novel is chock full of.

That's it for now. More posts on what I've been reading this week and WRAD coming soon!


  1. I can hardly wait to hear about your visit with Katherine Applegate! What a great opportunity for your students!
    I loved hearing about your conferences. Though they aren't always easy, I find them to be the best way to help my writers AND learn about them.

  2. Your blog is great and I love the owls! Writing conferences can be tricky and it is best to pick on one or two things to work on. Have you checked out Beth Newmingham's site? She teaches 3rd but has great ideas that can be modified for any grade.

    I am your newest follower and would love for you to come visit me if you get the chance. =)

    Heather's Heart

  3. Mrs. Alaniz- I agree about the conferences. I would have posted about our visit with Katherine today, but I was home sick (yuck!) and couldn't get my images. Hopefully tomorrow!

    Heather- Thanks for following! I will look into that resource you suggested, thanks!