Thursday, February 21, 2013


So, yesterday, I did some research of my own...I read a 38 page document about teaching children how to write realistic fiction...and I learned A LOT!  Today, we put some of that new knowledge into action!

After returning from art, the children listened to a realistic fiction picture book called My Mei Mei by Ed Young.  The topic of this book was adoption.  After listening to the story and identifying other realistic fiction stories we have read and discussed in class, the children broke into small groups to write a definition of realistic fiction, or the characteristics needed for one to be labeled as such.  We then came together, as a group, and wrote a class definition.

We decided that realistic fiction must:
not be true but COULD happen in real life
have a setting
have one main character
have a problem
the main character must have character traits
the main character must have struggles on their way to solving the problem
the main character must be changed by the solution

After that, I reviewed how to identify topic ideas...reminding the children that each idea must mention a main character and a problem.  Then I shared suggestions of how to come up with new ideas.  These included; reviewing their morning work journal, thinking about realistic fiction books they have read and changing the story by thinking, "I winder what would happen if..." and writing a getting lost type story.

While I meet with reading groups the students will add three ideas to the idea list in their writing journal.  They will also circle the main character in each idea and underline the problem.  Then they will choose a realistic fiction book, from our class collection, read it and identify characteristics of realistic fiction (from our class definition) that they discover in the story.  They will mark these with a sticky note.

Sharks:  We reviewed the list of words with -ed suffixes, in group, and underlined the base word (or root word) and circled the suffix.  I collected their book and we will begin a new text on Monday.

In math we used musical notes to identify equivalent fractions.  In hindsight, I should have captured this lesson on Educreations...but I didn't.  :-(  The students used half, quarter and eighth notes to create a rhythm in a measure (which equals a whole) and then using different notes, they wrote fractions to represent the measures.  While they worked on this independently (after I modeled it, of course), I met with a small group.  My group practiced making a number line and drawing a picture to represent fractions and mixed numbers.

 FOR HOMEWORK:  All students have two problems, such as the one described above, to complete on a chart in their math journal.  Should they forget their math journal, they can do it on a plain piece of paper.  They should create a number line and draw a picture to represent 1 3/4 and 4/6.

Following lunch and indoor recess, the students continued working independently, while I met with more groups.

Cheetahs:  We reviewed last night's homework and discussed the assumption Phillip made (that he and his pen pal would have nothing in common because he is a boy and she is a girl).  Then we identified the theme of the book (don't judge a book by it's cover).  Finally, we discussed the problem in the book and whether or not the book is realistic fiction (it is!).

Yellow Jackets:  WE finally got a chance to thoroughly discuss chapter 2.  We also shared their titles for chapter 2.

Snakes:  We did some word work and practiced writing words from the book and identifying tricky parts in the word.  Then we tried to retell pages 2-7, but the entire group struggled.  :-(

We ended the day with some students reading and writing about a part of the Aztec culture in their social studies journals.  This was continued from last Friday.  The rest of the class shared what they learned by reading what they wrote in their social studies journal last week.

I will not be here tomorrow.  I have my post operation appointment and will be getting my stitches out..and possibly permission to resume running?!?!  (Probably, not)  We WILL have a math quiz!  There is an early release tomorrow, too!

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