October 27, 2012

Long Week, Writing, and Giveaways!!

With the wrap up of our first units and having two sick kids, my lessons have turned into publishing sessions and review--needless to say, the lack of routines is killing me!

I can't wait to get back to normal...next week--haha! We have an impending storm (a nor'easter and a hurricane...at the same time!!) and Halloween, so routines aren't likely!

On the other hand, we have officially ended our Native American units in reading and writing. I'm really impressed with their writing :)

Here's what I did...
     **in the beginning, I modeled how to research (looking for important details that pertain to the main idea and how to record notes).

     **the students worked in groups filling in graphic organizers (title, page number, subheading, keywords/phrases) using a topic of Native American life (jobs, food, clothing, housing etc.)

     **using the notes, they created charts highlighting the information they learned about their topic (they really became the experts of that topic).

     **the students needed to commit to a topic which they would use for both the Iroquois and the Algonquian nations and start grouping their notes together.

     **using a paragraph organizer, they began drafting their body paragraphs.

(I always start with the body paragraphs first when I teach informational and persuasive writing--there's 2 reasons: with these types of writing, the students often need to teach themselves the information. How can they write a lead if they don't know anything about the topic? AND the majority of the work during workshop is to create, build, research, and write the body paragraphs--it takes the most time to do...especially if it's done well. The lead and the conclusion don't take nearly as much time and are not weighed as heavily as the the body.)

Here are some pics of the published Informative Friendly Letters:

On a side note...
Erin from Tales from Room 112 is having a 200 follower giveaway! There's one day left--definitely check it out :)
Lindsey from Lovin Kindergarten with Ms. Lindsey is celebrating her birthday with giveaway!

Definitely celebrate with them :)


  1. Hoping routines come sooner rather than later! :)
    Smiles - Lisa
    Growing Firsties

    1. Thank you Lisa! I hope so too :)

  2. Hi Jen:
    I hope that the storm and Halloween pass you by with minimal impact.
    Your research work looks great. I miss teaching about the Iroquois! Sixth grade focuses on ancient civilizations, so I really miss our fifth grade investigations into Native Americans.
    Sending you good thoughts...

    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

  3. If you get stuck in the publishing stage, I highly recommend you do a group editing session. My students love these, but they do require some time which it sounds like you may have. Check out the post on my blog for how to run the session but I hope that it works as well for your students as it does for mine!

    Miss A