Tuesday, December 30, 2008

If The Walls Could Talk....

PicLit from PicLits.com
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com

Use the thinking routine "See, Think, Wonder" as you analyze this photo.

What do you see? Make sure that you are only using factual information as you use adjectives to describe the scene. Write 2-3 sentences in your reflection journal.

What do you think? Based on what you see in the photo, what do you think about it? Write 2-3 sentences in your reflection journal.

What do you wonder? After thinking about the photo, what questions are you left with? Write 2-3 sentences in your reflection journal.

Write one word that would describe the feeling that you have after analyzing this photo. Don't use the words sad or angry.

If you could give this picture a title, what would it be?

If the walls could talk, what would they say? Write in first person point of view.

Monday, December 29, 2008

"Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words"

Making Global Connections Through VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a great tool for connecting to people from all over the world by taking part in discussion on a particular piece of work or on a chosen topic. Using an unknown picture to descriptively respond to allows a writer to reveal a creative side, for not everyone has the same interpretation.

First, study the picture. What do you see, think, and wonder? Imagine yourself in the picture. How does it make you feel? What mood does it create?

Make some connection to what you see. Use figurative language to help you express your ideas.

Listen closely as students respond in different ways to the displayed snap shot, and compare it to how you interpreted this piece of work.

If you could give this picture a title, what would it be?

Linking Verbs: Can Pies Smell?

It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between action 
and linking verbs within sentences.  Since some verbs can 
function as both, there is a test to help make the 
distinction. Replace the verb with is or are, and if the 
sentence makes sense, the verb is linking.
  • The pie smells sweet.
  • He smells the pie.
In both sentences, replace the verb smells with the
linking verb is. Only the first example makes sense,
therefore, it contains the linking verb.

Besides, can pies really smell something?

Check out my new digital learning website: GrammarCloud!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Reflection Journals

We have been writing in reflection journals since the beginning of the year, and it is a great way to practice transferring thoughts to paper. Often the writing prompts elicit responses to essential questions that express a deeper understanding of grammar's importance for communicating effectively.

The first assignment of this year-long project involved modeling various ways for thoroughly reflecting and responding with a beginning, middle, and end to any given topic. Continuous practice applying learned writing techniques will not only help break poor writing habits, but will create a more developed writer for expressing ideas. Putting it all in writing allows more thinking time, an opportunity to search for a deeper understanding, and to make changes for improvements.

The following are the topics that have been reflected upon so far:
  • What are some ways to begin your reflections so that you have strong topic sentences?
  • How can good study habits help the outcome of your vocabulary tests?
  • Make a decision about your work; come up with your own topic sentence.
  • How are prepositional phrases important for written and oral communication?
  • What are my writing habits for sentence structure? What is necessary for writing complete thoughts?
  • Write a brief description of the tutorial that you completed on WPPonline.com for improving on a deficient writing skill and explain what you learned from it.
  • Analyze the picture on the class blog under the heading "If the Walls Could Talk."
    Answer the questions for the thinking routine, See Think Wonder.

The following link provides writing prompts that promotes creativity. We will be choosing some of them to reflect on as well. Writing Prompts

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vivid Verbs

What action verbs come to mind when you think of Christmas or New Year's Eve? The use of specific, vivid verbs can help your writing come alive. I have listed vivid verbs in my Wordle that come to mind when I think of Christmas. Now it is your turn to list at least 10 vivid verbs that you could use in your writing about New Year's Eve.

Blazing A Path....
In your writing, always look for opportunities to replace weak verbs with strong, vivid action verbs. In this paragraph, replace the bold words with livelier action verbs.

On your in-line skates at top speed, you go down a hill. The wind is against your cheek. Yours skates almost put you into orbit. Suddenly, a cyclist moves into your path out of nowhere. You say, “Watch out!” but she doesn’t hear you.
You’re afraid you may run into that oncoming bike. If you move, you’ll push that jogger into the bushes. You decide you’d better get onto the grass, and you hope you won’t hit a tree while you’re going at this speed. Now you’re in midair, and the landscape moves by. Finally, as you get up out of the ditch, you say to yourself, “I’d better learn how to use those brakes.”

Some possible vivid verb choices for "Blazing A Path" that are not in any particular order:
smack yell scream exclaim crawl rushes swerves zoom sprint blazes slam collide burns emerges crash shove launch jump blows fly rushes plead scurry

Post a comment of an example of a vivid verb you could use in the place of a weaker one in the above paragraph. Make sure it is one that is not already listed above.

Check out my new digital learning website: GrammarCloud!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

5th Grade PDS Newsletters: Using Specific Nouns, Pronouns, and Awesome Adjectives In Context

What a phenomenal job you did on your newsletters! I am very proud of how you used the writing process to help you compose your articles on current events at PDS. You applied your knowledge of using specific nouns, pronoun/antecedent agreement, and strong adjectives for communicating effectively. Using Photo Booth was an excellent way for you to be photographers and get snap shots to support your writing, and Comic Life was a great tool for creating a template for your articles and pictures. I am proud of the great journalists you have proven to be. Your great work is now published and proudly displayed in the hallway for others to see how creative you are!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The boys enjoyed each other's company at their class Christmas party. Check out a neat video created by Animoto.com!