Author Study – Margaret Wild

This week in Reader’s Workshop, we are investigating picture books written by Margaret Wild.

Margaret Wild has published more than 70 children’s books! Her books vary in themes and are suitable for a wide range of ages. Margaret has won numerous awards for her books.

In our author study, students set up a google sheet on their iPads and recorded their observations about each picture book they read. Their observations included:

  • A summary of the story outline
  • Character descriptions
  • Interesting vocabulary
  • The message or moral
  • A rating out of five
  • Specific reading strategies that could be a focus for the book

We love Margaret Wild books!

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Do you have a favourite Margaret Wild book?

Which Margaret Wild books would you recommend for others to read? Why?

What interesting vocabulary did you notice in Margaret Wild’s books?

Relaunching Our Writer’s Notebooks

This week in class, we re-launched our Writer’s Notebooks!

A Writer’s Notebook is a tool used to develop ideas for writing. We decorated our Writer’s Notebooks earlier in the year to make them special and personalised books.

As a school, we are currently changing the way we collect ideas in our Writer’s Notebooks. We use a double page in our Writer’s Notebooks and follow this structure:

PART ONE

Left hand side page:

We generate ideas about a specific topic using a particular tool.

For example, this week in 3/4C students thought of a place or location they had been and they brainstormed the sensory details they associated with that place or location. The tool we used was a ‘sensory hand’.

Miss Jordan brainstormed sensory details about Times Square in New York City.

PART TWO

Top of the right hand side page:

We take one of the ideas listed on the left hand side and develop that idea into a brief text – an entry. We elaborate on the initial idea by adding extra details and descriptive language.

For example, Miss Jordan selected the “it’s never quiet” idea about Times Square and developed an entry to explain how busy, noisy and energetic Times Square is.

PART THREE

Bottom of the right hand side page:

We list a variety of fiction and non-fiction ideas in different genres we could write about based on our initial ideas on the left hand side.

For example, Miss Jordan listed the following ideas:

  • Fiction: Narrative – a young girl gets lost in Times Square.
  • Non-Fiction: Information Report – the Rockefeller Centre.
  • Non-Fiction: Persuasive – New York City is the best city in the world.
  • Non-Fiction: Personal Narrative – Shopping for souvenirs.

In future writing sessions, students will then use these ideas from their Writer’s Notebooks to draft pieces of writing in different genres.

We are looking forward to collecting many ideas in our Writer’s Notebooks to inspire us to write all kinds of different texts!

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Everyone enjoyed re-launching their Writer’s Notebooks in class this week!

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What place or location did you select to generate ideas this week?

What writing ideas did you come up with?

What is your favourite writing genre?

What do you enjoy about Writer’s Notebooks?

Book Week Fun!

This week is Book Week!

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) 2017 Book Week theme is “Escape to Everywhere”.

The CBCA runs Book Week each year, and our school always enjoys celebrating this national event. Books play such an important part in our learning, and to commemorate Book Week, our students are participating in the following activities:

* Dress up parade – students dress up as a book character and participate in the whole school parade.

* Borrowing competitions – students need to return their books in their library session to be in the draw for a prize.

* Book Fair – students and parents have the opportunity to buy books from the Book Fair in our school foyer.

* Donate a book – students can buy a book from the Book Fair and donate it to the library.

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Today was Dress Up Day and we all enjoyed seeing the costumes students and teachers wore for the occasion.

Here is 3/4C dressed up in all their glory!

And here is the BHPS staff photo!

The parade in our school gym was fantastic!

Here are some photos of the 3/4C students in their fabulous costumes!

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Thank you to Ms Browne for organising another fun-filled Book Week!

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Who did you dress up as and why?

Who is your favourite book character?

Did any costumes stand out at the whole school parade?

Which 2017 short-listed book was your favourite and why?

All About Apostrophes!

In 3/4C, we have been learning about apostrophes.

An apostrophe is a type of punctuation and it fits in with the “Conventions” writing trait.

apostrophe

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Apostrophes can be confusing. Here are some tips that might help. Thanks to Mrs Morris who created this slideshow.

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After a big discussion about apostrophes where students brainstormed sentences that did and did not require apostrophes, they demonstrated their learning in a creative way on their iPads. Students made comics and had to feature apostrophes correctly. You can view some examples of the students’ work below.

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A lot of people think any word that ends with an s needs an apostrophe. Remember, unless there is ownership in a sentence, plurals do not need an apostrophe.

What is wrong with this picture?

Image: ‘Sofia’s Pizza’s Calzoni’s Kebab’s Burger’s Pakora’s’
http://www.flickr.com/photos/34427470616@N01/2392092122
Found on flickrcc.net

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Did our tips help you learn about apostrophes?

What is wrong with the picture above? Have you ever seen apostrophes used incorrectly before?

Can you make up a sentence that has an apostrophe before an s, after an s and in a contraction?

Best Book This Year?

In 3/4C, the student participate in Reader’s Workshop each day.

Part of Reader’s Workshop involves independent reading. During independent reading, students spend time practising reading strategies and individual reading goals with a “good fit” book of their choice.

We have read a variety of books as a class, including mentor texts during writing. A mentor text helps us to to see what good writers do to create interesting stories. And of course, we have also read many picture story books during our weekly library sessions.

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Miss Jordan loves to read and usually has a novel on the go at home. She also enjoys picture story books, particularly those with a message. One of her favourite picture books is The Stone Lion by Margaret Wild.

The Stone Lion

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When Miss Jordan was in primary school, her favourite books were written by Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and Graeme Base. Those authors are still popular today!

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What is the best book that you have read this year?

Please include some details about the best book you have read this year. You could include information such as:

  • The genre
  • The plot
  • The characters
  • The writing craft that was used
  • Information about the author
  • Other books the author has written
  • A recommended age group for the book
  • Why you loved the book so much!

We look forward to hearing about your favourite read this year!

Holiday Reflection – 100 Word Challenge

After each set of school holidays, the students in 3/4C enjoy writing about their holiday adventures.

This time we did something a little different. We had to write about our holidays in exactly 100 words!

Students were encouraged to choose just one holiday event to focus on. Usually we enjoy writing lots of interesting details and information in our texts, but we had to use our 100 words wisely for this task.

Below you can read everyone’s 100 word holiday writing pieces.

It was great to see the students displaying the character strengths of enthusiasm, persistence and open mindedness as they completed this task.

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What did you enjoy about your holidays?

What was challenging about this writing task?

Do you have any ideas for future writing challenges for the 3/4C students?

Can you leave a blog comment that is exactly 100 words in length?

Wacky Wednesday

Yesterday was Wacky Wednesday in 3/4C.

We read the hilarious Dr Seuss classic Wacky Wednesday and let our imaginations run wild to come up with our own wacky scenarios.

Each student drew a picture in the style of the Wacky Wednesday book. They included some silly or unexpected things in their artwork. Students then wrote a short rhyme to accompany their picture.

Enjoy looking at our wacky work.

This has been a guest post by Mrs Morris who is filling in for Miss Jordan for the rest of the term while she is in the office.

Leave a comment telling us what wacky things you noticed in the students’ pictures.

Can you come up with your own wacky rhyme?

Haiku Poems

As part of their poetry unit, the students in 3/4C have been learning about haiku poems.

Haiku poems originate in Japan and traditionally celebrate an appreciation for beauty and nature. Plants, animals, seasons, water and weather are often the subjects of haiku.

A haiku poem has 3 lines and 17 syllables with the following format

Line 1: 5 syllables

Line 2: 7 syllables

Line 3: 5 syllables

After selecting a topic, the students in 3/4C brainstormed words and phrases associated with their topic.

There was some problem solving involved to meet the required syllable count. Students also had to make sure their poems paint a picture in the readers’ minds. Some students looked at a thesaurus or online synonym generator like this one to improve their word choices.

Here are a selection of published haiku poems from 3/4C.

This has been a guest post by Mrs Morris who is filling in for Miss Jordan for the rest of the term. 

What did you think of our poetry?

Leave a haiku poem of your own in the comments!

Fun With Figurative Language!

This week, we started a poetry study in our writing lessons.

Students have participated in “poetry investigation” all week. This means we read lots of poems and analysed how they are written. Students observed the mood of different poems and the writing craft that is used.

We discussed what we sometimes see in poems. Here are some of our thoughts:

  • Humour
  • Emotions or feelings
  • Rhyming
  • Rhythm
  • Repeated words or phrases
  • Descriptive language
  • Inferences
  • A message or moral
  • A twist

We also focussed on how figurative language is used in poetry. We investigated six different kinds of figurative language:

  • Alliteration
  • Metaphor
  • Simile
  • Hyperbole (hy-per-bol-ee)
  • Personification
  • Onomatopoeia (on-o-mat-o-pia)

Figurative Language

Some of these types of figurative language were new to the students and they enjoyed learning the new vocabulary. Learning how to say hyperbole, onomatopoeia and personification was a challenge!

For their main task today, students worked in pairs to read a variety of poems. Their challenge was to identify which types of figurative language were present in each poem. Everyone did a fantastic job and it was great to listen to the conversations as they investigated the figurative language.

 

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Write some examples of figurative language in your comment!

What have you learnt about poetry so far?

Do you have a favourite poem?

The Power of Persuasive Writing!

We have been working on our persuasive writing skills for the past few weeks.

Persuasive writing is a type of non-fiction writing used to convince the reader to agree with the author about an issue. The author expresses their opinion using personal beliefs and factual information in this argumentative writing style.

We have investigated a variety of persuasive texts and learnt more about:

  • The structure and organisation of a persuasive text
  • Types of arguments and reasons used
  • How to turn factual information into a persuasive argument
  • Word choice (emotive language, technical terms, rhetorical questions, powerful verbs, strong adjectives)
  • Linking words.

Students have been investigating a variety of persuasive texts to identify the key components of persuasive writing. Everyone has enjoyed discussing, analysing and annotating persuasive texts to determine the effectiveness of each piece of writing.

Students have written several persuasive texts themselves and it has been fantastic to see them using the knowledge gained from our investigations to further develop and refine their own writing skills.

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Think of something you would like to persuade others about. In your blog comment, write a persuasive paragraph to convince other blog readers to agree with you!

Remember to use persuasive language, interesting verbs and adjectives and rhetorical questions. Don’t forget to edit your comment before you submit!

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How has your persuasive writing improved?

Where do you see persuasive writing?