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?

International Dot Day

Friday 15th September was International Dot Day!

What is International Dot Day?

International Dot Day began when Terry Shay introduced his class to Peter H Reynold’s book The Dot on September 15, 2009.

Since then, this date has been celebrated each year as International Dot Day — a day for classes to explore the story’s powerful themes: bravery, creativity, and self-expression.

Every year, millions of students and educators connect on International Dot Day to celebrate creativity, courage and collaboration.

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What is ‘The Dot’ book all about?

The Dot tells the story of a caring art teacher who reaches a reluctant student in a remarkably creative way.

In Peter’s book, the teacher encourages the student to begin a journey of self discovery and creativity, starting with a simple dot on a piece of paper. Transformed by this journey, the student goes on to inspire others.

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This year, Miss Jordan decided to join in the fun with 3/4C. Some of our highlights are described below.

We read The Dot by Peter H Reynold and discussed the themes. We linked the themes to a variety of character strengths, including:

  • Self belief
  • Courage
  • Kindness
  • Creativity
  • Curiosity

We dressed up in dots!

We used our Writer’s Notebooks to generate some “dotty” writing ideas.

We displayed our creativity by decorating big dots! We then cut the dots into quarters and swapped three of the quarters with friends to make a new dot!

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Classes are encouraged to collaborate and connect during International Dot Day celebrations. One of Miss Jordan and Mrs Morris’s “blogging buddies” from the past is Mrs Yollis, from California in the USA. She has celebrated International Dot Day previously, so we thought it would be a great opportunity to get in touch!

Today in class, we had a Google Hangout to chat with Mrs Yollis! We had to work out the time difference between our two countries. For us (in the southern hemisphere), it was 11.30am Friday morning. But for Mrs Yollis (who lives in the northern hemisphere) it was 6.30pm Thursday night!

We asked Mrs Yollis lots of interesting questions about her school. It was so interesting to hear her responses! It was great that Mrs Morris was in our class today so she could be part of the chat too.

Below is a video we made to showcase some of the features of our wonderful school. We hope the third grade students in Mrs Yollis’s class enjoy this sneak peek into Barwon Heads Primary School.

Mrs Yollis also has a post about International Dot Day on her class blog. Her third grade students have put together a video about their school. Check it out!

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What did you enjoy about International Dot Day?

What was the message in “The Dot” picture book by Peter H Reynold?

What did you find interesting during our chat with Mrs Yollis?

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?

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?

 

Text Genre Detectives!

We had a lot of fun during Reader’s Workshop today!

Our reading focus for the week is identifying literary elements in fiction texts. Today, we focussed on the literary element of genre. A genre is a type of text. Different genres have different features and we had a big discussion about some common genres:

  • Realistic Fiction
  • Historical Fiction
  • Science Fiction
  • Fantasy
  • Animal Fantasy
  • Mystery
  • Fairy tales
  • Folktales
  • Myths

In preparation for this lesson, students all brought in their favourite narrative book from home. It was great to see a wide range of books from lots of different authors in the collection!

The books were placed around the room and the students acted as ‘genre detectives’, spending time reading the books and deciding which genre each one was. They also had to document their reasons to justify their genre selection for each book.

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To conclude and reflect on the lesson, we had a class discussion to make a final decision about the genre of each book. It was fantastic to see the students were mostly unanimous in their genre selection for every single book! This means they achieved the success criteria for the lesson and really built on their knowledge of text genres.

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What is your favourite fiction genre? Describe the features of the genre.

Which books did you enjoy reading during this session?

What fiction genre might you start exploring?

Investigating Language!

3/4C students participate in word study sessions each week.

During recent word study lessons, we have been learning about parts of speech.

Specifically, we have investigated:

  • Common nouns
  • Proper nouns
  • Pronouns
  • Adjectives
  • Verbs
  • Adverbs

There are other parts of speech to learn too, as well as a variety of other grammar terms, so we have these posters in our classroom to refer to.

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Adjectives and adverbs make writing more interesting to read. Learning about these parts of speech will help our writing skills develop.

We are currently focussing on narratives in writing. Today, we completed a narrative investigation about ‘language’. We read the picture book, Who Goes There? by Karma Wilson.

We stopped to discuss the interesting common nouns, proper nouns, pronouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs. We recorded them on big charts.

Students then selected a picture story book from our class collection to investigate the language. They recorded the nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs on their iPads as they read.

By the end of the lesson we had many, many words on our language charts!

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Write a comment containing some interesting nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs!

What have you learnt in our word study sessions so far this year?

Do you have any favourite adjectives or adverbs?

Have you discovered any interesting words you will try to use in your writing?

Independent Reading

This week, we launched independent reading in our classroom.

We spend part of our daily Reader’s Workshop sessions doing independent reading, to practise strategies and work on our individual goals.

During independent reading, we aim to:

  • begin reading quickly and efficiently
  • read with stamina for the duration of the session
  • choose a good place to read and stay in that place
  • read silently.

 

After independent reading, we catch up with our “Reading Buddy” to discuss our books. This is a great opportunity to share our reflections, ask each other questions and learn about other books and authors from our peers.

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What are you currently reading during independent reading?

Who is your favourite author?

What reading strategy would you like to focus on this term?

Do you have an all-time favourite book?