Power Sentences

This week, we have focussed on writing “power sentences”.

A power sentence contains descriptive information to help the reader make a picture in their mind. Adding interesting nouns, adjectives, verbs and adverbs really brings a sentence to life. In class, we had some great discussions about how to add impact to a sentence.

We started with this simple sentence: The boy went up the stairs.

We all agreed that this sentence doesn’t have any impact and provides very little information. By adding some interesting words to create different emotions and feelings, the entire meaning of the sentence changes.

Here are the “power sentences” we came up with!

power-sentences

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Here are some other simple sentences. Try to rewrite them by adding interesting vocabulary and submit your “power sentences” in your comment!

I knocked on the door.

Bob swam in the pool.

The girl ate her apple.

The dog ran away.

Sam hit the cricket ball.

Author Study

This week in Reader’s Workshop, we are doing an author study.

We have collected lots of picture books written by a variety of authors.

We are reading the picture books to study each author’s style, themes and key ideas.

The authors we are focussing on include:

  • Margaret Wild
  • Mem Fox
  • Anthony Browne
  • Jackie French
  • Nick Bland
  • Alison Lester
  • Jeannie Baker
  • Julia Donaldson
  • Graham Base
  • Pamela Allen
  • Colin Thompson
  • John Burmingham

Students have set up a Google Sheet on their iPads to record their observations about each picture book they read.

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What observations have you made during the author study so far?

Who is your favourite picture book author?

Do you have an all time favourite picture book?

Term Three Begins!

We are back for term three!

After a two week break, it was great to see all of the 3/4C students again.

To reflect on their school holidays, students had to think of one specific activity or experience they enjoyed during the holidays. Students were required to write at least three interesting clues that described or explained the activity without using really obvious words. It was quite challenging! Students then drew a picture of their holiday memory to go alongside their clues.

Read each student’s holiday clues below. After each page of clues you will see the drawn picture with the answer!

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We are all looking forward to another fantastic term of learning and fun!

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What did you think of the holiday clues?

What writing skills were required for this task?

Describe your holiday highlights.

What are you looking forward to this term?

What are your learning goals for term three?

Learning About 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.

At the beginning of the unit, students investigated a variety of persuasive texts to identify the key components of persuasive writing. Students then chose their own persuasive topic and drafted, revised, edited and published their work.

It has been great to see the students honing their persuasive writing skills this term!

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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?

Fun With Fictional Narratives!

We have been studying fictional narratives in class.

A fictional narrative is a made up story. Students really get to demonstrate their creativity when writing fictional narratives, so it is a lot of fun!

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We spent last week “immersing” ourselves in fictional narratives to investigate the key elements of a well written story.

We focussed on:

  • The structure of a fictional narrative
  • Thinking of ideas to form a quality narrative
  • Character development.

Narratives can be structured in different ways, but we identified the typical organisation of a fictional narrative:

  • Beginning (introduce the main character/s, describe the setting)
  • Middle – part one (complication)
  • Middle – part two (series of events that occur as a result of the complication)
  • Ending (complication is resolved).

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We read a variety of picture story books which are good examples of narratives. Below are some examples of quality narratives that follow the typical structure we are using for our own fictional narratives.


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We are also aiming to include some interesting vocabulary in our narratives. We have discussed how the following things can really enhance a story:

  • Interesting nouns
  • Adjectives
  • Verbs
  • Adverbs
  • Sensory details
  • “Show me, don’t tell me” strategy.

Everyone in 3/4C is doing a great job drafting their narratives! Once the drafts are complete, students will revise and edit, and then publish on their iPads! Miss Jordan can’t wait to see how all of the students’ narratives turn out!

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What is your fictional narrative about?

What kinds of narratives do you like to write?

What kinds of narratives do you like to read?

How have your fictional narrative writing skills improved?

 

Parts Of Speech

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 writing narratives this week, so hopefully the stories contain lots of adjectives and adverbs!

When brainstorming adverbs, most of our examples had the suffix ‘-ly’ and described how a verb is performed. For example, quickly, strongly, confidently. But there are actually five different types of adverbs we use in our speech and writing.

Types of adverbs

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We discussed that every complete sentence contains a noun and a verb.

Sometimes the verb in a sentence is not as obvious as a clear “doing word”. For example, in the sentence “I go swimming at the beach in summer”, swimming is obviously the verb. But the word go is also a verb.

The words in red below are also verbs:

  • He is good at football.
  • Do you have my iPad?
  • I will go for a run tomorrow.

Verbs can be present tense or past tense.

Past Present Verbs

You will notice a pattern in the verbs above. The past tense verbs all contain the ‘-ed’ suffix and the present tense verbs also have consistent suffixes.

There are some verbs that do not follow this rule. They are called irregular verbs. Do you know what irregular verbs are?

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Can you find out what irregular verbs are? List some examples in your comment!

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?

What nouns and verbs do you often use in your writing?

Writing From A Photo

Good writers can create a picture in their readers’ minds.

They can do this by:

  • using interesting vocabulary
  • elaborating on details
  • showing, rather than telling, some of the details
  • describing all five senses (what can be seen, heard, tasted, felt and smelt)
  • using lots of adjectives (describing words) and verbs (doing words)
  • using synonyms (words with similar meanings) to make interesting word choices.

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During our writing sessions over the past two weeks, students have been writing entries in their Writer’s Notebooks. Our lessons included:

  • Writing “free choice” entries from the Ideas Page in the Writer’s Notebooks
  • Using sensory details in writing
  • Writing about the environment around us
  • Writing from a photo
  • Using the “show me, don’t tell me” technique to enhance writing.

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 All students brought in a photo from home to use as inspiration for a piece of writing. We focussed on including sensory details and adjectives. Everyone did a great job! Below is the writing by the 3/4C students. Enjoy!

Tip – Open in full screen to view in a larger format.

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Were there any particular words or sentences you enjoyed from the students’ writing?

How has your writing improved?

What writing activity have you enjoyed so far this year?

Do you have a writing goal for this year?

Launching Our Writer’s Notebooks

This week we have started using our Writer’s Notebooks in class!

A Writer’s Notebook is a tool that is used to help students develop their writing skills.

This is how our Writer’s Notebooks work at Barwon Heads Primary School:

1. We generate ideas for writing on an Ideas Page. Ideas can be recorded at any opportunity.

2. We write short entries in our Writer’s Notebook to expand on our ideas.

3. Our entries can be about personal experiences, opinions and reactions.

4. We use our entries as a starting point to form the basis for our different writing pieces throughout the year.

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All of the 3/4C students decorated their Writer’s Notebooks at home so they now represent the students’ individuality. They look fantastic!

Writer's Notebooks 1

Writer's Notebooks 2

Writer's Notebooks 3

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What do you like writing about?

What did you record on your Ideas Page?

Do you have a favourite writing genre?

Reader’s Workshop in 3/4C

Reading is a big part of our day.

We use the CAFE model in our Literacy Block every day. Each week we focus on a different reading strategy in class. CAFE is an acronym for Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency and Expand vocabulary. All of these areas of reading are extremely important and good readers know they need to read regularly to improve their skills.

We have a Reading Menu in our classroom. At the end of each week we put a strategy card on the menu.

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This week, our reading strategy is Check for Understanding.

P1110248

When we check for understanding while reading a novel, we need to pause after reading a page or two and ask ourselves three questions:

  1. What just happened in the story?
  2. Who was in that part of the story?
  3. Where was that part of the story set?

This comprehension strategy help readers to understand their texts, and we will continue to build on our comprehension as the year progresses.

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After working on our reading strategies collectively as a class each morning, the students then participate in 15 minutes of independent reading. During this time, they practise the strategy independently while reading “good fit” books.

P1110251

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What reading strategies do you use?

What areas of reading do you want to work on this year?

What books do you like to read?

Storybird

 This week, students have enjoyed using Storybird to create stories.

Storybirds are short online stories that are inspired by art. Miss Jordan signed up all of the 4B students through her teacher account.

There are all sorts of different artwork you can choose from to illustrate your Storybird. The students chose their artwork first to help them think of story ideas.

Here are some of our Storybirds. Enjoy!

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What did you think of the Storybirds?

What would you like to write a Storybird about?

How do you think Storybird can help improve your creative writing skills?