We have been busy reading and writing up a storm in Room #208! Each day, we begin both Reader's and Writer's Workshops with a minilesson that instructs around a skill the children can draw upon when working independently. I am continuously impressed by the kids ability to immediately apply these newly taught skills to their own work.
During our Reader’s Workshop, the children have begun “posting” during independent reading. Posting is a way for children to record what they are thinking as they are reading. When readers monitor their thinking as they read, comprehension deepens. In a recent minilesson, we discussed the importance of getting to know the characters in our books. One way we can get to know our characters is by closely watching the character's feelings. We learned that characters in our books often show strong feelings, and when this happens we should stop and jot about what we notice. The kids have worked diligently to not only jot about these feelings, but also provide evidence to support their thinking using the following sentence frame: "I think _____________ is feeling ___________ because __________________". For example: "I think Poppleton is feeling frustrated because Cherry Sue keeps asking him to come over for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and he wants to just stay home. Poppleton sprayed her with the hose." I have been thrilled with the kids ability to "push their thinking" by
including more than one piece of evidence to support their thinking.
During Writer's Workshop, we continue to create Personal Narratives, also known as Small Moment Stories. In today's minilesson, we focused on how to satisfy our readers with a great ending. I began by sharing four examples of story endings written by second grade students. Examples included: 1. All the way back to the car, the pumpkins were bumping in
the wagon and I was thinking of what I would carve on mine. 2. We kept
going down the hill even when our socks got wet! I wondered if my
brother was having as much fun as I was on this snowy day. 3. I licked
the marshmallow goo off my sticky fingers, as I felt the last flames of
the campfire warming my cheeks. 4. I opened my eyes and smiled at John.
We both giggled, thinking about all the fun we had had at our
sleepover. I challenged the kids to find a pattern among the four endings. The kids discovered that each ending stated the last thing that happened in the small moment, and then shared what the author was feeling or thinking at that moment. We coined this, "The secret recipe to a great ending"! I was THRILLED with how quickly the children followed this secret recipe to create their very own satisfying conclusions!