RM Winter 2016 FLIP

note and asked him/her to describe the rain though the sense that the desk cluster was assigned. Once they wrote on their sticky notes, students placed it on the board under the appropriate sense to create a chart that could serve as another example of a prewriting strategy. Student examples included the following: sight - tears, little streaks, waterfall, ice cubes, fog, blanket, drops, and a watering can when you are watering plants; hearing - sh sh sh sh, splat splat, drizzle drizzle, splash splash splash; smell - salty, sweet, “sadness”whenever it rains I picture someone crying, maybe angels; taste - water from a water hose, water; touch - It feels like tiny tears in your hand, needles, softness, smooth. Then the class collectively wrote the following using their new sense prewriting chart: Rain looks like tears. It sounds like tapping. It smells like sadness. Rain tastes like a glass of water. It feels like tickles on your hand. As we closed the lesson, we discussed how using our senses in writing enables us to share our experiences with others. Lesson three: Editing As noted previously, the students continued to work on writing even on the days I was not in the classroom. As I prepared for the next lesson, I realized that many students were ready for and needed assistance with editing, so we made this the focus of our third lesson. We discussed the purpose of editing for publication and introduced proofreading marks. The teacher made sure to mention that everyone has areas of needed improvement, including adults, and even the best writers make mistakes. To give students a tool for editing, we demonstrating using proofreading marks for ideas such capitalizing words or adding punctuation. As a class, students practiced editing a journal entry using correction marks. Students then worked in small groups to edit a very short play. During this lesson I assisted a small group that needed step-by-step help and scaffolding to complete the independent work. We closed by again discussing the purpose of editing and explained that good writers will edit their own work and can also seek assistance from a peer to see if they find any more mistakes. Lesson four: Revision The results of our initial attitude survey indicated students’ serious reluctance to revise. Kittle (2003) explains that while students may know that revision is a necessary part of writing, they often resist it. To combat this resistance, we wanted to provide students with concrete ideas on how to revise, as well as model a strategy they would later use with their peers. We began our fourth lesson by asking students to revise an informative paragraph about the sun that they had written earlier in the week with their teacher. We discussed what information in the paragraph was fact and what was opinion. After they revised independently, the teacher and I held individual conferences with students using the two stars and a wish method (two positive compliments and one thing to improve on) to revise their writing. As I conferenced with students about their sun writing, I noticed that students smiled when I gave them the two compliments and eagerly went back to revise their writing after explaining what to improve on. Each student returned to their desk with their paper and a sticky note with the two stars and a wish critique.

Lesson Five: Further revision Because we really wanted to emphasize revision, we focused our next lesson on it as well. In this fifth lesson, the students helped me revise a paragraph I had written about my favorite season, emphasizing the use of descriptive words and giving reasons why this was my favorite season. After revising, I showed students the bubble map, something the students were familiar with, that I created before composing my paragraph. Students then chose their favorite season and created their own bubble map that included reasons supporting why it was their favorite in the surrounding area. We would eventually be developing this writing into our digital story. We chose the topic of seasons because it was what the students were studying in science. The teacher noticed that many students enjoyed discussing the different seasons and thought it would be a good topic that would support what students were learning in both science and writing. At the end of the lesson, some students shared what season they chose and a few reasons for their choice. During the week, students continued working on their papers and revised with peers using the two stars and a wish method. Lesson six: Checklist When I visited the class for the sixth time, I introduced a checklist that I wanted students to use with a peer’s writing to see if it contained all of the required components. The checklist included the following questions: Does this writing focus on a favorite season? Does the author explain why the season is his/ her favorite with at least three or more reasons? Does the author use sensory (sight, hear, touch, smell, taste) words to describe the season? Does the author use different sentence starters to make exciting writing? Does the author use correct punctuation and capitalization? STAR- Positive Comment: STAR- Positive Comment; WISH- What To Improve. Many students were proud to see that they had multiple parts of the checklist completed. Some students’faces dropped when I said they might have to rewrite their paper before publication, but I reminded them of our work toward publication. Many other students were excited to share their writing. In preparation for their digital story, students had drawn at least three illustrations to go with their writing. One particular student was proud to share a line that demonstrated how he used sensory words in his writing to describe his favorite season summer:“I love the taste of fresh fruits and vegetables especially sweet, juicy watermelon.” At this point in the study, we were getting ready for publication of their digital stories. While we were waiting for the iPads to be delivered, the teacher and I worked together to make sure each student had the following completed: revised and edited final draft about their favorite season that contained at least one sensory description (see, hear, taste, smell, touch) and three or more pictures that connected to their writing. Creating our Digital Stories Each of the next four lessons was centered on helping students move from the paper-pencil draft of their writing to a digital story. There are many different applications teachers can use for publishing digital stories, most of them free, depending

Reading Matters Research Matters

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