Sunday, November 4, 2012

Illustration Study Celebration

 We wrapped up our Illustration Study recently. Each student chose a book in which he/she had used interesting illustration techniques. We made covers for the books out of construction paper. Then on Wednesday each had a turn to sit on the bench and share from the book. Afterwords we toasted their efforts with ice water accompanied by cookies.

Here is the chart we put together as we studied illustration strategies in Writing Workshop. We recorded our "noticings" about the illustration strategies we studied and made note of which of the students had tried those strategies.

Since the celebration we have worked on a Halloween Big Book together. We have also had a couple of Nuts and Bolts mini-lessons to look at important writing habits. This coming week we will begin a new Unit of Study on ways to structure text.

Word Study

I have fine-tuned my Word Study program this year. For a number of years, the Word Wall and Word Study 5 Ways (from Katie Wood Ray and Lisa Cleaveland’s About the Authors: Writing Workshop with our Youngest Writers) have been at the heart of our practice of frequently used words. I am continuing that while drawing the words I use from Patricia M. Cunningham’s What Really Matters in Spelling: Research-Based Strategies and Activities. Many of the words are the same ones I have used before, but she makes some choices in order to be sure a range of consonants, blends, and vowel patterns are represented.

In addition she incorporates the study of word families (rhyming words, chunks) into the Word Wall work. While I have done this kind of work with my students, I have not connected it directly to the Word Wall before. This past week we took a break from adding five words per week to our wall (25 words so far). Instead we explored word families based on words we have added to the Word Wall so far.