Saturday, May 31, 2008

On The Move...

Last week for Writing Workshop we wrote genres of choice. That is I gave them the option of writing narratives, fairy tales, All About books, poetry, or How -To pieces. I was thrilled to see my pumpkins grab their materials and go off and do their magic. I suppose giving them the choice I had the hesitation that someone would say, "Mrs. Amick I don't know what to write today!" or, "I don't want to write!" My students were thrilled to have the option of any kind of genre they wanted. They were ready! I couldn't believe those people who chose All About pieces, we haven't done those in a long while. While some popped right into a fairy tale mode, we have researched those in Reading workshop and I saw a transfer of knowledge from reading to writing! Wow!
I am taking my current first graders to second grade, we get to spend another year together. One of my "all boy, 100% genuine boys" said, "Mrs. Amick will we be writing more next year?"
I hesitated, what were his thoughts on this? Was he asking so that he could reevaluate if he wanted to be in my classroom next year? I plunged forward with enthusiasm, "Why yes we are and I can't wait to see our growth!"
He beamed, yes, my 100% genuine boy beamed, "I can't wait to write some more, I think we will become even better writers!" I'm so glad someone didn't push me over because I would have fallen flat! My students love this crazy world of writing!
I have so many plans for them, the one I am most excited about is the introduction of: A Writer's Notebook! My students are ready, I just have a lot to prepare myself for this summer. I have Ralph Fletcher's book to read, and Notebook Know How too! I am planning an unveiling at the beginning of the year. Time to stock up on stickers and what not to decorate our notebooks. It will be an exciting ride!
My community is on the move!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Our Class Poem

A Tree
A tree with branches
like a giant paperclip unbent
A tree with leaves
like a piece of paper
a torn piece of paper;

A tree with bark
like peeling an orange
the sound of the leaves
like the crunch of
chips, apples, and crackers

A tree is a giant circle of life
like parents they keep going
the tree keeps producing
a seed...
a new tree is born
a new future
keeps on rotating

We had just finished discussing how poets are like scientists. We charted the different characteristics of a tree from a scientific perspective. We then thought of words to describe these characteristics. I started with the branches and led them this way, "The branches are like...?" At first it was painful, at first, they didn't get it. Then one arm shot up, reluctantly I cringed upon calling him. His answer, "branches are like a giant paperclip unbent." I about blew over! More arms shot up and soon we achieved this poem. My goal was to just expose my pumpkins to poetry, to immerse them, and let them know the purpose. I think we have achieved just that, next year I think that the writing of poetry will even be better because of their exposure.

One year anniversary

Well, I have not been very good about posting lately. We just recently had our fourth round of tonsillitis with little one and now the oldest one just strolled in from the RediMed with the same diagnosis.
Excuses aside, Saturday, May 17, was my blog's one year anniversary!!! I thought I would commemorate the occasion with my top five posts:
1. You Are Special this is a post about little notes I give to my students. My kiddos keep them and I tape them to their table. All over the room you see these little special notes that they receive. They have become treasures in our room!
2. My Thoughts About Your Birth, is a poem I wrote for my first grader. She is the light of my life and wow, I can't believe she's seven, almost 8!
3. The One Who Calls Me Mama is a poem I wrote for my littlest person. She still calls me mama. It is the nicest sounding word to me...
4. Our Deepest Fear is a post about our potential. I wonder, what is your deepest fear that is keeping you from attaining your ultimate goals?
5. My Little Word for 2007 it was optimism, and this year: VISION. Keeping the eye on the prize I am still envisioning my future for this year.
So, today I celebrate a little late my first year anniversary!