Friday, September 5, 2014

This Week with our Interactive Notebooks

This week our class was able to put together two pages of our Interactive Writing Notebooks. I created this notebook to get kids excited about writing. Kids enjoy writing when we give them the tools to become good writers. They also become more excited about writing when we free them of being perfect spellers. The number one question I hear while students are writing is, "How do you spell . . ?" I just tell them not to worry about it and just get your ideas out.

So this week we practiced using details to describe some animals. Often we read I saw _____ from our students. I figured, why not spruce it up with some detail. And so they did.

Now I know there's no writing for you to read. That's because, after taking ten pictures, these were the best ones. So many cute sentences. So many blurry pictures. 

The sentences said things like. . . I saw a green and red owl. Or I saw a stinky gray raccoon.

One of my favorite activities is Be Specific. A few years ago I told students they need to be specific in their writing without explaining what that meant. What was I thinking?! So after realizing I should probably explain that word, I told a little story.
It goes like this:

Sam wanted a dog, so he asked his mom for one. 
The next day Sam's mom brought home a big, white dog with floppy ears.
Sam said, "No mom. I wanted a small, white dog."
The next day his mom brought him a new dog. It was a small, white dog with floppy ears.
Sam said, "No mom. I wanted a small white dog with tiny ears.
The next day his mom brought home a small, white dog with tiny ears.
Sam said, "No mom. I wanted a small, white dog with tiny ears and brown spots."
At this point his mom was frustrated and she said, "You should have been more specific!"

This story might not be pet-friendly, but the kids love it. I have little pictures I show them. I explain to them that being specific, or exact, helps your reader understand your writing better.

Here are some of their specific dogs.

We'll do more activities, which include the kiddos being more specific so they can gain a deeper understanding of the word. This is just to get them started.

These activities can be found in my product at TpT. Your kids will love it!

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