Hello, division 4 families!
Today in Language Arts, we picked up where we left off last week in assessing samples of expository writing on a Halloween theme. We also added to our “Halloween Word Wall”, and introduced the difference between a “hook” and a “topic sentence”. Then students began to compose their own Halloween-themed (or other holiday-themed) paragraphs.
Last week, I gave small groups of students the following four writing samples to read, think about, and discuss. I said, “Imagine you are a teacher and your students wrote these pieces. What do you notice about these samples of writing? What is working well, and what could be improved? What feedback would you offer to the authors of these writing samples?”
After rich peer-to-peer discussion, I joined in to help the students highlight some key differences between the pieces of writing.
Then, I introduced an Expository Writing Rubric and modelled how to use it to assess the features of each piece. We discussed the features of writing on the continuum through EMERGING, DEVELOPING, PROFICIENT, and EXTENDING.
The purpose of this lesson was to set clear criteria and goals for our writing. It’s valuable when a student can be empowered to “think like an editor” and take specific steps to proofread and enhance their written expression.
Next we drilled deeper down with a lesson on how to write a topic sentence. We discussed the purpose of a topic sentence as being to “highlight the main idea of a paragraph or essay, letting the reader know what the writing will be about.” The students wrote and shared their own examples.
In Math, we continued with creating patterns and naming pattern rules. As well, we started reviewing multiplication facts. The students are going to be doing these little self-study packs for extra practice in class, and I will send some home next week.
In Art class today, I taught students a technique for creating their own “smudgers” with torn paper. A smudger helps create soft edges and variation in tonal value when working in pencil. Connecting to our “five senses” learning, we spoke about the features and geometry of human eye. I modelled an example of how to draw a single eye, and invited students to try drawing their own.
Absolutely love the Expository Writing Rubric and the editing they did. What a great way to create a better understanding of writing expectations and get them thinking about it.
I also love seeing all the amazing different drawings of eyes. It’s always so neat to see how each child creates.
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