...AND SO, OLD FRIEND, FAREWELL ~ December 28, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
...AND SO, OLD FRIEND, FAREWELL ~ December 28, 2009
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
December 22 - "I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year." - Ebeneezer Scrooge
I found this excellent 1972 animated version of the Charles Dickens classic. Since we watched the George C. Scott version, I thought this animated one might also interest you. It's about 25 minutes long. Enjoy!
Stay tuned for another video I am preparing. Your children read their illustrated books to the Kindergarten and first grade. It was magical!
Have a wonderful safe holiday.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
On a personal note: My son and his wife welcomed their second child, Amelia Claire, into the world this evening. 7 lbs 12 oz. and 19 inches long... Life just keeps getting better and better!
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
December 16 "A Christmas candle is a lovely thing; It makes no noise at all, But softly gives itself away." ~Eva Logue
Today was the perfect day to listen to holiday music, drink hot cocoa, relax with a seasonal read-aloud, laugh a lot, and enjoy the creative aspect of our latest writing endeavor. We are winding down now with our Christmas/Holiday stories. Second, third, and sometimes fourth drafts have been conferenced and tweaked. Students have learned that the process of writing includes multiple layers of revision--new ideas often replacing old ones as the stories take on a life of their own. Editing has been necessarily slow and methodical as every story line, character, word choice, and punctuation mark has been discussed. Beyond the writing, students have immersed themselves in creating the perfect illustrations to accompany each page. Lots of work, huh?
I'm still holding Friday as the date for book completion. It may be that some will need to have until Monday, but I can't guarantee that students will be able to take the books home for Christmas if that happens. I hope to post a few stories on the blog for you all to enjoy. (First, Mr. Wright has to teach me how to do that... sigh.) Next week, we will share our stories with the Kindergarten and first grade. (I must say, that is my favorite part; I'll take pictures and post them here for you.)
It was good to see many of you at last night's concert. It's hard to believe that Christmas is little more than a week away!
Monday, December 14, 2009
December 15 "Like snowflakes, my holiday memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone."
See the pretty snowflakes
Falling from the sky;
On the walk and housetops
Soft and thick they lie.
On the window-ledges
On the branches bare;
Now how fast they gather,
Filling all the air.
Look into the garden,
Where the grass was green;
Covered by the snowflakes,
Not a blade is seen.
Now the bare black bushes
All look soft and white.
Every twig is laden-
What a pretty sight!
I hope to see you all at the concert tonight!
- Writing to a specific audience
- Writing a fictional narrative, with a beginning, a middle, an end, and a problem to resolve
- Writing effective dialogue
- Designing a book layout
- Illustrating a picture book
- Creating a "presentation quality" final product
- Reading our stories to the littlest members of our school community
The targeted due date for completion is Friday, so those who have progressed slowly on their stories need to get moving. That being said, it's going to be a crazy week anyway, so we will make the best use of any available class time with me to get them done. There will be no Spelling/Grammar/Vocabulary packets this week. Social Studies will take a back seat, too, I'm afraid, since schedules will be interrupted.
Besides, it's not a bad thing to slow down a bit and enjoy a good book...
I hope you all have a warm and restful evening.
P.S. Before you go, check out the post directly below this one. It's pretty amazing!
Monday, December 7, 2009
December 7 ""Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance - each beautiful, unique and too soon gone." ~ Deborah Whipp
Every piece of dialogue should be there to add to the character/s. Done right, dialogue reflects the speech of 'real' people. It invites the reader in and reveals something to them. It moves the plot along and brings the reader into the emotion of the scene. Dialogue should never be included just to make conversation.
As part of this lesson, we reviewed dialogue tags (he muttered, she whispered, Mr. Wilson gasped, etc.). Readers expect to see tags; they are nearly invisible and don't distract from the action. Mosst importantly they reveal how the words are said. (Contrary to popular belief, the words 'said' and 'asked' are not taboo; they simply should not be overused.)
Please remind your child that these [multiple] drafts are due on Friday. If they require more time, your child may not have the opportunity to create/illustrate their book.
Here's an example of a children's story for you to enjoy:
Be well: I'll talk to you soon.
Friday, December 4, 2009
Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
All things are bound together.
All things connect.
Chief Seattle, 1854
Thursday, December 3, 2009