Six Word Memoirs

Writing six word memoirs are one of my favorite things to write. The words must be chosen very carefully because the writer may ONLY use six! Telling a whole story in six words is a challenge, but it’s amazing when it’s done creatively! Today we will write six word memoirs in class. We will write a BUNCH of six word memoirs in class today and publish our favorites! If you’d like to share a six word memoir, I’d love to read it! (I’ll share mine later!) 

Exclamation Point!!!! #17

Today is my 23rd slice for the March Slice of Life Challenge on Two Writing Teachers.

slice-of-life_classroom-image-black

As I was innocently scrolling through Twitter, I found this tweet by Kelly Gallagher. He is an educator and author whom I respect greatly! His tweet:

I am often a bit wary of people who overuse exclamation points. Just sayin…

— Kelly Gallagher (@KellyGToGo) March 12, 2015

All said in good fun…in jest…but for some reason it stuck with me. It stuck with me as I commented on others blogs. It stuck with me as I composed emails. It stuck.

It stuck because…I am an overuser or exclamation points! I use them ALL the time! Sometimes, when I really get excited about something…I use multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!!!!!

As I was writing, I found myself resisting the call of the EP (exclamation point). I tried to use a period…BORING…or only one EP. I stopped and thought to myself, “Why? Why are you doing this?” We all have writing styles and we all make choices. I have no thoughts about you if you do not use EPs or if you use them “sparingly”…but for me…it’s BORING!!!

A few weeks ago I wrote about my love of the EP and how I’d discovered an old email from my Dad filled with EPs. It’s a connection to him.

Last week, I read aloud ! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld to my students…

I feel like this book explains my love of the EP!!! Oh and my students loved it so much that I have a group writing the sequel…the EP and the question mark become best friends…they never leave each other’s side…The Interrobang!

It’s all love here for the exclamation point! Use as many as you like in your comments. It’s my 3rd favorite punctuation mark. 

  1. Interrobang
  2. Ellipsis
  3. Exclamation Point

What’s your favorite and why? 

A Long Walk to Water

Dear Students,

This book is one of those books.  You know. Those books that I remember…will read again and again…and will always think about. Salva and Nya’s stories are real. Just think about that for a moment…they are real. I look into the faces of the students sitting in front of me and I think about Salva and Nya. They are the same age as you…my students. I worry about the Salvas and the Nyas and the Akeers of the world. I wish that they didn’t have to struggle for things like water and a safe place to live.

Reading this book is hard! I want to close the book and not know. I want to not know that there are such terrible things going on in our world…but I can’t. I know now. Whenever I read this book, I think, “What can I do? How can I make things better for kids in Africa?” I want everyone to have clean water. I want every child to feel safe and loved. How do I do that?

I don’t know. I do know this. I will do something. I will start here. Where I live….where I work. I will make sure that the students, kids, that I see everyday feel safe and important. I will make sure that they feel like they matter! And I will search for ways that I can do something. Make a difference. What will you do?

Be good today and I’ll see you tomorrow! (I miss you guys!) Remember…You Matter!

Let’s talk about books…

Oh, I’m overwhelmed with so many books to read. I’m drowning in my reading plan and I’m not sure where to go next?!!? Does that ever happen to you? Let’s talk about books. What are you reading? Should I read that? Why? What book have you read that’s changed your life? Let’s blog about books and reading today!

 

The read aloud!!!! Today we are going to get back on track with the read aloud. Settle in and get ready. Any suggestions for other read alouds this year? 

Out sick :(

Good morning, 

I’m so sorry to tell you that I’m home sick today.  I wish I could be in school with you today, but it wouldn’t be a good idea, being sick makes me grumpy. Today I will sleep and take my medicine and I should be back tomorrow. Please follow directions and do your very best today! Here’s what you’ll be doing in  Reading Workshop there will be silent reading.  Remember HOW to get into the zone for silent reading. You’ll get some time to listen to the read aloud. Remember to listen for good examples of imagery and think about why the author is using imagery. I want to know what you think of the book, so today you will write a quick reading response tell me what you think about the book so far! In Writing Workshop  you are going to show me what you know about paragraph writing. 

The more you accomplish today and the better behaved you are today, the more PAT time we will have tomorrow. We also have SAMS tomorrow. 

In the comments, please tell me how you are going to make good choices and help the sub have a wonderful day in our classroom. Thanks for your help today! Miss you guys and hope your day is wonderful!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

We love to read! Dr. Seuss left quite a legacy of books behind him. To celebrate and remember Dr. Seuss, we will focus on Read Alouds in our class on Friday! We read aloud almost everyday anyway, so to make this day more special I am asking for students to bring in their favorite read aloud books from their childhood, to share with the class. They may bring in one or more books! We may have some students reading aloud to the class. I’d love it if EVERYONE brought in their favorite read aloud. If that happens, students will gather in groups and read aloud to each other. I’d imagine it’s a day that Dr. Seuss would love! Look for pictures of our day to pop up on our blog very soon!

Writer’s Notebooks

Today we finally got a chance to share our writer’s notebooks. We shared our personalizing and our titles with our classmates. We got a chance to brag about cool things we noticed in others’ notebooks and we began our plan for our notebooks. How will we use our notebook? When will we use it? What are the rules for our notebooks? Or do we have any rules at all?

We were inspired by Ralph Fletcher. He created a list of ways to use the writer’s notebook. We used it as a guideline. Also, after listening to Nothing Ever Happens on 90th Street  by Roni Schotter we came up with individual plans for using our writer’s notebooks. I am excited to see how the notebooks evolve throughout the year.

During last block, I was inspired by Michael who purchased our read aloud on his own because he’s enjoying it so much! We read more about Melody today. Here are some pictures of the students sharing their notebooks today. Oh and speaking of pictures…we will soon post our pictures of how many books we read last year! This will remind and inspire us to read more this year!

Michael, Macy, and Rebekah

 

Jessica and Lauren

 

We are sharing our writer’s notebooks! 

Dillon, Will, Will, Daniel, and Danny all share their writer’s notebooks.

 

Carmela and Leah showing off their writer’s notebooks

Jasmine calls her notebook The Life of Someone Awesome!

How did you become a reader?

Jack and Auntie Chelle reading

Jack and Auntie Chelle reading

Today we discussed the origins of us as readers. We were influenced by moms and dads, sisters and brothers, teachers, friends…they all helped us become readers. We remember books like The Very Hungry Caterpillar, Clifford, Go Dog Go, Where the Wild Things Are…and many, many more. We remember memorizing and rereading, flashcards, listening to the books and reading them for ourselves.

Once we finished reminiscing about how we became readers, we put our memories into writing and began to draft our reading autobiographies. What is your favorite book? How did you become a reader?

Big Plans

Sixth grade began with a bang! My classes are filled with enthusiastic, smart, and kind students. I can’t wait to get to know them this year. We will be reading and writing like crazy. Yesterday we read Big Plans together.

Big Plans

Big Plans by Bob Shea

Here are some of our BIG PLANS for sixth grade…(A compilation of all Ms. Haseltine’s Language Arts classes)  My “Big Plans” for sixth grade include:

 

not getting lost in school, finding my way to all my classrooms, getting to all my classes on time, getting straight As, opening my locker the very first try every time, being awesome, improving my handwriting, making cookies for all of the teachers (one of my personal favorites), making lots of new friends, having fun, doing all of my homework, getting along with my sister, becoming a pro at saxophone, having the BEST school year EVER, figuring out what my big plans are, and finally, surviving!