September 17, 2014

A couple of "big" words!

As part of our "What do good readers do?" conversations, it's only natural that we would also discuss what good writers do.  
This week, we're talking a lot about how good writing evokes a response from the reader and I'm using that word: evoke.

The boys and girls are learning that all writing has a purpose and good authors are able to evoke a response from their reader.  

While reading from our novel at Evening Meeting, I have been stopping in a variety of places to ask the boys and girls, "How do you feel right now?". We have a brief chat about how the author is able to make us laugh, build suspense or even make us angry or sad.

We'll talk lots and lots about the ways we as authors can evoke a response from our reader in our future Writer's Workshop, but for now, just building that awareness of how writing makes us feel is key.

Here's a great writing sample from a student in the class that helped the boys and girls see how, as Grade Three authors, they too can evoke a response from readers: 

Today I'm going to tell you about my weekend. On Saturday, I went to my uncle's house to have pizza and to feed his fish. They are gigantic! The fish suck your hands like there is no tomorrow! I really think that my uncle's house is great!

Everyone loved B's description of the fish. His choice of words made us both laugh and understand the fish better! 

The other word we're talking about is flip with respect to checking work in Math. We're looking at subtraction strategies right now and the students are learning to check their work by flipping the question and changing the sign. 
So to check if 35-12=23, they flip the question and write: 23+12. If the answer is 35, they know they're correct.
They're learning that "flip is your friend." This practice also helps students understand the relationship between mathematical operations.   


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