For today's lesson I plan to engage my students in a discussion about going to Grandma's house. Most of my students have the experience and back ground knowledge of this topic to actively participate in the class discuss with confidence. I am teaching them our class writing procedures with the lessons in August and September. They will sit and listen to the story. They will discuss the story events and then transition to the tables to produce their drawings. We will gather back on the carpet to orally present each drawing. My students are still in the early stages of the writing process so I will be expecting only a drawing in response to the story about going to grandma's house.
My students are seated on the carpet ready for our whole group reading block.
"When I was a little girl I loved going to my Grandma's house. I would help her cook and play games on the porch. I bet you all love to go to Grandma's house too. Raise your hand if you like to go to Grandma's house. WoW! Everyone likes to go. I am sure you do fun things at Grandma's house. Let's practice our partner sharing. Remember that purple row partners up with blue row and green row partners up with orange row. You go knee to knee and eye to eye. Great. I want you to turn to your partner and say, "hi partner!". Does everyone has a partner? OK. I want you to tell your partner what you like to do at your Grandma's house. Using the sentence frame, "I like to _____ at Grandma's house." So you could say "I like to play at Grandma's house." Ready, Go, tell your partner what you like to do."
I am also training my students in the procedures of partner sharing. I walk around making sure everyone is participating and listen for some interesting answers. I will have to redirect students in using the sentence frame. It is very helpful to my students to learn to use a sentence frame. It keeps them on topic and teaches them sentence structure.
"If you have told your partner your sentence, put your hands on your head. Give your partner a high five and turn and look a me."
I will have to constantly redirect and teach them these beginning of the year procedures of moving from one carpet activity to another quickly.
"I am going to use a circle map today. Everyone put your arms up in a big circle and say circle map. Circle Map. I like to use circle maps to write down all your good answers. I want to know what fun things you do at your Grandma's house. I will go up and down the rows asking each one of you your answer. I need you all looking at me so you know when it is your turn to tell me the fun thing you do at Grandma's house. I will begin on the orange row with Roselyn. Roselyn, what do you like to do at your Grandma's house?"
I ask each student in turn the question. I then write all the answers on the circle map. When we are finished writing answers, I point to each answer and have them echo me.
"Look at all the fun things you do at Grandma's house. You all must have fun at your Grandma's house."
"Do you think only little kids like to go to Grandma's house? Hmmm, I wonder who else would like to go? Let me read a story to you and you will be surprised at what else likes to go to grandma's house."
As I read the story we talk about the character and the action word/verb that explains how they get to Grandma's house. We use our hands to imitate the movements. I like to involve my students in the story reading with them helping to chorally chant a repetitive phrase or to act out parts of the story. I feel this keeps their attention and helps them understand the story. Today I will have them use their hands to make the motions of the animals. We discussed each animal and what we knew about them.
"The mouse is going to Grandma's house. He runs on his tiny feet, tip toe, tippity toe. I bet he runs really fast."
"The snake is going to Grandma's house. He doesn't have feet, how does a snake move? Oh, like this?"
A student is showing me with his arm the slithering motion of the snake.
"Let's all act like the snake, slithery, slee, slithery, slee."
"This animal is called a mole. He lives underground and can't see very well. He has a pointy nose and whiskers to help him feel where to dig. He has wonderful diggers for hands. Look at them. He likes to go to Grandma's house."
My students enjoyed the rhythm and flow of the words. I enjoy reading stories that have the rhythm and flow that makes the story immediately pull you into it. The words are fun and engaging. I had them repeat the actions of each character. I tried to change my voice for each animal. They laughed and lowered their voices for "Dig deep, diggity deep." When we read about the mole.
My students thought the last page was the characters racing to see who would get to Grandma's house first. I thought that was an interesting point of view.
"Now we get to draw our picture. Let's look at the circle map and look at all the fun things we do at our Grandma's house. Your job is to draw a picture of you and your Grandma at her house. I will draw my picture of what I do with my Grandma. When we finish drawing we will do a show and tell about our Grandma's house when we are done."
"Watch me, I am drawing a picture of me sitting on my Grandma's porch. My Grandma let me eat my Grandpa's donuts. First I will draw me. Then I will draw my Grandma. Do you think you can go to your table and draw your picture? Good. So your job will be to draw a picture of you and your Grandma. What is your job?"
I have them repeat the instructions to me so I know that they understand the expectations. Some of my ELL students need me to model the drawing and then help them for a few writing activities. Kindergarteners need multiple opportunities to learn a new skill to become familiar and then proficient.
I call on my class helpers to pass out the writing papers. I then dismiss my seated students to their tables.
"If you are wearing a blue shirt, would you please walk carefully to get your pencil box and sit at your table. If you are wearing white shirts walk carefully walk to your cubbies. Everyone wearing red shirts please walk carefully to your cubbies.
I walk around to help my students about their jobs. I want this assignment to be fun and stress free. I want my students to love the writing process. When the students are finished with their drawings I have them sit on the carpet to read library books until everyone is finished.
We gather on the carpet when all my students have finished drawing their pictures. I call them up to the front of the class to stand with me. I have them stand in front of me so I can look over their shoulder when they are talking about their papers. I invite each student up to show their work and give an oral presentation about the picture. It is important that my students learn to orally read or express their work. The more comfortable they become, the easier the process will be in future grades with reading and then defending their work. After each presentation we applaud and give a cheer.