Saturday, September 8, 2012

All About Me...Success!

What. A. Week.  Four day weeks are both a blessing and a curse.  You know what I'm talking about, you get a day off to relax but then you only have 4 days to plan/prep for the following week.  Needless to say, my Thirty-One bag is full of things to cut and glue before Monday rolls around.

This week we worked on our All About Me unit.  Writing can be challenging and most students don't do a whole lot of it over the summer.  So, to help my students feel confident and successful upon returning to school, I created a mini unit that includes several organizers and fill in the blank writing topics to ease them back into narrative writing. 

I love this can/have/am organizer.  It isn't intimidating or overwhelming for the students, and I especially love that they are actually classifying information about themselves at the same time!


This is the "When I Grow Up" fill in the blank writing page.  They did really well completing their pages.  I love that this girl wants to be a fashionista...I do too.


Over the next few days, we worked our way through the other fill in the blank writing pages in the unit.  At this point, they were ready to write a "group" of sentences about themselves.  I'm not using the term "paragraph" with them just yet.

Before I had the kids begin their writing, I modeled how to do this by writing my own group of sentences.  I wrote a paragraph about myself and pointed out the use of topic sentence, some details, and a concluding sentence.  I didn't necessarily focus on these terms, but I did use them.  I mostly explained each part and its purpose and then quizzed the kids before I let them loose.

  
The students did great with this writing assignment.  They all had a topic sentence and details.  Most had a concluding sentence, but a few did not.  That is usually a toughie for second graders and I'm not holding it against them at this point.  I think the subject matter also helped too.  They know a lot about themselves and they had spent several days classifying and brainstorming information that would be helpful.

There is also an art component to this unit.  I had the students paint a watercolor portrait.  I have had my students do this every year because they turn out great and I love looking at them every day!  I keep them on display all year long and the kids take them home at the end of the year.

 
I was pretty excited when I created this unit, and now that I have used it with my class, I am excited to use it again next year.  I like to bundle it all up into a special keepsake book.  It's always a hit with the parents!
 Toodles!
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