Camp Write Along Day 4 's focus was on writing our rough drafts and conferring.

We began our day with watching a short clip from our Camp director, and then we sang our camp songs. Today we learned a new song called "Camp Write Along" to the tune of the YMCA. We also re-sang the "Writing Hokey" our favorite camp song so far. However, before the start of our camp day, I took a walk to one of our third grade teacher classrooms who is also hosting Camp Write Along. They were all set up for camp reflecting on what they learned from their previous day in their cool journals they made. They also sang for me the "Camp Write Along" song.

Here are my students comfortable and writing away. They wrote at least for an hour completing their Flee Maps and then writing their rough drafts.

Next we set off to the computer lab to type our papers on Kidblog and print them out for peer editing/revising tomorrow. They didn't all get to finish typing today, so we will finish up tomorrow.

Finally, we came back to class and wrapped things up by sharing their papers. Students sat in a big circle and when I called "Campers, Campers" they said pass and passed their papers to the right. They read their classmates paper and looked for evidence of their hook, reasons, and conclusions. Last, they returned their papers to their original owners and they read their paper aloud to their partner.

Guess What? At the end of our eventful day, I was announced the Teacher of the Year! 

Lights our Campers!

Camp Write Along Day 3 was focused around Revising.  We began camp with a short video from our camp director, and then we sang our camp songs. We re-sang the "Writing Hokey"and "Write Write Baby", and then we learned a new song "The Twelve Days of Writing Camp."

Our first lesson was focused on analyzing persuasive letters and identifying the persuasive techniques used throughout the letter.  The mentor text that was used was Dear Mrs. LaRue by Mark Teague and the lesson was adapted from the WritingFix. Students were first introduced to the techniques using the anchor chart which they copied in their notebooks. Then I modeled for students how to analyze one of the letters from the text and identify the different techniques such as word choice, punctuation, capitalization, and persuasive words the author uses. Next, students worked in groups of 4 to analyze another letter taken from the text and to discuss and identify the different techniques used. They were given about 5 minutes to identify the techniques and then one person from each group came to the board to present the techniques they found. Lastly, students were given one last paragraph to analyze independently which was their exit ticket.

Their second lesson was on revising, which was facilitated by Mr. Martinez. He used a writing sample from a 5th grade student. He began his lesson by asking students to turn and talk to discuss what does it mean to make your writing better? They he modeled for students how to revise a paragraph using a RER strategy (R=reread, E=Evaluate, R=revise). Next, students worked in their groups to revise a paragraph of their own, and they came to the board to present their findings. Lastly, students were given one last paragraph in which he asked them to write a Hook. Here is the worksheet he used with students. 

Our Social Studies lesson today on economics focused on supply and demand. After a quick vocabulary review I presented my supplies/goods to students, and told them they were going to be available for purchase. Here are some of the supplies that were in low demand of the students.

Here are the two items that were in high demand of the students.

After all items were presented, each student received a bag of mini m&ms. The m&ms represented the students money. Each m&m was worth $1. Students sorted their m&ms by color. Then the bidding began. For example, I began with the red and asked how much money/red m&ms would you give me for the hot fries. Students would set their price and then someone would outbid them. Soon throughout the lesson they began to see how the Law of Supply and Demand works.

Here are a few more pictures from our day:

Well it was another great day at Camp Write Along! 
Lights out Campers!

The Agenda for Day 2 of Camp Writing Along was as follows:

  • Message from our Camp Director
  • re-sang "The Writing Hokey" 
  • learned a new song "Write Write Baby" ( to the tune of Ice, Ice Baby, which was one of my favorite songs back in the day)
  • Learned how to write titles for our essays/compositions
  • began pre-writing our essay

Here's a look at the anchor chart I used to anchor student's learning while learning how to write titles. I used the powerpoint I created in Day 1's post to review the 5 different ways to write titles, and I shared with students some books from our own library that possessed the titles we were evaluating.

Then students got comfortable and began writing the body of their paper. The students are writing to their teacher explaining which field trip destination they would rather, Monticello or Mount Vernon. They are to give details from both passages in their essay. They are given a 3-4 paragraph description of each destination in which they need to use to include text evidence in their essays, as well as their own opinions and voice. 

Below you can see, Mr. Martinez, my partner teacher and ELL teacher, conferring with a student about his writing.

Working hard at Day 2 of Writing Camp!

Lights Out Campers!
See you tomorrow!

Welcome to Shepherd's Shining Stars 2nd Annual Camp Write Along! Camp Write Along is a writing camp focused on enhancing writing skills and techniques such as writing strong hooks and endings, creating a title, revising and editing and publishing, as well as singing songs all while in our sleeping bags collaborating with our peers. It's all about peer editing and self-assessing in order to prepare for our upcoming state writing test (LEAP) on March 19th. 

The week before the event we send a letter home to our parents informing them of our Writing camp. You can get the letter as well as the songs and agenda at Fabulous 4th Grade Froggies blog.

Today was the first day of Writing camp for my 4th graders and we are off to a great start. We began the day with a video from our Camp Director, and then began with our first camp song the "Writing Hokey."

Then the day began with our first activity of identifying hooks in chapter books. In groups of 4 students searched through several books locating the hook and identifying the type of hook the author used such as: talking hook, onomatopoeia, descriptive, and a question hook. Next, we discussed how the conclusion should match the hook and how to write a complete and strong conclusion. I used the following anchor chart as a visual for students to use when they worked with their group. You can also view the powerpoint I created that I used today and will use tomorrow to teach how to create enticing titles.

Camp write along lesson from Erica Shepherd

Here are a few shots of the students hard at work collaborating with their peers on strong endings to match their hooks.

Lights out Shining Stars!
See you tomorrow at Day 2 of Writing Camp
LEAP and iLEAP testing is soon approaching! 8 school days to be exact till phase I of testing. One way each grade level is preparing for the test is by creating testing bulletin boards.
Check out some of the awesome boards at our school.

We celebrated world read aloud day today with a Skype call to Ms. Hahn's 4th grade class from Our Lady of Peace school.

They began the Skype call with giving us a few facts to locate their state such as:
-they are near a lot of lakes
- a country borders their state
- their state has a 125ft. tower
-their is a large supply of iron in their state

We then gave them some facts about our state such as
-we are located in the southeastern region
-Mardi gras is celebrated here
- we became a state in 1812
- our state was named for King Louis IVX of France
- our state flower is the magnolia bloom, state tree is the bald cypress, and the state bird is the brown pelican

They took their guess of Louisiana and were right! We then took our guess which was a class split between Michigan and Wisconsin. We were wrong with both of our guesses, so we asked for one more clue. Their next clue was that the Mississippi River begins in their state. The students knew the answer right away was Minnesota.

Then Ms. Hahn's class shared a Dr. Seuss book with us titled Theirs a Wocket in my Pocket

I shared Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss.

How did you celebrate World Read Aloud Day?
To celebrate Dr. Seuss's Birthday, my 4th grade class participated in various activities throughout the week.

First, I collected a plethora of Dr. Seuss books from home, our school library, and I even picked up a few on sale at Target for $5 each. Students paired up with a partner and chose one of the books. They read the book with their partner and wrote a short book review and posted it on their blog. While they were reading their chosen Dr. Seuss book I went around and took their picture using the Dr. Seuss Camera app. Once all pictures were taken students found their picture in the Photo Stream via the iPad and uploaded the picture to their blog.

Here's a sample blog post:

Do you dream of going to different kinds of places in the world? Then read Oh,the places you’ll go by Dr. Seuss. You’ll find out a lot about the different places you could go. The different places you could go in the world are like to scaryland and alot of other different places. Even though you might have never been to the places you will like to go you and can go to them in your imagination.
If you like imaging things in the world, I recommed this book. This author inspired me and he will inspire you too.
Friday we buddied up with a Kindergarten class and my 4th graders read and shared their Dr. Seuss book with their new Kinder buddy. They did such a good job reading, sharing the pictures and even asking them some questions about the book. I see some future teachers in my class!

Then they helped their Kindergarten buddies with a Cat in the Hat craft activity.

We even had a visit from the Cat in the Hat! Thanks to 3rd grade teacher Mrs. Rodriguez.

Two of the kindergarten teachers shared Dr. Seuss books with the entire group.

What a fantastic day! 
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Two Saturdays out of the month some of our 3-5th grade students attend Saturday school. These classes are centered around strategies to use in various subjects. This Saturday's focus was on Math strategies. The strategy introduced to students was the CUBE strategy.

CUBE is an acronym for C= circle the numbers, U=underline the key words, B= box the question and E= eliminate unnecessary information. You can check out the powerpoint created by one of my colleagues here.

You can purchase a copy of the Math strategy poster here from my teachers pay teachers store.

Students also received a few other handouts including Math strategies shown below:

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