Mme G.C. -Work in Progress

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June 2012

Straight Lines

This Poem really made me think..about how I was taught, how I taught and teach now…how my children were taught…changes I love and changes I want to see , ways in which I should have spoken up for my own kids and the kids I have taught…I must confess it brought a tear to my eye…

Straight Lines, comes from Georgia Heard. Georgia and coauthor Jennifer McDonough A Place for Wonder: Reading and Writing Nonfiction in the Primary Grades.

Straight Lines
by Georgia Heard

All the kindergarteners
walk to recess and back
in a perfectly straight line
no words between them.
They must stifle their small voices,
their laughter, they must
stop the little skip in their walk,
they must not dance or hop
or run or exclaim.
They must line up
at the water fountain
straight, and in perfect form,
like the brick wall behind them.
One of their own given the job
of informer – guard of quiet,
soldier of stillness.
If they talk
or make a sound
they will lose their stars.
Little soldiers marching to and from
their hair sweaty
from escaping dinosaurs
their hearts full of loving the world
and all they want to do
is shout it out
at the top of their lungs.
When they walk back to class
they must quietly
fold their pretends into pockets,
must dam the river of words,
ones they’re just learning,
new words that hold the power
to light the skies, and if they don’t
a star is taken away.
One star
by one star
until night grows dark and heavy
while they learn to think carefully
before skipping,
before making a wish.


Teaching the 6 traits with Chrysanthemum

I really Like the book Wee Can Write for teaching and introducing  the traits of writing .  I tried the following lesson  for the book Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. Many of the lessons can be adapted to a variety of grades. Using picture books is a great way to introduce older students to the traits.

Give it a try

   Pge 24/25 Wee Can Write


Specified criterion:focused theme

Trait writing vocabulary-title

  • Chrysanthemum is the title of a story about a very special student. She loves her name!
  • I have written YOUR name on a piece of white paper with a black marker.Trace the letters of your name with a variety of colours to practice your best printing.
  • We will share our rainbow names in our “community” circle
  • You may take your name home to share with your family and tell them the story of Chrysanthemum, of course!

Trait :Organization

Specified criterion:focused theme

Trait writing vocabulary-organize,setting, events ,problems, solutions

  • I have drawn a very large flower with the empty petals on our chart paper
  • Today we are going to organize our thoughts about the story we just read,Chrysanthemum. We will include characters ,setting,important events,problems and solutions on our “flower map” of the story
  • Our class will “bloom” as we retell this story together !

Trait :Voice

Specified criterion: Take a risk

Trait writing vocabulary-audience

  • We learned in this story that Chrysanthemum loved her name
  • We will write a class book-The Nicest Names A name can tell a lot about you! Think what your name tells about you
  • Please draw a picture of yourself. Under your picture of yourself. Under your picture please complete these sentences and be ready to share with your audience in our circle
  • My name is_______________
  • My name makes me feel ___________________

Trait :Word Choice

Specified criterion: specific words

Trait writing vocabulary-words , descriptive

  • In the story Chrysanthemum , there are many words that refer to flowers and growing plants.As we reread the story listen for those words.
  • When you hear a “garden” word put your thumb up. I’ll call upon you when I see you are ready to share
  •  I am going to make a list of all the descriptive words we hear that refer to gardening, flowers or plants   ex: wilted-blossomed-pick...

Trait :Sentence Fluency

Specified criterion: sound of words

Trait writing vocabulary-syllables

  • Each of our names have syllables we can clap. Let’s clap each name in our class. Here is a rhyme to get us started

Heckedy Peggedy Bumble Bee   Can you clap your name with me?

  • Let’s practice together…
  • Repeat the rhyme with each child in the class in the community circle
  • Who in our class has the most claps? Only one clap? How many claps in the title?

Trait :Convention

Specified criterion: spelling

Trait writing vocabulary-plurals

  • Today we are going to talk about plurals. Plurals are more than one.We can make a plural by adding S , or es. Let’s see if we can add S , or es and then use these words in sentences: example- friend…..friends    kiss…..kisses
  • use the words in sentences
  • Think of a word. Can you make it plural by adding S , or es? I will record your word and the plural on the chart paper I have folded in half and labeled with S , or es at the top

A great sequel to this would be to read  The Name Jar

Cover of "Chrysanthemum"
Cover of Chrysanthemum

I will post it when I try it!!!

12 Ways to Get to 11-math literacy


This  colourful  book demonstrates twelve imaginative ways to add up to eleven. It is an animal counting adventure as the animals  demonstrate twelve witty and imaginative ways to get to eleven. This book will encourage students to represent numbers in different ways,.

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