Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October Essay Writing Menu (On Sale)

Well, better late than never. I finally finished my October Essay Menu and Writing practice.  It's 50% off for the next few days since I finally finished it.

There is an essay menu, graphic organizers, checklists, rubrics, scaffolded practice pages, and publishing paper. I am making them to go with each month. I also have September and December made. Hopefully I will finish the November Essay Writing before the end of October.

Don't forget about the October Spelling and Vocabulary menu, too. This freebie has a menu of themed writing ideas that can be used with any list of words.

Monday, October 12, 2015

What is Mrs. Walker Reading? #IMWAYR 10/12/15

It's Monday which means it is time to link up with Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers for #IMWAYR.  I haven't linked up in a few weeks so I am glad to share what I have been reading.

When I last linked up I was still listening to The Red Queen and The Fairy Tale Detectives on audio. I finally finished both of those books at the end of September. I really enjoyed both books.  I still like The Land of Stories better than The Fairy Tale Detectives, but I do think they will make good selections for a fractured fairy tale literature circle. I plan to read more of the books in The Fairy Tale Detectives series eventually.  I tried to start reading Rump by Liesl Shurtliff, but honestly I wasn't enjoying it so I never finished it. I may consider using it in my literature circles, but I haven't decided.

When I read through some of the #IMWAYR posts back in September, Cheriee at Library Matters wrote a review mentioning The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series and The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates. Both series intrigued me, so the last two audio books I have listened to have been Magic Marks the Spot and The Mysterious Howling. Both books are read by Catherine Kellgren on the audio. I believe she is the one who does the audio for the Bloody Jack series as well. She really is one of my favorite audio book performers. She does such a great job with all the different accents and voices.

Audio Books

The Mysterious Howling is about a young girl who finds herself governess to three young children raised by wolves.  I look forward to reading the next book in the series.  Really the plot in the book is not super exciting or deep, but the narrator is absolutely fabulous.  I think this would make great read aloud to teach students about how a speaker or narrator can have a different point of view from the main characters. There is really a lot of great sentences and vocabulary in this book as well, which also makes it great for read aloud.

Magic Marks the Spot is just pure fun.  It this book, the main character is a young girl who really wants to be a pirate but instead her father tries to send her to finishing school. She runs away to be a pirate to have her own adventure.  I love the Bloody Jack series, so I am happy that this series is more appropriate for my 5th graders. I plan on getting both the The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series and The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series for my classroom library over time.

Books Read

I just finished Curtsies and Conspiracies this weekend. I then started Waistcoats and Weaponry last night.

I am thoroughly enjoying this witty series on a finishing school that secretly teaches its students espionage. I highly recommend the series for a fun read. Most of my 5th graders might not be quite mature enough for them, but 6th and 7th graders would be for sure.

What are you reading?

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Persuasive Writing with the Spider and the Fly

I love October and all of the fun fall and Halloween related activities you can do.  This week we will be working on persuasive writing using The Spider and the Fly. We are going to do some research projects this month on spiders and bats so I thought this would be a nice introduction.

You can read a review of the The Spider and the Fly with some other helpful links from Joanne at Head over Heels for Teaching HERE.

To walk through the writing process, we also will be using a video series from LearnZillion. This series walks through writing a persuasive letter in response to "Little Red Riding Hood."  However, we are going to write in response to The Spider and the Fly. The link for the video series of lessons is HERE.  You could easily do all of the lessons to really scaffold the writing process or you could just pick and choose some of them.  LearnZillion does a nice job reviewing over concepts from previous lessons at the beginning of each video. This does give you the option to do just pick and choose some videos. I believe most of my students need the scaffolding so we are going to go through the entire series of videos.  It may take us a couple weeks instead of just one to get through it all.

What are some of your favorite mentor texts for October?
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