I Poems

“Students understand and remember ideas better when they have to transform those ideas from one form to another.” (Pearson & Fielding, 1991, p. 847)

Ipoems are an excellent way to get students involved in the classroom.  Throughout the power point their was an abundance of examples of how an ipoem is actually made.  I am extremely excited about the fact that students can use the literature they are learning to make this ipoem.  There are many scaffolds that students have used to gather their information on their particular subjects, and then that research is used to gather their ideas for their poems. 

Another wonderful point that I would like to make about ipoems, is that the teacher is there to help you all the way through.  There were many examples of the drafts of children’s poems, and even whole class ipoems.  I feel as though children learn an abundance from just practicing writing. 

Students were also proud of their poems, because their poems were displayed in a book in the classroom.  This makes children feel as though they are accomplished writers, even though some of them maybe writing at a lower level. 

I would love to use ipoems with my IDP lessons, because I feel as though students would appreciate and enjoy this lesson.  I am going to use this power point to guide me through scaffolding, because that is a huge component of ipoems.  Also, I would also like to help my students with verbs by giving them a list as I saw in the power point.  A little guidance is necessary with this lesson, because students may not be as familiar with this type of learning.  I am excited to see how everything works out in my lesson! 🙂


1 comment October 14, 2010

Reciprocal Teaching & Discussion Director

Reciprocal teaching is the dialogue between teacher and student regarding text.  The dialogue is structured by four strategies: summarizing, question generating, clarifying and predicting.

When you are using reciprocal teaching students are learning in groups, and they are taking turns doing the four strategies listed above.  This allows the students to learn how to do each type of skill.  They are learning that you have to comprehend what you are reading in order for you to finish this assignment.

The discussion director’s job is to find thinking questions that correspond to what the students have just read.  This is an important job, because the questions have to make the students think; not a question that can be easily answered by looking in the book.

The discussion director is inquiry based, and all of the questions are for a higher level of thinking.  The questions are supposed to be asked in a certain way so that the child can have some practice with information on the EOG’s.  If the students are making up these types of questions, and answering them they are certainly going to be prepared for the EOG’s.

I would use reciprocal teaching and the discussion director in my classroom, because I feel as though students learn an abundance.  The discussion director teaches the students responsibility by making their questions on their own, and they have to make sure that it is in the correct format that is being asked of them.  The reciprocal teaching also, teaches them responsibility, because they have to do their role.  Students are accountable for their own work, and they are responsible for their classmates learning.  Whether they are being asked questions, or doing their specific role, children are being active; and learning throughout the strategies.

Add a comment October 4, 2010


I enjoyed reading all of the information about vocabulary, and I feel that this information is vital for me to know as a teacher.  There are so many helpful worksheets, strategies, and activities.  I was elated to know that I now have an abundance of resources to use for the future.  I now have problems with vocabulary, and I feel as though some of the vocabulary activities; refresh some of the techniques I have not practiced in a while.  One of the activities is called the, Have you Ever; and it is short but extremely helpful.  The questions being discussed make you think about the words actual meaning.  You need to know the meaning of the words to get a full understanding of the worksheet.  I feel as though this is one of the worksheets that I can use in the future.  This worksheet is versatile, so I can change it to fit the children’s literature that I need for my unit.

The Multi-text study requires an abundance of information, and vocabulary activities are wonderful for this type of lesson.  I am excited to read the books I have chosen, so that I can point out words that I feel students might have trouble with.  This may be somewhat hard as a teacher, but I am going to be able to use this lesson plan in the future.  You have to study the novel, and books you are reading; while trying to decipher on what activities you feel should be used for the lesson.  This is something that I need to get comfortable with as a teacher, and I feel like this assignment will truly get me prepared.

Learning vocabulary is essential for students of all ages.  I have learned that if you practice using words you are not familiar with you will learn them a lot faster.  You have to use them in sentences, answer questions about their meaning, and even write down the definition.  This will help students to remember information as well as help them to encompass a plethora of vocabulary in their daily language.  The article states that morphology is the study of structure of words.  Morphology is a word that teacher’s need to fully understand so, that they can teach their students in the best way possible.  Teachers and students should work on their vocabulary daily.

Add a comment September 30, 2010

Reading Assessment, Multi-text Unit, Frye, E. (2009). Integrating instructional-level social studies trade books for struggling readers in upper elementary grades. Illinois Reading Council Journal, 37(4), 3-13.

The reading assessment was a great experience, because I went step by step through the same process that Dr. Frye does when she is doing this type of testing.  I felt completely comfortable while doing this activity, because I learned hands on how to test a student. 

The Multitext Unit was also, hands on, because I felt as though I was a teacher who had to sit down, and go through a lesson plan.  Yes, it took time; but I need to do the work my students do in order to fully understand the information.  It is an abundance of information, but the DRC helps to tie everything together.

Integrating Instructional level Social Studies trade books are important to have in your classroom, especially for the upper level students; because you are able to incorporate an abundance of different genres.  Students get to explore different subjects in books just as their classmates.  They do not feel as though they are left out from the classroom.  This allows help for diverse learners, which is important for a teacher who wants to improve on their 21st century skills.

Add a comment September 27, 2010

3 Pirate Articles:

Pirates are a great subject for an inquiry based lesson plan, and these articles prove this statement.  Swashing Adventures on the High Seas, an interesting article that I truly enjoyed.  Data retrieval charts allow children to assess while having an abundance of fun collecting data about pirates.  Children use their 21st century skills to create a WANTED poster.  Group work is highly conducted throughout this lesson, which allow me to express my philosophy of teaching. 

Jake Carpenter is a fun piratical journey that girls and boys will enjoy.  Girls enjoys the adventure just as much as the boys love the action packed illustrations of Chris Riddell.  The Diary allows teh children to express themselves in their own ways.  They are invited to keep their own diary of sorts.  This allows all of the students to get enthusiastic about embarking on a pirate field adventure.

The article Pirates in Historical Fiction and Nonfiction: A Twin-Text Unit of Study, is fun filled; because children are being taught in many ways.  The students are given hands on opportunities to learn, and many other learning types are included.  Children go on adventures througt reading, writing, listening, and inquiry based questions. I would love to see how this concept works in a 4th grade classroom.

Internet Workshop and Blog Publishing: Meeting Student (and Teacher) Learning Needs to Achieve Best Practice im the 21st Century, is an article that is full of ideas.  21st Century skills have become more of a criteria, because there is new types of technology produced each day.  Teachers must do workshops in order to learn to produce these skills, and enhance what their students are learning.  The students appreciate lessons that are equipped with an exciting lesson.

Add a comment September 27, 2010

Fisher, D., Frey, N. & Lapp, D. (2008) Shared readings: Modeling comprehension, vocabulary, text structures and text features. The Reading Teacher, 61(7), 548-556.

         While reading this article I was astounded to see that shared reading mentioned throughout the article.  I loved when the librar would make the class come to circle time, and then she would read a big book to us.  It was amazing to me as a child, because she read with such enthusiasm.  I felt as though I was apart of the story, and when she asked questions I was the first to answer; because I stayed interested throughout the reading.   

        I would have liked to have been apart of the mediological design theme where research was conducted on teachers through shared reading.  I know that I would have been nervous as a teacher to actually be observed, but you would learn so much from this process.  The obervational data that was conducted by the teachers was a complete work of art.  So much can be learned from this enriching article.

        Vocabulary is a category that I feel I am weak at as a teacher.  With this article I have found new ways to instill knowledge into my children.  I do not have to read the definitions word for word, which is tedious and boring.  The teachers modeled solving words using one of 3 systems: context clues, word parts, and resources (p.551).  Each of these are skills that I never would have associated into a lesson while teaching vocabulary.  Children must solve to find unknown words.

I enjoyed reading this article, and I will continue to use this in the future.

Add a comment September 23, 2010


Poetry is something that I have always been intrigued about.  I have never had the confidence to pursue my dreams of writing a journal with only poetry.  My fear is just the same as the boy Jack in the story, because he is afraid to express his passion for poems.  Jack writes great poetry with not much understanding of what a poem exactly has to be.  Most of his poems were free verse which made them more interesting, and a joy to read.  I have a few poems in my journal, and I would love to venture into the world of writing poetry I just need to make extra time to write.  I now know that you do not have to finish an entry in one day, you can come back; and finish the entry when you see fit.  Poetry is beautiful, and that is why I love to read poems. 

I would like to learn more about the different types of poems that you can write so that I can feel as though I have a plethora of writing skills in my poems.  I hope that I can one day feel confident about a poem I have written in my journal.  I am determined to publish a few of my poems while I am still on this earth.  It would be a pleasure of mine to have someone feel as though they can relate to me on another level through my words.  This adventure might be a slightly bewildering, but I am ready for the challenge.

Add a comment September 9, 2010

Writing Minilesson: Choosing Good Writing Topics

Writing Minilesson: Choosing Good Writing Topics

Day 1



Teacher shares, “As I think back to our getting-to-know-you activity from this morning, I am reminded of how interesting you all are. Each of you is unique and different and you are each individuals. When I think about your writing from this morning and what you wrote about yourselves, your likes, I am reminded of our similarities and differences. Today, we are going to create a list of topics that each of us can write about. A good place to start is with our “likes.”

(Remember the other option is to have students share their likes and from their likes create possible categories for writing topics. From those categories, show them how to create more narrow topics that matter to them. For example, from pets, they may choose “Angelo.” Possible categories that kids might generate include:


animals         pets                family                        sports             TV/movies/games

food                friends           books             music             nature


what I like to do after school or on the weekends    my room



Teacher asks, “What makes a good writing topic?” Teacher listens to student responses then responds with, “Well, writers write about topics that they care about and know something about. That may include things we wonder about or are curious of. But mostly, we write about things that are important or interesting to us as individuals.”

***When you are thinking of modeling topic selection with your students, please choose topics that you think MIGHT be of interest to children. You are more likely to capture their attention and affirm the importance of writing about everyday “stuff.”***

Teacher then begins to think aloud as she writes her topics (5) on the board:

“OK I am listing topics that I may want to write about. I love my family, and I love spending time with them.  I have 6 siblings, and we are all extremely close.  I also love to go walking, and I like to do this after a stressful day.  It helps me to relax, and clear my mind.  I plan on going walking today; this is something I do 3 times a week.  I have passion for this sport; and I have been playing for 15 years.  I know a lot of information about basketballt, and I love going to professional basketball games.  Ice cream is a food that I look forward to eating each summer.  There are a new flavors that come out in the summer, and I love to try different ones.  My favorite ice cream of all time has to be rocky road, because it has a mixture of nuts and marshmallows.  Buying a tub of ice cream is one of my guilty pleasures in the summer.  Wow, I have already written down 6 topics that I know about and care about:

Siblings: Brothers (Elijah and Ezekiel)

Siblings: Sisiters (Cierra, Olivia, Payton, Amber)



Professional basketball game

Ice cream (rocky road)

Actively Involve

Teacher asks students: “I’ll bet you all are like me and you can think of at least 5 topics, or more, that you might want to write about. Look back at your writing from this morning where you wrote down your “likes.” This may help you as it did me.” (Also, if you did the getting-to-know-you activity, you may point them to the categories you created as a class.)

BEFORE students “Have-a-go,” ask at least one child to come up and “think aloud” how he/she comes up with topic selection. Having the students see their peer demonstrate his/her thinking process is very influential.

Now students are ready to “Have-a-go” on their own…

(Remember 1st day assignment where you wrote a letter to your students introducing yourself to them by discussing your likes and you invited them to write about their likes. Then you had students share and then created categories that featured possible writing topics.)

Another wonderful idea is to mail postcards or letters or write notes each day where you write about your actions, how you look, your dislikes, etc. Each day, focus on a new category.)

This is also the “WRITING” stage of writing workshop. This part of the lesson may be longer if you include this as part of your writing workshop.

Teacher then directs students to get paper, pencils, and find a personal writing place. Students write independently while teacher confers. During conferring the teacher is looking for examples of something to share that students are doing that would benefit the other students. Teacher shares with students, “If you finish writing down your topics and you would like to write about one of your topics, please feel free to do so.”

Share- This is also the “SHARING” stage of writing workshop

Teacher brings class back together and students gather in writing circle where several students share their topics in the Author’s Chair. Children are encouraged to bring their topic lists and add to it, as they may be inspired by their classmates. Teacher praises and affirms students’ topic lists. Teacher points out what she notices about students’ lists.


Teacher shares with students: “So today we generated a list of topics that we might want to write about. WE learned that writers often write about things they care about and know about and find interesting. (Link to specific student examples.) When you all come in tomorrow, I’ll bet you will have PLENTY to write about. Be thinking about what you may want to write about, and if you feel like it, go ahead and give it a try tonight…

Each day in Writing Workshop you will be writing. Your topic list is a tool you may use to help you decide what you want to write about.”

**Teachers, you will need to decide how you wish to launch the writer’s notebook: through invitations, read aloud and storytelling, etc. The idea is for their first entry to be in their writer’s notebooks.**



Day 2 Creating an entry from Writing Topic List


Drafting an entry from ________________ (your topic)

Connect to previous lesson

Teach: Demonstrate for students how to take the topic choice and narrow the focus to a small moment. You may wish to create a web for students and show them how you narrow your focus from a big topic to a small moment. Begin writing an entry about your small moment. Think aloud as you model your small moment story.

Actively Engage: Students will go from topic list to deciding what small moment to write about. Students will then draft an entry.

I am going to do a journal entry for you guys, because I would not ask you to do as for as certain assignments are concerned.  I have decided to write about the first time I met Lisa Leslie.  Does anyone know what the WNBA is? Well it is the women’s national basketball association.  Here is a few pictures of some of the players that play for the WNBA.  Lisa Leslie plays professional basketball for the Los Angeles Sparks, and she is one of the greatest basketball stars in the world.  I think I will write about my trip to see the Sparks play, and my emotions during this experience.  So here goes the start of my journal entry!

When I was a little girl I loved to watch Lisa Leslie play basketball.  She was my favorite women’s basketball player.  Mrs. Leslie was my role model, and I dreamed of being just like her; she played for the WNBA.  She played for team called the Los Angeles, Sparks.  (Let’s see what else I should write about.  Oh ok, I think I’ve got it.)  I have also been told that we look a like, which made me the happiest person as a child.  I mean what kid would not want to look like their favorite professional athlete. 

(What should I begin this paragraph discussing? Hmmmm?  Well we did play the same position.  I will add that information.)  Mrs. Leslie and I even played the same position. We were power forwards, and that name alone made me feel as though I played a special position on the team.  I learned so many moves from watching her games on television.

My father got my sisters, and I tickets to one of her games.  Mrs. Leslie was a basketball super star, and I could not have been any more excited to see her in person.  The game was packed, but we had really great seats in the front row.  I was elated to see this basketball icon perform before my very own eyes.  Each of her moves was done with such grace and ease. 

(Maybe I should talk about the food I purchased at the game or maybe when I got her autograph. BINGO! That sounds like a great idea, because I remember that moment like the back of my hand.)

After the game was over we stayed in the gym to get her autograph.  She was such a beautiful woman that carried herself with an array of confidence.  When she spoke to me I remember taking a deep breath, and telling her I was her biggest fan.  She then told my father to take a picture of us, and she gave me a huge hug.  After that she had to give autographs to her other fans. 

Mrs. Leslie will never know how much of an impact she had in my life.  Even though I did not make a career out of basketball, I finished out my high school years as the captain of my team.  The confidence that she exuberated made one me one of the most powerful players in the league.  I hope that I can be a role model to my students, just as Lisa Leslie was to me.

This is the end of my journal entry I hope you enjoy!

Add a comment September 9, 2010

Notebook Know How: Strategis for the Writer’s Notebook p. 15-34

Today’s reading has made me think about an abundance of the struggles I had with writing as a child.  I did not have a teacher to give me great ideas, and I feel as though that has hindered my writing to this day.  On page 23, the author states that the fear if being wrong is the most difficult thing for students to get over.  As a child I suffered from the same horrible thinking process.  All I needed to be told was that I am an excellent writer, and all of my journal entries are magnificent.  If I would have had that boost I truly believe my writing would be a lot stronger than it is at this point in my life.  Teachers need to be those positive enforcers for children, or they will struggle at writing. 

Writing from a list is a strategy that I would love to use with my students.  If you have them list ideas then most of the time their writing will flow.  If they feel as though they are writing about something special to them there is no way that they will not succeed.  There lives are being incorporated into their writing lessons, and it makes them feel as though they have something incredible to contribute to their journals.  We have used this strategy in Dr. Frye’s class, and I now have more of an ambition to write. 

Rereading and highlighting is something that I naturally do.  I may not always highlight, but rereading is a must in my book.  I have found that there were so many things I could have said in an entry that I forgot to mention; or I did not have time to finish.  All of these strategies are vital in the progression of a students writing, or for that matter an adults.  I have learned from reading this book, and I know I will only learn more when I finish the book in its entirety.

History of my name:

I love my name, because I think my full name is unique; and it is special to me.  My first name is very common, and my last name is more common than the first.  My whole name has only been used by 7 people in the U.S., and that makes me feel as though it is creative.  My last name is the same as Toni Morrison’s, and that brings such joy to my heart.  I have always admired her as a child, and I even thought she was my cousin as a child. 

My aunt gave me my name, and we are extremely close so that makes me feel closer to her.  My first name is from Briana Kay Jewelry, and my middle name is from the famous brand of Chanel.  It is spelled channel, but I love it just the same.  The way the names is spelled adds on to my unique character, and I have not met a person who spells it in that way.  Therefore, I am extremely appreciative of the name God gave me, and I would not change it for the world.

2 comments September 7, 2010

HOT Blogging

           HOT Blogging:  A framework for Blogging to Promote Higher Order Thinking by Lisa Zawilinski

             Hot blogging is vital for the upcoming teachers in the world.  Blogging is one of the many skills that need to be reinforced in schools today.  People need to use technology to their advantage in the future.  One must not teach in an old fashioned way if they want to be considered in the job market.  I honestly feel it is a prodigious idea for teachers to embrace the idea of 21st century technology.  From this article I would like to use the Literature Response Blogs, because the teacher uses a prompt to invite student responses (p.653).  This technique is substantial for each student’s progression in learning technology.  This response gets children to practice typing, while expressing new ideas in their own ways.  They are not conformed to any set of writing structure, which makes children feel comfortable writing.  This article is a catastrophic start for me to think about my future as a teacher.  Blogging is an educational tool that can be used for instruction, and yet it is a chance for the teacher; and the student to communicate on a different level.

Add a comment August 31, 2010


Block 2



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