The Sign of the Beaver
We finished reading Sign of the Beaver last Tuesday, which was perfect timing because the students had their STAAR Science test on Thursday.  We got together as a pod Thursday afternoon to want the really boring fabulous movie.  I know, I know... why show a movie that is super boring not as fabulous as the book?  I really wanted to see how much more detail and depth a book can go into... majority of the students like the movie, but thought that the book was way better!!  After they finished watching the movie, they used this planning sheet to plan their compare and contrast essays over the novel and the movie.  I stressed to them that it did not have to be typed, but I did give them time on Friday in the computer lab to type their papers if they wanted to. 

Today I introduced our Literature Circles for Loser by Jerry Spinelli.  We made our Lit Circle packets and did a refresher about what each job is required to do.  We start those tomorrow, so more to come on that....
I love having the students do journal writing over whatever novel we a reading.  For Sign of the Beaver, I had the students make their own journals from construction paper and notebook paper.  As we are reading I have them write from Matt's point of view.  They are resposible for making sure that they use the correct format, show the characters emotions, have evidence from the text, and doodle or illustrate what they have written about.  My students are loving this... especially my TITLE group.  In the front of the journal, we glued the rubric so that they would nkow exactly how I would be grading their journals. You can find the rubric here.  The depth of their thought so far has been AMAZING!! :)

If you use journal writing while doing a novel study, I would love to hear your input!

(Sorry about the image quality... my blackberry does not take the best pictures. )
I just noticed that I hadn't posted all week except on Monday... if you have any ideas about how I can supplement the descriptive writing I will have them doing, let me know!

On another note, as you all know we are reading Sign of the Beaver in our novel study.  Matt is trying to teach Attean how to read and is having difficulty thinking of words to associate each letter with.  And here came a brilliant idea... I decided to have my 3 periods make ABC books out of Indian words or words that were related to nature that Indians would come on contact with.  I gave each student a planning sheet yesterday and explained it before going to the computer lab.  Each student was in charge of a different letter.  You can check out the planning sheet right here.  I also put up a PDF on my webpage with various webites that would be useful for the students while they were searching.  I am going to look at their 3 choices and see which one in the best.  Then I am going to send home their sheet of the ABC book to complete.  **This is going to be completed at home and will be due Wednesday, April 25th.***  I am planning on laminating and binding the books so that I can display them in my classroom.

I will post pictures as I get them in... I am sure that some of the sheets will be AWESOME!!

I hope everyone had a fabulous Friday!! And if you have anything that you could give me to supplement this novel study.. let me know!! :)
I am thinking ahead to the end of my novel study where I will be having my students write descriptive paragraphs.  I cannot lie... writing has not been strongly covered this year, so I am looking for resources that I can use to supplement what we will be doing.  If you know of anything, please let me know!  Thanks in advance!
We started our novel Sign of the Beaver yesterday with a pre-reading activity.  I read the excerpt from the back of the novel to give the students an idea of what the novel would be about.  Then I passed out and we discussed the pre-reading activity, which you can download from here.

Some of the pictures the students drew were hilarious and I just had to share a few...

I have linked up with Farley over at Oh Boy 4th Grade for this month's Currently Linky Party.  I look forward to this link party EVERY month!

I also had been noticing people mentioning using fonts from I know I am probably REALLY late with this website, but I am super excited at all of the cute FREE fonts they have.  I downloaded 2 already this morning and used one on my Currently Linky. (Janda Safe & Sound)  If you haven't cheked this website out you should!!

Happy Monday!
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