Friday, October 20, 2017

Personal Narrative Writing Unit

Hello all!

WOO-HOO! So far this school year has been so fun and filled with learning! I am currently doing my student teaching in a fourth & fifth grade Spanish immersion classroom. Each of my team members (kiddos) are so bright intellectually and personally. Every day I am reminded why I want to become an educator; not a day passes that I don't smile. In an effort to be culturally responsive I will channel my excitement for this school year into a "GIF".


However, this student teaching experience would be nothing without all of the support given to me by my cooperating teachers. These two educators have provided professional and emotional support to help me develop, ultimately, into an impactful teacher. I am blessed to see two different teaching approaches which come together to create a learning environment to cater to each student's learning needs.

The first lessons I focused on were for writer's workshop, the narrative writing unit. With the help of Lucy Calkins, I dived into this unit. As a teacher I work to develop high objectives, because I KNOW, with hard work and support, my team will meet and exceed them. Now, my team and I are in the drafting and editing phase of our personal narratives and I couldn't be more proud! Each learner has brought their own life experiences to brainstorm juicy seed story ideas, develop believable characters, and sequence events with various plot maps. I am itching to read their completed first drafts to see how they utilize their planning information.

1. Brainstorming Seed Stories
     Day 1: Author inspiration articles (4) & learning sheet
     Day 2/3: Watermelon munchin' & seed story brainstormin': learning sheet
There really is nothing better than a juicy melon to inspire and motivate juicy ideas!
     Day 4/5: Expanding seeds with juicy details learning sheet

2. Developing Believable Characters
     Day 1/2: Nearpod class brainstorm w/class story:
     Day 3-5: Organize story and character details: learning sheet

3. Sequence events with plot maps
     Day 1: Plot map rap introduction & Nearpod class brainstorm w/class story:
This plot rap was a Pinterest find... PS the team loved when I epically embarrassed myself! plot RAP
     Day 2: Plot warm-up practice w/ Pixar short (Partly Cloudy): level 1 plot map
     Day 3: Oreo transitions activity & work time: learning sheet & level 2 plot map
This lesson was so fun and delicious! We used Oreos to sequence our unique method to eat an Oreo.
     Day 4: Plot map work time w/focus on description (color-code details: feeling vs event detail)
     Day 5: Finalize plot maps and teacher-student conferences rubric

Disclaimer: This unit has been a huge learning experience for me and I cannot wait to hopefully teach it again in the future! As a student teacher I have learned and accepted the inevitability of a "good" lesson. There will never be the perfect lesson, but that is the challenge I have learned to accept and cherish. Each learner is unique and this may have worked for my team, but I already have modifications I want to change for future learners.  I hope you find these resources helpful and you are able to alter them for your students' needs!

Please share any questions or feedback with me! It takes a village...I would love any suggestions!

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