Saturday, September 21, 2013

A Peek at My Week {September 22, 2013}

Hi everyone!  I hope you are having a great weekend!  Fall has definitely arrived here in Wisconsin -- and the calendar proves it.  Sunday is the first day of fall!

I love fall -- apples, pumpkin pie, colorful leaves, apple cider, hayrides & football.  Bring it on!! 

I'm starting my Peek at My Week a little early this weekend.  I noticed that Erin at I'm Lovin Lit already had her post up and running so I figured I get this party started so she can link up!  :) 

So here is how it works....Share with us a few of the bigger things you have going on at home or at school this week.  No need to share your entire lesson plans.  (Let's keep this fun for you and your readers.)  Then link your post below and don't forget to share some love with your neighbors!
So here's a peek at my upcoming week... 

On Monday night, I will be driving down to Chicago with my mom to see my sister, Julie, who is in town for a business meeting.  (She is a regional manager with Weight Watchers.)  She and her family moved to Dallas in June and I miss her terribly.
In Writer's Workshop this week, we will begin working on revising one of our writing projects.  Revising is always a difficult thing for students, and I think this is mostly because they haven't been given the strategies to know HOW to revise.

Most of the time students think revising their writing is copying it over neatly on new paper, maybe correcting a spelling error or capital letter or two.

I have been talking up revising since the first day of writing class.  Revising is where the MAGIC happens, and it should take up a majority of the writing process.  (Many think "drafting" should take the longest, but it shouldn't...)

I have been reading a great book by Georgia Heard called "The Revision Toolbox:  Teaching Techniques That Work."
Let me tell you...I have been kicking myself that I didn't find this book this past summer when I was doing my workshop on revising for the UWM-Writing Project.  There are sooooo many cool ideas here!

This week as we revise, we will be doing the Cracking Open Words activity where we take a boring sentence from our writing and try to stretch it into several sentences by taking out the boring words and replacing them with sensory details that help us "Show, Don't Tell."

Here's an example...

Instead of saying "It was a cold autumn day," we could say:

The wind howled through the trees, shaking the last of the crisp, dry leaves and forcing them to flutter to the hard ground.  The tips of my ears stung from the chill, and I pulled my jacket tighter around me.  Even the pumpkins looked frosty on a day like today.

I plan to do this activity with the students where they take a boring line out of my writing and help me crack it open.  They love to play with my writing and are really excited when they can make a suggestion or point a mistake out.

I'll let you know how it goes!


  1. Thanks, Jennifer, for doing this every week. I love looking at what others have planned, and it keeps me organized with my activities for the week before the weekend is over!


  2. I love that are right there are so many great ideas. My kiddos and I worked on show not tell this past week. I am looking forward to reading their pieces.

    Hunter's Teaching Tales
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  3. What a neat job your sister has working with Weight Watchers. Have a safe trip! I love Fall too. In Florida we don't get very much of the weather, but the short time we do have, I love!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  4. Have fun with your sister! Quality time with family is so important!

    I now have The Revision Toolbox in my Amazon cart. However, I'm going to have to finish a couple other books before I order it. :)

    Fit to be Fourth
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  5. Thanks for opening the linky up early! Looks like I'm not the only one who had my post ready to go. The book looks GREAT! My students also tend to believe that revising is recopying neatly - or SOMETIMES neatly!
    :) Erin
    I'm Lovin Lit

  6. I love this link! I look forward to it all weekend. Thanks.
    Grade 4 Buzz

  7. That book sounds great! To be honest, I'm often at a loss for revision mini lessons.


  8. I've been learning all about revising in grad school through a book called "Study Driven". But the book you mentioned seems like it would be a lovely addition to my professional bookshelf! :)

    I LOVE fall as well!


  9. Hi Jennifer. That's neat that your sister is so involved in WW. I'm currently doing WW with my husband, and I write about it often in my blog. It's fall here in Massachusetts, too, but I'd rather have this than the heat and humidity any day.


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