Thursday, July 5, 2012

In Pictures and In Words Book Study Chapters 1-6

Whooweee!  Let me start by saying that it is H-O-T here!  Heat indices of 102????!!!!  In Michigan???!!!  And, no, it's not a dry heat! 
In the words of my 8 year old son, "Mom, I walk outside and I have sweat beads dripping off of me!  What is up with that?" 
I love summer and all but could really do without the humidity!  I'm just so grateful for central air & a swimming pool!  One good thing is that the heat has forced me to stay inside and finally get this blog post out that I started more than a week ago!  Better late than never, right?

I'm excited to be joining in on this book study:

It is being hosted by DeeDee Wills from Mrs. Wills Kindergarten.  Her blog is one of my favorites!  She has provided us with this great bookmark with guiding questions to use as we read.

Well, here goes....
Section One:  Illustration Study as a Foundation for Strong Writing
How might you explain to students that illustrating is composing?
With my kinderkids, this will be an easy thing to do since most of their beginning "writing" IS illustrating!  Something that I will find more difficult is changing my way of teaching "out of the illustrations."  I am totally guilty of this!  In the past I have always encouraged the children to do more writing than illustrating as the year goes on.  After reading this book, I am changing this way of thinking and am going to focus more on teaching "into illustrations" as a way of composing and adding details for those students who need it. 

How might your attitude toward writing affect your students' willingness to write?
Over the years, my style of teaching writing has undergone changes/additions but I have found that the children do the best work when I use a Writing Workshop.  I start with a minilesson and try to fill it with enthusiasm for my own writing and how excited I am to see what they are going to be working on.  The more I praise their efforts and point out the wonderful things I see them doing, the more they are willing to write.  If we occasionally have to miss a day of Writing Workshop, there are always groans from the kinderkids.  This always makes me feel good that they are eager to write!

What language might you use with your students to talk about reading like a writer, both as a writer of words and pictures?
My plan for this year is to incorporate many of the books that other teachers are suggesting into my daily read-alouds and Writing Workshop minilessons.  I love the idea of examining the illustrations closely to think about them as illustrators.  This is something I already do with the writing in the books and trying to get the children to think about it as an author would.  I make a big deal about how they are authors creating their own stories.  I'm excited to do this with illustrations to see how it affects the children's writing/illustrating that they compose!

Name several books (not previously mentioned in this text), you would gather for your classroom's units of study on illustration. 
This thinking point was a challenge for me because I am going to have to examine the books I use from a new point of view - focusing on the illustrations.  I also think it's difficult because my children's books are all at school and inaccessible to me right now and I'm a very visual person.  I need them in front of me to really look at them as an illustrator.

DeeDee Wills has graciously compiled a list of books that teachers are suggesting and it is available for download on her blog.   You can access it by clicking the picture below.

Book Lists.  

There are so many wonderful books listed - some new to me and some I have been reading for years and never thought of using them in my writing workshop.  Look out kinderkids, you are in for a treat this year!!!!

I hope my rambling didn't bore you too much!  Stay tuned for Chapter 7:  Ideas and Content and be sure to check out all the wonderful teachers who have linked up here to share their reflections.

Take care,

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