Sunday Scoop (5.17.15)

Have To:
No big surprises here except maybe the cleaning :)

Hope To:
My hubby went through the deep freezer for me to see what kind of meat we have hiding in there.  We have a lot of steaks, but our grill hasn't been working.  I've been looking for new recipes to try that don't involve the grill.  I tried broiling steaks and they tasted good.  Now I've found two more to try: one in the oven and one in the crockpot.  I'm kind of excited to see how they turn out.

On another note, we get a little break before the next round of swim lessons starts.  I'm hoping the spring weather shows up so we can hit the pavement with the stroller!

Happy To:
I'm one of those people that gets great satisfaction in crossing things off my list.  Well, thanks to some super productive evenings, I have managed to complete four new book packs and a makeover to a really old book pack.  Here's what I've been busy working on:


What are you up to this week?  Head over to the Teaching Trio to learn more!

Opinion Writing for 2nd Graders

Back when the Common Core was first being implemented in our state, I was diving into opinion writing without a road map telling me where to go.  I turned to Pinterest and found this anchor chart.  The original source was Live, Love, Laugh, Learn First Grade, which no longer seems to be an active blog:

I also went to TpT to see what was out there.  Most of these were created for first grade, but I needed to start somewhere.  
#1   #2   #3   #4

Like all of my other writing units, I begin with picture books that model the text features I want my students to include in their own writing.  Here are several great choices:

After reading some books, I talk about what second graders are expected to do according to Common Core.  This is when I introduce our anchor chart.  When first introduced, all that is showing is the title and the CCSS, not the example paragraph.

After talking about what the standards mean, we begin stating our opinions using sentence frames that include the word 'because'.  In order to do this, I also introduce sentence starters (inspired by the original pin above):

I like ____ because ____.
I prefer ___ to ___ because ____.
I believe _____ because ____.

In case you're wondering, they are not allowed to say "because it's cool", "because it's the best", "because they're great" or anything along those lines.  It must be a specific reason!  To really drive this point home, we use thumbs up or thumbs down in the whole group.  A student will state an opinion using a sentence frame.  Students will give a thumbs up or thumbs down letting their peers know if the reasons are specific or not.

Once my students have the frames down, it's time to start building on it. At this point of the year, my students already know and understand topic and conclusion sentences.  This is when I go back and write a sample paragraph (the bottom half of the standards poster).  Since they are used to 5 sentence paragraphs, this doesn't really shock them.

Then I introduce a prewrite.  I'm sure many of you have seen the OREO idea.  It really is catchy!  The plan you see on the right is what we use when first starting out (once my kids catch on, they don't need a formal plan sheet, but can create their own in their writing notebooks).  The topic is written on the top line.  The first rectangle is for the topic sentence.  The three rectangles with cloud bubbles are for the reasons/examples.  The bubbles are there to remind students to choose sentence starters.  The bottom rectangle is for the conclusion sentence.  

When we start writing, I choose the topics and prompts for my students.  However, later on they can choose their own topics.  Here is what my anchor chart tends to look like.  FYI - I tend to stick more to the top two tiers, but some second graders can really be motivated by the real-world category! 

Since we tend to do this unit in the spring, you can incorporate your writing into Mother's Day and Father's Day gifts!

Thanks for sticking with me.  Here are your freebies:

I hope this has given you a new idea or two for opinion writing.  If you're interested in reading more about writing in my classroom, you can check out the following posts:

Currently, May

HGTV and I are becoming besties.  I'm not sure I could ever get into being a house flipper, but my husband could!  I just love watching the transformations.

Mondays?  Who loves Mondays?  This girl!  It's the one time each week that I get some time for me.  That means I go play soccer for an hour AND spend time catching up with friends!

I have a 4-year old and 10-month old - enough said!

Our grill is on the fritz and we have a ton of steaks in the freezer.  I'm trying to find some recipes for them that do not involve the grill.  Ugh!

The cold bug hit our house.  My daughter had it on Tuesday.  By Wednesday I got it.  By Friday my son started showing the signs.  The hubs will probably escape it, as usual!

Yes, I will get to visit my family this summer.

I hope we'll be able to move into our new home by the end of summer.  It's looking more like fall, but a girl can dream!

I wish I was able to make it to Vegas for the TpT conference.  I missed it last year because I had a newborn.  This year my hubby is working on our new home, so finding time to escape without the kids is just not in the cards.  Maybe next year!  

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