Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Mill Valley Elementary, Marysville OH

Wow! Mill Valley did such a fantastic job of tying my visit directly into the curriculum needs of the school, I just have to talk about it. The halls of the building were lined with artwork and kids' poetry generated in response to my books, which means when I arrived, kids were armed with questions so far beyond "what kind of car do you drive."

Here are just a few that I remember off the top of my head:

Kindergarten teachers used my poem "I am to be" and had kids write on their own in response using this formula...Each student completed the sentence, "I am ______ with three facts about themselves and then they finished off with "I am not done, I am ____, where the kids speculated on who/what they will become. These single word responses written with their tightly gripped pencils were precious. Three other afternoon kindergarten students read their poems aloud during the assembly.

Second grade teachers used my poem "Soccer is the greatest fun" for a model to write "Second Grade is the greatest fun" as a group poem and then kids wrote individually, choosing a topic. Turns out football, gymnastics, biking and pizza are also the greatest fun. Writers used specific language to detail exactly why. Way cool.

There were other many other creative lesson plans in at Mill Valley (a K-4 building), I just didn't write them down, reminding me ONCE AGAIN, I need to keep a notebook with me at all times. Maybe a couple other teachers can write here to explain their lesson ideas.

What a great day!


Mike said...

hmmm - i teach at a community college, so i guess my experiences aren't directly relevant...

for me, one thing i have learned is to suppress my own ego and agenda and allow students to discover on their own. for example, i had a plan of something to do the other day - as it turned out the students started in another direction - the old me might have tried to move them in the direction i wanted them to go, but they were learning and they were into it, really motivated - so i let them go...

Anonymous said...

we're talking kindergarten

i'm sure ms. holbrook is happy if the students remember to make it to the potty on time

while some may consider community college lower education i doubt that it correlates with a 5 year old

sara holbrook said...

Thanks for the input (chuckling) but if you ask a class of 5-6 year olds to just go with what they are into the first one will stick a pencil up his nose, the second will take her shoes off and begin practicing ballet moves in the finger paint, the third will take off for Australia and you will still have 23 more to worry about.

What the teacher did here was to ask the kids to make 3 I am statements and one I will be statement allowing the student to personalize the poem, learn something about the difference between present and future tense and a little about the benefits of specific examples.

These are the legos the writer will use in later years to build their own poems, essays and stories. It's a long journey to find our voices.