Monday, March 24, 2014

Camp Write Along Day 1

You could feel the excitement in the hall as all my little campers waited to get in the classroom today! It was our first day of Camp Write Along and we had an ABSOLUTE blast! Camp Write Along is a week long themed week used to practice essential skills for editing, revising and writing before the STAAR test next week.

The STAAR test is the standardized test in Texas and fourth graders take a test in reading, writing and math.

The writing exam consists of approximately 28 editing and revising multiple choice questions and 2 written compositions. The students are expected to write an expository and a personal narrative composition. The writing test is given in two days. On each day, the students take an editing/revising test and write one composition...all in a four hour time frame.

Today began with our class roll call and weather forecast for our day. We went over camp rules and expectations and set up camp. Each student brought a sleeping bag and a flashlight. They rolled out their sleeping bags and settled in for the morning's first activity....trash can trail mix!

The students donated snack items to our trail mix and we poured everything in to a large (double bagged) plastic bag. Asked the students to talk about what they thought would make great writing. With just a few snacks, we knew that our trail mix - just like our writing- needed a little more variety to be really good! As we added more snacks, we discussed elements that would really bring our writing to the next level, like the use of similes, metaphors, idioms, onomatopoeia and adjectives. When all the ingredients were added, I took the bag and shook all the yumminess into one fabulous trail mix for the kiddos to share through out the week.

Once snack was made, it was time to get our camp colors! Every student received a navy blue bandanna to represent our camp. There are 4 teachers in my grade so we all have a different color and the kiddos loved wearing them to show their camp pride. As the week goes on, the students will receive pins as rewards for improvement in different writing skills. These pins will be giving at our end of the day camp ceremony to celebrate all our learning for the day!

Whew! That's a ton in such a short time...and I haven't even mentioned the lessons...

Along with a gallery walk and activotes flipchart activities to practice editing and revising (I will tell you more about these as the week goes on), we did a great motivational lesson to Everyone Needs a Rock. It's a wonderful little book about the importance choosing just the right rock as a keepsake.

With all the testing, we wanted to provided the kiddos with something that would serve as a good luck charm and worry stone all in one. Once I read the story about how to select the perfect rock, the room was silent as each student chose their very special keepsake. It was really very sweet! The rock will have a special place in our classroom the day of the test as a quiet reminder of all the fun days that we will have during Camp Write Along.

I have so much more to share! 
There are so many fun filled days ahead and I can't wait to blog all about them!  


Alison Rose said...

What a great idea using the Trail Mix that the kids brought in for the "variety". Love the idea of the rock for a special token/worry stone. I am looking forward to reading more about your Camp!
Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

Marsha said...

I love this idea for a week-long camp! I teach 4th Grade Writing to 78 students. Are you self-contained? Do you think this idea would work for four different 4th grade classes?

Post a Comment