Thursday, February 23, 2012

Laura Numeroff

 For our writers workshop we started using mentor text to help our students develop their writing. My first grade partners and I decided to begin with the Laura Numeroff series. We wanted to focus on the author trait of circular stories. We picked this trait because its sequential and our students had been focusing on sequence prior to this. We selected certain titles to read in Spanish and the others we read in English. The decision for that was primarily guided by what we had available in Spanish. Luckily I've been buying Spanish books for a while and we had a great selection to pick from.

During the read aloud of each story we focused on the strategy of predicting. Our students would try to predict using the clues in the book and their prior experiences to predict what they thought might happen next.
It was great to hear my firsties predicting things like I think he's going to slip and fall because one time I was trying to get out of the bathtub and I slipped. They enjoyed finding out what silly next thing these characters were going to ask for.
The only book we didn't get to in this series was "If You Give A Dog a Donut". It happened that during this author study the Scholastic book order had the book. My students saw the book for sale and were so excited that I had to order it. We will read it at a later time since it won't be here before we are done with the series.

After we read each book we filled in an author map.  The students had to identify the Characters, Setting, Sequence and Author Trait. Some of the things they noticed while filling in this chart were very interesting.
 For instance, my students noticed that in the English versions the book titles had a pattern. Cat - Cupcake, Mouse - Movies, Pig - Pancake, Pig - Party, Moose-Muffin and of course Dog - Donut. This was something they took into consideration when doing their own circular story....some of my students had titles like....."Si le das un globo al gato", "Si llevas a tu mama a un museo" y "Si llevas a un perro al parque".
As my students explored this series they came to learn that these stories were circular. They ended where they had started! "OMG Ms. V. it's like it's going to start all over again. These should be called never ending stories not circle stories" was the comment from one of my students.  I think next in math we will be learning about shapes so ill have to make sure and revisit this comment!

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