10 Things to ROAR About – January 22, 2016

22 Jan

So we’re ROARing a little differently this week. Instead of focusing on picture-friendly events, and the more experiential learning events that take place here every week, we’re going to do a ROAR that is entirely devoted to student writing. Some of the work you’re about to see is still in draft form, some is polished. Some has been produced with adult support, some not. All of it demonstrates the range of thinking, and of expression, we see every day in our students. And all of it is worthy of admiration. Enjoy.

  • Mr. Masigan’s class opens the show with some poetry, and some persuasive writing. Apparently, homework is OK (sometimes), and activities help ensure the best New Year’s Eve ever. In the interest of balance and fairness, though, we have included some samples that are not so positive on the homework front.

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  • Mrs. Senften’s class were learning about and experimenting with metaphor and simile, poetic comparisons that link patently unlike ideas. Like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, when you dig into student poetry, ‘…you never know what you’re gonna get!’

This class is also working on nonfiction writing, but descriptive/persuasive this time.

  • Mrs. McLeod’s class examined the life and death of a potato chip as they worked to understand the human digestive system. Here’s one student’s Potato Chip’s Story:


They’re also working on fractured fairy tales, retellings of familiar fairy tales with a modern, innovative, or otherwise unexpected twist:

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  • In Mrs. Janzen’s class, students have been writing poetry, too. Some is metaphor- and simile-based, and some is autobiographical.
  • Mrs. Gorseth’s students wrote speculative stories about what happens to teachers when they’re away:
  • Mrs. Powar’s class selected some work they are particularly proud of. There are book jackets, descriptive writing and personal stories. I think the hoverphone would be particularly helpful when I’m trying to walk the dogs, holding an umbrella, and someone I have to talk to calls….
  • Mrs. O’Byrne’s and Mrs. Bentley’s students are doing some creative writing. What would you do if you woke up invisible? Note that some students use technology to remove the added challenge of handwriting. I would love to have had that option when I was in elementary school. Writing with my hands was difficult, and I always got ‘Needs Improvement’ on it, regardless of my ideas.
  • Ms. Hall’s students wanted to share some journal entries. In the youngest grades, spelling words we know how to say is a challenge; especially with the multitude of exceptions to what pass as ‘rules’ in English spelling. Illustrations to help support a writer’s meaning are helpful to the reader, just like using pictures for clues when we read a difficult new text can be helpful.


  • Mrs. Alsop’s class are working on writing news stories about their days. It is interesting how kids can write about themselves so easily at this age – that’s something that gets harder for them as they get older, I’ve found.
  • Last but not least, Mrs. Gordon’s students are also doing some journal writing. Again, it’s autobiographical, and some students have used an adult to help with forming letters, as they’re just acquiring that skill sometimes. Having a scribe helps developing writers get their meaning across, without spelling or letter formation interfering. The third of these is inspired by a great little book the class read, where a young exclamation point was trying to figure out his place in the (grammatical) world. Note this writer’s use of . ! and ? marks. Cool!


Have a great weekend!



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