6Traits Digest #115 - Tuesday, December 7, 1999

  Thanks for the book ideas
          by "Susan Nixon" <susan@desertskyone.com>
  Teaching Voice
          by "Susan Nixon" <susan@desertskyone.com>
  6 Traits in literacy centers
          by "Susan Nixon" <susan@desertskyone.com>


Subject: Thanks for the book ideas
From: "Susan Nixon" <susan@desertskyone.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 1999 20:58:33 -0700

At 05:57 PM 12/2/1999 -0800, you wrote:
>I just this afternoon bought a book called "My Big Dog."  It's written
>by a cat.

This book sounds great.  I want to find out where Barbara Martin gets all
the new books she mentions here!  

My students really enjoyed a book sent last summer.  _The World of Words_ =
think is the title, by Tobi Tobias.  It's an ABC book of quotations.  I
mentioned this book before, but couldn't remember the title.  I think I
have it right this time.  =3D)  We were all sorry to come to Z.

Their favorite was orange, which has a line about from a distance looking
as though he has a fire in his hands.  The illustrations for the =
are as wonderful as the quotations!  We had to put this in our "Words Too
Good To Forget" book, which we have renamed "Sparkling Words," thanks to
someone on this list.  =3D)  My bi-lingual buddy calls it Palabras =

Next stop?  Sentence Fluency!  Anyone have any wonderful ideas that have
worked on this one?  Sometimes I find that the ideas which come to me in
moments of desperation, when I just *have* to think of another way to
explain something, are the best ideas.  I'm hoping something really
wonderful comes up for SF!

Susan Nixon
2nd Grade
Phoenix, AZ


Subject: Teaching Voice
From: "Susan Nixon" <susan@desertskyone.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 1999 21:09:26 -0700

At 12:52 AM 12/2/1999 EST, you wrote:
>This is my first year doing six traits in first grade.  I taught fourth
>two years with 6 traits.

Okay, I'm curious.  How many, if any, of the teaching ideas you used in
fourth grade are also useful in first?  Do you have any teaching =
you would like to add to our website?

>We talked about Sparkling words.  I 
>used the book Elbert's Bad Word early on, because I like the term =
>words", which means something else in the book, but we have taken on the
>to use with a word wall in our room of words that "sparkle" and when they
>using a "sparkling word", I sprinkle them with "dazzle dust" (glitter) =
>add it to our wall.  

Wendy, may I have permission to add this to our Word Choice strategies =

>difficult to get first graders to put as much Voice into their writing as =

>they do when they "reread" it and it's not all there.

It is difficult at this age to get voice into writing.  I think a certain
facility with writing is necessary to really include much voice.  One of
the things that helped my second graders was to point out that on the
playground they can tell who is calling them without looking because they
recognize their friends' voices.  

Also, reading books with really strong voice helps them to use it in their
own writing.  For instance, we can always tell if it's Jack Prelutsky or
Shel Silverstein.  We can tell if it's Dr. Seuss or Eric Carle.  Sometimes
I read a selection from a book with the cover hidden.  Quite often they =
guess the author, if it's one we've studied enough for them to know the
feel of that person's writing.  This is only the surface of voice, but =
a beginning.
Before they can do it, they have to understand it.  

I don't think that's limited to K-2.  Hopefully, if you teach 5th grade,
your students have had 5 years of 6 Traits before you get them.  That's =
always true.  Arizona is just starting along the 6 Traits path.  I used it
a *tiny* bit last year, but this is the first full year.  That means that
our older students don't have the understanding of the traits, and we need
to do the same kinds of activities with them.  

We all work in schools, probably, where there are move-ins who didn't go =
a school that taught anything like our school does!  Those students need
extra help in understanding and using the traits, and the review never
hurts anyone.

The children I envy are the ones who started in K with the traits and are
getting to the end of high school or into college, having used the traits
all along.  Come to think of it, I envy their teachers, too!  =3D)

Susan Nixon
2nd Grade
Phoenix, AZ


Subject: 6 Traits in literacy centers
From: "Susan Nixon" <susan@desertskyone.com>
Date: Wed, 08 Dec 1999 21:15:00 -0700

>Does anyone do 6 traits activities during literacy centers???

I didn't see an answer to this question, so I suppose no one does.
Wouldn't it be great if we could brainstorm some ways to do this?

The one idea I had was that a book, or group of books, which are strong in
one trait could be put in a box or bag.  Students could choose a book and
using a checklist for the trait, read the book and record examples of the
trait.  This would be especially easy for Voice and Word Choice, perhaps a
little more difficult for the other 4.

This is one of the things we did this summer which I wasn't able to do =
my real time inservices.  I think it would have been much better if my
colleagues could have had the definitions, as you did, and then searched
for examples of the trait.  Much better for understanding what the rubric
is measuring, and understanding the traits themselves.

Or students could have a special response journal.  In it they would write
only examples of the current trait being studied, examples they came =
in their class or home reading.

What do you think of those ideas?  Would they work?

Susan Nixon
2nd Grade
Phoenix, AZ

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