Monday, September 2, 2013

Elementary Writing/Reading Notes

I have been a bad blogger. I love the idea of blogging but haven't learned how to be very consistent. Next week I think I will plunge back in with a whole week of MMGM (Marvelous Middle Grade Monday) posts as there are a lot of books I have read this year but haven't blogged about. So stay tuned.

I still have some writing projects I am working on and one new project I am excited about.

I love going though my kids' school papers and looking at the ones about reading and writing. Sometimes there are some gems in there! Here are a few from my daughter's 3rd grade class.


Twenty Minutes a Day
by Richard Peck

Read to your children
Twenty minutes a day;
You have the time,
And so do they.
Read while the laundry in in the machine;
Read while dinner cooks;
Tuck a child in the crook of your arm
And reach for the library books.
Hide the remote,
Let the computer games cool,
For one day your children will be off to school;
"Remedial?" "Gifted?" You have the choice;
Let them hear their first tales
In the sound of your voice.
Read in the morning;
Read over noon;
Read by the light of
Goodnight Moon.
Turn the pages together,
Sitting close as you'll fit,
Till a small voice beside you says,
"Hey, don't quit."


Questions for Response.
When you read a story, ask yourself:

  • What things about the character(s) or events do I like of not like?
  • What feelings do I have as I read or listen to the story?
  • What makes this a good story or not a good story?
  • What part(s) of the story will I remember or discuss with others?
  • Are there other stories that are similar to this story? Characters? Events? Places? Times in history?
  • Is there anything about this story that I would change?
  • Would I read this story again?
This was a good one to think about as a writer and change the questions around. For example: "What feelings would I like my audience to have as they read or listen to the story?" or "Would I write this story the same way again?"


Author's Purpose: 
Does the story entertain, inform, try to persuade me, or teach me how to do something? 

I guess if it doesn't do one of these things, the author has failed! 


Spelling Tips

Bill Cosby "Pudding" Method.
Yo! Bill sez: Have your child write the words/sentences in pudding. Just spread your favorite flavor on some wax paper. Write the word, check it, then smear it out. Lick your fingers and go to the next word or sentence!


  1. Julie! I've missed you. How exciting that you're writing something new.

    Aw, there's no such thing as a bad blogger. Sometimes we post, sometimes life gets in the way.

    I never heard that Richard Peck poem before. So true. Thanks for sharing all these cool things from your daughter's school papers.

    1. Hi Joanne! Glad to be missed. And glad you enjoyed my post. Hope to have more soon!

  2. I love that poem- I'm going to print it out to keep on hand. Thanks, glad to 'hear' you again! ;) Oh, and I hope you don't mind, but when I started blogging a few months ago, I used your 'writer in training' saying. It just felt so true! =)

    1. Hi Leandra. Thanks for stopping by and of course you can use "writer in training." I have seen it used elsewhere too... I have no formal writing background so it felt true to me as well!

  3. I agree with Joanne. There's no bad blogger. You just need to come back. And summer is a great time to take a break. Wish I had taken more of one.

    1. Thanks Natalie... I seem to take a lot of breaks! LOL! Hopefully I will stick around for a while this time. :-)

  4. I love Richard Peck,but I'd never heard that poem. Sometimes life and writing get in the way of my blogging as much as I want to, too.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and signing on as a follower Janet! Glad you enjoyed the poem.

  5. Love the poem. I try to read to my kids all the time, between that and the fact that they see me reading they love books.

    1. Yes, I think it is important for the kids to see us reading on our own as well. It was funny, b/c my husband doesn't read but he picked up a woodworking/storage magazine and was reading it last night... my son shouted in mock surprise "Look! Daddy's reading!" I guess it was a major event!

  6. Richard Peck is amazing. Thanks for sharing that poem with us. I don't think I've read any of his poetry before.

    I come and go as a blogger, too. There are so many things (and people) that are more important than blogging.

    Good luck with your new project!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Myrna!

      I do know blogging isn't the most important thing, but it is fun to connect with other writers/people this way and I have missed it! So hopefully I will be back a little more consistently now that school has started!