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									Summer Comp Camp 2005 Report Day 1: PM  Introductions    Personal Inventory Sheets Share the 3 reasons for writing: to entertain, to persuade, and to inform. Read First Day Jitters aloud. Discussed word choice: tunneled vs. crawled to the end of the bed, slumped in the chair vs. sat in the chair, repeating rhyme (tumbled, fumbled, stumbled). Have students share what they enjoyed about the story. (Student responses: I liked the ending, I thought it was a little girl, I liked the word Jitters in the title) Free-writing: Write about a time when you were nervous about doing something the very first time or when you had a case of jitters. Or, you can write about something else that interests you. What Jitters Me… When I have to step into a room full of people I don’t know and speak It jitters me. When I have to get out of bed and I haven’t had much time to sleep It jitters me. I don’t like it when I want cookies and all I feel is the bottom of the jar That jitters me And most of all, don’t leave junk in my car! Or I’ll Jitter You!  Sharing: Matthew shared a chapter story about Blubberman. He used a hilarious voice as the narrator. Included lots of humor. Read really quickly. He wrote some of it before he got here and wrote most of it here. Included dialogue and changed voices as they spoke. Included onomatopoeia. Response(s): I liked the comedy in the story, most stories don’t include it. It was funny and very creative. Simeon shared A Panic Attack. Very good descriptions of the character being introduced. Included dialogue. Used good word choice. Lots of voice, unafraid of writing as if he were talking. Responses: Hilarious….what was hilarious?...all of it…Specifics please…Discussion about responding to student writing. Example: If I asked my best friend how I looked and she said good. I would wonder what was good, my hair, my clothes, my newly painted toes??? If I were to keep working on my presence I wouldn’t know what to improve upon or what to leave alone. Specifics are needed! After the mini-talk the students got specific…It was funny how he breathed…I liked the part about the asthma attack.



Break!!! Each student selected a bag of chips and a drink. We went to sit around the bell tower, but access was denied! It too had been taken away from us (the serene circular nature spot had been demolished previously). So we sat crouched or flat on the ground and talked to new friends. Some students chose to sit alone. I made a mental note of who they were so that I could create an opportunity to pull them into the group. We went inside and played “Word Choice Jeopardy”. I used the word cool in a sentence and the object of the game was to come up with a word that the audience liked better in the sentence. So, a student challenged my word cool with awesome, I have on an awesome shirt. The next student chose extraordinary, then beautiful, awkward, zesty, and finally radical. The audience selected radical as their favorite word in that sentence. So radical became our word for the day ! Read the story You Have to Write By Janet Wong aloud. Students said that it was kinda like a poem. It gave them ideas for writing. A student said that she too have been stuck and didn’t know what to write about. It’s o.k. to write about things that seem ordinary to you because other people can relate to them. Example shared (How many of you would like to hear a story about my dog Lucky? 5-6 hands were raised. See I thought I was the only one who cared about Lucky. Next question, How many of you have ever been with a crying baby and you couldn’t stand it…All you wanted the baby to do was SHUT UP!!! All hands went up. Let’s create a group list of ways to get the baby to stop crying…pacifier, bottle, sucker, rattle, nap time…all good ideas! I could use them in a story where crying is my problem and these things are solutions that don’t work. She keeps crying until I… Free Choice Writing: Students got clip boards to write on the floor, under tables, at the tables…They didn’t mind getting more comfortable. A few students created stories or poems worthy of being published today. A few students were encouraged to built upon or explode a moment from their stories to provide more information and details about what was going on. Time flies when you’re having fun!!! With a rude awakening of the fact that there were only 10 minutes left, we hurried the students to finish their thoughts, save what they were doing on the computer, gather their things and line up at the door. Internet Agreements were passed out and kids were walked downstairs. Whew! What a wonderful day! Reflection: Given the time and opportunity, kids will say what is on their minds. They will speak the memories in their hearts and they will use the voice given to them. They do it well when supported and allowed the freedom to express themselves in a way that is comfortable to them. Fears disappear when they realized they are not feeling nervous all alone. They write when they realize that people value what they have to say. They write for the response to writing. Some





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kids will even come to author’s chair and revise by adding stuff that’s not written on the paper to get a laugh out of buddies. I’ve seen it happen and have laughed to myself. I walk over to the student side just to let them know I am within reading range-so stick to the paper! I look forward to tomorrow. I plan to go over computer basics, pass out homework sheets for treasures, invites for the celebration, and allow the students time to write, write, write! AM Comp Camp Day 1 Today we started out with introductions. Everyone seemed a little nervous. We then did a coat of arms paper to see what the kids’ interests are. Then it was time for a snack break. Shane read David Gets in Trouble and Can I have a Stegosaurus Mom? Then we talked about how good books don’t always have to have lots of words. We came in from break and I read Hooray for Diffendoofer Day by Dr. Suess and we discussed rhyming words and what authors do by using the back section of the book that tells how it came to be. The students started writing and we ended with 3 people sharing their writing in author’s chair.

Day 2 We had a student dropped off 25 minutes early!!! Gotta talk to the parent . Another student was brought up by a parent 15 min. early. I didn’t mind because they could work as I prepped for the day. I only worry about kids being dropped off because they don’t know if someone is upstairs in the lab to be responsible for their child. It really helped to have one teacher stay downstairs and wait until 1:00 and then bring them all up at one time. Parents who arrived late were responsible for bringing their child up to the lab. Writing a Reflection… Students were asked to think about their experience at camp yesterday and write about it. I discussed the importance for writers to recall details and facts. I also pointed out the pressure of timed writing…journalists, columnists, authors, all face deadlines and experience “crunch time”. Over half of the students want to be professional writers when they grow up. After completing the journal, I used the projector to teach the students how to save their file to a disk and how to re-open their disks. We discussed how to keep our folders organized and our writing goals for the anthology. Choice Writing: Students began where they left of yesterday. About three students went to the computer, several were ready for a conference, and the others continued to work on their draft. Students are writing fairly well without much assistance. The help or suggestions that have been needed tend to be about adding details and endings.

Snack Time: Loved cheese twists and juices. Played “Word by Association” I said the word flower and each kid had to come up with a word that is associated with the word I said. They come up and stand next to me and so on. We repeat each word in different fun ways. This helps with presentation skills. They all seemed to enjoy it very much. The Relatives Came read aloud. Listened to the story for ideas about craft. We noticed ways to show time passing: grapes, ate all the food, we loved the golden line: all the new breathing in the house, They loved each other show not tell : all the hugging going on. I stopped midway and the children begged me to go on. I asked why and they told several reasons like they wanted to see how it ended, they wanted to know what was going to happen next. I discussed the power of a hook. Writers want to hook the readers to keep them reading for more! Afterwards, students began a story about their family. Passed out invites to the Fri. celebration. Reflection: I am really enjoying the opportunity to teach students how to improve their writing, but also providing the opportunity to do something they do well! Write. Some students are used to the Shurley method (Selma schools) and having the freedom to write without a formula to follow seems to be synonomous to receiving a slice of cake and a scoop of ice cream on the side! Students truly value the choice time in the beginning of class a lot better than in the end so I will continue in this manner unless they object. Carrie gave me a new idea to use to study craft….create a text version of the book to stdy with the kids! WOW...Will definitely use in the future. This writing camp seems to go a lot better for me when I am thinking on my toes and not feeling the pressure of sticking to a timed schedule. I feel the same way with my writing! Until tomorrow… AM Comp Camp Day 2 We started out the day with journaling. Next we talked about what types of things the students would like to learn in this class. Most of them said they would like to learn how to come up with ideas for their writing. So, we did flip books with people places and things for ideas. Break Time!! Sane read Magdalena…. And then we returned to class. When we got back, I read You Have to Write! Then we discussed how writing should be fun and it is easier if you write about what you know. I then proceeded to read The Jitters and the kids wrote about a time when they had the jitters..

Day 3 We are all excited to be here. Students wrote their journal reflections. Afterwards, they voted to begin with choice writing and end with the teacher directed writing activity. I was not surprised at all. The students seem eager to finish their writing projects.

We had our first published writer today! Tori published My Special Friend. She borrowed her craft idea from First Day Jitters. She wrote about her friend going to school for the first day and in the end we realize that her friend is a dog! Time sure does fly here! We can hardly believe it’s 2:23, mad rush to find a satisfying break until after snacks. We played the game Word Jeopardy in teams today. This time we played a game just like the real one with points, topics and questions. Students seemed to really enjoy searching for words to replace the “overused” words listed as topics on the board. Students worked with their teammates to come up with words. It was a true community builder. I realize that things like this help to boost their confidence and helps them to let go of fears about reading in front of new people. It definitely makes everyone relax and laugh. Not to mention learn new words! AM Comp Camp Day 3 We started out the day with journal writing. The kids are still getting used to opening and saving their documents. Then we celebrated Christian Cooper’s birthday with some cupcakes and a birthday song! Shane then proceeded to read a book called Lost and Found . He used the book to teach the kids that you can create a story with one object or special thing in mind. He brought some examples of objects that meant a lot to him. The students loved it!! They really seemed to like the fact that Shane was willing to share parts of his life with them. Debbie shared with us that she wrote a story about a special pen. Christian happened to bring in some pictures of his family today and Shane said that the pictures would make good objects to write a story about! Shane then instructed the students to do a quick write about an object that is important to them. We then took a break at the frog pond where I read Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge to go along with Shane’s lesson on objects. Next we took a dip in the frog pond and it was back to work. When we got back, I read The Jolly Postman and we discussed different types and purposes for writing letters. The students thought the book was really neat and a couple of them decided to write pamphlets and brochures. Then, as I was walking back to put the book away I heard someone say , “This is really fun!” and I saw a paper laying on the floor that said comp camp rocks! My day has been made – these kids are having fun and learning too. You can’t ask for anything more than that! We ended the day with author’s chair and Blake finally finished his racecar story and was very excited to share it with us. I was pleased to see that Blake to my advice and added some sound words to his story. I plan to teach onomatopoeia Thursday and use Blake as an example! Kirsten and Grace also shared their stories with us.

Day 4

I am reflecting back to day 4. Today the children begged us to “just let them write!” I had already planned to pull back a little with the lessons and let them have more writing time, however this provided an incentive for journal writing. As the students wrote, I encouraged them to include the things they have learned about writing. If what they wrote was sufficient I would let them have the day for writing. And of course it was, so we spent the entire day working on our choice pieces. We had many students finish typing (a hard thing to do for several) and they received applause congratulating them on their publishing endeavor. During snack break Carries read the story The Old Woman Who Named Things By: Cynthia Rylant. Carrie and I worked out a plan that actually went very well. The students had the tasks written on the board: Write, Share with a friend, Type, Turn it in! Because it takes such a long time to type and wait on a teacher to help with final editing we encouraged the students to just type it out, and once they submitted their disk to the teacher editor, Mrs. Jamerson. I was able to help with editing and save it as it needed to be saved for the anthology. Carrie worked the room. She was able to conduct mini-conferences with students and help them with their ideas. This worked out well because the students were able to continue working on their writing as the teacher worked on the final proofing. AM Comp Camp Day 4 The day started out with journaling and the students were asked to bring in an object that is special to them. I was pleasantly surprised to see that all but two of them brought something! We discussed the students’ objects and then went on to Shane’s lesson on onomatopoeia. He read excerpts from Loser and several comic books to give the kids examples of how to incorporate sound words into their writing. After Shane’s lesson, we packed everything up and went outside to do and activity, have a snack, do our second mini lesson and write. Activity: Everyone chooses an action and stands up and does the action and puts a sound with it. Second mini lesson: Read La Cucaracha Martina and discuss the sound words. Next, read In the Ocean and discuss sensory details. We wrote by the frog pond to help us use our sensory details. The students said that they really enjoyed writing outside, and I did too – even though we lost a paper and a folder in the pond!! What a beautiful day!!! Lastly, we came back to the room, typed a little and had author’s chair. Sandy shared her poem that she wrote using sensory details and it was amazing!

Day 5 Another good idea for future camps. One teacher waits at the door until the time class is to begin and walks everyone up as a group. Parents are responsible for bringing their child upstairs if they arrive late. The other teacher get materials and lessons prepared and works on the report…What I am currently doing as the letters appear before your very eyes  This group loves to write. The students started the day by typing their journals and moved into choice writing. We have several published stories already. It is so exciting to see all the wonderful pieces come together. During the snack break Carrie read the story Mr. Peabody’s Apples By: Madonna Joyce taught the students how to create a flip book AM Comp Camp Day 5 We started the day out with journal writing as usual. However, today was a very different type of day. Shane and I decided to use today as a “free Friday” . This allowed the kids to catch up with their writing and typing while using the tools and skills we have taught them throughout the week. In addition to that, Shane read some excerpts from Stephen King on Writing to try to encourage the kids to “step out of their box” and write from different genres. After that, I proceeded to read a children’s story that I had written during my time at the Indiana Writing Project. A student from the first comp camp I taught had taken it and illustrated it. The kids thought that was amazing and we talked about editors and publishing. Shane shared that his favorite book The Outsiders which was written by a 16 year old! We then had snack and continued to type our little hearts out. Today, I noticed that ,aside from all of the writing tools and techniques theses kids are learning, they are also learning several computer skills that they can take with them as well!!

Day 6 The kids started out journaling. After journaling was over, Carrie did a mini lesson on voice. She then invited the kids to add voice to their writing. They took an hour to work on their pieces. We then went out to the frog fountain for a snack. When we arrived back at the room, Carrie read When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant to help her teach a mini lesson on details and using someone’s craft idea. The kids quickly got back to work on their pieces. Several kids shared and one student shared a paper in which she had used Cynthia’s writing methods!! As usual, the day flew by and before we knew it, it was time to go! AM Comp Camp

Day 6 Today started out with the addition of two students! Emily and Madison showed up today. Madison was a little shy and reluctant to come in. Her mom stayed for a little while to calm her down and then she was fine. After journaling, we discussed fractured fairy tales and I read The True Story of the Three Little Pigs and some other examples that I printed off of the internet. I then turned the kids loose to fracture a fairy tale for themselves. The kids worked for about 20 minutes and then we went out for snack. Shane read Once Upon a More Enlightened Time , which are politically correct fairy tales. When we returned, I read Kate and the Beanstalk and the fractured fairy tale that I wrote. We then proceeded to type our fractured fairy tales. The kids seem pretty excited about these – I can’t wait to hear them!! We ended with author’s chair.

Day 7 The kids started their day journaling. After journaling, we met in a group for a mini lesson on adding details to our stories (painting a picture in the readers mind). We talked about how we could use binoculars to make our writing clearer. We used questions to bring the image into focus. Students had a chance to practice using their binoculars by doing an activity called sentence stretching. Students worked in small groups to stretch their sentences on task cards. During choice writing the students were encouraged to look back in their writing to add more detail (using their own binoculars). Then, before we knew it, it was snack time. Carrie read and excellent example of using “show, don’t tell” written by Rachael called I Feel . Carrie then read All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan to reinforce her lesson on adding details. She then sent the kids back to write their little hearts out!! As time went by, Maria was reading Simeon’s paper and noticed that he had a circular ending to his poem. We took a moment to explain what a circular ending was and encourage the kids to use it in their writing. AM Comp Camp Day 7 Today started out a little chaotic. One of our students that started Monday is very shy and has high anxiety levels. We had a really hard time getting her to stay at class yesterday. When she did, she had a blast! Today, she jumped out of her truck and ran to meet us and then one of the other students said something rude to her. That was it. She wouldn’t stay today. After that I was a little upset, but I did a mini – lesson on how important endings are. We talked about the different ways to end stories and I read Milo and the Magical Stones which lets you choose between two endings. We then went out

for a snack break. We gave the kids the rest of the time to type and get their pieces finished.

Day 8 The day started out with journaling. Carrie then did a mini lesson on limericks with the kids. They thought they were hilarious and everybody wanted to try one. Some people even became professional limerick writers today!! Soon it was snack time and Carrie read Peach and Blue to the kids she pointed out all of the detail and descriptive parts in the book. The kids then returned to their computers and got back to work. They were working as hard as they could to get things printed because Joyce told them that she would do a cartwheel if they all and 3 things printed. Boy do I wish I could be here for that!!! Time slipped away from us and before we knew it, it was time to head downstairs. Only 2 more days left – how sad. AM Comp Camp Day 8 Today started out as usual with journaling. After a few minutes of that, Shane read a few examples of how adding details to a story or sentence can make it much more interesting. Then he did the sentence stretching activity with the kids. He then asked them to find something in their writing that they could add details to. The students worked for about 45 minutes and then it was snack time. During snack time Shane read All the Places to Love and he also discussed idioms with the kids. When we got back, Shane did a continuation of the details lesson in which he read snip-its from The Car and Guts by Gary Paulsen just to prove to the kids that good authors actually do what we are teaching them. We then gave them some more time to type and before we knew it, it was time to go! Day 9 AM Comp Camp Day 9 The kids came up and got right to work on their journals. They know the routine by now. Shane and I decided to use today as a finish and polish day to make sure that everything is in order for our big celebration tomorrow. So, after journaling, we set the kids free to finish their pieces. I’m excited to see that a lot of them are actually going back and changing some of their pieces to add things that we have discussed in our mini-lessons! This is an excellent group of students and their love for writing shines through in the things that they write. After the kids worked for a while, I read Armadillo Tattletale and did a mini-lesson on folktales and fables. Then it was time for snack so I read Walter the Baker by Eric Carle. The students came back in and quickly got back to work.

Grace - You might be shy reading, but you feel better afterwards. Adrionna – We learn about paragraphs – We should not have columnitis (a writing that hasn’t any paragraphs) Marie – We learned about how to make brochures. Brock – We liked learning onomatopoeia. Friday We learned how to spell Dalmatians (not dalmations). Maria – Me too Mikayla – Learning to copy and paste pictures from the Internet. Marie – Internet pasting pictures is fun. Adrionna – Don’t always have to write stories, you can start a rough draft on the computer. Adam – This camp is fun Sara We like to use onomatopoeia Mikayla – Using similes makes your writing more interesting. Tuesday Grace – Comp camp rocks Adam - Learned word art picture art Valena - Comp Camp is never a dull moment. Sarah – Still likes onomatopoeia. Kevin – Likes the class and word art (for titles and onomatopoeia) Christian – I like typing. Adrionna - I want to cry Grace - I’ll miss you guys. Adam – I’ll write more at home and school. Sara – This is a fun school Christian – This is better than school!

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