#SOL15: March Challenge 12 – “Currently” in the Classroom

The Beginning

Day 10 (or Tuesday’s) post was “Currently” based on Beverley Baird’s post here from Stacey’s call for slices. That conversation continued from my readers and these two pieces stuck with me.

currently convo

The Plan

So I headed off to a 5th grade classroom to borrow some students because I was thinking of the “strong verbs” and “present tense” for a writing mini-lesson.

I began with a copy of my version of “Currently” as I read it and then just highlighted the first word of every line.  Students then worked on their own thinking / interpretation of those first words to answer “What is the pattern? What drives each line?  Why do you think it was written this way?”

my teaching currently

Students then tested their thinking / hypothesis against a part of Bev’s “Currently” to see if it was true in a second situation.

bev currently

So then based on a model, a bit of inductive work by the students, a second check against a model, here’s what the students were asked to do.

“Your task:   Write your own version of “Currently”

Write 10 statements

Begin each statement with a verb

Read it to a partner

Revise with option to change one verb to a really “strong verb”

Gallery walk to view “Currently” from everyone

Collect 16 verbs from your peers (no more than 2 from any one person – be selective)

Remember that you will always have your 10!”

The Results

Here were a few words that I collected from the gallery walk.

currently chart

All students completed “Currently” writing

Many students want to consider “revising their own ‘Currently’” (How often do multiple students ask for time to revise?)

All students have a list of 16 verbs they chose – to pull out and use in other work

(No student copied all my verbs – original ones were used on every page)

Have you used “Currently” with students?

What’s your plan?  

What words are you expecting?

Slice of Life

Check out the writers, readers and teachers here. Thanks to Stacey, Anna, Beth, Tara, Dana and Betsy at “Two Writing Teachers” for creating a place for us to share our work

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20 responses

  1. Fantastic Lesson! See you have inspired them to think deeply about vivid verbs and word choice..powerful! This will no doubt help them to become better writers. Love that you collected strong verbs from others!

    1. Thanks,
      Working very hard to capitalize on ALL the resources in the classroom – and definitely including the students! The power of writing partners seems relatively “untapped” in many classrooms and it can be a wise use of resources in terms of TIME!

  2. I am totally going to steal this idea for my classroom (and likely for one of my future slices too!). As it is 12+ hours later here I often do not get to see many slices, so I missed the original, but thank you for the reprise. We are working on voice and strong verbs in third grade right now and this is perfect- a lesson for next week sorted. I loved your thinking!

    1. Thanks, Erika. I’ll be curious to see if you go with 10 sentences as you may shorten that up for third grade. Isn’t it fun to play with a strategy as an adult and then also with students! ❤

  3. Now that was taking a great idea and taking it to the next level with students. Love that they wanted to revise, how cool! They saw the need and it wasn’t because the teacher said. “You need to revise.”

    1. Lee Ann,
      I think I set the bar high with the Gallery Walk and “collecting” the verbs. And yes, so cool that no one said, “you MUST revise!”

  4. You know what I love best about this? That the kids chose their own verbs – they went completely with the lesson, they were engaged. Fabulous!

    1. Tara,
      Those are the things that I absolutely loved myself. The kids were so unbelievably focused and did not want to stop writing! ❤ Loved that!

  5. sallydonnelly11 | Reply

    I can’t wait to see what my 5th graders can do! Thanks for sharing your process. And I look forward to giving it a try of course too.

    1. Sally,
      I can’t wait to hear how it goes with your students! And to see YOURS as well!

  6. How fun to do this with students. I will have to try that with some sixth graders this month.

    1. I have learned from my colleagues that it is fun to be adventurous and try something new!!! Rather than thinking of all the reasons “why not?”, let’s just try it! And see what happens!

  7. I absolutely love the idea of doing this with students, Fran! Can’t wait to try it out.

    1. Thanks, Catherine! It was so fun! (and I didn’t tell them that we were working on grammar – what a secret!)

  8. Thank you for sharing your writing and your process of applying what you know and do to your teaching. I learn so much from you!

    1. You are welcome! It’s a journey that I’m working on! Writing and sharing helps my writing grow as well (so there is that selfish part)! 🙂

  9. […] asked if he could use the “Currently” format you shared to write about a specific historical figure.  Here’s what he wrote. (*name […]

  10. I missed this one on the day you posted it. So glad you linked it to today’s post. What a great activity! I think my students would love it. Love the finding and improving verbs part of this work

    1. It has continued to live on and on and on. That even one student has found a way to continue the saga amazes me, but also with “Joey’s” work – now building into the actual thinking behind taking on another persona. . . beyond my highest expectations!

      Thanks, Julieanne!

  11. […] Previous “Currently” posts can be found here, here, and in the classroom here. […]

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