ΩWelcome to Lewis and Clark School teacher Natalie Griffin’s page for the collaboration of her class with Dorothy Hinshaw Patent using Dorothy’s book “When the Wolves Returned: Restoring Nature’s Balance in Yellowstone." Entries in purple are from Ms. Griffin. Entries in green are from Dorothy Patent. Entries in blue are from Ms. Anderson, Principal.

4/6/14

I am so delighted to see your beautiful books, kids! You worked very hard and I'm sure you are very proud of the results. The things you've learned in this process will stay with you and help you with your writing in the future. Congratulations! And i want you to know that I am proud of you, too!!

3/26/14
We have EXCITING news! Our deer and elk books are complete, and they are going to knock your socks off! I am so proud of each of my student's hard work on this project. Their final drafts are truly works of art, and we owe so much of our success to you, Dorothy! Many of my kiddos books, as you will see were dedicated to YOU!


The children spent many days editing/revising their work. You gave us so many wonderful suggestions for this phase of the writing process, and the kiddos really worked hard to go over their writing with a fine tooth comb to make sure it was perfect before they published. We spent some time reading our writing out loud to each other like you suggested, and we found that by doing this we are able to catch many grammatical mistakes. Many kiddos came to me and said "I had to totally rewrite one section because when I read it out loud it made NO sense!" What a helpful tip!


Below I have included some (many!) photos of the final phase of our work. We had a "gallery walk" in our classroom where students were able to sit and read their classmate's work. We were also able to take our books to our Kindergarten buddies and share our writing with them. Boy, were those kinders impressed! It was a joy to see my students feeling so proud and accomplished. Thank you Dorothy, for allowing our students to learn in such an authentic meaningful way with you. This has been an experience that we will treasure forever.




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Elliot's dedication page!

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Check out the non-fiction features in this beautiful book!

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Oliver reads Finn's book during our gallery walk.














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These girls are PROUD of their published books! Way to go!
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Our students spent time reading/complimenting their friend's writing!


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Bella, and Zoe practice reading their books before heading to our kinder buddies!


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Zoe wows Dorothy with her published writing!





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Jordyn shares her favorite section of her book with Dorothy.





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Oliver and Calvin proudly display their finished products!






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Finn shares his book with his kinder buddy.



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Eric compliments Patrick's book during our gallery walk.





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The "Bigs" share their hard work with their "littles!"






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Happy kiddos enjoy their last video conference with Dorothy!



3/1014
Great to hear from you all and to know you enjoy having me as a mentor. I love the way you are using my book to show how POWERFUL words can be used to brighten up your writing, and I love the list of ordinary and powerful words. And the idea of turning the sentences from powerful to ordinary is a great way to illustrate the differences. Keep up the good work!!

3/10/14
Hi Mrs. Anderson, this is Finn! yes I think it is so fun and helpful to have
Dorothy as my mentor. Bye.

Hi Mrs. Anderson, this is Henry Hess. I say yes becuse she helps
us alot .BaBye

Hi Mrs. Anderson, this is Lilly Allen. yes it heps to have a perfeshenels input and help.




3/9/14
To the Students in 3G,
You are doing amazing work! I am so impressed with your excitement and hard work to produce terrific writing. Do you think it is helpful to have a real writer as your mentor to help you understand how writers work? Is the video conferencing helpful? I will be visiting your classroom this week to take a peek at some of your writing. I so enjoy reading this blog. I love following your progress online!

3/9/14

It has been a couple of weeks since we have posted, and we have been writing up a storm in 3-G! Many students are either editing/revising their deer and elk books, or are publishing. They look SO great, and we are really excited to share our final drafts with you in a couple of weeks.

As we have made our way through the editing and revising phase of our projects, a big focus has been on using POWERFUL words in our writing. We have learned how to use a thesaurus to help us with this task. We have studied your use of powerful language in your Wolves book, and how you used your 5 senses to really make your readers feel like they were right there with you experiencing and living the words in the book. We noticed these powerful "5 dollar words" in your book, and then looked at how those words/phrases/sentences might be said in an ordinary way. It has been so fun for our students to use your book as a model for this. I am so pleased to see writers circling words/phrases in their writing that they know are just ordinary, and then using the thesaurus to jazz them up and make them "extraordinary!". Take a look...
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Calla creates her ordinary/powerful poster for Dorothy's Wolves book!
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Elliot searches for powerful words/phrases in Dorothy's Wolves book.
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Henry proudly displays his ordinary/powerful chart for our editing focus-using our 5 senses in our writing!





2/25/14
  • hi its cierra from miss.griffins I was wondering what are some good websites for my moose book.and I used the description that you tould me to do my introdoction about the antlers.
I've been traveling and now in Mexico at a place with only limited internet access. Sorry I couldn't answer sooner! Anyway, here is a good site for moose information:
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/moose/
Good luck with your story!
  • Hi Dorothy. This is Jadyn. This is my about the author page. I was wondering is there anything i should add to my page? Next i will edit it. thanks for helping me. love jadyn.
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Tis is Dorothy again--the system won't let me use green now! Anyway, Jadyn, I can't read the top part of your Author Page very well as the photo is too dark at the top. But what I'd say is that the Author page is really for what you want your readers to know about you. It's always good to include where you live and why you chose this topic, however. Have fun writing your story!



2/24/14
We had another wonderful session with you last week, Dorothy! We had time for writing workshop after we met with you, and I had some very inspired writers. Your tips on how to structure paragraphs were so helpful. I see that many of my students are getting the hang of this really tricky skill! We loved your suggestions for non-fiction features! I am seeing in rough drafts that many students are choosing to use diagrams, and text boxes. Thank you for taking the time to give direct feedback to my kiddos. It was so powerful for them to be able to read your their drafts, and have such a personal writing conference with you. Below are some photos of our session. Many children are hoping to post to the wiki this week for further suggestions.



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Jadyn has a writing conference with Dorothy about her intro!
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3G video conferencing with Dorothy and becoming more knowledgable about the writing process!
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Henry chats with Dorothy about his first draft!

2/23/14

I just wanted to let the students know how much I enjoyed our session together on Thursday. Your paragraphs are coming along really well, and I think you're getting the knack for how to follow through from the first sentence main idea with the rest of the paragraph. Keep up the good work!

2/14/14

I agree with Ms. Anderson--you are a great class! The two introductions posted below really "hooked" me and made me want to read more, just the sort of writing I've been talking about. And not only did the two students have great hooks, they used special features of the species they chose to do so. This will allow them to lead the reader right into what makes that species unique and how their special features help reveal their life style.
I'm really looking forward to our next session!

2/13/2014

Students in 3G,
I am so impressed with the work you are doing as you get to know Dorothy Hinshaw Patent. Your questions are thoughtful and really help you understand how authors go about the process of writing books. You are demonstrating many learner profile traits; inquirers, thinkers, communicators, open mindedness, and as you think about your learning with Dorothy Hinshaw Patent, you are reflective. I see you have recorded valuable writing tips from Dorothy. I look forward to observing and sharing in the work you do with the author and your fabulous teacher Mrs. Griffin. Keep up the terrific work!

2/6/2013

Hi, Dorothy! This is Henry Hess in Mrs. Griffin's class. My question for you is: What happens if wolves overpopulate, or can they overpopulate?
Hi, Henry. That's a great question. We talk about the "balance of Nature," but it's actually an up and down, back and forth sort of thing. Let's say that for a couple of years there's really good conditions for the elk and they have lots of calves that survive the winters. With more wolf food, more of the wolf pups survive, so then there are more wolves. Then there's a bad year for the elk, and their population goes down. There's less food for the wolves. Very few wolf pups survive, and in another couple of years there are fewer wolves. That means there's that then a great chance more elk calves survive. So the 'balance" isn't a steady thing, it's what we would call a "dynamic balance."
Tom-How long have you liked wolves?
I've liked wolves every since I was about your age and could read books like "Call of the Wild" by Jack London.
Jordyn-Why do you like writing books? Did you get the final say in what pictures
would be used in your book?
I like writing mainly for two reasons. First, I love learning new information--"Gee--I didn't know that! That's fascinating!" When I find out fascinating information, I want other people to know it as well so they can get excited, so I write about it in a book.
The answer to the photo question can be complicated. Usually, I work with a photographer on a project. He tries to get the photos that I tell him I need for the book. He also tells me if he has special photos that he wants in the book really badly, so I make sure I write something that will go with the photos. The editor--the person at the publisher who works with the writer and photographer to make the book--also has a say in which photos get used. Sometimes we give her a choice between two photos, and sometimes she will ask for something we haven't given her. So there are actually three people involved in which photos get into the book.

Liam-How did you get the pictures for your book?
As I wrote to Jordyn, I often work with a photographer. But sometimes I get the photos myself. Sometimes that's easy. For "Dogs on Duty," I used the internet to find government photos of Military Working Dogs, and there are lots and lots of them. I also contacted the company that makes the dogs' vests and got photos from it and also from some other sources. With my book "Super Sniffers" that will be published in the fall, I got some photos from my subjects, some from Wikimedia online, some I had to pay for, and some I took myself. It took lots of work!!
Elliot-Do you have any hobbies other than writing?
Yes--I like gardening, hiking, and painting with watercolor paints. I also love to travel to different parts of the world, and sometimes that's part of the research for my books.

Patrick-Why do dogs have things in common with wolves?
Dogs have things in common from wolves because the ancestors of dogs were all wolves. Over thousands of years, people raised these animals, choosing ones they liked for various reasons to breed. Some were bred because they made good herders. Others made good guards, and so on. That way, the different breeds of dogs were developed.

Ben-How long do your books take from start to finish?
That's a hard question to answer, because each book is different. But when I sign a contract to write a book, the contract usually gives me from about 8 months to a year, depending on the book, to do the research and writing.
Haley- how did you get inspired?
I get inspired to write just by paying attention to the world around me and from reading magazines and on the internet. Also, friends sometimes tell me about something they think would make a good book.
Eric-What Made You Want To Write?
As I wrote to Jordyn, I love learning new things and letting other people know what I've learned. But I began writing for young readers also because I wanted a job that allowed me to stay home with my two sons and not work somewhere away from home. Writing for children has been a perfect job for me--I can travel, learn new things, and inspire other people to want to learn about the wonderful world we live in.
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Just a few of MANY tips we have learned from Dorothy so far!




2/5/2014

We had such a wonderful hour of learning with you on Monday, Dorothy! As soon as our video conference was over the children were dying to know when our next session is going to be. We are looking forward to seeing you, and learning with you again! During our conference with you I had the students use their writer's notebooks to jot down any big ideas they learned. Some of the children had pages, and pages of notes! We were also so thrilled to have so many of our questions answered! I will post again tomorrow a list of questions from kiddos that we just couldn't get to in time.

Today, we made a poster in our room "Writing strategies we have learned from Dorothy". We plan to keep a list of helpful tips that we have learned from you. We will be using this throughout the duration of our deer and elk writing project.

Many of the children said that what stuck with them the most after our conference with you was that we always need to be writing with our main idea in mind, and that introductions and "hooks" can make our writing incredibly powerful. Today we analyzed the introductions in your books: Wolves, and Deer and Elk. We looked at how you structured your introduction by focusing on a moment in time. We looked closely at your use of powerful language and "wow" words and how that creates strong mental images that make us feel like we are right there-that we are experiencing those words. We also noticed that you used a beginning, middle, and an end in your introduction, and we looked at how after you set the stage you introduced the animal your book focused on.

After we were through making our noticings, I had the class do a quick write of an introduction about their own deer/elk topic. I was so impressed with the connections that the children made from our mini lesson. Many of them were able to transfer aspects of your writing style into their own writing! We will continue editing and revising these introductions throughout the week with hopes that we will be able to get some feedback during our next video conference.

Check back tomorrow for our list of questions from Monday!

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Students take notes as we learn from Dorothy. She was also projected on our interwrite board where we could see her a little better!



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We were thrilled for our very first video conference!

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"Imagine walking through the woods. You see something with fangs. A lion? A wolf? A saber tooth tiger? No. It is a musk deer. The only deer with fangs.-Oliver
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"On an early foggy morning you can hear distant clanking in the air. As the fog clears you can see two kudu. You come closer and can that their horns are interlocking. They are pulling and tugging but can't get separated.

2/4/2014
I wanted to let Ms. Griffin and her students know how much I enjoyed our session yesterday. You kids had such great questions! I'm hoping my suggestions about writing will be helpful to you while you are working on your own writing. I'm also posting some thoughts on my own wiki page, so take a look there as well.
I'm looking forward to seeing your other questions and to our next meeting!

1/30/2014
I also enjoyed our interaction on Monday, and I'm so glad the class is integrating my work so nicely into the classroom and into their studies. What a great idea to use the book as a source of new vocabulary. And I'm delighted that the students are already thinking of their own roles in society in relationship to the natural world. These days, Nature needs all the help it can get from us!! I look forward to talking with you all about that topic and the other things you mention. We'll have a very busy half hour together!


1/30/2014

It's been a busy week in 3-G, and we couldn't be more excited for our very first video conference with Dorothy on Monday afternoon! Earlier in the week my students and I dove into our wonderings and questions that we have for Dorothy about her book. We took some time to categorize our questions into our key concepts. We noticed that a majority of our wonderings were about the structure of the text, as well as questions about Dorothy herself-where she finds her passion, why she loves wolves etc. As we looked closely at each student's question, we were really pulled in a neat direction by one question in particular.....what is our responsibility and roles as citizens when it comes to wolves, their habitat, and their place in food chains? We are excited to explore this question more with you on Monday!

  • Dorothy's book has become such a strong presence in our room. We are using it throughout the entirety of our day-for vocabulary, and writing/reading workshop. Take a look at what we've been up to! (The questions are hard to read-sorry!)
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    Eric, Lilly, and Olivia discuss where their questions should go on our key concepts board.
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We are even using Dorothy's book for our vocabulary focus!
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Patrick is wondering "How are wolves related to dogs?"


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These questions say "what is our responsibility with wolves?" and "How can we help wolves thrive?"





1/26/14
Greetings from Mrs. Griffin’s 3rd grade!

We feel so honored and lucky to be participating in this wonderful project with Dorothy Hinshaw Patent! A couple of weeks back, I broke the news to my 3rd graders that we were going to be learning and working right along with a very famous and talented author. They are over the moon excited for our first face –to- face meeting via video conference.

We began our study last week with our very first read of When the Wolves Returned. For several weeks my class has been studying deer and elk, nonfiction text features, as well as main idea and detail in informational writing. This particular text fits beautifully with what we have already been learning!

I was so surprised that so many children have such strong background knowledge about wolves, and many of the issues they are facing. We spent a part of our afternoon exploring the wiki and getting to know a little bit more about Dorothy through her website. We read the book for enjoyment on our first read, and on our second read the following day we read with specific questions in mind. I had the children focus on structural elements of the text, the photography, or questions about the topics of wolves. I was so impressed with the level of questioning of my students. We broke out into groups, and each group was assigned one element of the book to “zoom in on”. They then listed all of the questions they had about that particular element of the text. We are hoping that during our first video conference that we will be able to get some of our questions answered! This week we will be sorting our questions into our I.B. “key concepts” categories: form, function, causation, change, connection, perspective, and responsibility.

We are so excited to use what we will learn from Dorothy and apply it to our very own writing pieces. We are looking forward to this adventure!


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We are so excited to use When the Wolves Returned as our mentor text!
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This group of writers focused on structural elements of the book.

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Just a few of the questions that 3-G is hoping to find the answers to!