New school, new environment, new kids!
With these new kids, comes new challenges and I have to figure out how to make it all work!
One of the challenges this year is writing. I love to teach writing (as you all know) but many of my kids struggle to put their thoughts on paper. We are using Lucy Calkins and I loveeeeee her units. My kids are able to sketch out their stories, but after that, it is difficult for them to actually put the words on their paper without me right next to them coaching them along... and with so many kids in this stage of writing, it is hard to be next to all of them at once!
A few weeks ago I had started creating sentence completions for my kids to complete at writing centers. I thought it would work since my students could trace the beginning part of the sentence and just add one or two more words and illustrate. These also let my higher students add more sentences on their own while I check in with the others.
This is one we completed whole group so my students would know the expectations:
The other sentence completions have now retired to our writing centers and my kids are doing great on their own!
Another activity I made for my struggling writers is picture descriptions. I used clip art to make some cute illustrations that my students can describe and then color. I added a word bank to the bottom so students could quickly spell the words that are in the illustration. Some of my students just described the picture, while others made up a whole story about the picture.
^^ This little guy is one that often sits and has trouble writing during our writer's workshop... at this center he filled up the whole page.... I made a B-I-G deal about it ;) ^^
Adding to the fun, I created some detailed and organized writing prompts that I am doing with my lower groups. This will help them (and me!) focus on each step of the writing process while we talk through it and help each other:
I started one with my group yesterday about what we do if our teddy bear came alive:
First a little brainstorming...
Then some drawing!
Tomorrow we will start completing our graphic organizers to get the sentence structure of our paragraphs.
I have also noticed that as my "high-flyers" start to write long, detailed stories during writer's workshop, my lower students want to complete their own books as well! While I always have them share their illustrations with the class, I created these simple mini-books to be used during writing centers.
I am excited about these because ALL my students can complete them and feel the success of writing their own short stories. It's been raiiiiinnnyyyyy here in Mass, so I already have the "Rainy Days" mini-book prepped for tomorrow's centers!
All these activities are available in my new pack, Writing Activities for Kindergarten and 1st Grade
Labels: ELA, writer's workshop, writing, writing centers