My all time favorite subject to teach is writing. It even edges out math in my book. I absolutely love the whole process. Watching the kids progress throughout the year keeps me coming back for more. It must be my journalism degree talking here . . . I’ve always loved to write. And, I must say that the challenge of teaching kiddos to love writing too downright excites me. It’s all about “selling the sizzle” of drafting quality sentences. If you sell YOUR love of writing and really talk it up as you toss new things out there . . . the majority of your kids will follow your lead. I promise. #marketingintheclassroomworks
I tried to break this post down into manageable chunks for you. It outlines my writing instruction/lessons for the fall trimester (see note below). I have carefully crafted my process throughout the past nine years and I continue to build on it with every new crew that walks in my door. I am not saying that this is the end all in writing instruction. However, it is a process that has proven to work very well for me . . . time and time again. In addition to my outline, I have included a scope and sequence for fall writing instruction at the end of this post.
**NOTES – If you are just finding this and the first trimester has come and gone, no worries! It’s never too late to jump into this process . . . especially when you notice your writing isn’t where it should be. You can omit the elements you have covered or take my ideas up a notch to help match your kiddos’ current abilities.
Also, Kinder teachers . . . many of the elements in my scope and sequence will work for you starting in the late winter and early spring.**
If I can say anything here, it is GO SLOW now to GO FAST later 🙂 I have handwriting packets in my shop (Rock Star or Baseball themed), but you don’t need these to run quality handwriting instruction and spelling practice – ruled newsprint, cut in half, works great too 🙂
Begin by posting simple sentence frames on the white board or under the doc cam. Brainstorm ideas to complete the sentence and record them on the board. Invite your kids to copy the frame and complete it. If your kids aren’t accustomed to copying (or haven’t done it before), I suggest writing the sentence on their desk in white board marker. After a few of these, back off and only give the brainstormed piece (they have to transfer the sentence starter). Finally, have them transfer the two parts on their own.
|The copying stage at its best.
This is the perfect Monday write . . . we do it 2-3 times every month 🙂
After a few times, my template doesn’t include the sentence starter.
Snag both Weekend Templates HERE.
In addition to simple sentence frame copying, a daily sentence warm-up is a great way to help your babes familiarize themselves with sentences. These can be used as morning work, a “ticket to lunch,” or as a transition piece.
Here’s how this looks in my room this year. Every morning when the kids walk in the door, they find a half-sheet with a simple sentence on their desk. This sentence is highly decodable and is filled with sight words. I ask my students to copy the sentence twice. This not only helps reinforce the idea of complete sentences, but it also works on capital letters, punctuation, and finger spacing. In my mind this is a LEVEL 1 WRITING TASK (Entry Level Writer) as they are still just copying.
Now . . . not all of my kids copy. I have about seven “hot shots” that get a similar sheet that asks them to add details to an existing sentence (i.e. make it better). I consider this a LEVEL 2 WRITER (Emerging Writer). These have helped tremendously in the past few weeks and I will continue to move kids through the levels to help accommodate their writing growth. My goal is to have every kiddo in my class to a LEVEL 3 WRITER (Developing Writer) by spring. This top level asks kids to draft detailed sentences of their own using a word bank.
|They really take pride in their work when doing these.
And, the best part . . . they feel successful when writing 🙂
|Okay . . . so sometimes I get VERY silly.
However, the kids were eating out of the palm of my hand during this entire lesson.
- Punctuation and Kinds of Sentences
- Drafting Detailed Sentences
- Paragraph Writing
- Other Types of Writing