NOTE: After we have done one or two writing pieces together the kids are able to do them all on their own. They brainstorm the topic they want to write about and get right to it. By the end of our nonfiction unit they are experts at writing All About books.
Common Core Standards Posters
So…. many of you have asked, ” How do you get your kids to write like that?”
So, here’s your answer. First of all, I am totally in love with the Philosophy behind the Workshop Model. I teach my kids to write by doing a quick mini lesson where I model the writing process. I think out loud as I write in front of them, Then, they have the opportunity to practice what I’ve just modeled. They turn and talk to their partner to plan out what they are going to write about and then they’re off to their writing spots to write. If you are interested in learning more about Writer’s Workshop, Deedee Wills and I have created writing units that are wonderful for explicitly showing you how to get your kids to write a variety of genres.
Secondly, you will notice that the Common Core Standard (in the first picture) says, WE CAN PARTICIPATE IN SHARED RESEARCH AND WRITING PROJECTS. So what this says to me is, I teach Kindergarten and my kids don’t have to do it all alone. I can be their guide as we learn this new genre of writing. We have been writing since the first day of school using our pictures to tell a story and labeling even if that meant that some of them only wrote the beginning sound. Then, we moved on to writing small moment stories about our lives and stretching and writing words. This was a slow process. But oh, my word! The kids have made HUGE progress. Nonfiction is a little bit tougher for them so I am glad that we can “share” the writing process and do it together. So today we talked about our schema for walruses and read the nonfiction book from my unit. We used our schema and new learning to brainstorm what we should write about. The kids decided that the tusks were very important to a walrus so we decided that we would write about them. We came up with,
Walruses use their tusks for protection.
They use them to climb up on the ice.
After we decided what we were going to write we got busy!
So to start I wrote Tusks on the top line and they just copied it.
Then I started writing our first sentence. I wrote Walruses and again they copied it.
Then, I had them stretch the word use themselves and they wrote it all on their own. I never even wrote it on the board because I wanted that to be their work not mine. You can see that I then wrote their tusks for (normally I wouldn’t have written the word for since it is a popcorn word but I knew we had a HUGE word coming up so I went ahead and wrote it). Next, we had to write the word protection. WHEW! Can you believe it? To do these big words we make it FUN! We used a tambourine to clap out the syllables so that they could hear each part. (I do not stretch it for them. We clap the syllables and say pro tec tion together and then they have a go at it).
We followed the same sequence for the second sentence. The only words I wrote for that sentence was They them
Here is one of the student’s writing samples.
Here’s what one of their writing pieces looked like from our small moment study.
During this unit of study I don’t help them write at all. Unless I’m conferencing with them.
This student wrote
For Christmas I got a Koda Kumi wii game for Christmas.
Whew! Lots to conference on but still great for a Kindergarten cutie! We worked on leaving finger spaces between our words. I didn’t have him erase all of his hard work and start over instead we practiced on a whiteboard. Then, I wrote on the post it note, Today we worked on leaving finger spaces between our words. I keep conferring notes on each child in my conferring notebook so that I can remember what we’ve worked on and where we need to go next.
Alrighty, that’s that! I hope I helped answer some of your questions.
If you want to check out our writing units you can click on the picture below.
Click on the picture below to download tomorrow’s lesson plans.