Writing

I teach writing using a Writer's Workshop approach.  It connects the Reading/Writing process and is a natural fit for incorporating Reading and Writing instruction as students are always applying what they learn in reading to their writing and vice versa.   If you are not familiar with this style of teaching, you can view this informative blog by Beth Newhingham. 



teaching students to use a variety of "leads"


Reflection sheets for Writer's Workshop

Using Writing Portfolios

Creating a Writing Station

Supplies for a Writing Station




Jan 2017 
We continue with Informational Writing in the Winter with our Weather Unit.  Students will be learning research skills and working in groups to research a type of weather hazard.  They will also be writing about these weather hazards in their Writer's Notebooks. 

Dec. 2016
Our informational writing begins with a school wide study on Christmas Around the World.  We are recording information learned using a 3-2-1 organizer in our Social Studies notebooks and preparing to choose a country to write an informational piece on in our Writer's Notebooks. 

Nov. 2016
We participated in a school wide OPINION writing piece and the students enjoyed reading everyone's displays for showing their opinions across the building.  We also did some cross-grade level scoring using the Lucy Calkins writing rubrics!  This helped us see vertical writing needs and also address consistency with scoring.  The students will get back to narrative writing next and finish their narrative pieces.


Sept. 2016
We are gearing up for a new year and I am excited to see how eager our writers are to get started.  Our first writing piece will be an Opinion Writing connected to the book, The Best Part of Me.  This is always such an enjoyable piece for parents to have and we enjoy reading them as well!  




2015
The students are each researching an endangered animal to report about and share with the class.  The kids are very excited about this and it is a perfect fit for our Reading MAP goals, as so many students showed a need for Informational Reading and this research will provide a perfect opportunity for them to increase their Informational Reading by selecting a variety of resources for animal research.   

March 2015

We are working on Informational Writing as the students conducted group research projects on Weather Hazards.  Their presentations turned out wonderfully!!!



Feb. 2015

We did a writing test scrimmage this month for Narrative writing connected to a reading passage from our Scholastic News on the topic of bullying.  This was a test scrimmage to simulate the testing environment (no conferencing or revising--just a fresh write).  The students used their Narrative rubrics and we had several super star writers (writer's who met the goal).

They are: Sophie, Sallie, Trinity and Jackson

Way to go!!!  Other writer's received feedback on how to improve their writing and meet the goals of the rubric. 


We begin some informational reading and writing as we integrate text features (or graphic sources) with our units in reading to help us learn to use these features in our INFORMATIONAL writing.  We are doing an informational unit on Black History Month and learning about Slavery as well as the Civil Rights Movement time periods in history.  Many of our read alouds will help us explore information from these time periods.

Jan 2015.
We are completing our NARRATIVE writing pieces in our Writer's Notebooks.  We have had mini- lessons over writing traits and skills and we've held peer conferences and revised with partners.  Next we will be choosing a method of technology to publish our piece.


I am so proud of the writing growth that the students have had this year!!  This last piece is always a little bittersweet for me ;(  as it means I am going to soon be watching them walk out my door.  They are such a sweet group of students!!  I am certain you will enjoy this writing piece as much as we will!!


Oct. 2014

We are finishing our Monster Project, which is an integrated Math-Art-Writing activity in which the students design monsters using geometric shapes and then write a "how-to" piece for someone else to try and recreate their monsters using only the directions and not seeing the monster at all.  The students were so creative an original in their art work!  We can't wait to see how our neighbors did with following our directions and how their monsters turn out!

Sept. 2014
We are working on OPINION writing as a school and our students are getting a lot of opportunities to express their opinions in everything from voting for their favorite Halloween party food to selecting a math website during computer lab!  We will be displaying ALL STAR work in the hall so the students will get to see exemplar models of writing across all grade levels!

Congrats to our first round of ALL STAR writers: 
Aidan, Crystal,  Nashelle, Sophie, Sallie and Zandra!


AUG 2014-We are currently working on our first writing piece-which is a Bio Poem. We will have Writer's Workshop lessons over some writing skills to help us develop and revise this piece and then we will share our work through the student's choice of technology. I will teach and expose them to several forms of media/technology and they will present their work to the class at Writer's Cafe! Students may use Microsoft Word, Prezi, Voki and/or Glogster to publish their poem. Our writer's workshop mini-lessons for this project are below:

Stretch a Sentence to make it a Super Sentence
Using strong verbs instead of weak verbs
Paint a word picture
Show-don't tell
Brilliant Beginnings, Marvelous Middles and Excellent Endings
Give your writing VOICE!
Audience awareness


Here are some additional links which offer wonderful ideas and lessons for teaching "Show-don't tell" writing.  We spend several Writer's Workshop lessons on this concept so students have many experiences to improve in this area of their writing.  

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/01/teaching-students-show-dont-tell-their-writing

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/2013/02/books-offer-examples-show-dont-tell-your-writing-lessons


http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/02/teaching-show-don%E2%80%99t-tell-read-aloud-lesson

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/02/getting-students-note-examples-show-dont-tell-their-own

http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top-teaching/2013/01/games-teaching-students-show-dont-tell-their-writing






April 2013
We are working on a writing piece inspired by several stories from our Writer's Workshop. We will integrate technology to revise, edit and publish this writing piece. They are on display in our hall NOW.  The writing will be a project from several books (Because of Winn Dixie, The Best Part of Me, The 10th Good Thing About Barney and The Important Book :) We are learning to write with descriptive details and write from a brainstormed list.  We have created audio recordings using Voki and are digitally publishing our work with WORDLE and presentations on Prezi and Glogster!  








Presenting our AUTHORS!! We held an open mic night at our Literacy Night event where every author was the STAR. We shared our digital storytelling project and each family member received a copy of their child's digital story on CD. The evening was filled with literacy activities for families to participate in.



We invited soldiers in as guest speakers to INSPIRE us as we participated in CNN's contest to write Thank You letters to the soliders.






Feb 2012
Black History Month is here and we are ready to share our learning with our Multi-media presentations on Famous African-Americans from the Slavery and Civil Rights Movement time periods. Our Mutli-media presentations are amazing!!  We used www.biteslide.com to create our multi-media stories and illustrate a timeline of Slavery and the Civil Rights Movement.  



Jan 2012
We are learning the speaking, listening and viewing skills necessary to make strong presentations as good communicators. Our next project will be writing articles about Famous African-Americans for Black History Month in February. This will be a Multi-media project and we are excited about it!!



Dec 2011
Our writing instruction continues each day in Writer's Workshop.
We joined CNN in a National Writing Challenge to write the most Thank You letters to US soldiers ever!! We had guest visitors to inspire our writing and typed our letters on the computer!


Nov 2011
We have been writing Multiplication Stories for a class book that we are making. The students were each given a multiplication fact and then had to write a story, question, solve the problem, show a picture array and write the multiplication equation as well as the repeated addition equation for their fact.



Oct 2011- Our next writing activity is to write thank you letters to soldiers (cnn.com). After seeing this challenge on CNN (which my instructional assistant shared with me--thanks Miss Jenny!!:), we decided to join the efforts to send the most thank you letters to service men and women in history!!! We learned about the parts of a friendly letter and then brainstormed ideas on what we could write about. We even had a guest visitor (Lt. Collins) who came in and talked to the students about specific things that would be meaningful to a soldier to receive in a letter. This certainly inspired us to write better thank you letters! Then we used our lab time to type our letters using a website abcya.com that made typing a breeze!!! It formatted our letters according to the 5 parts of a friendly for us so all we had to focus on was typing! It was so helpful and we are really excited about being a part of history in joining CNN on this wonderful project!!! Below is a picture of our guest visitor (Thank you Miss Campbell for making this visit happen!!!) And Thank You Lt. Collins--you really inspired us and gave the students a FACE to put with their writing. Which is something we are really focussing on in our writing instruction now--AWARENESS OF AUDIENCE!!!)


Sept. 2011
We learned about making our writing better by using the 5-finger process of making sure we have SUPER SENTENCES that tell Who, What, When, Where, and sometimes How! Then we worked on writing a good paragraph with a main idea and details. Next we've learned about STRONG VERBS and how they can help paint a word picture in the mind of the reader. (Our STRONG VERB play was so much fun. You can watch it using the Strong Verb link at the right)
It's all about AUDIENCE, people!!! We know that we've got to consider our audience when we are writing because it can help direct our writing style, purpose and WORD CHOICE!


















April 2012
What a nice spring!!  Our writing instruction is wrapping up nicely and our skills have come such a long way!!  When we reflect back over our writing it is wonderful to see the growth and learning that has occurred!  Our writing portfolios have evolved into a digital masterpiece!!  I am proud of the students growth in writing this year!!


March 2012
March Madness is here!!  We are almost ready for our final writing portfolio piece!!  :)  It will be another feature article and mutli-media presentation on an endangered animal!  We have also started using penzu for online journal writing







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