Sunday, November 17, 2013

Here Write Now

Sorry. My wife and I went to see Ghost The Musical a few weeks ago, which was literally the most comically terrible thing I've ever seen, and the song "Here right now" has been stuck in my head. I was feeling witty. Hence, Here Write Now. Look at me go.

ANYWHO. I've really been thinking about how I teach writing in my class lately. In talking to the second grade teachers in my building, I didn't feel that we were doing a great job preparing our students to write in second grade. As soon as our students get to second grade, they are expected to respond to writing each week, in a typical "opening sentence, 3 details, closing sentence" format. I did NONE of this with my kids, because I was way more focused on writing in complete sentences, making sure that the capital letters ended up in the right place, and trying to get them to express personal feeling through their writing. SO, I decided to start throwing in SIMPLE writing prompts to get them in the habit of writing 5 sentences around a single topic. The first few times I've done it, I have heavily guided my students through the pre-writing process.


My pre-writing page is nothing fancy, but I really wanted to provide my students with a way to organize their ideas.


For our first try, I had my kiddos simply think of 3 reasons why they love Thanksgiving. Our opening and closing sentences were all very similar... Things like "Thanksgiving is the best holiday" or "I really love Thanksgiving" or "I can't wait for Thanksgiving" etc... (The turkeys are sight word turkeys that I made last year... I blogged about them HERE.)


We wrapped up reading The Big Circle in Reading Street last week, so on Friday, I had the kiddos think of 3 reasons they would want a dinosaur as a pet. They had SO much fun with this writing project, and even MORE fun making the dinosaurs to match! The dinosaur pattern is FREE on TpT by the fantastic Ms. Leslie Ann at Life in First Grade! Love her stuff.

Do you have any tricks for getting your firsties ready for independent writing prompts?
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