Week 2... Work on Writing and Journals
I hate to see the summer time go quickly!
We enjoyed a fun few days up in Yellowstone National Park with some dear friends last week... this will be my first week of pjs until 10:00 am (it's a goal ;)
Writing was an personal goal of mine last school year.
It was a subject I felt I needed to improve in order to see improvement in my student's work. I added a monthly writing page to my student portfolios to track the progress throughout the year and 'creative bursts' to help my student spark an interest or idea. These 'burst' were nothing more than topic cards (half sheet) with pictures and words related to a specific topic. We used these all year long, during portfolio work time, creative writing, Daily 5, etc. I created the cards as the year went along to include holidays, subjects discussed in class and topics my students showed an interest in. A couple times I found a small ripped piece of paper on my desk reading,
"Mrs. Evans, I would like to write about different pets.
Could you make a new card for the box?
Having key words allowed them to not worry so much on the spelling and get the words and thoughts down on paper. Each file contains the cards, a foldable booklet for ABC order, syllables etc. along with lined writing paper. I didn't use the additional resources much, but I did print and laminate 6 of each card and continue to add them to my 6 Work on Writing Boxes. I'm glad these are complete and ready to go for the next school year.
Each student also had a copy of this writing box idea.
Occasionally we would add ideas to the chart as a class, however, the students added to their own often, without my assistance.
One of my new goals for this upcoming year is to dig deeper into the 3 specific types of writing. We dabbled and I believed they understood the difference... but this next year I want to KNOW that they KNOW the difference and are successful with each.
I plan to search high and low for ideas/ lessons and activities to share with my future kids. I'm hoping that someone might share a success they had with this particular part of the curriculum.
Each Work on Writing box had these little reminders also.
I didn't focus as much on personal journals last year as I have in the past.
This year we will be focusing though ;) I toyed with the idea of posting a new journal entry each day as an option for Work on Writing. I would have them write the entry in their spiral notebooks (that I use just for Work on Writing... in their book box) rather than copy and bind a whole journal for each child. We are watching our paper and supply budgets closely and think it might help us save BUT still continue the skill.
My thought is to use one of the mini lessons when we regroup (during Daily 5) to properly teach the kids how to create a journal entry... date, rewriting the quesion in a complete sentence etc. By the time Work on Writing is discussed and implemented... they'll have had plenty of opportunities to try it out.
That is my idea (for now... until my next dream ;) I'd love to hear other ideas and routines.
I'm excited to move Work on Writing up the ladder of instruction
and introduce it earlier to the kids.
Out of curiousity... what do you use for your writing notebook.
I always stock up on spiral notebooks at the Back to School sales,
however, I'm always up for a different idea.
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