Category Archives: Reading | Writing

Reading, Phonics, Comprehension, Word Work, and Writing

Earth Day is EVERY DAY

Happy Earth Day & A FREEBIE!

Earth Day is EVERY DAY!

New packet to help our kiddos understand that

Earth DAY is NOT a holiday!

It is a “lifestyle”.

We take care of  “MOTHER EARTH” and

she will take care of US!

This packet helps young kids understand the “value”
…in coins… of  RECYCLING!
They read story problems and count coins!
( 2 FUN things )

 

Here’s your FREEBIE!

 

PLANTS…Do You Want to Grow A Garden? and a FREEBIE

Spring is here!
In Northern CA it is supposed to be 80 degrees
this  Thursday!

My Sunflower Seeds are growing!

We went from Spring to Summer..overnight!

So..it’s time to get out the sunflower seeds, get the other seeds out, & start planting that garden!

My kiddos LOVE this one!
Click Below

Sunflower Seeds

A 24-page plant unit including…

Plant Needs / Wants

Plant Parts We Eat (Sorting / Writing)

How To Grow Plants with Writing

Plant Problems..discussion starters

Vocabulary Work

Poetry Work
 
Just to add some fun…
 
Vocabulary Word cards for Plant  Unit!

 

 

 
Happy  SPRING!

My LOVE/HATE relationship


Classroom Library

I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with my 
classroom library.

I LOVE BOOKS!


I Love my kiddos to LOVE books!


I Love the organization of a classroom library.


I HATE PUTTING BOOKS AWAY!


I HATE  A MESSY CLASSROOM LIBRARY.


And so…

What’s a teacher to do?


REDO IT AGAIN!


So, How many times do I have to do it…
before I LOVE it?? (Again )
 
Here is the BEFORE…

 




So, why? Oh, why?
Why mess with a GOOD thing?
( Can you hear the shame in my voice?)
BECAUSE.
Because I know what wonderful books are in the tubs.
BUT …  the kids DON’T!
They know their favorites.
They go to the same tub over & over.
I LOVE THAT.
BUT…
How do you know?
There might be a BOOK you would
LOVE BETTER!
They don’t search. 
They just go to what they know.
SO…
I am expanding their KNOWLEDGE BASE!

I have decided to TAKE AWAY THE TUBS!

WHAT????
I know…you with OCD will HATE ME!
WHY?
Because..it’s not MY library…it’s OURS!
I am going to dump EVERY book in a pile in the middle
of our carpet area.

AND WE WILL SORT!

Common core says NONFICTION is a PRIORITY!
My kids don’t even know WHAT Nonfiction books we have!
So…we shall sort!
Fiction…Nonfiction…author study…science…etc..etc..etc…
NOT ME!
Not my SUMMER! (again )
OURS…ALL OF US!
(Do not do this the day your admin
is observing YOU!)
This will take time…time well spent!

 

My thoughts are to have the kids
make labels…NOT ME!
And put them right ON THE SHELF!
YES…ON THE SHELF!
They take ownership, so they can put things away!
Not ME!

 

Others have persevered..
IT IS POSSIBLE!
WOW!
 A Classroom library that mimics a
PUBLIC LIBRARY!???
They will know HOW to USE a PUBLIC LIBARY!
Not “What tub is ——-  book in?”
Hmmmm…
Food for thought.
So…if you are thinking of
RAISING THE BAR
in YOUR classroom library…
LET THEM DO IT!
Close your eyes…
change your MINDSET
and collaborate
 WITH YOUR STUDENTS!
They might surprise YOU!
Wendy

I Needed a KICK IN THE PANTS!

I can tell it’s SPRING…

I’m getting

LAZY!

But I have FINALLY, updated one of my

MOST Valued PRODUCTS!

BOOK CLUBS

HURRAY!

Now…I work 3 jobs…

I get up at 5:00 AM and go to bed at 9:00 PM.

I think I deserve some DOWN time!

BUT…

Then…I..get…really….complacent…

procrastinate…LAZY!

So every once in a while,

I need someone to give me a little

PUSH    SHOVE

KICK IN THE  PANTS!

Time to git ‘er DONE

This has been one of those weeks!

So…

I have a packet I made that I use in my classroom

A  LOT!

If any of you already have this…

DO NOT FEAR!

Help is on its way!

Now,

MY KIDS LOVE THIS!

The packet is full of independent activities, comprehension questions, word work, etc

ALL related to the BOOK OF THEIR CHOICE!

I can use it with ANY book.

My independent readers can read a book

 and as a GROUP

( can we say COLLABORATE )

they can DISCUSS & complete the pack TOGETHER!

Now I don’t use it daily…maybe once every two weeks or so.

It takes them awhile &

I really want them to “get into it”.

Lots of rewards, positive notes, specials when completed.

It’s a GOOD THING!

BUT…

It’s OLD. Really OLD.

It was in need of “A LIFT” ( in all the right places ).

Sounds like me! 🙂 

I DID IT!

I GOT ‘ER DONE!

And here she is.

ALL gussied up and purdy!

She has grown from 14 pages to 44!

She is ALL GROWED UP NOW!

I added a booklet style because

PAPER & INK ARE

AT A PREMIUM!

So now…less paper… less ink… more productive teacher & students!

My Little LOVE…

Book Club

 is available

at my TPT store

1stgradefireworks

You will  LOVE this!

Wendy

Write On Journal Pages

How to HELP kids…WRITE! Freebie,too!

Writing

Writing in First grade.
 
Common Core Standards DEFINE 
what writing will LOOK like in Grade one.
 
 

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.3
Write narratives in which they recount two or more appropriately sequenced events, include some details regarding what happened, use temporal words to signal event order, and provide some sense of closure.

WOW! 
 A lot for firsties who are learning
 to read AND write.

We “JUMP” in!  🙂


We start with

NARRATIVE WRITING.

 

Much easier to write about yourself, than others.

My kiddos are just beginning to understand LANGUAGE.


Sytnax…grammar…structure…????


A LOT FOR A 7 year old!


HOW?  HOW?  HOW?

Breathe…

We TALK… A LOT!  

We share our ideas.  
We draw. We draw some more.
 We chart ideas. 
We sound out words ( the best we can ). 

student work, writing paper

 

 

 


We share. We edit. 
We write more. 
And we FIX IT!



Is it perfect?  NO!

Is it OK?


YES!


Writing is a process. 

It takes TIME!
And practice.
 And MORE practice!

I want my kiddos to WANT to write.

Not for ME…for themselves!

The LOVE of writing is a GIFT!


Give them a GIFT!

 

 

Need HELP with resources, ideas, & planning?

Here are some helpful ideas:






 

My kiddos use these writing pages
 to SUPPORT their writing.
 
for Language / Spelling Support.
 
To help YOU get started…
 
 
for YOU! 
 
Give them a GIFT! 
Wendy
seed germinators

Spring gardening 101 and a FREE CHICKEN DANCE!

I love SPRING!

DID I MENTION…

I LOVE SPRING!

And I Love to GARDEN!

This Spring I taught my students how to recycle water bottles into seed germinators!

Hello Spring

I Love Spring!

I am an AVID  Gardener!

 
LOVE to get my fingers in the dirt.
 
We call my hubby “FARMER WITHOUT A FARM!”
 
We are “suburbanites” with a backyard farm.
Chickens included!
 
Luna our backyard chicken

Black Chicken

Sunshine our white backyard chicken

Sunshine – white chicken

 
 
More on that later.
 
 

This year we installed

PALLET  GARDENS!

How to plant in a Pallet Garden

Grow plants in a PALLET GARDEN!

So easy!  
Lay down wooden pallet.
Fill with potting soil & steer manure.
Plant!
 
We did seeds.
And more seeds. (Rotate your crops)
 
We didn’t have a lot of room for “vines”.. so we did NOT
grow pumpkins.
 
We did grow some BEAUTIFUL SUNFLOWERS in the
back.
They need A LOT OF room. They got 10-12 feet TALL!

             Check out my Sunflower Seeds Plant Unit.          AWESOME!

 
Grow vegetables that you eat.
I wanted to show the kids
ROOTS, STEMS, LEAVES, FLOWERS, etc.
Choose plants that will help with that!
It’s SPRING!
Time for new growth!
 
We also made individual planters for the kids to take
home.
 
As we had been studying EARTH DAY…
 
We RECYCLED
 
water bottles as seed planters!
Water bottles for planting seeds.

Recycled Water bottles for planting.

Start with water bottles.
Cut them in half.
Poke a hole in the lid.
Tie a knot in string & thread through the hole.
When lid is ON…string hangs DOWN.
Flip the  TOP of bottle..into the  bottom.
The bottom will hold the water.
Add soil.

Cut bottles in half. Add soil.

Add soil.
And seeds to top.
Fill the bottom with water.
The string acts like a wick…to water itself!
Water bottles growing seeds.

Recycled water bottles with seeds.

Water bottles as seed germinators!

We have sprouts!

Soon… sprouts!
We took them HOME at OPEN HOUSE!
The kids were SO excited to show off their garden.
Maybe THEY will become
MASTER GARDENERS
some  day!
 
Happy Dance!

Happy Dance!

 
In honor of my 
CHICKENS…
 
Chicken Dance is FREE!
 
Word Game

Chicken Dance Word Game from 1stgradefireworks

Happy Spring to all!
Wendy
Balanced Literacy Resource Binder

How do YOU FIT IT ALL IN? Balanced Literacy, that is!

BALANCED LITERACY IN FIRST GRADE!

I can’t believe this is year 30!

MY own twins were in first grade

My first year of teaching!
( NOT in my class…TG…)

Each year things CHANGE!

 Literacy has changed!

It is SO very important!
CHANGE is NOT a BAD thing!
It can make you rethink, reevaluate, redo, remake, and revitalize!

After 30 years…I can HONESTLY say…

I will NOT throw out the BABY with the BATHWATER!

WHAT????

OK…We have a new curriculum.  AGAIN!
EVERY  7 YEARS.
Whether you want it …or NOT!

And so, here we go again.

It really doesn’t matter what “program” you give me.

BALANCED  Literacy
is
BALANCED Literacy

My “STRESS” level rises when I try to plan.

Reality check…

Some days I can…some days I can’t.

It’s ok. 
Life won’t end if you don’t do it ALL!
BUT…
TRY!
Let’s start with :

 #1.. READ ALOUDS for Literacy Mentor Texts

READ  ALOUDS!
I start my day with READ ALOUD.
AND
I end my day with a READ ALOUD!
( I try to make ONE of those Read Alouds
 a SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES, or HOLIDAY story)
INTEGRATE whenever YOU can!
After EVERY story…We Discuss.
Characters.
Setting.
Problem.
Solution.
EVERY Read Aloud.
Discuss for  10 minutes …MAX!
Highly Effective! 
When students THINK about a story,
“turn & talk”
about it,
use the “academic language”
from the story, they are engaged!
They might NOT take it on
for themselves the first time…
but…over time, they will!
This week I heard some “reading partners”
 discussing  our anthology
story.
I heard “MAIN CHARACTER”, 
“Beginning, Middle, END”, 
“How did they SOLVE that Problem?”
WOWZA! 
 Teacher  Happy DANCE!
If you need suggestions for Read Alouds…
PINTEREST!
Next on my BALANCED LITERACY plan…
#2   INTERACTIVE  WRITING
So, how?  Where?  WHEN?
I LOVE interactive writing!
Interactive Writing is when the KIDS do the writing.
 We use chart paper. We discuss a story PLAN. 
We start with MAIN IDEA. Then we add 3 detail ideas.
 We add a conclusion. 
They help each other spell.
We sound out words together.
We discuss grammar.
And we write..and read…
and edit..and rewrite!
What a wonderful cycle!

I am using my interactive writing skills to

 incorporate our

#3  Word Work

NEW long vowel phonics concepts. 
We made a chart. 
Together we thought up words
that use our long vowel
 word families.
We made a vocabulary box
on the chart 
to remind us of words
we want to use in our story.
 And…THEY  WRITE! 
Smelly markers are a must! 

And we read…

This happens during our morning

meeting time. 

We spend about 5-10 minutes writing
each day for 5 days. 
Mondays..we begin a new story.
THEY LOVE THIS!
We started with Kate.
Long a with silent e.
Then Irene.
Long e with silent e.
Next week…
Long o with silent e.
Check out ..
Next we preview…
WRITER’S  WORKSHOP
Stop on by and let us know,
HOW do you incorporate
Balanced Literacy into your day?
Wendy
Rethinking Literacy in 2023

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER: Word Work Updates for 2023

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

Let’s talk Word Work. You know. Word Families, spelling, rhyming words, etc. 

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2023 is the Year of LITERACY!

Because 2022 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Keep reading to the bottom of this post for a

FUN FREEBIE

Free for Followers

Freebie for Followers

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

The Why? The What? and The How?

This Week:  Word Work

Balanced literacy has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaboration.

A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.

BALANCED LITERACY

This week:   WORD WORK!

You can’t THINK of Word Work without thinking …

Sight Words, High-Frequency Words, Word Families, Spelling, Phonics, etc…

Before we start…

WHAT IS WORD WORK?

During Word Work, students experiment with spelling patterns, memorize high-frequency words, and develop a genuine curiosity for and interest in new and unique words. As a result of playing with words, word patterns, word families, prefixes, suffixes, and so on, students hone their knowledge of words and increase their speaking and writing skills.

Daily 5

This Reading Mama

https://thisreadingmama.com/what-is-word-work/

What is WORD WORK?

Word work is a hands-on time to explore the spellings and/or meanings of words (vocabulary). Making time for word work is vital because it helps patterns and words move into long-term memory. Word work can help our learners become better readers, spellers, and writers. Depending on our learners’ developmental stages, they might use this time to focus on letters and their sounds, read and spell words, or work on word meanings. At the same time, learners have time to explore sight words.

When or HOW do I teach WORD WORK?

New for 2022…    Science of Reading

I am not an expert! Check out these “experts”:

Really Great Reading

Tara West on TPT

Christina Winter – Mrs. Winter’s Bliss (TPT)

 

 

To begin, here are a few suggestions:

1. Before a Small Group Reading Lesson – Before small group reading lessons, I review a previous word study, based on my learners’ word work needs. Beginning sounds, short vowels, ending sounds, etc. The key to these is that they should be quick and easy.

2. Spelling word practice. During our guided reading lesson, I might focus on our spelling words for the week or the word families we have reviewed in previous lessons. I always start with what the kids know…and then add new information.

3. A Small Group Lesson – Frequently I have strategy lessons just to focus on a particular phonics or spelling strategy, especially if we notice several learners struggling with the same thing.

4. Whole Group Instruction – I recommend a simple phonics lesson for all learners in the classroom each day. This isn’t a long lesson (10-15 at most) and covers phonics material that is on grade level. I have a district required curriculum. I use the curriculum phonics as my MORNING MEETING lesson. I can expand on it during my small group time.

I incorporate word work mini-lessons into my writing lessons, when appropriate. If we are working on multi-syllabic words, we will edit our writing for those words, also.  

Always be on the lookout for opportunities to support your students! When we are doing interactive writing, we incorporate MANY literacy practices! 

Balanced Literacy does NOT isolate skills and strategies.

Best practices are integrated throughout the entire school day.

First Grade Roars

Free Word Work

Free Word Work

Bethany Ray

 

CA Journeys BLENDING LINES Grade 1 Units 1-6

1stgradefireworks-Blending Lines

Word Work can be integrated from ANY curriculum and ANY resource.

Use science, social studies, reading, writing, and ANY vocabulary experience to support your WORD WORK studies. 

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

These Word Work resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.

 

Brain Games Word Workout Kit

Brain Games

Let's Go Fishing ( for Sight Words)

Let’s Go Fishing for Sight Words

 

So…Leave me a comment… What does Word Work look like in YOUR classroom?

 

FUN FREEBIE

Free for Followers

Freebie for Followers

 

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER : Shared Writing Updated for 2023

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2023 is the Year of LITERACY!

Because 2022 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Keep Reading to the bottom for a 

FUN FREEBIE

Free for Followers

Freebie for Followers

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

Why? What? and How?

The elementary classroom Balanced literacy model has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

As a result,  It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This 8-week series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaboration.

A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.

BALANCED LITERACY

This week:   Shared  Writing.

Week 1:  We discussed Read Alouds.

Week 2: We discussed   Shared Reading.

Week 3:  We discussed Guided Reading.

Week 4: We discussed Independent Reading.

Week 5: We discussed Interactive Writing.

This week we jump into  SHARED  WRITING.

Let’s talk about Shared Writing.

Before we write, we read, discuss, preview new vocabulary, and make connections about our thoughts and ideas.

Shared writing is an instructional approach to teach writing to students by writing with them. The idea is to teach writing through writing. The process of writing is demonstrated by the teacher through a ‘write aloud’ process. The teacher acts as a scribe while the students contribute ideas.

Effective literacy teachers present the demonstration, explanation, and models needed by naïve writers in order for them to understand how and why to incorporate genre and text structures (and such transcription skills as punctuation and spelling) into their own writing behavior.  ReadWriteThink.org

First, we will discuss Shared Writing.  The teacher transcribes the entire text while engaging students in a rich discussion about how the text should be composed.

  • Shared writing is taught to small groups or a whole class in briskly paced, 5- to 20-minute lessons.
  • Plan lessons for types of writing that present particular challenges to your students.
  • First, develop and extend children’s background and language knowledge on a topic or experience of interest.
  • Establish a purpose for the writing and an intellectually engaging opportunity for students to apply new learning.
  • Write the entire text yourself in front of students (using chart paper or document viewer) while requesting input from students regarding aspects of the writing where they most need to expand their expertise.

Stop for a moment and VISUALIZE what you have read.

  • During the writing, model processes needed by your students. Have a small whiteboard available, for example, to demonstrate to students how to say a word slowly and write sounds heard into “sound boxes” (Clay, 2006) before writing a phonetically regular word into the text for them.
  • Demonstrate in-the-moment revision during shared writing as necessary to construct a strong draft. Reread the text to students from time to time to discuss what needs to be written next or to monitor whether or not the text conveys information clearly.
  • Do not deliberately make errors during shared writing. Model the immediate construction of a high-quality draft.
  • Read the completed text to students.
  • Post the text in an accessible spot in the classroom, and provide opportunities for students to read or use the text multiple times over the next several days or weeks.

ReadWriteThink.org

Some tips to keep in mind for shared writing:

  • I use large paper that looks just like the paper the children use during writing workshop. I write on chart paper or perhaps a SmartBoard so the whole group can easily read it.
  • The children are engaged and involved in telling the story (or essay, song, poem, or other kinds of text).
  • I restate/scaffold children’s language by modeling rich language and coach them when they are the storyteller.
  • Over time, children see each step of the writing process modeled:
    • Coming up with ideas
    • Planning across the pages, rehearsing how the text will go
    • Drafting words and sentences
    • Revising
    • Editing
    • Publishing
  • Over time, children see qualities of good writing modeled:
    • Meaning
    • Organization/Structure
    • Genre
    • Detail
    • Voice
    • Conventions
  • TwoWritingTeachers
Shared Writing

How to Take Care of a Goldfish. The Daily Cupcake

The Daily Cupcake

Shared Writing

Shared Writing – MAth Anchor Chart – Kindergals

Kindergals

Tools that may be helpful for shared writing:

 

Mr. Sketch Smelly Markers

Mr. Sketch smelly markers

Teacher Books that may help with Shared Writing:

 

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

So…Leave me a comment… What does  Shared Writing look like in YOUR classroom?

FUN FREEBIE

 

Free for Followers

Freebie for Followers

Signature

Signature

 

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

We get a “Literacy” DO-OVER : Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop

And a FREE BALANCED LITERACY Resource to get you started!

2023 is the Year of LITERACY!

Because 2022 was so BAD….we get  DO-OVER!

We get a “LITERACY ” do-Over”!

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Rethinking Literacy in 2023

Read to the bottom

for a FUN FREEBIE

Free for Followers

Freebie for Followers

Ready to UPDATE your literacy block? 

Balanced Literacy: Here is your NEW YEAR’s PLAN!

*DISCLAIMER…  I know the Science of Reading is the NEW “go-to” for teaching Reading.

I AM NOT AN EXPERT! I am learning. I have been teaching reading to FIRST GRADERS for 30+ Years. AND I AM ALWAYS  LEARNING. SO… I hope YOU are open to new ideas & “reusing” OLD ideas to help our “littles” learn. If this helps YOU – Yeah! ( Jan. 2022). 

The Why? The What? and The How?

This Week:  Writer’s Workshop

Balanced literacy has been defined as  “an approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency.” (Fountas & Pinnell, 2001)

It is an approach to teaching. NOT a curriculum. It is HOW we teach our students to be independent readers and writers. It is NOT what books we use to teach them.

Balanced Literacy has been defined in “components” or  “pieces” of literacy instruction.

This series will focus on the components of a complete BALANCED LITERACY program. We will focus on clear and concise definitions. Definitions that educators can discuss in collaborations. A “common language” where we can learn from each other and with each other.

The 8 components we will focus on are:

  1. Read Alouds
  2. Shared Reading
  3. Guided Reading
  4. Independent Reading
  5. Modeled / Interactive Writing
  6. Shared Writing
  7. Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop
  8. Word Work

Each week we will focus on one area of Balanced Literacy and share experiences,  teacher tips, and resources to support and expand our Balanced Literacy repertoire.

BALANCED LITERACY

This week:   Guided Writing / Writer’s Workshop

This week we jump into Writer’s Workshop!

You can’t THINK of Writing without thinking …

LUCY  CALKINS and others.

During the writing workshop, students are invited to live, work and learn as writers. They observe their lives and the world around them while collecting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing well-crafted narrative and expository texts. Students receive direct instruction in a minilesson, during which the teacher explicitly names a skill proficient writers use that is within reach for most of the class, then demonstrates the skill and provides students with a brief interval of guided practice using it. Students then have time to write, applying the repertoire of skills and strategies they’ve learned, while receiving feedback through one-to-one conferences and small group instruction designed to move them along trajectories of development.

Lucy Calkins

The four components of Writer’s Workshop are:

  1. The Mini-Lesson
  2. Writing
  3. Conferring
  4. Share

Let’s discuss each part.

1. The Writing Workshop Mini-Lesson

 The mini-lessons are short, focused, direct. They typically fall into the categories of classroom procedures, the writer’s process, the qualities of good writing, and editing skills. The lesson is 5-10 minutes of directed instruction. Start off your writing lessons by brainstorming ideas. This lesson will help set the stage for a year of writing by giving students a place to find ideas to put in their future writing pieces. If you use interactive notebooks or writing folders, each student needs a place to put ideas, writing pieces in process, and finished works.

Rockin Resources

Writer's Workshop

Tips & Tricks for Writer’s Workshop

Where the Wild Things Learn

Launching Writer's Workshop

Launching Writer’s Workshop

Teaching with Crayons and Curls

 

2) The Writing in Writer’s Workshop

In my first grade classroom, my students have a folder, a journal, and a Pictionary ( pictures and words ). At the beginning of the school year, we practice writing.

Our routines include:

  1.  First,  they draw a picture with your PENCIL. ( No crayons, yet )
  2. Next, they write the words. After one month of school, we are now beginning to write 2-3 sentences. NO— THEY ARE NOT PERFECT—-  We are just beginning the process.
  3. Last, they may color their picture …unless they would like to ADD MORE. And then they can ADD MORE words to match the picture!
  4. I like to play classical music while my students are writing. I FEEL it helps them focus on their writing and gives them a quiet, calm atmosphere to create.

Right now our writing stamina is at about 10-15 minutes. As we become better writer’s, our stamina will increase to about 30-40 minutes.

3) Conferring during Writer’s Workshop

 CCSD102

4) Sharing During Writer’s Workshop

We call it the AUTHOR’S CHAIR.

My students are placed into 4 groups. 10-15 minutes before we dismiss, we ask the 6 team members if they would like to READ or PASS. If they choose to READ, they get their journal and come to the big “TEACHER CHAIR”. They choose 1 story to share with us. Our emergent readers can tell us the story and then they show us their picture.

Later in the year, we will give one compliment and ask one question to the “AUTHOR”. They LOVE this! It is important to discuss “beginning writer’s” and “advanced writers”, ahead of time.

No hurt feelings and EVERYONE’S work is appreciated! 

Writer’s Workshop is a planned time during the day when students can create writing of their own.

During this time, guided writing small groups may be meeting with the teacher or individual conferences may be happening. Whatever your choice, embrace the attempts. The successes and the failures will make them better readers and writers. We learn from our mistakes. Hold them accountable. Quality work is always our goal.

 

These literacy posts may help in YOUR Balanced Literacy journey.

Balanced Literacy

Read At Home

Flexible Seating

Read Alouds

Reading at Home

These Writer’s Workshop resource books for TEACHERS may be helpful for YOUR reading.

Writing Strategies

Writing Strategies

Writing Strategies

 

Launching Writer's Workshop the Book

Launching Writer’s Workshop the Book

Launching the Writing Workshop

So…Leave me a comment… What does Writer’s Workshop look like in YOUR classroom?

Also…  check out these WONDERFUL teacherpreneurs to connect with!

Sept, Teacher Talk

Check out these amazing teacher blogs on TEACHER TALK

Free for Followers

Freebie for Followers

 

FUN FREEBIE