Tag Archives: grammar

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 


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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.


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.


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


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?



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Freebie for Followers




How to Teach GRAMMAR in the SPRING

Do YOU teach prefixes and suffixes? WE DO!

I teach at Title 1 school. My first graders are learning English, trying to learn to read, and for some, WE are their biggest supporters!

When I introduce grammar…. it can be a struggle.

The BusyTeacher Library
The BusyTeacher Library

The Busy Teacher has a great post on 5 Fun Ways to Teach Grammar to ESL students.

4 resources for teaching grammar to ESL students
4 resources for teaching grammar to ESL students

Fluentu.com also has a great post on teaching grammar to ESL students.

First, one of my grammar lessons this week was teaching first graders ( EL’s & EO’s) how to add prefixes to base words AND how to define them for reading and writing!

A very HIGH LEVEL CONCEPT for seven-year-olds!

Then, I started with LOTS of vocabulary. We started with BASE WORDS. Then we added prefixes. LOTS of classroom discussions. We moved around the room working with different partners. We played games, And… we worked HARD!

My newest product helped us A LOT!


Match the FLOWER and the FLOWER POT to make new vocabulary words!

Spring Prefixes for creating and defining higher level vocabulary words.
Spring Prefixes for creating and defining higher level vocabulary words.
Spring Prefixes for teaching grammar and vocabulary.
Spring Prefixes for teaching grammar and vocabulary.

Finally with practice, chants, dances, movement, discussions, partners, and lots of practice… ALL students can learn to add prefixes to their repertoire of skills and strategies for reading, writing, and word work.

NEXT? SUFFIXES! Here we go! 🙂

Spring is HERE my friends!

Here are some SPRING RESOURCES to help YOU out!

Robby Rabbit's Garden... a complete plant unit reading, writing, math for SPRING!
Robby Rabbit’s Garden… a complete plant unit reading, writing, math for SPRING!
Spring Math Task Cards Addition and subtraction
Spring Math Task Cards Addition and subtraction
SPRING Word Trees updated with EXTENSIONS
SPRING Word Trees updated with EXTENSIONS

Guided Reading

How to help students EDIT THEIR WRITING

Have fun my friends! Leave me a comment and tell me…


Do you like to play games? GOTCHA!


I really do.

My kiddos LOVE to play games.

They learn to take turns, to negotiate, to strategize…
and to win peacefully, 
and lose graciously.
So…I created a game.
Not just ANY game.
A game kindergartners can play WITH second graders…
Here is my newest product:
(Think 4-in-a-row type games.)


The directions are pretty simple…
Take turns placing your tokens on the MAT…
Try to get 4 in a row.
You can get 4 in a row horizontal, vertical, or diagonal!
BUT…be careful!
Your partner will try to BLOCK YOU!
When you BLOCK them…


Multiple game mats are included.
You can play a variety of levels, as needed.
Differentiation at its BEST!


The tokens are what make the difference.
There are a variety of leveled tokens.
From ABCs & 123’s…to short vowels…to contractions, and more!
Players must READ before playing a token!
READ?  and have fun???   


Packet includes:

3 differentiated game mats.

16 different themed player tokens.
Here is a PREVIEW of the packet.
Click Below
Happy Summer my friends!
Wendy  1stgradefireworks