This week, we focused mainly on working with partners to revise and edit our writing. The students handed their stories over to their partners to see if their partners could read their words. When a partner couldn’t read a word, the two writers would work together to add more sounds to the word so that it was easier to read. They practiced using their Word Wall to check for words to be spelled correctly. I also gave the students the challenge of writing a complete story in one day…with still making it easy to read. The students did there best to meet that challenge and they have made so many gains in how easy their stories are for friends to read. It is amazing to look at what their stories used to look like and then now to see how much extra energy they put in to stretching out words, adding spaces, and making their writing neat.
We are also working on adding punctuation to our stories to make it easier for our readers to understand. This is hard for first graders because in order for them to know where to put a period, they need to understand where a sentence ends (and what qualifies as a sentence). A sentence is a hard concept for first graders to grasp. We talked about how periods are cues for readers to know that they can pause and think about the writing before moving on. We also talked about how a sentence will have a WHO and a WHAT. We practiced building sentences to help them better identify an incomplete sentence compared to a complete sentence. The first graders did a lot of experimenting on where to put periods. It is hard, but we will keep plugging along and practicing adding that punctuation into our stories to make them easier to read.