We spent this week revising and editing our small moment stories. Each student had the chance to choose a favorite piece they had been working on and then we worked to make it even better.
After revising and editing, we added color to our pictures and a cover page with a title and author. Finally, at the end of the week, we got to celebrate our stories! After reading and coloring, we shared compliments about what we’ve learned as writers and had our Hawaiian Punch toast! We had a great time wrapping up our second unit of writing. We hope you enjoy the stories that come home!
This week we focused on zooming in to the most important part of our small moment story. When we are writing our stories, it is easy to list off a bunch of things we did. We might end up with stories that sound like this….
“This weekend I went to the mall with my mom. We got some clothes. Then we went to Subway and got a sandwich. Next we went home and watched a movie. I hope we can do that again!”
We have been calling this a watermelon story. A watermelon story is a big story (many moments). In Writer’s Workshop, we want to write tiny seed stories. These stories are small, zoomed in stories. Like seeds in a watermelon, there are small stories inside of big stories.
Looking at the example story, we could write a seed story of going to the mall. We could also write a story about getting our sandwich from Subway or watching a movie at home. We want to focus on one moment in time, and write lots of details about that one time.
We also talked about making sure to add details to that seed story. We can do this by adding dialogue, writing details that use our five senses, and adding actions of what our hands, feet, and face are doing.
We are continuing to write Small Moment stories in Writer’s Workshop. We began the week by learning about PUNCTUATION ( . ! ? ). In order for the kids to know where to add their punctuation, they needed to know when a sentence was complete. We spent time building sentences and we learned that you must have a who and a what in order to be a sentence. We practiced adding PUNCTUATION to stories that didn’t have them. This can be a hard concept to grasp and we will continue to work on it all year. We shared our stories with our partners and pointed out our WHOs and our WHATs and where we added our punctuation.
This week, we focused heavily on capital letters. We talked about the three main places that we need to add capital letters: the word I, names of things, & at the beginning of a sentence. We spent time practicing together and they worked hard to add these to their own writing. We are encouraging them to be careful not to add capital letters to all their words (which is common for beginning writers). Understanding what a sentence is and when one starts and ends is a tricky concept that we will continue to build on throughout the year.
We started a new unit of writing this week, focusing on making our stories easy for other people to read. We spent time focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and spelling our word wall words correctly. We spent time writing a shared writing piece. We chose to write about our first writing celebration and we have been working our way through the steps of writing a good small moment story, focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and word wall words. We are seeing some huge growth in handwriting and finger spaces.
We have had a busy week in Writer’s Workshop! We know that good small moments stories have lots of details and one of those details includes using dialogue in our stories. We can add dialogue by either writing exactly what someone in our story said or we can add a speech bubble to our picture and write what our character said in the speech bubble.
We also learned this week, how to finish our stories with a special ending We talked about how when you give a gift, you finish by wrapping it up and tying a bow. Stories are similar, our endings help “tie a bow” to our stories and help the reader know that our story is finished. We talked about how sharing some thoughts or feelings at the end of our story is a good way to finish. We used some sentence starters to help us think of some good ideas for endings.
My favorite endings were the “I hope” endings, and we had a chance to share some of our great endings with the rest of the class. We challenged the kids at the end of the week to see if they could start a new story that included all of the parts of a good small moment story.
We are continuing to work on Small Moment stories during Writer’s Workshop. This week we focused on using details in our writing to fill up all the lines (No Mr. Blank Lines!). Good writers add details to their stories. Some details that we can add are…
We also focused on making sure to s-t-r-e-t-c-h out each word in our story so that we can write down each sound that we hear. When writers write a word, we stretch it out slowly like a rubber band. We write down the first, middle, and last sounds that we hear in that word. First Graders are working very hard on writing their small moment stories! Way to go!!
We continued to work on writing small moment stories during our writers workshop. This week, we learned that great writers include the 3 W‘s in their writing:
By including the 3 W’s on our first page, our writing is clear, detailed, and paints a picture for the reader. For example:
My family went for a bike ride around our neighborhood.
Our class ate two Oreos in the classroom.