We have been just like buzzing bees working on our informational writing the past few weeks!!
We focused on revising them with some new techniques to make them even better. We learned how to add precise words to make our writing more exact. We used exclamations and wondered to make our books more interesting. We even made comparisons to show how our topics are like or unlike something else.
Precise Words: All whale have blowholes to help them breathe. Several whales have teeth.
Exclaim & Wonder: Blue whales use baleen to help them eat. Did you know that?
Comparisons: Whales can be very large. Some whales are bigger than a bus!
This past week, we began getting ready for our next writing celebration. We chose our best informational book to keep at school and worked to be sure that our book made sense. Then, we focused on making our books easy-to-read. We edited our books by adding punctuation and capital letters. We also went back to spell our words correctly.
Next week we will fancy up the illustrations in our books, add a table of contents, cover, and celebrate!!!
During our writing time this week, we reviewed all the parts of a great Non-Fiction book and took on the challenge of writing a whole book in two days using one of our expert topics from reading workshop. The books were incredible and our first graders sure did work hard!!!
We also spent time this week talking about facts and opinions. If we are writing a teaching page about the lunchroom, we want to include facts like:
“The lunchroom has a place to get drinks.”
“There are tables for every class to sit at in the lunchroom.”
“Mrs. Reagan will come and visit in the lunchroom.”
We are trying to be careful not to add opinions that tell how we feel because someone else might not feel the same way:
“I love to sit by my friends.”
“My favorite lunch is chicken nuggets.”
Next week, we will try adding comparisons and exclamations to our books!!!
Our first grade writers jumped right back into working on their nonfiction books after spring break. This week, we talked about adding a topic sentence to our teaching pages. To write a topic sentence, we take our heading and restate it with a little extra detail. For example, if our heading is The Georgetown Library our topic sentence might say:
“The Georgetown library has many books.”
Then, we encouraged our first graders to add more true details to the rest of the page. We are trying to add facts, not opinions to our books! Here are some examples:
“There are nonfiction books, fiction books, and chapter books too. First graders can choose one book to bring home. You must remember to bring your book back every Wednesday to get a new one from the library. ”
Nonfiction books frequently have a conclusion at the end to summarize the big ideas. Later in the week, we learned how to add a conclusion that restated our topic and encouraged our reader to care about our topics the way we love our topics.
“Now you know all about libraries. I hope that you go to visit a library someday too!”
Finally, we learned how to make our pictures teach using labels, diagrams, directions arrows, captions, charts, maps, and even zooming into the most important part of our drawings. Our books are looking great!!!
This week during Writer’s Workshop we jumped right into writing nonfiction books.
We talked about all that we have learned about nonfiction books this year and then we built a list of the features we will add to our nonfiction books. We then picked a topic we are all experts at, Georgetown Elementary School, and wrote a nonfiction book together.
Next week, we’ll brainstorm ideas that the kids are experts in and they’ll start writing their own.
After working for a few days to write our last small moment story, we continued to work on drafting CONSTRUCTED RESPONSEs to questions about a text. Our first graders have worked hard to listen to questions and figure out answers, but they need to fully respond to a question in a format that shows they understand the question (restate question), they can answer the question (answer – ALL parts), and they can use information from the text to back up the answer they chose (cite information from the text).
This week, we used Raz-Kids as a tool to help us practice our constructed response. When the first graders reach a certain level within Raz-Kids, a constructed response question gets added the end of the quiz they take after reading their book. We worked together to read a story, answer the quiz questions, and then form a constructed response answer to the last question.
This week, the first graders worked hard to get ready for our fifth writing celebration of the year. We spent time sorting our stories into a GREAT pile and a ‘not so great’ pile. They chose one story to revise and edit. Then, in preparation for our celebration, we studied other authors and noticed that they had added a cover with a title, a dedication page, and an all about the author page. And just like them, we tried it too! If the stories don’t entertain you, the about the author pages will! It was such a fun celebration of all we’ve learned!!!
In Writer’s Workshop we have been adding leads and endings to our stories.
Our leads are our way to hook our readers into our stories. We can use weather, season, and time of day to get the reader’s attention.
Example: “One hot summer morning, we went swimming in the pool.”
Our endings wrap up our stories and signal to the reader that our story is finished. We noticed that authors we were reading added their big idea or heart of the story (lesson we can learn) at the end. We worked on wrapping up our stories like our mentor authors by using sentence starters like I really like… or … is so much fun.
Example: “I am so thankful that I don’t have to share a room with my little sister.”
In Writer’s Workshop, we worked on adding more details to our Small Moment stories. First, we talked about using our five senses to show not tell what we were feeling. Instead of saying “I was so happy”, we could say, “I was grinning from ear to ear”. Instead of “I was embarrassed”, we could write “My face turned red”. This gives the reader a much better picture in their mind as they read our stories.
We revisited what we learned about dialogue. Anything we heard or said can be added to our story to make it more detailed. We noticed that we used the word “said“ a lot – boring! There are many much more interesting words to use that just “said”! We created a list of words to use instead of said including…
In Writer’s Workshop we are back to Small Moment (Tiny Seed) stories! We reminded ourselves that Small Moment stories are zoomed in stories that are true about you! We also reviewed that they tell the who, what, and where on the first page.
During this unit, we will be using some authors we know (and meeting some new ones) as mentors. We talked as a class how a mentor is someone who teaches you something. The authors we are going to look at are great writers, so they can teach us how to write even better Small Moment stories!