During Writer’s Workshop, we have been writing small moment stories. A Small Moment story is a true story about you!
We talked about how important it is to plan out a story before we start writing it (so, we don’t put all the details on the first page and then run out of things to say OR to make sure that we know what we want to share on each page, in case we don’t finish the story in one day and have to come back to it another day). To help the kids make a plan, we created a new writing paper that includes a special box on each page for them to draw a quick sketch in. We practiced drawing a quick sketch for the beginning, middle, and end, before writing any words or drawing any pictures.
During Writer’s Workshop, we have been writing small moment stories. A small moment story is a true story about you!
So far, we’ve learned that good small moment stories have a beginning, middle, and end. So, we’ve been writing across three page booklets and the kids have been doing a great job of stretching out their stories.
We also learned that good writers always keep working! We used the phrase “When you’re done – you’ve only just begun!”. Good writers add details to their pictures and words, or they can start a new story.
Remind your child that anything they do (soccer practice, reading a book together, play a game, visiting grandma and grandpa) can become a small moment story!!!
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.”