This week in writing we continued working on our How To’s! We worked on picking out a strong topic that we know a lot about and then planning out our How To by sketching out the steps. Then, we focused on the attributes of a good introduction and conclusion.
The first graders are coming up with really cool and detailed How To’s. Next week we will work on fixing up our How To’s and celebrating them!!
We are just getting started with a new writing unit: How To! We noticed this week that How To writing teaches us how to do something.
We then practiced writing a How To as a whole class. We wrote How To WALK IN THE HALL. As a class we thought of all the materials you would need and the steps in order. Before we wrote our steps, we drew a teaching picture for each step and then wrote our steps out.
We want to make sure that what we are writing about is something we know how to do before we start. We need your help! This weekend, please brainstorm with your First Grader about some topics that they know how to do. Some ideas included might include…
-How to build a snowman
-How to jump rope
-How to play with your dog
-How to take care of your pet
-How to play tic, tac, toe
-How to brush your teeth
We will create a class list of ideas on Monday! I can’t wait to hear all the good ideas!
This past week we spent most of our writing time preparing a special story to share at our writing celebration! First, we picked out a story that we are very proud of to revise on our own and to check for all the parts of a good small moment story. Then, we edited our stories by making sure they were easy to read. After that, we got a chance to use colored pencils to add some color to our stories. Finally, on Thursday, we celebrated!
During our celebration time, we had a chance to add a cover to our story and share a favorite part of our story with the whole class. I am so proud of how far these first graders have come as writers since the beginning of the year.
We focused on making our stories easy for other people to read, this week. We spent time focusing on neat handwriting, finger spaces, and spelling our word wall words correctly.
We spent time practicing putting capitals in the right places – we focused on making sure to capitalize the letter I when we talk about ourselves. We are encouraging our writers to be careful not to add capital letters to all their words (which is common for beginning writers). We will continue to build on where to add capitals and punctuation throughout the school year.
This week, we took time to remember all that we’ve learned about small moment narrative stories. We made a chart with the class to list all the things they should be adding to each of their stories to make their story the best small moment story they know how to write.
We challenged the class to see if they could start a new story and add all these things to their story. We collected the story and will send it home to share with you. When you see it come home, have your child read it to you and see if they can point out the different parts of the chart that they added to their own story!
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.
We also focused on making our stories easier to read. We introduced the strategy of using a word wall to access frequently used words and spell them correctly in our stories.
This week, we continued to add details to our stories that bring our stories to life. We worked on adding tiny steps to our stories and telling them one step at a time, instead of zooming through all the parts.
We also learned this week, how to finish our stories with a special ending by adding our feelings or thoughts. 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.
The kids have gotten the hang of planning their stories with a beginning, middle, and end, but they don’t always add more than just one detail on each page. So, this week, we focused on adding details to our stories that bring our stories to life. We especially worked to make our characters move and make our characters talk. It was so fun to see the different ways the first graders were adding these details to the words and in the pictures. We’ll keep adding new ways to bring our stories to life next week.
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 above, 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.
At the end of the week, we emptied our writing folders and sent all their stories home. Check out some of the stories your first grader has been working on!