We continued to work on writing small moment stories.
We talked about how important it is to plan out a story before we start writing. This ensures that we don’t put all the details on the first page and then run out of things to say AND 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.
Then, we worked on revising stories to make them better by ADDING more to our stories. The students looked for pages that had blank lines and then brainstormed more details to add by thinking about WHO? WHAT? WHERE? WHEN? & HOW?
We ended the week by focusing on writing all the sounds we hear in words. We noticed that some words we could write in a snap! Some words had chunks inside of them that we already knew how to write. And, with words that we didn’t know, we practiced counting the sounds we heard as we stretched it out and then we wrote down the letters that matched each of the sounds we counted.
During Writer’s Workshop, we have been writing small moment stories. A small moment story is personal narrative (a true story about you)!
We started by building a poster: How to Write a Story
We practiced thinking of an idea. We then planned it out by sketching a beginning, middle, and end. And then, we began writing the words to match out story. We wrote a few stories together first and then, last week, the kids got to try writing on their own. They have done such a great job of showing us what they know and it will be so fun to watch them grow as writers this year.
This week during writing, the first graders took their last writing assessment. Thank you for all your help with brainstorming a character, problem, and solution with your child this week. They have done amazing with making sure to write a realistic story with lots of details!
We also took some time to pass back all of the writing assessments and celebrations from the beginning of the year and put them into a book. The first graders had so much fun looking at their writing from the very first day of school. They have grown SO much this year as writers! Look for this special keepsake in the next couple of weeks! We will spend the last weeks of school reviewing and practicing all the different kinds of writing we have learned this year.
This week in writing, we wrote a shared writing piece. We focused on all the things a good realistic fiction story should have and wrote a class story together.
After that, we spent a couple days working on our shared writing, we challenged the first graders to write their own story and to make sure the story had all the right details. They had two days to write their stories and I collected them to read on Friday. I was so impressed with how hard they worked and how creative they have been with their stories. This coming week we will wrap up our writing unit and celebrate our stories by the end of the week!
In writing this week, we spent the whole week learning different ways to add details in our writing. We learned that good writers add movement and dialogue to their to stories so that the stories come to life. Another way we can add details is to make sure we tell the small steps. This helps our reader visualize exactly what is going on in our stories.
Finally, we focused on adding feelings in our writing. We can do this by telling how our character is feeling but it makes it even more real when we show how our character is feeling by using a Show, Not Tell. Instead of saying “She was so happy”, we could say, “She was grinning from ear to ear”. Instead of “He was embarrassed”, we could write “His face turned red”. This gives the reader a much better picture in their mind as they read our stories.
This past week we wrapped up our unit on How To writing!
We picked our favorite How To teaching story to get ready to celebrate. We made sure our piece had all of the parts of a good how to story by checking our stories with partners. Then we made sure we had capital letters, finger spaces, neat handwriting, and punctuation to make our writing easy to read. Finally, we added color to our teaching pictures.
On Friday, we were ready to celebrate! We partnered up to share our writing and act out each step. We all had fun celebrating our fantastic writing!
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 wash your hands. 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 week, we transitioned back into writers’ workshop starting by diving into some nonfiction ALL ABOUT books. We studied books that were written to teach us new facts about one topic and then the kids tried writing one all on their own. We will continue to work on writing that teaches next week, as we move into our unit on HOW TO writing.
This week, we also introduced the first graders to a new kind of writing called CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. Good readers are able to respond to their reading by answering questions about what they’ve read. A CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE is a way of fully answering a question (RACE) and this is something they are expected to be able to do independently by third grade. We will start practicing these types of writing exercises each week.
Our first graders started this practice by playing a game called WOULD YOU RATHER? The kids listened to questions and figured out their answer, and then practiced fully responding to the question in a format that shows they understand the question (restate question – I would rather…), then, answer the question (answer – ALL parts), and give a reason for their choice (because…). We will continue to work on this throughout the school year and we will grow in our expectations of what they are adding to their CONSTRUCTED RESPONSE. If you see any constructed response papers come home, have your child read through their response with you and point out those three parts (restate, answer).