Jasper Roberts Consulting - Widget

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Write. Every. Day. {Longest post about Writing Ever}

Hey Y'all and Happy Summer!!

Who out there struggles with getting your kids writing every single day?!?!  We know it's super important...yet, so hard to:

1. Find time amongst all the other 10,000 things to do each day.
2. Get kids to put thoughts and words on paper.
3. Once they get words...having them write at least 1 complete sentence...THEN expand and write more!
4. Have a writing block without you wanting to pull all of your hair out strand by strand.

This is me....WAS me.  I have always loved the idea of a writing block...one where my room is calm, relaxed, every kid is writing the whole time...I'm conferencing with individual kids...the whole 9 yards.

Let me add, this post is not about Writing Workshop.  I love the idea of Writing Workshop!  I think it works!  This is just what made writing in my classroom easier for me...and was better than doing a little here and a little there.  This was consistent for me.  And, it made all the difference.


I had to figure out something that worked for me and my kids and my schedule.  I was tired of not knowing what to do or how to get my kids started on writing.  Let's face it...when I get a new group of kiddos...the majority have never been to preschool.  They can't hold a pencil, they don't know letters or sounds.  They can't write their name.  How in the world are they supposed to be writing stories at the end of the year?

Here's what made sense to me when I created this Write Every Day packet to use with my kids.  
1. Practice sounding out words
2. Labeling pictures
3. Stretching out LONG words
4. Writing at least 1 complete sentence
5. Practicing tracing a correct sentence then writing it on my own
6. Growing a simple sentence
7. Fixing and incorrect sentence
8. Elaborating and writing more than 1 sentence

Another thing that makes sense to me is whatever letter I am focusing on for the week...well, focus on that.  So, I have all of these activities for each letter of the alphabet!  With that said, I do not do Letter of the Week.  I believe strongly in introducing and teaching all letters and sounds from the beginning, but as part of our reading series we focus on 1 or 2 letters per week.  Basically, students will see activities during centers and such geared toward that specific letter plus previously taught letters.

Okay enough blabbing...on with the pictures!

This is an example of what we would do on Monday.  For a long time, we did this together...as I  modeled and we sounded out the words together. 
There's a challenge word for each letter too.  Perfect for more advanced students.
Notice I had my kids circle the words that rhymed.
There's lots of things you can do with these papers besides just sounding out the word.

Here's en example of the Label It page.  Students use the word bank to the left and they must use their knowledge of middle and ending sounds to help them decide which words goes in which box.
Again, we do this together at the beginning.  I'm modeling how to stretch out words and listen for sound other than beginning sounds.
Fast Finishers write a sentence or 2 using one of the words.

This is seriously one of the most fun pages we do all week.  My kids LOVED this one and I loved looking at them just as much!
The purpose of this page is to get kids to stretching out LONG words and trying to hear as many sounds as they can in a word...other than the typical 3 they usually get.  I gave the number of how many sounds are actually in the word.
This tells me a lot about my kids.  Are they hearing many sounds or just a few?  Are they getting blends and digraphs?

 This little guy had sneaky e down pat.  Do you see it?!?!  Another reason I LOVE this page!

Here is Trace It Try It.  I wanted to my students to trace a correct sentence a few times then try to copy it and get it CORRECT.  Uppercase, spaces, and punctuation.  Sounds easy right?  Nope.  But, this helped a lot!
Students use a paper clip to spin a color then trace 1 of the sentences that color.
Then, they write it with a pencil...in case of mistakes.  There will be mistakes.  HA!
I let my kiddos get a clipboard and their writing box and find a spot in the room to do this activity.  

Write a Sentence: We always want our students to write a sentence.  Just one sentence.  Y'all...it takes a long time for some kids to be able to do it.  Doing this every week helped my kids a TON!  This is a little more structured than free journal writing even though that's super important too.
The paper gives them a picture and the word to write about.  
These are examples of writing after January.  We had already been talking a lot about adjectives and growing our sentences a lot so you can see that some students were beginning to grasp that concept.  A lot of times I would put a cloud around adjective, or a sticker heart, or marker heart just to let them know I "noticed" their hard word!  

 The lines are where I asked this student to go back and correct his lowercase letters to an uppercase letter.  Notice the heart for using an adjective.

 This student is EL and was reeeeeeeeally struggling with writing. period.
I'm TICKLED that she got " I have egg."  
HUGE accomplishment for this one!  
They won't all look like the above.  I'm okay with that as long as they are making progress in their OWN way!  YAY!
This little paper had a "PARTY" because it was awesome!  I sprayed adhesive then dipped it in confetti.  
Note: The spray adhesive wasn't very sticky.  Trying to come up with another solution because my students loved when their paper had a party!

Growing Sentences!
We had a mini lesson on adjective and using them in our writing.  My students were already familiar with what adjective were at this point so we created this giant flower with different adjectives on each petal.  You can see this went all the way to the ceiling in our classroom.
We brainstormed the words together then I glued it and hung it up later.  This was a great visual for my students to "spice up" or "fancy" their writing.  Plus, I could say don't forget to grow your sentences and point to the flower.
 This page we did together.  I added little shapes to make it easier for you to guide students where they should be.  

I made this little anchor chart and I mean we used it Every. Single. Day.  
I always held it up and we read it together.  We held up a finger each time we said something.  After a while all I had to do was say "A good sentence has 3 things"...and they just knew it!  
 Here was  mini lesson we did closer to the beginning.  I saw this on Instagram from Kindergarten_Chaos!  So cute!
 One thing I don't think I've mentioned was pulling kids during this time.  I always tried to pull a few students and work with them small group for a little more individualized instruction.  
These students are using tools from their writing box.  I'll blog about these a little later.
 One last thing!  I tried really hard to meet back up at the rug after writing...especially on the days we did the "Write a Sentence" page.  I love to give my kids an opportunity to share their writing and as you can see below we Silent Cheered for great writing!!  
So fun!  I tried to point out at least one great thing like....I love the way you used adjectives today, or You're sentence is so interesting and thoughtful.  (Y'all I get so tired of I see the sun, and I like the dog.)

There you have it!  A condensed version of how I use Write Every Day in my classroom.  
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Exciting News!!!

I have some exciting news to share!
Next year, I will be co-teaching in kindergarten!!  Same school, same grade (I teach in an ALL kindergarten school), different classroom!  
That's right...Jamie Mayas from Mrs. Mayas' Kinders and I will be teaching together in the same classroom!  
Excited would be an understatement.
I have taught K in the same room for 11 years and it was great, but I am ready for a change.  Um, packing 11 years worth of teacher stuff was challenging.  HA!  
I can't wait to share with you our adventures of co-teaching and what our new classroom will look like!  
Here's my old classroom...
 Here will be our new classroom!
They knocked down a wall to make a larger classroom to fit 36 kiddos instead of 18.
Stay tuned for our classroom tour in a couple months...but for now 
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