Saturday, March 3, 2012

Writing FREEBIE!

I have been working with my first graders on writing. My students were able to write a sentence, but struggled with paragraphs and with staying focused on one topic.
Here is an example of their earlier writing in the year:

Therefore, I made this template. Here is how it works:

Day 1- Pre-writing: 
          * 1st sentence- Introductory Sentence: 
              - In the beginning of the year, we develop this sentence together.
              - In the middle of the year, I will give students a topic to write about.
              - Towards the end of the year, they will write about any topic independently.

          * 2nd, 3rd, and 4th sentence- Students will draw a picture about the topic.
Day 2- Pre-writing:
                * Students will go back and write one simple sentence to describe their pictures for sentences 2, 3, and 4. 
             * 5th sentence- Conclusion sentence:

              - In the beginning of the year, we develop this sentence together.
              - In the middle of the year, I will guide students in writing a conclusion sentence.
              - Towards the end of the year, they will write this sentence independently.


Day 3- Rough Draft
              * Students will write sentences onto writing paper. Having the paper numbered allows them to write their sentences in order from 1-5.

Day 4-  Revising:
           * Students will begin revising. I have the students look for two details that they can add. For my students, it tends to be adding more adjectives and descriptive words. They do their revisions with green pens or markers.
           * Editing- Students will edit their work. They are required to go back with a red pen or marker and check their spelling. My students have a "FROG Notebook". Inside their notebook is a Word List that matches our word wall. When we introduce a word to the word wall they also write it in their notebook. I will meet with some students today to check their revisions and discuss their writing.


Day 5- Final Copy
         * I will meet with any students that I was not able to meet with yesterday to discuss their writing.
         * Students will write their Final Copy in their Writing Journal. I have a Rubric that I use to assess their writing. They understand the standards of what makes great writing.

This is her pre-writing.
This is a rough draft that we edited together.


* I love this writing method because it allows students to work at their own pace. Some students take a little longer on their writing, but this allows for differentiation in writing. 

* I also have a board where the students track where they are in the writing process. This allows me to see which students may need a little more help or assistance. 

Students are really improving in their writing. Also, by their being no beginning or end, I no longer hear "I'M DONE! What can I do now?" I had a few little kiddos that would rush through writing and not do their best...just so that they could be done. Now, my students are spending more time improving their writing instead of just rushing through. 

PLEASE click here to check out my FREE pre-writing template. I would appreciate if you would follow my blog to download this freebie :). Also, please let me know if this writing works as well for your students. I love that it takes such a hard task and breaks it into smaller steps to make it less overwhelming for my students.

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