Adventures in Literacy Land: Emergent Writers

Showing posts with label Emergent Writers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Emergent Writers. Show all posts

Using Framed Paragraphs to Help Young Writers

Hello, again, Literacy Land!  It's Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars. I have been working closely with our second-grade teacher to help her struggling readers {and writers} to show success in literacy activities.  Recently, took on the writing aspect with these 5 students. We started by writing about someone in the group.

I started by modeling the entire process for them.

First, I made  T-chart about my "friend" Beth.  Now I don't have a friend named Beth, but she reminds me a lot of my daughter. We chose three items in each column to use in our paragraph.

Then I used the T-chart to write a short paragraph describing her.  The kids helped a little, and we talked about making sure our sentences were not all the same.

The best part of the process was letting them work on their own paragraphs.  They first interviewed a person in our group and wrote the information on the T-chart.  _____ looks like and Things _____ likes to do.  Then they chose their items wisely.

Finally, they used a framed paragraph that I created for this purpose to help them write a paragraph.

They loved doing this because they could feel successful in writing something that makes sense. It's amazing how something so simple can help students be successful in writing and take that success with them everywhere they go.


6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing Folder

6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing Folder
I was born to be a teacher.  My brother and sister will attest to that...I made them play school from the time they could hold a pencil.  I had a Raggedy Ann chalkboard and a box of carbon paper.  That's right, I could make 2 worksheets that were identical. See, I was supposed to be a teacher. I am excited to share all about writing folders for kindergarten and emergent writers.

Kindergarten students can be given Writing Folders in January of the school year.  By the time, they get their folders they are ready for them.  We have practiced writing and learned procedures for our writing time.  Let me walk you through the folder.

1, Front Pocket Label

6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing Folder
As you can tell, I use 2-pocket, 3-prong folders.  The front pocket is labeled "Works in Progress" and the students learn to put their writing in this pocket while they are still working on it.  Before students have folders, we are doing whole group writing on chart paper.  Students walk through a daily process for writing that includes storing their writing day-to-day.  Creating this habit while it's a whole group activity, supports the students independent activities.  
6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing Folder

2. Writing Ideas Page

Once students are asked to write independently, they need to be allowed to CHOOSE their topic.  Providing topic cards, picture word books, and writing lists, students can choose 2 or 3 topics.  This sheet can be kept in the front pocket...behind the works in progress.  As they finish a story, the student moves the writing to back pocket and the writing ideas page takes center stage again.  Students can either choose a topic on the existing list or find new topics.  I have found the more they are allowed to choose what they are writing about, the more they write.  

3. Sound Chart

6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing Folder
I'm kind of a freak about sound charts.  Emergent writers need something to hang their sounds on...and I want to be in charge of the connections.  I want short vowels.  I want hard c and hard g.  We practice these sounds every day and they are "experienced" in using this chart to stretch words and write sounds through our whole group writing lessons.  There are sound charts all over the room, but having another sound chart easily available is optimal.  As the students progress from this initial sound chart, I like to add a blends linking chart.

4. Rubric 

6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing FolderAnother tool we use ALL THE TIME is the BIG 3.  We have made a giant anchor chart.  We sing the song every day.  We have hand motions to make sure we include capitals at the beginning, spaces in the middle, and an end mark at the end.  I like including a Big 3 rubric in the writing folder as another reminder for students.  Providing the rubric also allows students to self-evaluate their writing.

5. Personal Word Walls

6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing FolderIncluding a personal word wall allows students to be independent and grow as writers and readers.  I include all the words introduced in the first and second nine weeks.  At the beginning of the third nine weeks, I switch out the word walls to include all of the words that will be introduced that 9 weeks.  I do the same at the beginning of the 4th nine weeks.  I can also add words as students ask for them.  I try to add sight words not topic specific words.  The word walls should be useful with all writing and I don't want to fill the word wall with story-specific words that won't help them beyond that one story.

6. Back Pocket Label 

6 MUST-HAVES for a Writing Folder
Finally, the back pocket is just as important as the front pocket.  I include a label that reads, "Completed Works."  Students put their "completed works" in this pocket.  When they have 3 completed stories, they are allowed to publish.  Students are allowed to choose their favorite of the three stories and re-write the stories on "special" paper.  "Special" paper is simply paper with a decorative edge or design.  When they choose the story for publishing, the others go home.

Allowing students to have choice and control over their writing will inevitably produce better writing.

If you would like a FREEBIE writing folder handout, click the link.