September 13, 2014

Opinion Writing: Do YOU like Your Name?

This week our read alouds have focused on names.  These are books I've shared with my class.

I REALLY take my time with setting up Writer's Workshop.  In the beginning we talk about who likes writing and who doesn't.  In my experience, most students say they don't like writing because it's hard.  We share what is easy about it and what's challenging.

I always start with illustrations.  Students spend the "Quiet 10" illustrating a picture.  This is when I play music quietly in the room. When the music stops, students know it's time to write.  You can read more about how I set up Writer's Workshop here (A Look Into Writer's Workshop)

Our focus this trimester is Opinion Writing.  Before I have them jump into writing we talk about what makes a good illustration.  I made these Rate Your Writing Posters for my students to use as a reference. I had many request to make them so I've added them to my TpT Store if interested (Rate Your Writing Posters).  

Students began by illustrating their name.  We met on the rug and I put the posters out I had drawn of my dog.  They worked as a team to put them in order from 1-4.  We then talked about each one.

The kids then rated their illustrations.  Some kids had just started their illustration so we talked about it being okay if they were only 1's. 

Next up...writing.  I ALWAYS model and talk through the process.  We talk about words we already know how to spell and how to tap out words we're unsure of.  At the beginning of the year I tell students I don't spell words for them because I want them to be able to read their work back to me.  I'm so proud of these students.  I've only been asked a few times how to spell a word.

Students stated their opinion, gave one reason, and wrote a wrap up sentence.  Here are a few examples.  When students have finished their writing and illustration I have them stamp the date so we know they've finished the piece.

Click to enlarge.

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