September 6, 2016

Reader's Workshop turned to Writer's Workshop

I decided this year to slow down a bit when introducing writing. Usually I jump right into opinion writing but we have focused on reviewing our letters, writing words, and what a sentence looks like.

I also like to teach "smarter" not harder so I always look to find ways to combine subjects.  I LOVE that my principal gives us the freedom to teach and try new lessons out.  I came up with this idea this summer not knowing if it would be successful or a flop but I knew I wanted to try it.

Today we began learning about Daily 5.  Students learned that there are 3 ways to read a book (read the pictures, read the words, and retell).  I had a variety of wordless books out and modeled how to read the pages.  We practiced reading to self and discussed what went well.  Tomorrow we'll build on our stamina and read for a longer period of time.

Using a wordless picture book we moved on to writing.  I came across this book this summer and thought it would be great for the beginning of the year.  With summer wrapping up I thought this would bring memories up of students going to the beach.

We walked through this book looking carefully at each picture and orally telling the story as a class.   Kids need this!!  To hear themselves speaking, to putting thoughts together, and to sequence. After reading it I handed students photocopied pages from the book.  I had them put the story in order from beginning to end.  Then they sat on the floor in order.  Each student in one sentence shared what was happening in their picture.

We went right around the room and at the end I announced, "You just told a story!"  Using wipe off boards they practiced writing their sentence.  We've discussed a sentence is a complete thought with a capital and a period.  They worked on stretching their words and writing only the sounds they heard.

Once they were done their sentences I went around and did correct spelling because our work was going out in the hall for others to see.

Here they are at work.

And here's our story!!

She went to the beach!
She ran away.  She scared the water.
The girl sat down.  She told the water stop.
She splashed in the water.
There is a big wave.  She stuck her tongue out.
Splash!  She got wet.
The girl found some shells.
She showed her mom.
She went home.

The lesson went so well, the kids were fully engaged, and excited to write I will most likely do this with another wordless book.  I'm thinking A Ball for Daisy or Good Dog, Carl would be a perfect fit!

Let me know if you try this and how it works with your class.

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