When we teach reading, we don’t expect our students to pick up a book and read, without explicitly teaching them everything from print concepts to decoding and comprehension strategies. So why don’t we do this with writing instruction? In many classrooms, students are expected to just write sentences- or even stories- with very minimal instruction on what a sentence even… Read More
How to Make an Easy Yearlong Writing Portfolio
You don’t have to wait for the end of the year to make a memory book! Make a yearlong scrapbook that doubles as a writing portfolio for kindergarten and first grade! It’s so great to see how your students’ writing progresses throughout the year and doing this little by little avoids trying to cram it all in at the end (which results in rushed and poor quality writing!). Read this post for some tips to make it easy and save you time.
Scaffold Writing with Wordless Books to Help Beginning Writers
A great way to scaffold for your emergent writers in kindergarten and first grade is using wordless picture books. These include pictures and students add the text. The word bank helps with spelling and vocabulary. They also include editing pages and students can add details to revise. Read this post to find out how to use these to help your beginning writers become more confident.
Invented Spelling: Good or Bad?
One of my favorite things about teaching kindergarten and first grade is reading students’ writing. Sometimes it takes pretty good detective work to decipher it, but you can get so much insight from their invented spelling. Plus, it’s super cute! Obviously, when children are first learning to write, they won’t spell every word correctly. So, they need encouragement to try… Read More
Spelling Strategies for Beginning Writers
“Teacher, how do you spell (insert any word here)?” If you teach kindergarten or first grade, it’s a question you likely hear all. the. time! I know we wish we could clone ourselves during writing time so we could sit with each student and help them with their spelling, BUT of course we can’t. If we really could clone ourselves,… Read More
Personal Narrative Writing Mentor Text
This book makes a great mentor text for a personal narrative genre writing unit! Kids can relate to Fireflies by Julie Brinckloe and use some of the strategies she uses to revise their writing workshop stories. Read this post for mini-lesson ideas, an anchor chart, and freebie for Show, not Tell! Great for kindergarten and first grade.
Strategies for Supporting Struggling Writers
Getting kids to love writing can be difficult sometimes, especially if they are struggling writers. It’s normal to dislike something you’re not good at (or think you’re not good at). I dislike bowling because I have terrible aim and usually end up in the gutter. But, I’m sure if I had the patience took the time to learn some tips,… Read More
How to Get Students Writing Independently During Writing Workshop
Writing is hard for many kids! If you run a writing workshop, you know how important it is to have kids writing independently. Yet, there are many challenges kids can have during this time that can lead to frustration and less-than-ideal work! Teachers face a huge challenge when kids aren’t able to work independently during writing workshop, too. If you… Read More
Writing How-to Books in Kindergarten
In Writing Workshop, we are working on How-to books and so far, it’s one of our favorite writing units! Here are some fun ways to introduce writing How-to Books Give directions out of order. Let the kids see how it just doesn’t work that way! Coming to the carpet, cleaning and lining up, getting ready to go home- any of… Read More
Stretching Words Out: Emergent Writing Strategy
It can be daunting for emergent writers to stretch out words, especially long words. Many kindergarten students are very artistic and can add details to their pictures, but when asked to add words, they sometimes hesitate or say they don’t know how to, even if they do have some letter-sound knowledge. Writing Warm-Ups To get kids to see that they… Read More