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Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Week of Writing



If you have the Big Bundle of my 'Week of Writing' packets, don't forget that there is a Halloween themed week of activities waiting for you. It is easy to forget what is included in the big growing bundles. This packet focuses on the sight words he, she and is

My writing program has always featured two focuses for the week - based on my wanting students to learn that writing is both a process and a product. I teach them to write, and also teach them ABOUT writing and how we make it look right. 

I do very open-ended lessons as part of my small group literacy learning, where students write creatively using plain white paper and are encouraged to develop ideas for themselves. I then balance this in other parts of my week with very structured, guided lessons where I teach the conventions of writing explicitly. Interwoven with reading, these lessons help students see clearly why and how we write. 

I encourage you to use the 'big teacher cards' to model sentence formation and writing conventions each day before your structured lesson. This will bring together, the reading, phonics, sight words handwriting and writing components of your program in one nice little package. 

Read more about my love of using word cards to assist these lessons HERE and HERE

Using big cards helps students to understand how words fit and combine together to make a sentence, without getting bogged down in spelling and knowing words at letter-level. 

Please, please, please emphasise the spacing between words. Again, using the cards for this is so helpful. When your students transfer their knowledge to paper, you will see them begin to put their finger in to make a space.



Each packet in my bundle features pages to make a 5 day mini book to guide your students through a sequenced week of writing skills. 

Monday

After a lesson with the big teacher cards, ask your students to point to each word on the model sentence and read aloud. Do this a few times. 

Read the sentence underneath - point out the dotted boxes around the words. Remind students of spaces between words. Talk about full stop and capital letter. 


Students cut their word strip up and shuffle the words around to match the model. Ask them to read/point once again to make sure it makes sense. Check for spaces between their word pieces. 


Students can glue their words to make their sentence. 


Ask students to read again, and confirm that their sentences match. 


On Tuesday, again do another whole group lesson with the big cards and talk about changing words to make a new sentences. Show how you can change He to She and clown to bee

Students do their page in their own book. They read, point and attend to the text features (spaces, capital, full stop). After cutting, sorting, matching and reading the model sentence, they can trace the sentence underneath to practice letter formation and actual writing. 


A dot on each letter shows them where to start. Use descriptive language to talk them through the formation of each letter - e.g. down to the bottom and jump right over (for 'h'). I have always found the fonts with a zillion little arrows, showing each movement far too confusing for beginning writers. One simple start-dot prompt is far more effective. 


On Wednesday, students are given a word strip and asked to cut and create a sentence - no model provided. This will encourage your students to think of word order and meaning in their writing. Once glued, they can then copy the model to write the sentence. Once again, encourage lots of pointing and reading to check things make sense. 




On Thursday, use the big teacher cards for a whole group lesson, but encourage lots of variations and new words to be creative. Have blank index cards or a word box ready. Students can attempt writing on their own, or for very new writers, you could scaffold them through one together. 


On Friday, ask your students to independently write. This makes a perfect time for assessment and to see how your students are taking in the skills and information from the week. It gives your more-able students the opportunity to show you what they can do! 






Thank you so much for stopping by today, friends! 


Please note that although some of the earlier packets in my bundle say "Kindergarten Writing" on the cover, the word Kindergarten is not used on the actual product and they are suitable for other grades as well. 

I will leave you with a little thought I shared on Facebook today - if you are not following me yet, I would love to have you join my over there!





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