Teach Skills for Writing Systematically

Are you stuck in a rut with writing? New to teaching and not sure how best to teach writing? Pulling your hair out after giving students a blank piece of paper?

My Week of Work writing mini books provide you a focus for each day of the week that will build a structure to your writing program. 

This is a great routine for teaching skills for writing in a sequenced, carefully scaffolded activity that takes just a few minutes each day. It will not encompass your whole writing program, but it will give your students a great start to both writing and reading! In addition to this I also recommend a more traditional 'writing hour' or session weekly where you model and guide complete independent and creative writing. 

I highly recommend integrating the mini workbooks with a DAILY whole group reading/writing lesson that is briefly explained here

In this post I will give you a free resource to provide a glimpse into this structure. It will help you sequence a whole week of activities for your early writing lessons.

 Print the pages and make each of your students their own mini writing book for the week.

 This book has a focus on the sentence pattern "I go to (school)"..

The books are simple to prepare - just a few staples and a slice down the middle. 

 On day 1,

students will read a sentence and then cut/paste words to match. Here you can teach

- where to begin reading (left side of page)
- spaces between words
- one group of letters = one word out of our mouth
- capital letter to begin
- full stop/period to finish
- words match picture
- pointing to text to read with 1:1 correspondence

On day 2,

students will again cut and paste (following a guide), but also trace the words to copy the sentence. Follow up yesterday's learning and also 

- where to start each letter
 - putting your finger in between each word to create a space
- how to be a 'writer' (put words in an order so that they tell a message that can understood)

On day 3, 
students will cut and paste the sentence, without any model or guide and also write the sentence on their own within writing lines. You will be reviewing all skills taught so far and then encouraging 

- independent writing by copying a model
- revising letter formation 
- using lines to contain letters/proportion

 On day 4, 

students will finish the beginning of a sentence "I go to ..." and attempt independent writing

Model all previous learning with the large teacher cards and also changing the end of the sentence to create a new message. Make these word cards in front of the students using blank flashcards and a sharpie so that they can see that a string of letters go onto one card to make one word. Model flipping between the sentence they have become used to and the new one. I promise they will not mind reading this same sentence 100 times in the week - if you pretend it is a HUGE deal, they will think they are wonderful and on their way to being a fantastic reader/writer!  

On day 5
students will attempt independent writing and write their own sentence.

This day will allow for your students who are ready to write independently to have a go at their own writing. Your emergent writers may write random letters and scribbles - you can scribe and tell them they are amazing. 

You can break up these activities and tailor them to suit your own students if you prefer.

Head over to my TpT store if you would like to try this routine or resource!

- Mel x

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