Thursday, April 21, 2016

Here Is What We Are Up To With Writing!

I have taught since 1999 and have had many different types of classes during my teaching career.  I work in Flint, Michigan and I am not sure if the lead is having an effect on my students or not but what I do know is this year has been the most difficult to get the student to retain the concepts being taught.  For whatever the reason growth in my class this year is not where I wanted or expected it to be and writing has been no exception.  We are trying so many different ideas and teaching methods with these children and it still seems like a struggle.  This week for writing I again tried another approach and I pulled out a teacher resource that I just got called Ready To Write! Prompt Box Grades K-1 and we have been attempting to write opinion pieces.

The box contains many different prompts for different types of writing.  Here is the prompt that we used today.

I used my overhead projector so that the prompt was visible on the whiteboard and the students could easily see it.

The first few days were really rough but today I started to see some progress.  We started our lesson with a turn and talk.  If you are not familiar with this idea, it is a wonderful way to get students to think about and discuss their ideas during learning time.  I read the focus questions for this lesson "What is your favorite time of day?  What do you like best about it?"  I gave them think time and then told them they would be talking about those two questions with their partners.  I like the Whole Brain teaching method for many things including turn and talk which goes like this:  Teacher:  "Class Oh Class"  Students "Yes Oh Yes"  Teacher:  "Turn To Partner (clap, clap)"  Students:  "OK (clap, clap)"  and then they turn to their partners.  You give the students time to discuss and you walk around and listen to their conversations.  When you are ready for the students to come back together as a class it goes like this:  Teacher:  "Class Oh Class"  Students:  "Yes Oh Yes"  Teacher:  "Turn To Teacher (clap, clap)"  Students:  "OK (clap, clap)"  and then they turn.  It takes some teaching and a lot of practice to get the students to be able to follow these procedures but it really is awesome once they get it! Well after our turn and talk the students were ready to go back to their seats and get to it.  Here are a few of the pieces that we got today:

This student forgot the to after like and the last to above forgot the periods but this is progress.

I love the creativity in this one...She loves the morning because she can play in her garden!  I am excited to keep using this resource as just in the past week I am seeing my students grow as writers and actually enjoy it!

Someone has asked me where to get the cute writing paper.  Click here or on the picture below if you are interested:  Cute Story Paper