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Writing Lab-K-5...Need Suggestions
Old 07-27-2014, 12:21 PM
 
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Does anyone have a writing lab in their school? I will be teaching K-5 writing next year on a daily basis. I am pretty comfortable teaching grades 3-5, but I have never thought the lower grades.

I need some ideas on how best to teach these younger students and how to maintain a writing lab. What would you do?

Thanks so much for any ideas!


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We don't have a writing lab
Old 07-27-2014, 02:31 PM
 
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But I teach younger grades. So I can offer suggestions with what I have done in a workshop format.

Just like in the older grades modeling is important. You want students to see your good writing. We always start our day by having students look through my writing or a morning message chart to point out the good things the author did. In K and the beginning of 1st it may be spaces between words, staying within the lines, starting with capital letters. As you want them to learn a new skill, you change the focus. As the year progresses, especially in 1st you have them come up and fix mistakes. In 2nd they are noticing things like alliteration because it makes good writing. To be honest, 2nd is not that much different than 3rd so I will not write much about that.

For the actual lessons, at the beginning of the year I provide picture prompts for 1st graders. We brainstorm about the picture and then we take our brainstorming and turn it into a story of 2-4 sentences which depends on the time and group. Of course, I model this process 1st. The big difference is in 1st you do a lot of shared writing. So you may have the class brainstorm and students come up and write the key words from brainstorming. Then as a class we come up with what we want to write from our brainstorming. I call on students to come up and compose the sentences. I help with what they can't stretch out of use the word wall for. The most important thing with this group is to get them to understand you will not tell them how to spell everything. They should use what they know (e.g. you can spell look so you can spell cook). They can use resources but they must not spend the entire time trying to spell words. Each day in the beginning, I either give students the option of adding on to our class writing or writing for a new picture they choose.

After about 2 weeks of this I move to drawing our own pictures from our life and writing. Before this begins you want to teach or help students brainstorm all the things they can write about and keep it posted in the room. You follow the same process above except for shared you try to write about activities the class has shared experiences with. You may have to ore plan activities from the beginning of the year t build these shared experiences. Everyone in 1st and K should have a Primary Composition book with lines at the bottom and drawing space at the top. This is what they do during independent writing. During your teaching of writing, you are always emphasizing good writer traits (I.e. Capital letters, spaces, punctuation, etc.).

I then teach based on writing type (I.e. Person narrative, opinion, informative) and follow the same steps.

For K, I am not a K teacher but a SPED teacher who has taught kids on a K level. I like to start with drawings and have them label the drawing. As the year progresses we move from labeling our drawing with just beginning sound to all the sounds we hear. As students are ready, you begin modeling how to take your labels to help you write a sentence about what you drew. Again, reminding to stretch it out and do the best you can and using the word wall to spell sight words correctly. For K and some students at the beginning of 1st, you will want to have S dictate what their writing says because they will forget and no one knows. Again, we follow types of writing with lots of teacher modeling. In K students can use a combination of drawings, words, and dictating to tell their stories.

I hope this helps some.
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@expertteacher
Old 07-27-2014, 07:17 PM
 
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Thank you so much! This does help me a lot! I am very comfortable with older kids, but I just need a starting point for k,1, and 2. I am going to print out your reply so that I follow this. I will take this to some of the K and 1 teachers to see if they have a pacing chart they would like me to follow.

Again, thanks for the advice!
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Writing Lab
Old 07-28-2014, 05:22 AM
 
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Thank you, Jerri3. Great ideas.
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