Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Writer's Workshop: Informational Reports

Each nine weeks, our district requires a piece of writing to be completed as an assessment and placed in our students' permanent record. The first 9 weeks was a self portrait with name and date, the second 9 weeks was a journal entry (small moment), the third 9 weeks was a book review, and this nine weeks we are working on informational reports. I just began teaching this skill within the past week and students have helped me write a report based on a book we read together. 
My kinders expressed an interest in ocean animals and specifically this is the book we went with. I talked to students about writing informational reports and the steps to take. We referenced this anchor chart, which can be found in my mini unit on TpT
After we discussed the steps, I began a whole group writing and modeled each step - - from the illustrations and coloring....all the way to stretching out of sounds and recalling facts. Here is what we came up with and what my students wrote when they were turned loose. 
For those of you who don't speak example says:
Topic Sentence: There are many kinds of sharks.
Fact 1: They have sharp teeth. 
Fact 2: If they stop swimming, they will sink.
Fact 3: Some are flat and some are round.

My little buddy (whose writing I am sharing with you) says:
Sharks are not mammals.
Sharks have sharp teeth.
Sharks have gills.
There are many kinds of sharks. <--this was his topic sentence and we discussed putting it at the beginning of his writing during our conference time :) 

I'm very pleased with what I've gotten so far from my students, although we've got more work to do. I have several friends who rush through their work and think they are done, so I cracked out this anchor chart.
When I'm done, I can...add to my picture, label my pictures, write more words, reread my writing, start a new piece. This has helped tremendously in knowing that a writer's job is never done! ;-) If you're interested in doing something like this with your students. All of this, and MORE, can be found in this unit {here}. 
Leave a note about what you're working on in Writer's Workshop and an email and I'll pick two winners to receive this pack for FREE. Happy hump day!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mail Center

Hey friends! I know it has been such a long time. I can explain, trust me! I've moved, bought a condo, paid off my car, joined a gym, lost my mind, and a partridge in a pear tree. ha Anyways, I have a wonderful practicum teacher from the University in my town (who is helping me stay afloat in my classroom) and she was asked to re vamp one of my centers for her class. She chose to re do my writing center and change it into a mail center. My students are LOVING am I. She is so creative. Here is the documentation panel she was asked to put together and share with her peers. I wanted to share it with ya'll. 
Be sure to leave her some love. She has done such a great job. I'll be back tomorrow! I've already got the post scheduled. Whoop whoop!