Writer's Workshop~ I have a love/hate relationship with writing in Kindergarten. This year I am loving it. My students are getting it, and seem to be enjoying it. Prior to returning from maternity leave last January I HATED writing! The students are on such different levels and trying to reach them all and keep them actively engaged in writing was a nightmare for me. Part of the reason I have so many resources, due to trying to get myself excited about teaching writing. When I returned from maternity leave, my students were far from where I had anticipated they should have been when I returned (granted the students did miss the whole month of December due to snow). So I knew like it or not I had to do better reaching my students. I began meeting with a small group of students each day and worked with those 4/5 students while the others worked in their writer's workshop folders. The students liked coming to my table and working with me. I was able to get them farther than I expected just doing that. Of course it was eye opening seeing how many students were struggling, but once I began meeting with them, caught on pretty quick.
I pull from a variety of writing resources... Lucy Calkins (Units of Study for Primary Writing), Matt Glover and Katie Wood Ray (Already Ready), Andrea McCarrier, Pinnell & Fountas (Interactive Writing), and Ted DeMille (Making Believe on Paper). Also I got a great refresher in writing with my students from Crystal from Kreative in Kinder's Presentation at the Everything Kindergarten EXPO. I LOVED it. I bought a ticket to the Primary EXPO, but haven't had a chance to watch it yet. (Downloaded my goodies though). Anyways (squirrel) back to the topic!
So this year, I began the year FOCUSED on Writing! We have been writing every single day. We begin the year with All About Me books, where the line leader of the day is showcased and we learn things about them, then illustrate a picture of them with items we learned about them. We work on drawing skills and writing student names at this point. Once finished with All About Me books, I introduce Writer's Workshop Folders and we began drawing and labeling our pictures. Once we can label 7-10 things in our picture, we move onto to paper with two lines to begin writing sentences. I loved how Crystal showed that you take one label from your picture and use word wall words to complete a sentence. I had never thought of it that way. I am now doing that with some students and it is making a huge difference. Once they can write a sentence, I teach a small group about 3 page stories. We typically do a week of writer's workshop, then take a break and do themed writing activities. Last week it was answering what do you think the tooth fairy does with all those teeth. I will have to take a pic of our bulletin board we did with that writing and our pictures. I will try to do that tomorrow. Then we will go back to a mini lesson and focus on writer's workshop again. The students are doing well with writing this year. I like to play classical music as background noise and I give the students a chance to tell a partner what they are working on prior to sending them to tables to work. For the first 5-10 minutes they do a wonderful job. Anyways here is a few pics of my kiddos writing tables and work.
Here are a few examples of my students writing.
I will post more writing pics, later.