Thursday, April 12, 2012

The "Kindergarten" Writing Process

I am very excited to be a guest blogger here on Kindergarten Lifestyle. I love Jeannie's blog and I think the concept of guest blogging is fantastic, as it gives bloggers an opportunity to share their ideas and activities with a bigger audience. I enjoy talking, whether it is face-to-face or through blogging, and I love knowing that people are interested in what I have to say. I hope that you enjoy my post today. I will be sharing photos of my writing classroom and I will include explanations of what I do and how I utilize the many charts and displays in my classroom. I am a writing specialist for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade, so it is imperative that I have a print rich classroom, full of meaningful learning displays. I also teach grammar, science, and social studies.

The first picture I will show is my 6 traits of good writing and writing process bulletin board.


Every day, during writing workshop, my students are all in different places in the writing process. I like for my students to know that there is no beginning or ending to the writing process. That is why I hung the posters with arrows. The arrows show that they just keep going around and around. I try to focus on a different trait of good writing each week, so I hung my 6 traits posters in the middle of the board. Writing workshop in my classroom always begins with a mini-lesson from me or from one of my students who has done something wonderful the day before. My students love to be teachers and the children always listen nicely when they are in charge. Then, they do a turn and talk, where they discuss what they are going to be working on for the day. This really helps them get focused and ready. Next, is my favorite part of writing workshop, the quiet 10. This is where everyone, including myself, is writing. There is no talking, no moving around, no distractions. The lights go low and soft music plays in the background. It's very cozy and conducive to great writing. I have a writing topics display hanging for children to get ideas if they cannot think of anything to write about. If they need ideas, they must get the card(s) before the quiet 10 begins.


After the quiet 10, we spend the next 20 minutes writing and conferencing. The children sign up for conferences with me if they want to, but they cannot come to me until they have shared their story with a friend or two. This helps them to find and correct errors before they get to me. Finally, we spend about 10 minutes sharing. The children have to sign up to share and they cannot get another turn until everyone has had a turn. 

To help my students become the best writers they can, I have several displays in my classroom that they can refer to whenever they want. This is my "Types of Leads" display, which they helped to create. The children worked in groups to write a specific lead and that is what they use to remind themselves how to write each of the leads I taught them.



I also have a display that shows some good transition words for them to use in their stories. Each color displays words to use for the beginning, middle, and end of their story. Even my kindergartners use this display.


The next chart is one of the most useful charts I have hanging because it encourages my writers to write more in-depth pieces. If they show me a piece that leaves out crucial information, I take them to this chart and ask them to answer Who, What, Why, etc. If they cannot, they know that they need to go back and add in some information so the reader is not left confused and wondering what is going on in the story.



I also have a chart that shows the children how to write a super sentence. I have them refer to this chart whenever they have a sentence that needs a little more information.


My word wall is an important part of my classroom and my students and I refer to it quite often. That is why it is big and bright and spans one and a half walls in my room. It is color coded, too. All kindergarten words are in red, first grade words are in yellow, second grade words are in green, and words frequently used in writing are in orange. My younger students love to boast that they can spell words from higher grades correctly and I sometimes point out to my second graders that they are misspelling words that they learned in kindergarten.


Here is a picture of what I call "The Menu". When my students are done with their station work, they can choose many different activities to do that all involve writing. Here, they can choose something from the menu to work on.


They can also choose to complete an activity from the pocket chart. Here, they will find word searches, word wall activity sheets, stationary for writing letters, secret code spelling, and much, much more.




Wow! This post is even longer than I thought it would be!  I better stop talking! Before I go, though, as a gift to you for being such good listeners and reading this l-o-n-g post, I will share my transition words poster with you. Just click the picture below.


As you can see, I absolutely love to share my ideas and activities. I truly thank Jeannie for giving me the opportunity to expand my group of followers. If you do not already follow my blog, I would love it if you would click on over and join me.




Again, thank you so much for joining me today and I hope to see you as a regular at Teaching With Love and Laughter.








7 comments:

  1. This looks amazing!

    Thanks for sharing I especially love your topics we can write about board

    Ms. Patterson

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  2. Great post! I love writing, so I appreciate all the hard work that you have put in to your teaching!
    Lori
    Conversations in Literacy

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  3. I am bowled over by your classroom! I especially love the super sentence diagram because it shows you how to develop your thoughts and story. I'll see you over at your blog!

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  4. Shuna, Lori, and Charmaine, thanks so much for the kind comments. It took me a long time to put this post together and I am so glad people are looking at it! You've certainly made my day!

    Sincerely,
    Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

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  5. I love the topics to write about pocket chart! The menu idea is a great visual too! Thanks for sharing these!

    ❀Bethany❀
    Learning is a Journey
    Polka Dot Parlor

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  6. Lori what a fantastic post. I love all your writing boards - what a great way to remind kids of things they should focus on!!.

    Thanks so much for guest blogging!
    jeannir

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  7. Thanks so much, Bethany and Jeannie! My children are always referring to the many charts and posters in the classroom. They are very helpful. They get excited when I hang something new and it has become somewhat of a game for them to point out something new before I explain it to them. I can't get anything past them anymore!

    Lori (luvyorkies@gmail.com)
    Teaching With Love and Laughter

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