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Archive for November, 2014

postheadericon Writing: Animal Park Prompt with Project Read Written Expression

This year, we are introducing our first graders to writing prompts. We are using our "Writing To Sources" book as a source for the prompts. In order to teach the children how to write a good sentence to answer the prompt, we are also using our Written Expression curriculum.

How do you marry two very different types of writing? Well, after much thought, discussion, and tweeking, I think we have found a solution! 

This is the book we are using to get our prompts from. Our very first writing prompt for the year is from our story, "Animal Park."




In order to use our Written Expression Curriculum, we had to come up with a way to brainstorm the information we are going to need to write a good sentence. 

In order to do that, we needed a good graphic organizer that was teacher and student friendly. 

This is the organizer we are using as our brainstorming tool to write a good sentence. 

The first column is where the students write the subject noun. This is what we are going to write about. The second column is the action in the sentence (this is the verb). The third column, is what we refer to as the expander. In this writing, we are using the "Where?" expander. 


In order to brainstorm and name all the animals in the story, I used my pocket chart to list and write the subject noun, action word, and where. I have the children read the story. As we read, I added the animal and what it does in the story, and where the action takes place. When we are done, my pocket chart looks like this:



The students copy their answers onto the graphic organizer as we read about each animal. This is a sample of a student graphic organizer. 



Now, we are ready to write. Each student received a prompt and I modeled how to write the first sentence. 

The first sentence is, "Zebras run in the grass." The students quickly got the hang of writing across the graphic organizer to create each sentence. When they were done, they had five sentences. 

This is an example of student work. 







postheadericon November Poetry Folder


Poetry Folders are a great way to encourage students to read and practice reading with fluency. Fluency is the ability to read text accurately and with expression. Students read fluently when they don't have to focus on decoding and can make meaning and comprehend the text they are reading. 

Each month I choose poems that are at my students' reading level or just above their reading level. For each poem, I model how to read each poem using reading behaviors such as phrasing, rate, intonation, expression, etc.  I begin by reading the poem aloud to the students while they point to the words in the poem. I may do this a few times. Next, we read the poem aloud as a small group.  Again, I may have the students read the same poem several times. You will know they are ready to read independently when the students are asking to read by themselves. I often hear, "I can read it!" or "Can I read all by myself now?" They are excited to read!

My students practice reading their poems several times until fluency has developed and they are reading with expression and confidence. By the end of the month, they can read all the poems in the packet fluently and look forward to taking them home to read with their family and friends. 



Each student received a packet with a cover. I put their name on the cover and give them a few minutes to color and decorate this page. 

This is the cover I created for this month's poetry packet. You can download this page by clicking on the image below. 



Word Wall Cards:

These cards are from Teachers Pay Teachers. You can download these words for Free. 




Word Journal:

After we read the word-of-the-day, we write the word in our word journal. We practice reading these words each day. 

You can download this word journal by clicking on the image below:




I found these poems at Aloha Kindergarten. You can download these poems by clicking on the image below:


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