journals/writer's workshop

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by JamieLeigh, Dec 11, 2009.

  1. JamieLeigh

    JamieLeigh Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 11, 2009

    This is my first year teaching and I was wondering what other kindergarten teachers' journal time/writer's workshop looked like. The other K teachers at my school don't do a lot of writing, but I'm finding, as I've been doing journal writing every day for the last couple of months, that this writing time has helped my students' reading skills more than anything else we are doing. We started out with story starters, but now I give them an open ended prompt as I walk around and monitor/help them sound out words/use the word wall. I was wondering how you all handle writing. Do you give prompts or let them write about anything. Thanks :cool:
     
  2.  
  3. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Dec 11, 2009

    We use Lucy Calkins and it is very adamant about not using prompts of any kind even at the very beginning of school. So, for writer's workshop they completely self-select what to write about as long as it is a personal narrative. I do use journal time in other parts of the day and give prompts or directions for writing a specific kind of story.
     
  4. JamieLeigh

    JamieLeigh Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 12, 2009

    Which of her books do you suggest for kindergarten?
     
  5. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

    Joined:
    May 14, 2006
    Messages:
    1,217
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 12, 2009

    I also use open-ended prompts - they're quite open-ended, but prompts none the less. I do this for two reasons:

    1) I think developmentally, it's very difficult for such young children to come up with their own ideas all the time. Giving a little guidance helps them feel successful as early writers.

    2) Kids need to learn to write to a prompt. Whether we like it or not, as they continue through school, almost all kids will need to write to a prompt (hello, college essays!). It's good to practice.
     
  6. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Messages:
    9,154
    Likes Received:
    1

    Dec 12, 2009

    The first two months of school for us is all about coming up with our own ideas (ie, writers have ideas). This is part of the 6+1 writing traits. Have kids brainstorm lists of them (as a class) and let them see they have MANY ideas of their own.

    I do agree that sometimes a prompt helps though. It depends on your purpose.
     
  7. mom2ohc

    mom2ohc Habitué

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    974
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 12, 2009

    I would read Kid Writing. http://kidwriting.homestead.com/ it talks about how to get kids to write freely to topics of their own choice so they are motivated, and so the topics are meaningful & relavent to them.

    I also will be doing book making in January with the kids, I read another great book about it this summer, but the name is presently excaping me...
     
  8. JamieLeigh

    JamieLeigh Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 13, 2009

    Thanks so much for your responses! I will certainly look into Calkins...I had heard of it but none of the teachers at my school seem to use any specific method for writing...they don't do too much writing at all, so it definitely helps to have these boards to ask for help.
     
  9. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    4,391
    Likes Received:
    5

    Dec 13, 2009

    http://www.heinemann.com/products/E00604.aspx
    Lucy Calkins has a set of books for k-2 (above) and it is helpful, but it takes a good bit of tweaking to fit it to kindergarten. We used it for 2 years based on the books and now we have a consultant who comes down every few months for a few days to train us and has completely changed how we use the program. I really think she needs to revamp the kindergarten plan and seel it stand alone instead of lumping it in with the k-2 set. The consultant works directly with LC and has used her methods in a kindergarten class so it makes more sense.

    Regarding prompts - We do have directed writing/prompts but they are not part of Writer's Workshop. We might write about a topic we are learning about as part of a social studies or science lesson or we might learn about descriptive writing during ELA time. Writer's Workshop has a specific formula to follow that is special to that part of the day. I think about it like guided reading - during some parts of the day I have other kinds of reading, shared reading, choral reading, read alouds, etc... however, I don't take away from guided reading time to do those things.
     
  10. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2006
    Messages:
    4,858
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 13, 2009

    I do both prompts and freestyle writing. What I often do is have them make an art project, then write about it. Recently their mini-lesson was on using problem/resolution in their writing. They made clay snowmen and then wrote about the problem their character had and how they solved it, or they will write from the perspective of the snowman. We are working more on objectives dealing with author's craft there. They are also given opportunities just to write in their journals about anything, they enjoy that as well.

    I completely agree that it helps with reading skills. My colleagues think of writing just as handwriting-they copy the morning message and that's their writing lesson-but I think these kids can do so much more. We read a bunch of different Gingerbread stories last week and they wrote their own runaway food tales (most of them healthy choices-grapes, salad, carrots)-one of my students began with "It all started when..." and wrote in the middle "the setting was the desert". They are really starting to get what good writing entails and that just comes from practice.
     
  11. JamieLeigh

    JamieLeigh Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    0

    Dec 13, 2009

    I am finding that more and more everyday. I have about three boys who are not motivated to do anything during guided/shared reading, but since we have started really getting into writing, they are more interested in letter names/sounds, blending words, and breaking apart words because it is helping them write. I have been just using open ended prompts that I know they are interested in, but over break I am going to do some more research and I may begin allowing them to choose their own topics. Thanks for all of your responses! Writing/language arts was always my favorite time of the day in school and it is also my favorite time of the day as a teacher.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. IClilpeopleu2*,
  2. Ima Teacher
Total: 433 (members: 3, guests: 403, robots: 27)
test