Kinder Writing

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by mudpie1598, Jul 12, 2008.

  1. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I have started my Writer's Workshop with students drawing a beautifully detailed picture and practicing either making straight lines, curves, and slants as the days progress through Open Court (our reading program.)

    Now, my question is this... Do you start having students copy from the board right away or what exactly do you do for writing at the beginning of the year? This was our first full week of school the previous week was a holiday week so they only went for 3 days. Those are the days that I took to show procedures/rules etc.
     
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  3. Sheila

    Sheila Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I do an exercise called Word of the Day. It involves using Elkonin Boxes to divide up the sounds in simple CVC words. The students do their own try on a designated line. Then we take the sounds to the boxes and I model how to correctly write each letter in the box. They then write the word again on a straight line. Finally, as the year progresses, we move to writing one sentence with the word and work our way up to three sentences. I have done this on the overhead and on a white board.
     
  4. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    In my Writer's Workshop, I have the students first learn to label their pictures. I have lots of things labeled in the classroom and this helps them sometimes. But during our mini-lesson I will draw a picture and have them help me sound out the words to label with. Some students can only label one thing and that is great. They will eventually build the skills necessary.

    Some of the first things that I might have them do are to draw their room and label things and we make a list on the board of things they might find in their room, just to get them started. Or I will have them draw their families and we brainstorm words related to that.

    Once I see that they have mastered that and have learned more sounds, letters, and sight words, I encourage them to begin to write sentences. But I learned last year to not force anyone to do anything. Some will be writing paragraphs while others are still labeling. But they have to progress and their own speed. Your job is to continually give them the skills necessary to succeed and improve.
     
  5. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Do you do the copy from the whiteboard thing? Like "I see _______." and they fill in the blank with a picture and you help them label? As they progree throughout the year and learn sight words and sounds they begin to write this sentence independently.
     
  6. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    I rarely have them copy from the board. I really try not to help them that much. I had so many students last year that could not try and write the words themselves by sounding them out. They would always wait for me to help them. It didn't take them long to realize that I wasn't going to do it. I modeled over and over again how to stretch out a word to hear the different sounds and I purposely misspelled words or left out letters to show them that was okay. If we were near a holiday or a special event and they wanted to include it in their writing, then I would write that on the board. But I had a word wall, labels around the room, names posted everywhere, etc. to help them. They also had a sheet in their writing folder that had color words, number words, family labels, days of the week, etc.
     
  7. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 12, 2008

    Thanks for your input... I will try this. You see, my kids don't know any really know English but, I've labeled a lot of items in my room and I have a word wall. I'm adding words to my word wall as we read the decodables. I don't know if it would be difficult for them if I just had them write things out with my help, since it's a low income/performing school a lot of them don't even know how to hold a crayon let alone a pencil. They haven't been exposed at all. It's very sad but true. This is why I feel that I have to spoon-feed a lot of things for them at first.
     
  8. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I also work in a very low income school with similar problems. However, I start out with high expectations from them and encourage them to be successful on their own.

    During workshop time, I monitor the room to see who needs help and I will always give them the tools they need to succeed (how to find a word on the word wall, how to determine what letter makes a certain sound, etc).

    I also go through their folders and use what I see to determine who needs extra help. I will pull these students to a small group for 10 minutes once or twice a week to give them additional help with letters and sounds.
     
  9. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I also have high expectations for my students, but what I meant is that I have tried writing out sentences, then slowly having them write their own as we progress throughout the year.

    I will try your method as well. Thank you.
     
  10. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2008

    This is my first year as a Kinder teacher... What if I have students that didn't go to preschool, and have never written? Do I expect them to just know how to copy labels and such? HELP!!!!!
     
  11. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    teacherkenny: I have 20 students, 15 of which have never been to preschool. 4 of which seem to have never held a crayon nor a pencil. Their English ranges from 0- to making verbal sentences of 3-4 words.

    This is why I started getting them ready for printing. I followed my Language Arts program and on one day it says make straight lines... so we made a beautiful picture and then practiced what they learned, making straight lines as their writing. I always say trace again with a crayon to give them extra writing practice. Then, the next day we had slants... a beautiful picture and a page full of slants... then the next day it was curves so they had to show me a beautiful detailed picture of a story that was read and their writing was circles... slowly I'm introducing writing to them as well as advancing their vocabulary knowledge.

    I am currently using the following worksheets to get them ready to print letters and words on their own:

    http://www.kidzone.ws/preK_wrksht/dynamic.htm
     
  12. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2008

    mudpie...thanks so much! I do not know what I'd do without encouragement from people like you on sites like this! Your post was a Godsend! I had started freaking out...and school is still several weeks away! ~ Sarah
     
  13. MissMaurie

    MissMaurie Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I guess the one thing we have to remember is that things work different for different classes and teachers. I know that you will both do a great job teaching your students to write. The fact that you are on sites like this asking questions and such shows that you want your students to succeed...and they will. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having students copy some things from the board (and I don't mean to sound like I have never done it). Anytime they are writing is time that they are learning.

    I am not sure if you know of this site or not, but www.jmeacham.com is a wonderful resource for Writer's Workshop. She has mini-lessons on almost everything and they are a great help to me.

    Please feel free to continue to ask questions about writing and I will answer any questions that I can.

    I wish you the best of luck with your classrooms!!!
     
  14. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I highly recommend you visit Jessica Meacham's Writing Workshop page. She has a whole year of writing workshop lessons written out in detail there, very good stuff.

    You can learn more about what writing workshop is all about here. The sequence is: mini-lesson, independent writing/conferencing, and share time. Copying from the board is not part of writing workshop.
     
  15. vannapk

    vannapk Groupie

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Aha! That is what I get for not reading every single post:oops: I also work in a very low income, high ESL area and almost none of my students come in knowing any english. They also don't know how to hold a crayon or even make marks on paper. For this reason, almost the entire first half of the year is filled with what we call "procedural mini-lessons". During a procedural mini-lesson you teach the students the procedures for writing workshop, for example I have lessons on the following topics:


    • Good writers know how to hold a pencil
    • Good writers make marks on their paper (not on the table or friends)
    • Good writers know that crayons and pencils are tools, not toys (don't put them in your mouth, pretend they are airplanes or cars etc)
    • How to use our crayons cups and put our crayons away when we are finished
    • Good writers always write their names on their paper
    • Good writers stay in their seat
    • Good writers use quiet voices


    You get the picture- I have many more, those are just examples.

    I agree with everything MissMaurie said, set your expectations high no matter what kinds of kids you have. My kids usually start out the year not knowing how to hold a writing tool in their hands and barely able to scribble on their papers and by the end of the year they are writing full sentences with a combination of correct spellings (sight words) and phonetic spellings. It can be done, it's not easy but if you are really consistent and follow a good writing workshop routine and lessons they can be tremendously successful.

    I highly recommend the following books for writing workshop in the youngest grades:
    About the Authors by Katie Wood Ray
    Already Ready by Katie Wood Ray & Matt Glover
    Units of Study for Primary Writing: A Yearlong Curriculum (Grades K-2) by Lucy Calkins (this one is super expensive so see if your district has a copy you can borrow)
     
  16. mudpie1598

    mudpie1598 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2008

    Thank you to everyone who answered my questions! I've been frustrated not knowing how to quite approach Writer's Workshop. I thank you all for the websites, resources, and suggestions that you have all given. :thanks:
     
  17. teacherSMK

    teacherSMK Habitué

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    Jul 13, 2008

    I, too would like to thank everyone for the awesome answers and resources in this thread...treasures beyond measure! :0)
     

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