writing in first grade

Discussion in 'First Grade' started by Emerson Squirl, Oct 16, 2011.

  1. Emerson Squirl

    Emerson Squirl Rookie

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    Oct 16, 2011

    I'm new to first grade this year, and learning quickly how much I took for granted in an upper grade! Now that I have students at the beginning stages of nearly everything, how to I begin writing with them? :confused: Do we cover the basic grammar elements: noun, verb, adjective, capitalization, etc. then move to the writing process or vice versa or a combination of both?
    I'm kinda overwhelmed with all the things I need to teach these little ones, but I also want to do a good job with it. :help:
     
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  3. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Oct 16, 2011

    Start with letter sounds.

    Model how to write down the sounds you hear in words.

    Do a morning message and model sentences, punctuation, capital letters, etc.

    Go sloooowly and do a workshop style, allowing children to move at their own pace.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2011
  4. Iteach782

    Iteach782 Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2011

    I always start off the year with cloze sentences. During this stage of copying what's on the board, I stress the basic rules of capitalization, punctuation, spacing, etc. Eventually, students begin to write their own sentences...some sooner than the others. I then teach the writing process once most students start writing on their own.
     
  5. soleil00

    soleil00 Comrade

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    Oct 16, 2011

    We started off this year (it is my first year, but also first year for this program) with a program called Empowering Writers.

    Essentially, every week you have a story. The story gives short crisp sentences with easily comprehended topics. Then it asks a question like "What did Dan do?"

    The kids copy (I model write): "Dan ran."

    That was our first sentence. Now we are on to sentences like: "Mom put it on the porch." with our halloween/pumpkin story.

    We underline nouns in red, verbs in green, and trace the capital letter and punctuation with blue.

    Do they completely understand? No, but I can see that they are understanding more so than what they would just doing basics. It's essentially getting them used to writing every day so when the state tests come (yeah yeah.. teach the test) they are not just floored at the writing.
     
  6. jteachette

    jteachette Comrade

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    Oct 17, 2011

    Our school is just starting Lucy Caulkins program, and I'd have to say that it's the best I've seen in a long time.
     
  7. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 17, 2011

    I usually just go through the writing process with them on big writing assignments. We write everyday, but our big writing assignments we work on daily, going through each writing process, until the final one is published. I work closely with a group of students who have a really hard time writing on their own.
     
  8. massteacher

    massteacher Companion

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    Oct 19, 2011

    We use Lucy Calkins as well. It's a great program. Start off sloww. We teach the kids to write down the sounds they hear, then to stretch the sounds and right each one down before going to the next sound. Our most recent lesson was to fix-up our writing and edit it. We are publishing our first draft so the children are now aware that there is a pre-write period, an edit period, and writing a final draft. We won't be introducing punctuation and appropriate letter usage of lines for another month or so. Good luck!
     
  9. meglucy

    meglucy Companion

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    Oct 21, 2011

    Some of our writing is done in response to reading. For example, we're studying bats right now, so after reading a non-fiction book about bats, the students wrote the main idea ("all about bats") in the middle of a circle and then wrote facts the learned about bats in circles connected to the middle circle with lines. I have a poster up in the room with bat words listed to help them (i.e., "wings," "fly," etc.), but I don't have them dictate or copy anything. They sound out, make spaces between the words and do their best.

    In addition to things like that, we write a book every week. On Monday, we open our writing journals and write about something that happened recently (skinned my knee, ate Pop Tarts for the first time, etc.). I encourage them to use their 5 senses to describe. We add to the stories on Wednesday, giving more detail. They usually end up with about 5 sentences at this point in the year. By the end of the week, I type up their words using correct spelling and punctuation and print them on half sheets of paper (one sentence per page with space for an illustration). I make a construction paper cover. They read the books they wrote to a buddy, illustrate them, and take them home to read to mom and dad.
    They love it.
    This is not my original idea! I stole it from my daughter's first grade teacher.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    Oct 21, 2011

    That is a really cute idea!
     
  11. WhoDatTeacher

    WhoDatTeacher Rookie

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    Oct 30, 2011

    In my first grade class last year, the writing lessons were always guided by the teacher using the whiteboard. There were always 4 sentences, because each year in the school, students would increase the amount of sentences they wrote. The first sentence would be a main idea. The next two, details, and the last sentence was a feeling sentence. Students would be walked through the writing process step by step using a direct instruction method on the white board. Example: When you get your paper, please write your name in the upper right corner. Then for each sentence, each word would be said, followed by "fingerspace" so students would remember to leave space after each word. While guiding the students through writing I would also explain the importance of capitalization and periods to students. Each week we wrote about a different topic and as the students became more comfortable they were able to begin writing their own short paragraphs following the same format.
     

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