In this unit, children start writing the first day of school. We learn about writing routines. We start writing workshop on the green carpet for a mini lesson. Children see me as a writer and learn how to be independent. After we have a mini lesson, children are then usually given the opportunity to turn and talk to a peer. These 2 minute conversations relate to the lesson that was just taught or children are planning their writing with their partner.
Students also learn how to use writing tools. We talk about the ABC chart, finding words around the room, name tags, sharp & dull pencils, finger spaces, paper and using the stapler.
Children learn about different kinds of writing. We talk about personal narratives, lists and letters. Above is an example of an after school checklist. Some children write grocery lists. Watch out! They might bring this list to the grocery store with you.
In September it's important that the children learn two important things. The first one is, "When you're done, you've just begun!"
Students are to follow our 4 step cycle.
The second important thing to know is that, "When you hear a sound, write it down!" Children learn that they are should just spell and sketch the best they can and move on.
During conferences, I am able to make a compliment on their work and teach each student something new. In our launching unit, children learn about conference etiquette and how to solve their own problems when stuck in the writing process. This allows me to have 4-5 conferences per week. My goal is to meet with every writer once a week.
Pen-Pals in Connecticut
This year we will have special pen-pals that are from my hometown in Connecticut. My cousin is in the 1st grade and I have talked with her teacher about setting up a pen-pal schedule for the year. We just sent our first GIANT letter to their class. The kids decided to talk about all the animals in Wyoming and tell the kids about the forest fire. The kids in her class will write individual letters to us. We will formally start a letter unit in November and this will be a great way to warm up.