November 14, 2013

Hello creative writing!

Now that we have finished our third Reading Response Letter, we're moving on to creative writing.  We will continue to revisit writing activities based on our reading, but right now, our focus has shifted.  

This morning we talked about the importance of using a web to help you to keep your main idea in mind and track your details.  It's very simple, but here's a copy of the web we'll use in class for this purpose. The main idea goes in the bubble and from there, students write their interesting facts.  

After recording their interesting ideas, students now have to decide which ones to keep and which to toss. We call them "treasures and trash".  Students are asked to choose 3-4 of their treasures and write a paragraph that opens by stating their purpose (Today I'm going to tell you about) and ends with a concluding statement (Now you know more about___).  

When we teach students the formula for a successful and effective writing piece, it gives them the structure they need at this age but provides them with the creative freedom they crave.  

Here's a web I showed the kids today.  



As a follower of the Gradual Release Method, we're first going to write our paragraph together as a class and then slowly, I'll pull back and students will be writing all on their own before they know it.  


We've identified our strengths and needs as a class: 

Strengths: 


  • we're really good at writing detailed and informative opinions of things 
  • we use quality checklists very effectively
  • we understand that our work needs to look smart (neat) in order for readers to enjoy it 
  • we use our class time very, very well -no time wasters in this group! 
Needs: 
  • we need to make sure our No-Excuse words are spelled correctly more consistently
  • we need to follow the procedure for when we need a word spelled (bring me your Personal Dictionary) 
  • we need to make better use of our whisper-phones to make sure our work sounds smart (read it aloud to be sure it makes sense) 
After reading over their third RRLs, we are well on our way to a year of exciting and entertaining Writer's Workshops!  

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