Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And now for the Sugar Coma

This is the first year since I've been teaching that I haven't gone over board with the sweets at school. We didn't have an official party so that helps. But my assitant made some toffee hearts and my dad brought me chocolate covered strawberries and my sister made homemade snickers. I had to weigh in for Weight Watchers last night so I was pretty good until after wards. Then I might have overindulged a bit. Anyone else experience a sugar coma yesterday?
I had planned on my giveaway ending on Valentine's day but I read my post and I never put that in the post. So you have until midnight tonight to enter my giveaway. I'll post the results tomorrow.
Did you check out the Kindergarten Expo? It was awesome. Well what I've watched so far has been awesome. Crystal at Kreative in Kinder did a presentation on Writing workshop. I haven't had a chance to watch all of her segments but I got a lot out of the first segment I watched. She talked a lot about interactive writing. I've seen this concept on a lot of blogs and I do a little bit of it. But after watching Crystal, I decided to incorporate this into my writing. I really am wanting to implement a writer's workshop system in my class but it just isn't working for me. So I'm taking some of the ideas that I'm reading abuot on blogs and making it work for me. Starting with interactive writing.
I've always done some interactive writing as part of my morning message. I share the pen. They have to fill in blanks in the message with popcorn words, dates, and other words. I use this to teach some about mechanics and review material we've already talked about. I also take advantage of this time to work on stretching out words and talk about what we do when we don't know how to spell something.
Last week we did a bubble map about our trip to the aquarium. I had the kids write the words and helped them a little with the spelling but mostly I let them stretch the sounds themselves. Then on Tuesday we drew a picture of our trip. I was so excited because a couple of the kids labeled their pictures without me even asking them to. Then the next day they wrote their sentences. We talked about how our sentences should match the pictures we drew. What I noticed by working through writing this way, was they didn't ask me to spell things as much as they have before. They used the bubble map we had created and stretched words out on their own. I was very pleased with their writing.
Here are some samples of there writing. I planned on taking a couple pictures of our chart but my battery died in my camera.
I love his labels.

This student struggles a lot with writing. But he did pretty well with this assignment on his own.

This is one of my ELL students. I didn't have to help him at all.

In a perfect classroom, I would let the kids write about whatever they want to write and they would be in different phases of their writing. But I just can't get that method to work for me. I have my kids for 2 years so maybe next year they will be able to work a little more independently if I can lay some ground work now.
Now I just need to find some time to finish watching all those presentation from the Kindergarten Expo. Maybe Friday when I have the day off.
How do you do writing in your class? Do you use interactive writing?

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