Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Writing for Readers

The unit of study for first grade in October is: Writing for Readers. This isn't a new unit, but the issue is to be sure it meets the rigor of the common core standards. They require that by the end of first grade, students are able to write narrative texts with a high level of proficiency. They should be able to use end punctuation and spell common words. These are what they need to be able to do at the END of the year...not in October. Right now they are learning!

Since students have been writing stories as they launch the writer's workshop, they will have a collection to sort through from their writing folders. As they sort, they will decide which are readable and which are not and have two piles. Now they need to decide how to move a story from the unreadable side to being readable.

The list of strategies used for this will differ from class to class. Some ideas are:
  • How to stretch words to hear more sounds
  • How to use the word wall to find words
  • How to use what you learned in Word Study
Another thing to be taught the first few weeks of this unit is to be focused on a small moment. The lessons for One day, One time, Once...will help with this focus. Those lessons have been done before, but it is important to do it early in the year so students have time to practice this.

When telling/writing a small moment story, staying on focus on that story is important. One way to do that is to tell the story across their fingers and then moving page to page. It might sound like this: "On this page I'll write..." and "On the next page I'll write..." They might want to sketch (not draw) it across the pages and then come back and add the words.

If students get more focused with the stories they write, their writing will get better!  Happy Writing!

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