Sunday, September 8, 2013

Work on Writing {and a little Mumford & Sons!}

You guys. YOU. GUYS. This weekend I crossed a big something off my bucket list! I saw one of my favorite bands, Mumford & Sons in Guthrie, Oklahoma for their Gentlemen of the Road Stopover! I cannot even put into words how amazing their show was! And the other bands that came along were great! The town of Guthrie went ALL out for this event. It felt a bit like Beatle-mania :) Not to mention the night ended with some Beatles covers! Could it get any better?! Did I mention that we did the whole camping thing? Yeah... Anyone who knows me knows that I am NOT the camping type, especially in close to 100* heat... {I would prefer "glamping" in an air conditioned building with a shower} but it was all worth it to see such an incredible show!

Okay, thank you for letting me express my excitement :) Now on to school related topics! We kicked off Work on Writing a week or two ago. Before we even started writing, we read the book The Best Story to the kids. It is a great way to get your kiddos thinking about writing!

We then went on to make maps of our hearts-the important things we hold close to their hearts! I modeled this for our students, and then we let them make maps of their hearts! The kids put a lot of thought into their heart maps and did a great job! They glued them to the front of their WOW journals so they can always find them when they need a topic to write about when they can't think of anything. No more "but I don't know what to write about!" :)

The next day, we came to the carpet and I told the kids I had the funniest story to share about my furbabies, Lulu and Molly {who I also included on my heart map}. I started writing right away, and modeled "underline and move on!" We discussed what they noticed me doing as I was writing {I wrote the whole time, I stayed in one spot, I didn't bother the teacher when I didn't know how to spell a word, I underlined and moved on, I used our word chunks, etc.) This really helped with our I-Chart for Work on Writing! Then we let them start writing! We could not believe that ALL 45 of our kids were writing! On the very first try I would say that they got to about 5 minutes of stamina before someone got off task, which is pretty good for a first try! That first 5 minutes gave us a lot of information about our kids' writing abilities.
The author above was so excited to learn that she could just "underline and move on" and that it was going to make writing SO much easier for her! LOVE IT!!

I just love seeing all those underlined words :) We have built our WOW stamina to about 15 minutes in about a week! We are so proud! Not one kiddo has gotten up during any of our WOW time to ask how to spell something, which is allowing us to work with so many students one on one or in small group! We are constantly modeling work on writing for the kiddos to reinforce expectations and strategies {stretching words, using chunks, etc.}, as well as how to use heart maps when they don't know what to write about. I just love that Daily 5 teaches the routines and procedures that allow your students to be truly engaged in a meaningful task independently! We will be launching Read to Someone this week, and I am so excited :)
Back to the real world tomorrow! Have a wonderful rest of your Sunday and an amazing week!

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