What did you see?
I saw 19 kindergarten writers smiling at me!
We are published!
Our young writers have completed the fourth unit of study of the year, and we are, of course, as proud as we can be of their work and their continued enthusiasm for writing. The students worked through an eight-lesson Kindergarten Pattern Book unit of study that lasted across 3+ weeks due to snow days and delays. Highlights included introducing the idea of keeping a writer's notebook in which to store ideas for future writing. And we took two field trips (one inside and one outside) on which we looked for those ideas!
The scope and sequence of our unit was as follows:
Lesson 1 - Introducing the Mentor Text
Lesson 2 - Journal Brainstorming
Lesson 3 - Sounding Out Our Words
Lesson 4 - Adding Describing Words
Lesson 5 - Collecting Ideas
Lesson 6 - Choosing Our Best Ideas
Lesson 7 - Drafting Our Stories
Lesson 8 - Revising and Editing Our Stories
What is of utmost importance to remember is that our primary goal is to teach these young students how to think like writers. We want them to understand the process of composition. We know that their work will be approximate - and that will be just fine with us. We are wrapping so much teaching up in these lessons, but we know that this is just the beginning. Our writers are going to need lots and lots of practice with not only the work of composition, but, remember, they are still learning letter formation! Not to mention word and sentence formation!
Whew!! And to think, they are still all smiles when I walk into the room. Really! Every single one of them!
At the end of the week, as we were revising and editing, we asked the students to add their names to the cover/title sheet and to fill out an About the Author page to complete their books. I want these writers to understand that projects end. That there is a point at which the author puts his or her name on the work and says, "I'm done." I want the students to hold a completed project in their hands so that they get this concept. Authentic writing must include a finished product. And you, as their teacher, must express as much pride, enthusiasm, over-the-moon excitement as you can as you place those finished products in their hands. We want them to shout (okay, use their indoor voices), "That was great!!! What's next???" Following are examples from two of our authors' books.
"That's great! What's next?", you shout (not using your indoor voice!). Well, we are thinking about a unit of study centered around using journals (writer's notebooks) as places to not only record our ideas, but pages on which to compose stories.
We'll keep you posted!
Have a great writing week! And remember....