Sunday, November 3, 2013

Daily Five: Work on Writing

I have written a post about daily five in several weeks because we have been hard at work adding work on writing and building our writing stamina. I chose to add work on writing second because that is what the sisters suggest. They say that read to self and work on writing should be non-negotiable daily rounds.

I started work on writing by creating this writing tools anchor chart with them. This idea and the pieces for this anchor chart came from Kim Adsit's I Can Write unit. I chose the tools from Kim's unit that we were going to use in our classroom and only introduced those. With each tool that I added we physically walked to the place where we could find that tool. We practiced this for several days and I still refer to the chart at the beginning of work on writing each day.

I also created this anchor chart with my class. Since we have been in school awhile I did not introduce the chart as though they had an option of which type of writing they wanted to use, but rather I spoke about the three ways as if I wanted to see them all. This anchor chart also came from Kim's I Can Write unit. 

I forgot to take a picture of  my own class chart. I will add it on Monday. Here is a copy from Kim's unit for now. I cannot stress enough how helpful all of Kim's anchor charts have been- not just from this unit, but from all of her units that I have purchased. Making these charts with my students, referring to them daily, and leaving them posted as a reference has really increased my students learning and their retention of the information I taught. 

For the first week or so we wrote all together each day. I modeled writing a sentence and they wrote it with me. I had them tell me how to spell words and when to use a spaceman. Then we drew the picture. I wrote sentences that consisted mostly of words from our word wall and only one or two words they needed to phonetically spell. I did this to support them as writers. I did not want anyone getting into a habit of just scribbling in their writing journal. I wanted even my lowest performing students to be able to string some words together even if they did not make a lot of sense. 

I am using large black clips to hold their place each day. 

We share our writing with each other or as a class each day. Right now I have all of them share because I want to encourage the writing behaviors that I want them to use and break down those that I do not. Each day I stress how we are all learning, practicing, and growing ourselves as writers. They know not to ask "How do you spell?" I constantly remind them of all of the strategies they have to spell words. I model this daily in interactive writing too. Sharing is a little time consuming right now, but I think it is really helping. They seem to be getting more independent and better each day. Sometimes we share with partners and sometimes as a whole class. 

After a week or so of modeling writing for them and doing it with them I released them to write on their own. We have been writing on our own for about a week now. Most of my students are writing a sentence. Some of them are stringing word wall words together and putting space between words is still something we need to work on, but they can already sit and write for 15 minutes of writing stamina. 

At first we all sat at our tables and wrote. After we wrote like this for several days I let them start choosing their writing spots just like they do for read to self. They know to go and get their marker and journal from their cubbie and their box from their table. They also know if they forget something they need then they simply go and get it without saying anything. If they need to walk over to the name wall or the word wall they just do it and do not talk about it. They know that as long as they are working on their writing in some way that they are not breaking stamina. 

I plan to keep us all reading to self and working on writing at the same time for a little while. I want to build up their writing skills a bit before I add another dimension to this round. They still have choice in where they want to write and what they want to write about so they are engaged and excited about what they are doing. 

Next week I plan to make Kim's anchor chart about what good writer's do and how writer's can help the reader. I also plan to continue working on sentence structure. I model this in all subject areas everyday in whole group writing, not just during work on writing time. 


SForman said...

I see in the photos that several of them wrote the same sentence. Did they write what you wrote? Or are they copying someone at their table? I have trouble with this, as I want them to write about their own thoughts and experiences. How do you address that situation?

Mrs. Larremore said...

For several days we all wrote the same thing so I could model sentence structure. Now they write all over the room since we do daily five so no one is beside anyone else. This helps with them just copying their neighbor.

donna said...

I am trying to get the daily 5 running in my k-class. Right now I have the "read to self" running and we are working on our time. Next I would like to do the writing. I am struggling with how I will do the rotations. Some blogs seem to focus on doing just one daily a day and others seem to do more than one....Is the goal of the daily 5 to complete all in an assigned literacy block?

thanks, Donna

Shelly said...

Do you use the binder clips to help them find their place in their journal?


Mrs. Larremore said...

The sisters suggest 2-3 rounds in kindergarten a day. It depends on the amount of time you have. I tried to do 3, but I did not have enough time so I went back to 2 rounds. I teach comprehension, accuracy and fluency lessons in between and end with a writing lesson.

Yes- I use the clips to hold their place so they work through the journal page by page.

Jan Hargrove said...

Wondering why your students use markers instead of pencils? What do they do if they miss up? They can't erase! Do you do this for a reason?

Mrs. Larremore said...

Jan- I came across the idea of kids writing with markers years ago when I was using Lucy Calkins writing materials. I have my kids use markers so that they do not waste a lot of time erasing and making a mess of their paper. I use wide correction tape to fix their mistakes. I stick a piece of tape right over their mistake and they keep on writing. It takes seconds. We correct all of their mistakes this way except for during work on writing time. Since we are concentrating on building writing stamina during this time we do not want to stop to get "boo-boo" tape. I have done it this way for years and I like it much better than using pencils. My kids also love to write with markers. We do not color with markers, only crayons, so writing is the only time we use markers.

Jakki Bourgault said...

I feel like I just learned SO much from this post! THANK YOU!!!
I am in my 3rd year of teaching kindergarten. I am trying to break away from practice books and curriculum that has been the standard in our kindergarten program for the past few years. I am really struggling with writing. Have attended a week long Lucy Calkin training two summers in a row - but kindergarten has not been the focus. One question, is your model writing whole group or small group?
Thanks again! Jakki

Mrs. Larremore said...

I do it in both, but a lot in whole group. That is why I give my kids the wipe boards so we can all write together.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I love this post. I am about to implement the 'work on writing' phase with my kindergarten class and was doing some research to find some strategies to help me when I came across your blog. It has given me lots of ideas so thank you. Just wondering what is in the boxes on students desks?

Mrs. Larremore said...

My students keep a pencil, markers, and their crayons in their boxes on their tables. I do not use community supplies. My kids use their own things. They carry their box with them wherever they choose to write.

Anonymous said...

I'm starting Daily 5 for the first time and am in the very beginning of work on writing. Your post has really given me some great ideas that I plan to use, starting tomorrow! It's such a tricky thing to introduce in the beginning of the year, especially to kids who don't have strong writing skills. Thanks for the ideas!

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