Friday, April 12, 2013

It's A Frog Thing!

Hey Kinder Friends,
This week we were able to wrap up our research writing and celebrate a project well done. This was a great way to walk through the writing process while working on some of our writing goals. We sure learned a lot about multiple revisions. I think my favorite part as a teacher has been allowing time for this project to develop and having a flexible mindset in the planning. I have to admit I never have enjoyed one on one conferencing so much as I have these past few weeks. At times I felt like a coach rooting each child on as we went through the writing process and ultimately ending with a published piece. The children liked evaluating their work and deciding which pieces they would like to display which really made each child have a unique display of work. We worked so hard on each piece I had a hard time sending home the work that did not get displayed.
During the revision phase we did get frustrated at times. What really helped was taking a break and talking about those feelings and making a personal plan for writing the next day. It was so nice to be able to come in and hear the children talking about what they would be working on in writing each morning throughout the project . We all really started thinking like a real writer. We had a plan! What I noticed halfway through the project was that the children were very willing to retry some of the writing strategies we had discussed and make their writing better than the day before. We got a little inspired each day as we shared our own success. They were proud when the work was displayed in the hallway. I was proud too.
So, what did we learn?
Students used elements of the writing process (planning, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing) to compose text. Children planned a first draft by generating ideas for writing through class discussion. As a class we decided on frogs and ponds. The frogs were the vehicles we used to teach the writing process. The children developed drafts by sequencing the action or details in the draft.
The children revised drafts by adding details or sentences. The children edited drafts by leaving spaces between letters and words, adding capitalization and punctuation as needed.
And the children used the following parts of speech in the context of writing such as singular and plural nouns and descriptive words. Students determined, located, and explored the full range of relevant sources addressing a research question and systematically record the information they gathered. And used pictures in conjunction with writing when documenting research.
I will admit that I was surprised when the children wanted to know what kind of research we would be doing next!

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