Sunday, October 29, 2017

Revising and Editing! Another Redo!

Hello Everyone!
Another of the more popular blog posts I've done is the one from quite a while ago on "How's My Writing?" Again, I would not be doing my job as an educator if I did not continually upgrade my lessons.  As I work more and more with our youngest writers, maintaining a safe environment for them to work is paramount. Revising and editing is the hardest part of teaching writing. It is our job to be encouragers of our young writers’ work. Our students have worked so hard just to get their ideas on paper and then they are asked to revise? “But it sounds good the way it is!” “Yes, that’s what I wanted to say.”  “I checked everything, and I didn’t see anything to fix.”  You have heard it.  It is my experience in working with hundreds of first-grade writers that adults should maintain certain beliefs about revising and editing.
*I am a firm believer in providing examples of modeling every part of the revising process and setting specific goals for specific kids. Kids should see us write, revise and edit.  Expecting all revisions and editing to take place for every kid on every piece can be overwhelming for both the teacher and the student!  I recommend introducing one revision or editing tool at a time and growing from there.
*I also believe that during the revising and editing process, staying positive is key.  Looking for the “great” things and building on those.
*In addition, I believe that writing partners play an enormous role in the revising and editing process. Utilizing the partner can be an absolute win…win…for both writers!! And sometimes, a young writer will take advice from a peer rather than an adult!! J

*Lastly, being respectful of young writers’ work is something I can not stress enough.  Providing a comfortable, safe learning environment where all effort is appreciated and at the same time encouraging the challenge and risk to rework will result in kids who love to write!
So, I have upgraded my editing unit to include revising.  Here's what you'll see in the unit!

If you think you might be able to use even a small part of this unit, you can download a free copy of it.

Thanks for stopping by for a peek into our world!  It is certainly a window of wonder!!  
Until next time, don't forget to find the joy in each and every kid each and every day!!
:) Nancy
 Don't forget to leave a comment!  

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Redo on Retelling!

Hello Everyone!
One of my most popular blog posts is one from many years ago on retelling. I looked back at that post and...WOW!!!  I totally needed to redo that unit!!! It looks so tired!!! I think I was just starting out with this whole "sharing via this blog" thing. It is surprising how much I have learned about creating products, making them look more engaging for kids, taking better photos, giving credit to the artists who create the clip art, finding clipart that is "cuter,"  and even adding copyright logos to some of my creations. I couldn't wait to redo my retelling unit. I have forever done the retelling rope...I mean ...for years! And many of you have adopted that strategy, but I decided to know KISS, and make the story parts color coordinated with dots. The Retelling Rings and/or Story Sticks are easier for kids to make and will be "handy" reminders of the parts of a narrative. They can keep the manipulatives in their book baskets to take out whenever they are reading or listening to a story.   Here are a few pics of the changes I've made.

 I hope you can use this new and improved version of retelling!  If you think you might,

I know I can't wait to use this retelling redo with my current firsties!!!  I'll let you know how it goes.  
Well, gotta run!!! We have parent/teacher conference day tomorrow!  I've got to finish getting ready for 22 conferences!  Yikes!!  Wish me luck with staying on schedule and getting them all in!!! I do love conferences and sharing what each little firstie is doing!  I also love hearing from parents and learning even more about my kids!!
Till next time, thanks for stopping by this little Window On Wonder!! I always appreciate comments and e-mail.  
Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Text Connections With Heart

Hello Everyone!
Thanks for stopping by this little blog. Just a quick share tonight.  It's report card time, and I have a few reports to get finished before Friday!  I didn't want to hold on to this unit for too long, because as I use it this week, I see the connections starting to develop! 
 As teachers and parents, you know that reading comprehension is paramount for all ages. Reading Comprehension is the making of meaning of texts. When readers see how the ideas in a text connect to their own ideas, lives, and experiences,  the meaning of the text becomes more evident.  When connections are made, reading can come alive for a reader. Readers need to be aware of the different connections there are to be made.
For our youngest readers, I like to focus on “Text to Self” and “Text to  Text” connections.  As readers mature, “Text to World” connections can come into play.

When young readers are given a purpose for their reading, they are able to better comprehend and make meaning of the ideas in the text. Having them make those connections can be used at the beginning, middle, or end of the reading process to get students engaged with a text, to help students understand the text more deeply, or to evaluate students’ understanding of the text. Making connections puts heart into reading. The mini unit I'm sharing tonight includes some mini poster to display after describing the connection. I've also included a sample of a larger anchor chart you can make if you want.  And don't forget about the bookmarks!!  My kids loved them.

Teach the kids to make a connection sign with their fingers. Every story you read, they can form the symbol every time they make a connection!

If  you would like a printable of these posters, recording sheets, and bookmarks...

Hope this helps you in your quest to help your kids with comprehension!  Let me know!! Till then, thanks for stopping by and have a great rest of the week!! 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Spider Writing

 Hello Everyone!!!

Writer's Workshop is in full swing! We have worked hard on composing with pictures, collected ideas, increased our focus to small moments,worked with writing partners , and are now trying to make our stories come to life.  Lucy Calkins,  in her Writing Units of Study, describes the next steps as writing in “Itsy Bitsy Steps.”  Jennifer Serravallo,  in her Writing Strategies Book,  discusses organizing in sequence.  Working on helping kids unfold their stories in steps is a something that takes more than one mini lesson.  It will take mentor texts,  modeling, re-organizing, revising, and a little element of manipulative fun.  I like to start off by sharing one of my favorite  books, One Day by Rebecca Dotlich. You have to get this book!  It shows kids how important it is to include all the parts of a small moment.   We then talk about spiders and how they build their webs step by step. I like to use Eric Carle’s The  Very Busy Spider!  Every page shows the spider making each part of her web. Then I get busy and begin  modeling a piece which includes step by step organization.  To add some fun and interest to the skill I use little spider rings  to indicate each step.

The kids get ready to tell their small moment stories bit by bit. 
I give each kiddo a small spider eraser to help remind them to write like a spider!  This whole lesson takes a few days, and many hours of trying.  But by adding the right fun elements, kids will embrace this important skill!!  Happy Writing!!

Readily available on Amazon

From One Day by Rebecca Dotlich

From One Day

Eric Carle's The Busy Spider

Model the skill

Fun kid reminders to Spider Write!
Spider rings and erasers are readily available this time of year.  found these at Target.

I hope you give this a try!  It has already made a difference in my kiddos' writing!!! Anything to motivate them, right??? 
That's it for today!  Have a great week! And Happy Writing!!