Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Let's Start At the Very Beginning

A very good place to start.... :)  (sometimes I think in show tunes, and will randomly break onto song-especially if there is a spelling word that triggers it-then the kids all look at me weird :)

I will admit that I am not the best writing teacher. It is one of the subjects that I struggle to teach, and have not, as yet, found that magic wand that will explain everything. (I'm still looking though!)

So, after thinking about for most of last year, and this summer, I decided to break it waaaaay down, and start at the very beginning.


With sentences.

I started with the Essential Question (ha! look at me all thought-provoking!) of What is a Sentence?

We talked about it as a class, and I wrote what they said on the board (different colors for different students)
Before we had the red writing (in an order that makes sense), I wrote this on the board
Shoot fudge yellow run.

I told the kids that it was a sentence-based on their definition so far. (Which then led to a mini-discussion of comprehension and schema again! :)

 So then we added the making sense order :)
This is what the chart looked at the end of the first week.

In the next few weeks, we talked about the different types and kinds of sentences, adding them into our chart.
We've also added Erin's Build a Better Sentence to our writing wall, to help us remember how to write great 4th grade sentences.

Now that we have sentences down, we've moved onto paragraphs!

Of course, I started with the EQ-What is a Paragraph?

For this one, the definition came a little quicker.
We had to stop at topic sentences today, but we'll continue to add to the chart throughout the next weeks.

I'm modeling some of it off of my Perfecting Paragraph Series
http://kaitlyn-smiles.blogspot.com/search/label/Perfecting%20Paragraphs

Which I did in March of last year-but this year we are starting with it!

I did get rid of my hamburger chart (which is, I think, my most pinned item! :) last year, and we'll see how this new chart turns out!

We'll be moving into descriptive paragraphs, and I'll be trying out some cool strategies I've been reading in Making Thinking Visible (MAP testing leaves some free time! ;), so stay tuned!

I'm hoping that by starting at the very beginning, (which is a very good place to start!), my students will have those strong foundations before we move on to the more complicated stuff.

Here's hoping!

Linking up with the awesome Jivey for her magnificant

Smiles and Sunshine,
Kaitlyn

1 comment:

  1. Loving your ideas! I just may have to start implementing some of this as teaching writing is not my strong suit either :)

    ReplyDelete

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