This year we have started to do the Daily 5 (which we love) and the students work on writing every day for 20 minutes. Last year when we didn't do Daily 5, we filled up a little over half of our writer's notebooks with writing. This year while doing Daily 5, most of the kids will finish the whole writer's notebook with writing because they have wrote almost every single day. YAY!! EXCITING! :-)
Here are our books that we use (nothing too exciting)-but they have lines at the bottom part for the story and an empty spot at the top for their illustration:
We do writer's workshop as well which has a mini lesson on writing. In the beginning of writer's workshop, it teaches them to brainstorm ideas of what to write about if they are having troubles coming up with an idea. For the most part, the students are really good about coming up with topics to write about on their own at this point.
During their work on writing time, they get to decide what they want to write about. They write what they want and then illustrate. We have a variety of writings that we see daily, some are real while others are made up. After reading their story, we will check for any corrections that need to be made such as capital letters, ending sentences etc. The next day they are to check to see if they need to revise anything on their story before they begin their next story.
We conference with each student weekly to discuss his/her writing. Together we talk about all the things that we like about their writings and things we want to see improve the next time we meet.
We have purchased a book called words I use when I write (it is like a little dictionary) that the kids will pull out and use to look up those words that they are unsure about. We have also taught them to check the word wall and if they can't find the word that they are looking for, they are to stretch the word out and spell it that way.
Below are some samples of writings that our students have done this year:
This is one that is being worked on right now-no revisions yet.
This one is almost done, just a few corrections and some more illustrating.
How sweet! :-)
Crystal and I have been talking a lot about our writer's notebooks this year and have been very excited about how much writing the kids have been doing. We have talked about a few things that we would like to change about it. Last year, when we did writer's workshop, we would have a mini lesson every day and right after the lesson, the kids would go back and write and apply what they had learned. This year, we have done it a little different because we started Daily 5. We don't have as much time for the writer's workshop lessons this year and when we do get to them, we usually teach the lesson and then they write the next day during their work on writing rotation. After talking about it, we think that it is better for them to write and apply what they learned right after the lesson instead of the next day. So we are trying to figure out how we can tweak it a bit.
We are excited to hear how others are doing the writer's notebook!
Hope all of you have a great weekend! Kristi