Chapter 8 "Talking, Drawing, Writing" MOVING WRITERS FORWARD and a freebie
Wow! This is the next to the last week of our summer book study! I have learned so much from this book and so glad to have found this wonderful resource. There are a couple of reasons as to why I have loved it..... First, I LOVE with all my heart teaching kids to draw and truly feel that drawing is such a great way to get kids to express themselves. Second, as I have written in previous posts, writing has always been my weakness and this book has given me so many practical ideas for teaching it. I am excited to implement them this year!
Chapter 8 is called "Moving Writers Forward." This is the step you take after your kiddos are writing and drawing confidently and need a nudge forward. This is for all writers, but especially those little ones who continue to write on the same subject or need some encouragement to make their writing readable by others. They give several suggestions but I am only going to comment on a few.
We all know the pictures with the big yellow sun inside a stripe of blue sky, don't we? (smile) There is nothing wrong with these pictures, but the authors make the suggestion that not all outside pictures need to have a sun to show that it is daytime. They suggest having students look at the sky and notice that it doesn't always look blue; sometimes it just looks white. They also show children that sometimes just the text of a story portrays the fact that it is daytime. For example, we wouldn't build a sand castle at night, right? And conversely, we wouldn't be sleeping in our bed (most times) if it were day time. I think this is a great way to encourage kids to use their words to show that what is happening in their story is during a certain time of day.
I really enjoyed the section on Revision. This is one area that has always been challenging to me. I think kids feel my reluctance to tell them to revise because I am always afraid that I will hurt their self esteem by telling them to go back and try again. The authors give some great ways to make little ones excited about revision. One interesting editing feature that they suggest is the use of a "caret." We all know how it is when we write; many times when we go back and read something we wrote, we find out that we left out a word. (Thank goodness for technology that makes it easy to correct our grammatical and spelling mistakes!) Little ones do the same thing with their writing. I remember one little guy last year who did this consistently and would become so discouraged when he had to erase the entire sentence and try again. I really did not think about teaching them to use a caret symbol to insert forgotten words! What a great idea!
They also feel that it is important from the beginning giving our kiddos a structure for writing. This structure is part of the revising techniques. These beginning structures include:
1. Writing name of paper
2. Writing title for writing
3. Writing the date
4. Numbering finished writing
5. Writing the title of writing on MY FINISHED WRITING
As children progress through their writing, other revision techniques are slowly introduced such as:
1. Does my story make sense?
2. Do I need to add more information in the pictures?
3. Do I need to add more information in the words?
4. Do I need to take some information out of my pictures or words?
5. Have I written my words the best that I know how, reading each word carefully and touching each letter and making sure I have a letter for each sound I say and hear?
Some mechanics that they suggest become part of revisions are:
1. Put spaces between your words.
2. Capitalize the word I
3. Use periods to show writers where to stop
4. Use question marks and exclamation markds.
5. Use mostly lowercase letters.
6. Use a capital letter at the beginning of each sentence.
7. Put quotation marks around the words that people say out loud.
I think this is such a nice progression. Kids start out slowly and gradually move to the more sophisticated editing techniques that are more mechanical than content.
I also loved how kids have a special sheet in their writing folder called "My Ideas for Writing." Since I am a person of lists, this is right on with my mindset! For those times when kids are in the middle of a story and get an idea about another story or if they have just come back from recess and want to write about the soccer game they just played, but it is not writing time, they just jot it on their "My Ideas for Writing" sheet and their idea is not lost!
The authors offer some really nice Writing Folder Inserts in the back of the book. I re-did the "My Ideas for Writing" just to make it a bit cuter! If you would like a copy, click the image to get a Google doc.
Don't forget to visit Jennifer from Teaching with Grace, who is hosting this book study! She has a giveaway going on in her blog right now!
Until next time!