Thursday, March 26, 2015

Informational Writing Part 2!

Hello there!! I blogged a few weeks ago about the changes my kindergarten team and I made to our informational writing unit this year-- writing informational books about each other-- and how we introduced it to our students. {If you missed that post, you can read about it here}Now, I'm ready to share with you all about how the unit went! There's even a freebie for you for making it all the way to the bottom!
My last post was all about how we went through the entire process as a class as we interviewed and wrote a class book about my aide.
Once we were finished writing our class book, it was time to partner up! I let my students choose their own partners so that they were writing about someone that they wanted to write about. Then, just like we did as a class with Mrs. Auger, it was time to interview each other!
Thinking back on this lesson and planning for next year, I am definitely going to have my students create microphones out of toilet paper rolls and tin foil. I thought about this idea way too late to collect enough toilet paper rolls for this project- next year will be a definite though!
So, although we didn't all have fancy, sparkly microphones like we did when we interviewed Mrs. Auger, we did have a fun time interviewing one another. The pairs worked very well together, taking turns interviewing one another, and helping each other write their answers.
After they asked the questions that I gave to them on their interview sheet, each student had an opportunity think about other information that they wanted to include in their book, and write questions to illicit that information from their partner. They all had very interesting questions to ask (What is your favorite minion? <-- There is more than one type of minion?! Who knew!)
Next, it was time to start our rough draft. Each student was allowed to choose the order that they wanted to write their book. I had them use a post it to mark the question that they were working on so that when I went around to conference with them, I knew what they were trying to write. Most of my writers did a fabulous job all on their own!
We worked on our books writers' workshop style for about 2 weeks. Some days I would meet with students who I thought needed some extra guidance on similar things. Other days, I would just walk around the room and conference with those who I needed to check in with. Once someone finished their rough draft, they were ready to write their final copy (and start using the fancy paper, of course!) It was also time for illustrations and neat coloring (most of the time!)
Then to publication we went! I took real photos of everyone to use on their cover because we always talk about how nonfiction books sometimes use real pictures! They were all so proud of their published book when they sat in the author's chair and shared with the class. We even had some great questions and comments from our authors in the audience!
Are you interested in giving this a try in your classroom? Click on the image below to download the graphic organizers that we used for FREE! I am sure that this unit will be a hit with your kiddos as well!
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Sunday, March 1, 2015

Is It Spring Yet?

Happy March, everyone!! March makes me think of springtime, and this cold weather is far from it! It's hard to find the positive when you are so stinkin' cold everyday. Seriously, I think the winter makes me depressed! But, alas, I dug deep this week to find some positives amidst the COLD!

Want to see some pictures of how my classroom transformation went? I have been inspired by Hope King after purchasing her "Set The Stage to Engage" resource. My classroom by no means met up to her standards, but I am proud for my first try!!





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