After wrapping-up our how-to writings in March, our 1st grade team partnered with our Computer Lab teacher to work on animal research projects. As a part of read-to-self, students began researching their chosen animal – habitats, diet, etc.
After researching, students brought their new learning to my teacher table and we started constructing our paragraphs (which students finished independently in Work on Writing). The research was pretty cursory and just a first introduction. As we take computer-lab time to research, we’ll start developing multiple paragraphs. As you see below, there are lots of facts included in this piece, but we’re still lacking developing. Still, you can see the basic outline of a paragraph including a main idea and a wrap-up sentence!
During the Guided Writing portion of Guided Reading, we’re also learning how to respond to questions about a text. We always start with oral writing – sharing our ideas verbally, but also use a RACE (restate, answer, cite evidence, explain) structure to organize our ideas. It’s an easy acronym to remember and it is very pointed…it’s hard to get lost in RACE. In 5th grade I used to RUN (read the question, underline, number) the RACE. In 1st grade, we’re just RACEing (with a wrap-up sentence on the end)! 😉 For my more developed readers and writers, they RACECE to beef-up their writing.
Much of our writing takes place during our Daily 5’s Work on Writing time. Students are expected to visit Writing at least 3 times a week. On the wall you’ll see 2 anchor charts we made as a class (I know they’re not ‘cute’ but they are real and what my friends need to keep on track.)
At the beginning of the year, I used to keep stools at Work on Writing, but they were never being used. So, I stole the stools for guided reading, and my friends love standing. If they want to sit, they can grab a clipboard or find a spot around the room.
Students may write in their writing journals or on Pacon Newspaper. It’s really writer’s choice. I don’t love the Pacon paper but it’s so much more environmentally friendly. I felt like I was killing a million trees each week. Now, I can plan on going through 1 pack of paper each quarter.