Saturday, June 30, 2012
Primary Pizzazz Part One
Yesterday, I promised I would post who I was passing the Lovely Blog Award to, so here goes:
I didn't notice this award on any of these sites. If you've already gotten it, congratulations! You win again! On another note, after posting all these cute blog buttons, I realize how much I really HATE mine! I've tried to make 2 or 3 with no success. If any of you out there can tell me how you make such cute, cute buttons, pleae let me know (and it has to be easy as I am blog button challenged, shall we say)! Ok, onto our book study...As I mentioned yesterday, the first part of the book is titled "Adding Sparkle to Your Teaching". This grabbed my attention right off the bat, 'cause who doesn't love a little sparkle, right? The first thing she mentions is "Ten Steps to Excellent Writing with Primary Kids". I have to admit that when I read these steps, I realized that I've really been doing my kids a disservice. In the rush to "get things done", I've been pushing my kids to write before they've really had the chance to think about and plan their writing. Before I go too far, here are the 10 steps Forney mentions: 1. Talking 2. Brainstorming 3. Talking again 4. Kinesthetic Activity 5. Drawing 6. Writing 7. Reading 8. Revising 9. Editing 10. Sharing Due to the length of this post already, I'm just going to talk about the first 5 steps today, and we'll talk about the last 5 tomorrow. Now, I'm a little embarrassed to say it, but in the past, my writing instruction has been more like: 1. Introduce a topic 2. Brainstorm 3. Write 4. Edit 5. Publish Hey, I told you I've never considered myself a writing teacher! So, in thinking about the steps that are missing in my instruction: Talking - I've really been guilty about trying to stop a lot of talking in my room. I mean, when they start to talk, they really get off task and out of control. I've realized, though that I just need to teach the kids HOW to talk. Forney states, "Talking elicits concentration, ownership of the topic, sharing of information and excitement." I never really thought of it that way. Talking again - Wait, what? I'm still getting used to letting them talk and now I have to let them talk again? Yep, but this time, it is more focused and they are sharing with a partner. We started to use this partner share strategy last year and it worked out pretty well. We would tell the kids to share with their partner and then put their hands up and together (picture a high five that sticks) when they were done. Kinesthetic Activity - This is the one I'm most excited about. Letting the kids experience something related to what they are going to write about. It might be a short dance, food, movement, etc. I think this one will really get the kids excited and focused on what they are going to write. Drawing - At our school, the kids have always drawn first in kindergarten and then done the writing first in first grade, so letting them draw before they write is a little different for me. I think that it might help them as another way to plan out and focus their writing. She does say that once the kids are used to drawing before they write, you can assign the drawing for homework. So, what does your writing instruction look like? Share your thoughts and then come back tomorrow to talk about the last 5 steps!