It's just around the corner, my favorite time of year where I get to meet my students and parents. But first, I have a lot that I am still soaking in from TCRWP. When I met with a friend last week she said if I could narrow down my focus to three things what would they be. This is what I told her--
1. An interactive spelling and grammar notebook.
2. A writing center with pre-stapled booklets differentiated for writers in my room.
3. A peer conferencing station designed so that the students have a set place to discuss once the peer group has been established.
One of the areas I need to work on is word study (spelling) and grammar. This needs to be explicitly taught at the younger grades. We can't expect students to understand it through osmosis.
There are several programs you can use. I plan on using Making Words as my focus and words sorts. Then holding kids accountable in their interactive word wall and notebooks for these words. (More as I get that figured out.)
In regards to grammar, it too must be taught outside of writer's workshop. Then students must be held accountable. If they are expected in 1st grade to use beginning and ending punctuation, then the first day of 2nd grade they should be doing this.
I plan on handling this, by saying, "You are a beautiful writer and I would hate for the meaning of your piece to be lost because you didn't use any punctuation." Then hand it back to the writer.
Differentiated Writing Center
I will have a chart of ideas of several things students can write including what we are currently studying. But, I want students to see that writing looks many different ways. Also, I will include booklets of blank writing pages starting with a set of 3 pages, 4 pages and 5 pages. Then a stack with loose pages. This station will include a stapler (along with a lesson on how to use a stapler properly), pens, markers, and colored pencils.
Peer Conferencing Station
Last year after my writing partners were established and students began using them correctly I allowed students to meet without me facilitating. As you know they become very comfortable and Ms. Hartman had a great idea on how to remedy this. She suggested to set up a conferencing station with a timer. Students could request a conference with their partner and set the timer for 5 minutes to discuss their agenda. Perfect!! Problem solved.
Enjoy your last few weeks of summer!!! Rest, relax and recoup because our little sun shines arrive soon!!!