January 15, 2013

Writing for Dummies {AKA me}!

Okay--I think I have admitted this before but here I go again, I dislike teaching writing. {Gasp!} I know, shame on me. Such an important part of a day in the life of a first grader. I'm contributing my dislike of writing to not be such a great writer myself growing up.

One of my .unstated. resolution's was to become a better writing teacher. Well, let me tell you...this week I have jumped right in! Seems like I just hadn't found a way(in the past) that fit me or my students.  While I was going through my writing folder desperately searching for ideas, I found a sheet that gave me inspiration and my writing lessons were brought to fruition!

We started off this week talking about "story starters" and how important it was to catch your readers attention in the first sentence or two of your story. The anchor chart *fanatic* that I am made this:

Here are the books I used that had great beginnings to show examples of interesting ways to start a story.
The next day we picked a character to write our story about and described it using my 'Describe a Snowman' bubble map. I told them I wanted them to use their imagination and be creative.  I showed them a few different type of snowmen (from clipart I found) to get their little wheels spinning.  Their creativity came to life and describing is what they did!

Our next step was to talk about the parts of a story: beginning, middle, end.  We discussed these concepts: Beginning=story starter, character and setting introduction.  Middle=give your character a problem.  Ending=solve the problem and end the story.   They caught onto this SOOOOO much better than I ever imagined!  I created a worksheet for them to record their thoughts.

After completion, we talked about the AND Disease! They thought this was HILARIOUS!!! I wrote and example of something like this on the board:

When I read it they {laughed and laughed and laughed}!  They thought I was crazy for using the word AND so many times.  They were surprised when I told them that --they-- were actually the ones who were consumed by this disease! I had them go back and edit their papers for the "and disease", capitalization and puncuation.

Our final day of writing consisted of completing our final draft.  I had them transfer their edited writing and complete it by drawing a picture. I was in ~AWE~ after reading most of their stories....had I really taught them step by step with my own ideas!? Heck yes, I felt like I had hit the jackpot!!

We will be at it again this week creating a penguin story to go along with our penguin unit! I'm hoping the process will be a little bit more independent (fingers-crossed)!

This teacher is all smiles : ) 

P.S. If you made it this far, you can click on all the above templates and pick them up in my TpT store for FREE!


  1. :) Don't you just love days like that!! It sounds like it was a wonderful lesson, I loved the "and disease" - I will have to remember that one!

  2. I like the "And Disease." I'm totally going to use that in class!! Have you read the book "No More I'm Done"? It really changed my outlook on teaching writing. It is still one of the hardest for me to teach.

  3. No Liz, I will have to check it out. Thanks!

  4. I am "write" there with you on your dislike of teaching writing. I find that to be so difficult!
    LOVE these ideas for writing! So practical.
    Colleen :-)
    Fun and Fearless in First

  5. The AND disease is an epidemic in my room too! :) Teaching writing to firsties can be so daunting...I think it's because sometimes I don't even know where to start! But it sounds like you did a great job! :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. Love the freebies - on my way back to give feedback. Hope your penguin unit is going well in your classroom. It's so cute! We are starting ours next week.

    I agree about teaching writing - it is so hard to get through to them sometimes. I feel like such a broken record. Love the "And Disease"! I hope your resolution continues to go well :)

    First Grade Smiles

  7. I love your anchor charts. My firsties are trying to get into the groove of writing complete sentences and these would be very helpful!

    MrsMc from Buzz! Buzz! Buzz!

  8. Love these writing tools! Thanks for sharing! :)
    Come visit me sometime: acolwell.blogspot.com
    Love your blog design... ;)

  9. Thanks heaps! I appreciate these freebies so much!

  10. You are one sweet lady! I am thankful I found you on Pinterest!!

  11. This post was so helpful. Thank you for sharing!😊