Thursday, January 8, 2015

January Writing Center

I'm surviving my first week back.  The kids were really excited and some seem to have blossomed over the two week break.  Today I thought I'd share this month's writing center with you and the process I use to get my students to generate writing.  At a first glance you might think- that's not really all that impressive, but- if you knew what these little ones came in with in August, you would be as amazed as I am.
This is my writing center.  The white board in the background is for our sight words.  This picture was taken in August when the wall was empty.  The wall to the right  in the second photo, is where I place my monthly vocabulary words.
kindergarten writing, writing center, word wall, winter vocabulary, literacy center
Monthly Vocabulary Words
kindergarten writing, writing center, word wall, winter vocabulary
Each week during ELA center time, I work with a small group of 4-5 students.  This week, we are going over winter clothing vocabulary.  Most of my students are second language learners, so they don't all have the vocabulary for many of the items.  This a two-way learning moment.  They tell me what it is in Spanish, then I tell them what it is in English.
winter vocabulary, ELD kindergarten, kindergarten writing, January Word Wall
After we went over the clothing vocabulary, I asked them to choose one of the times from the cards and that they own and describe it to me.  For my very limited students I offered them a sentence frame.
Once each student has had a chance to tell about their article of clothing, we begin the writing.  Depending on my students ability, I either have them write it on their own, or use the sentence frame.  Before they can begin their sentence, they must tell me again what they will be writing.  I encourage them to use the word wall of sight words that is behind me at our wiring center.  If they have difficulty spelling a word, We work together on finding it on the word wall.  If it isn't on the word wall or on the vocabulary wall, then we talk about how we can segment the words to hear the sounds and we practice that too.

My ELA groups are leveled by ability.  This works well for me during writing time, as the students who are more capable tend to want to write more and those who can't, don't feel self conscious about their abilities.

Once a student has finished their writing, they must read it back to me and then share it with the group. Together we look for positives such as "I like how you began your sentence with a capital letter", or  "You wrote neatly on the lines and used good spacing between your words".  Then we look for something that could be improved.  Perhaps they used a capital letter in the middle of a word, or forgot their ending punctuation.

Lastly, they get to illustrate their writing.  I try to impress upon them that just as it is important to pay close attention to their writing, it is equally important when it comes to illustrations.  Their illustrations need to match their words and should include details.

This student is a second language learner, her corrections were fixing a capital B in black and changing like to have.  This week I told them they couldn't use like in their sentence.
kindergarten writing, writing center, word wall, winter vocabulary, literacy center
 This student I encourage to write more and be more descriptive.  He came in reading and actually attends a first grade reading group.  When writing, he asked me if the /ee/ in keep was two e's.  Apparently he has a REALLY big hat which is why it keeps him warm.  For him we are working on the details in our drawings.
kindergarten writing, writing center, word wall, winter vocabulary, literacy center

 If you like my writing center cards, you can find them in my store 
kindergarten writing, writing center, word wall, winter vocabulary, literacy center

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