Are your students struggling to write stories? It’s not too late to achieve success before they go to first grade.
Many of my students are writing three part stories, and for some, these dots have only connected in the last few weeks. I have a group of students that will keep working on one sentence stories until they are ready to move on and that’s okay too.
Writing is developmental. It’s very important not to push a child beyond their capabilities. As a teacher, I still teach the standards and objectives that are directed to me but I only hold my students accountable to what they are capable of. I want my students to LOVE to write and that is the most important thing to me.
I consider myself the foundational teacher. I am helping to lay the foundation for their learning career and loving to learn has to be an important part of that!
How can we help lay a foundation for writing success? It’s hard to create a plan for anything without know where you are going. Here are the end of year goals that are in my Writing Curriculum.
End of Year Goals
- Student understands and uses directionality.
- Student is able to use letters and words to create a sentence.
- Student’s illustrations match the text.
- Student transitions from phonetic spelling to conventional spelling.
- Student understands and uses the story structure of beginning, middle, and end.
That list may seem overwhelming, especially if you are starting from the beginning, but kindergarten students are absolutely capable of creating published work, even in a short amount of time.
When I say published work, I am not talking about an actual book that you would check out of the library. I am referencing a story that has been written, illustrated and completed by a student. It even has a cover page.
At the end of writing time, students have an opportunity to share their “published work” with the class and feel accomplished as a junior author. Seriously, this is my favorite part of the day. A student may publish a sentence or a story but all work is celebrated and every student feels successful.
What is working for me right now?
In my class, my students do what I call D3 (my made up version of Daily 5). During this time, students rotate between Read to Self, Listen to Reading and Work on Writing every day. I have three groups that include 6-8 students each. Students are grouped by ability (based on reading/writing level). I work with each group during their writing time so they have my undivided attention (as much is possible in a kindergarten classroom, ha).
I keep all supplies in one tub so students don’t have to worry about gathering materials (we put two together during this time).
Here is an example of a mini lesson I did recently with a small group that was struggling to transition to three part stories.
After they are done working on their story, they conference with me. It doesn’t matter if they wrote one sentence or ten sentences, I want the opportunity to discuss their work, help them grow and celebrate their success. I make notes on the back of their paper so I can reference it later when monitoring progress. I only focus on one teachable moment at a time. We look at the story together. They read it to me. Then we see if they have utilized their steps. We discuss what they can work on next time and then I praise them for something great they did. They leave our conversation proud and excited to write their next story.
There are so many ways you can teach writer’s workshop. I chose to use my curriculum because it’s been successful for my kids. If you want to check it out, click here to see more.
Also, make sure you grab this writing freebie. It’s a great way to teach children to check their own work.
No matter where they are in the writing process, each student’s work is special because it’s their story. Cherish that!