Sunday, March 09, 2014

Daily Writing: Do it! Display it!

I am so excited to be a part of the Bright Ideas Blog Hop!
There are so many fabulous teaching ideas out there that I can't wait to follow this hop to learn more!
This year is our first year with Full Day Kindergarten.  It's a "play-based" program, meaning that learning happens during play.  My students self-regulate during the day:  if they choose to build with blocks, they go to the carpet area; if they would like to paint, they go to the easel; if they are hungry, they eat at the snack centre.
Well, the challenge for me this year was to integrate writing into all of this hands-on playing!
I took a course this past fall with an amazing kindergarten teacher, Joanne Babalis.
You can visit her blog, My Classroom Transformation, to see more incredible ideas.
She inspired me to create a Daily Writing Wall where my students are accountable for posting a piece of writing that they do at some point during the day.
When I moved into my new (and much bigger!) classroom in November, it was the perfect opportunity to implement a Daily Writing Wall.
The picture above shows a variety of different writing the students can do:
1.  Make a Book
2. Make a Plan
3. Draw a picture and a sentence. 
4.  Draw and label picture.
5.  Make a list.
6.  Mail a letter (or card).
7.  Create instructions (procedure).
I've been focusing on various kinds of writing each day.
For example, last month we celebrated our DECE's birthday and I showed the class how we can write our friends a birthday card.  That sparked students learning and they wanted to know how to write a postcard and mail it too!
This month, our Dramatic Centre has been turned into a grocery store, so we have been writing many lists!
I love that there are examples of what kind of writing we can do during the day.
I take samples of students work and post them often here so that we can discuss them as a class and refer back to them during lesson time.
Each student also has a place to display his/her daily work.
I made these using half a file folder per student, laminated it, inserted a picture of the student holding his/her name on a dry erase board and I have thick yarn strung across for easy clipping with a clothespin.
Here's a close up view of a student's personal writing display area.
I placed the photos inside a clear sleeve so that I can reuse these year after year (and I don't have to take them off the wall and start all over!).
This is what the wall looks like when students display their work.
I have these up on the wall right under my Bright Links board at the front of the class near the carpet.  I love how I can always refer to this area during whole group learning and remind students to post something on their space at some point during the day.
Here is the sign for our writing, made by a student.
 
Students love this writing wall.  They are always creating (yes, even during play!):  while they build they might be drawing their creation; many of them enjoy writing around the room; we have a large dramatic centre where they write lists and items to help them play, and so much more!
Not all work has to have "words" on it - some children are still exploring different drawing techniques (such as working with a variety of tools) and writing techniques (such as labeling and writing our names).
Having our Daily Writing Wall has truly made writing fun and engaging in our class!
 
Be sure to click the button below and hop over to Whitney Rippy's blog, The Crazy Schoolteacher, to read all about keeping students engaged and thinking during read alouds.
http://thecrazyschoolteacher.blogspot.com/2014/03/bright-ideas-use-clothes-pin-save-staple.html

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