Thursday, October 9, 2014

We Heart Writing!!! AND Freebies!

I'm an elementary school teacher.  I chose elementary education vs. secondary education for a number of reasons, one of them being that I love teaching all subjects.  I never wanted to limit myself to just one subject like secondary education majors do.  But if I had to choose a favorite subject to teach, it would be writing.  

I love trying to make sense of the invented spelling of a sweet Kindergartner. 

I love that their creativity has no bounds and they can express that through their storytelling. 

I love the pride on their tiny faces when they write a book -- an actual book!!!!! 

My kids enjoy writing.  They enjoy the freedom of it.  They like that they can take a story wherever they want and they can show it through words and pictures.  Last year, our writers workshop time just wasn't enough! We wrote in journals upon returning from lunch and we had a dedicated writing station in their weekly rotations.  In an attempt to get more organized with my writing station, I put together this bundle! 

It's full of fun ways to get kiddos writing and most of it is low-prep for ease of planning.  

The first step for writing in Mrs. Kelly's Klass is oral storytelling.  We spend a nice chunk of time telling stories around the carpet.  **Ohhhh, I think next year, we'll tell stories around the "Campfire".. I'm picturing butcher paper fire and S'MORES!"** Someone remind me when next September rolls around.  Anyway... kids practice telling stories out loud, whether whole group, or to a partner.  

Then, we take that story they just told, and we turn it into a picture.  Students learn to draw their stories to make them come to life. 

And finally they are ready to add labels.  Cue the *We <3 Writing: Labels* part of this pack. 

I like to start with simple labeling sheets to teach kids HOW to label parts, then we move into more complex "scenes" like those that they will draw when they are drawing their stories. Here is an example:

Another great way to get kids putting words on paper is by writing lists

I admit,  I'm probably creating a bunch of little monsters by teaching them to write lists - they'll all turn out like me with a list for everything!  :)  BUT, it is a fun and RELEVANT way to practice writing.  The kids LOVE coming up with words that fit a topic.  I like to give them a little help to get started by providing what I call an "idea chart"... It just gives them a few ideas of things that might belong in that particular list.  Check it out! 

After kiddos have practiced telling stories, drawing stories, and putting words on paper... I slowly introduce the idea of writing sentences.  

I am constantly preaching to "write how you talk" ... I encourage my kiddos to say what they want to write out loud first, then write it, then read it to make sure it sounds right!  We practice getting ready to be sentence writers a couple different ways. 

I like to laminate these and use them as a write and wipe station.  The two in this picture have sentence starters for students to trace then complete the sentence. 

The two in this picture do not have sentence starters.  The kids just look at the picture, verbalize a sentence, then write and check it! 

Mind you, in the midst of all this, we're already writing books!  

We've been "writing" books since the first few weeks of school!  Their books start as pictures on pages... then we add labels... now we've added sentences!  I L-O-V-E watching their books progress over the course of the year! I love allowing them to write the same kind of book multiple times over the course of the year.  An "I can" book goes from pictures only in September, to spectacular picture/label/sentence filled literary masterpieces ;) 

I like to include an "idea chart" to get kids thinking about what kinds of things would fit in with that topic.  

And, I'd be doing you and your kiddos a disservice if I didn't give you this one tiny piece of advice when it comes to writing.  Let your kids read their writing to you.  Let them come to your desk and read you their "story".  Their eyes come to life, they read through a grin, and they can't wait for you to ask to see their picture.  Every day at the end of stations, it's a RULE that the 4 or 5 kids who were at writing station absolutely MUST share their book with me before taking it home to share with their family.  
Couldn't show you all this writing goodness without sharing a bit of it! Here's a little "sampler" ... a page or two from each of the packs included in the bundle.  Grab it for free by clicking the picture below! 


  1. Your writing activities look wonderful! Do the alphabet lists include picture/word cards for each letter for students to copy to write?

    1. Thank you!!! Yes, there is a list and picture card for every letter of the alphabet! :)