Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Shared Writing!

I LOOOOOOOVE teaching writing! Being at the forefront of sentence structure, word choice, spelling, etc. is one of my favorite parts of 1st grade! This year, we have done countless shared writing pieces.

Each Tuesday-Friday half of my class goes to a special while the other half remains in my classroom for small(er) group instruction. During this time, we may do additional rounds of Daily 5, review games, make-up or redo work, shared writing, literacy stations--the activities change weekly based on our needs. One of my favorite things to do during this time is shared writing. With only 10-12 students, I can ensure that EVERYONE gets a turn to write! Below, is a shared writing activity we did back in April:

We started off brainstorming topics and then chose one together (the zoo). We discussed things about the zoo to write about and said some sentences out loud. After deciding on what to write first, I started the piece by writing the first word (as a guide). The students took over after that. They helped each other spell, even though the person with the marker was ultimately in charge of how to spell the word, and reminded each other of finger spacing, punctuation, and capital letters--they loved that. It's funny to watch them turn into little critics. 

One group decided to write about a zoo.

Same procedure for this group, but they decided to write about a recent field trip.

When spelling words, we use the "stretch it out" method (we had a whole lesson on that several months ago). If we are unsure of spelling, we write what we think, circle it, and move on. Some students circle frequently and some never circle. When students circle words on rough drafts, I will go over the correct spelling with them during our writing conference and applaud them for doing best guess spelling! If they don't circle, I usually don't correct. For now, the important thing is to spell it the best you can and move on!

(These are written on the same piece of chart paper--gotta conserve!!!)
I would have liked for them to illustrate the pieces, but we ran out of time. Oh, well. Objective complete. :)

Did you see the super fun fraction activity I posted last night?? It was a random, late-nighter so click below in case you missed it!


  1. I LOVE the idea of circling words they are unsure about spelling correctly and going over it with them in a conference. How neat it must be to have half a class to work with! I can only imagine what I could teach to a smaller group a few times a week!

    For the Love of First Grade

    1. Thanks, Lindsay! Circling words helps them realize that it's okay to make mistakes, as long as you did your best. When you are just working on a draft, we can always go over it and correct it later. I really try to stress that because I have some that would sit there forever stressing over the spelling of one word. During the conference, I go over with the student why they spelled the word that way and praise them for how close it is to the real word or praise them if it is correct. I also take the opportunity to review spelling rules I know they have learned that would help them spell the word. The conversation is always as positive as it can be! As a class, we do have conversations about when spelling correctly is very important (publishing, on spelling tests) because I do want them to realize that spelling (eventually when you are not a beginning reader/speller) does matter!

      And yes, the half classes are nice....I won't lie! It's only 30 minutes but it DOES help!

  2. Hi! I'm switching from 6th to 5th grade next year and switched my blog from Teach Bake Love! Check out my blog and subscribe by email: http://elementaryendeavors.weebly.com/