Monday, September 16, 2013

Talking, Drawing, Writing

This past week, we began our Writing Workshop time.  We have writing each day when we come in from recess. Eventually, this block will develop into 30 minutes of uninterrupted writing time.  But when the kiddos first come to school, many of them cannot yet write.  So we start with developing oral language through storytelling.

On Monday and Tuesday, students were partnered up and given a picture card.  The card may have had a picture of a fox, or a mop, or a fire, and students had to come up with any story possible that involved the given item.  It could be real or make believe! Students were given five minutes for each partner to tell a story and then cards switched.  I heard a lot of really creative stories!  I liked it when children told a story about themselves, using the given item as the character that played them. (For instance, a turtle had just started school and was feeling scared in one story I heard!)

I chose two students to share their story with the whole class.  As I walked around, I was listening for students who used story language and had developed a setting, characters and some sort of problem/solution combination.  In the picture below, the story began "Once upon a time, there was a fox named Xavier..."

By Wednesday, we moved on to drawing our stories.  I gave children an example by asking them to watch as I drew a picture.  When I finished my picture, I asked any students who knew the story to raise their hand.  Most of them knew I had drawn a picture of the story of Rapunzel. I had a tower, a knight on a horse, and a princess with long hair in the tower waving.  Without any words, I gave an idea of the setting, characters, and 'problem.' (When I say 'problem,' I simply mean that the story has some sort of action in it.  I have only used the terms setting and characters with the students.)

Students got a blank sheet of paper with a black line for their name and were instructed to draw a picture of any story they wanted.  It could be a story they made up or a story they knew.  Here is an example of each:

A girl goes to feed the horses.

A mermaid is trapped under the sea.

All students got to share their story out loud with their table, and again two children were chosen to share their story out loud.  We will be working on drawing pictures to share a story again this week.  Be on the lookout for pictures in your child's folder and ask them to share today's story with you!

We also made some art with our names this week.  We need to practice our names (using an uppercase letter only at the beginning and lowercase throughout!) and  using scissors and glue, so it was a great activity for practicing necessary skills.  It also added some wonderful decoration to our classroom!  I wrote student's names on black construction paper with a white crayon and children covered each letter with glue and cut apart construction paper pieces.

 Our math focus has been number formation.  We worked on 0-4 last week and will continue with 5-9 this week.  If you see that your child is struggling with number formation based on his/her papers, please work with him/her at home on this concept.  You can have your child make numbers with play-doh, draw numbers in some sand or rice, or have them trace over numerals you write.  (Yes, we will be doing these things at school, too! The more reinforcement and one-on-one help, the better!)

My next post will be about our language arts stations - we had time to introduce two last week and should get at least three more this week. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent mine in Florence, SC. I got to visit David halfway now that he's so close! :) (For those of you that don't know, we lived 14 hours apart last year, so 10 hours is a great improvement!)

As always, owl be teaching you tomorrow!

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