Saturday, July 12, 2014

Diggin' Into Next Year Linky- Writing

This weeks Linky with Laura from Where the Magic Happens  is all about Writing Instruction.



I wanted to share some fabulous FREEBIES from TPT that I found and have loved using with my class during Writer's Workshop. I have shared most of these before, but sometimes I forget about them, so I thought it would be good to remember some of these great things!
My children always need  some more practice with conventions (well- of course, because they are five...).  The children really enjoy and seem to understand writing small moment stories, and these are great for getting ideas down on paper, and for helping the children focus on one or two important conventions- like using a capital letter to begin a sentence or using ending punctuation.

Every Friday  is my favorite small moment mentor text.  Kathy Griffin introduced me to it earlier this year, and I just love it.
It is a sweet, simply written story.  The children really see that one memory can turn into a story. Here are some pages from the book.

from Amazon:
All week long, a boy and his father look forward to their Friday ritual—breakfast at their favorite diner. The leisurely walk through the neighborhood is just as good as the pancakes at the end.

This makes the book even more special:
Author Dan Yaccarino Talks About His Inspiration for Every Friday I guess the Friday breakfasts came about because like most dads, I sometimes didn't feel like I saw my son enough. Some weeks, our Friday breakfasts were the only time he and I had to talk or just share some time together.
I look back on when we started what became our little tradition. He was in preschool and had to start sharing his mom and dad with a new little sister. I wanted him to have some time when he didn't have to put up with a crying baby who yanked his ears, which he patiently tolerated. He and I soon looked forward to Fridays and the diner's owner, Nick, as well as a variety of regulars, warmly greeting us. To their continued astonishment, he consumed an entire adult-size order of pancakes and a side of bacon, of which I was very proud. I have fond memories of us watching people trudging through the snow and rain as he and I were cozily nestled in a booth, a little oasis from the outside world. As much as we loved Nick’s Diner, I think we both preferred the small journey we took each week to get there. It may have been a mere four blocks, but it was full of adventure: greeting familiar faces, window shopping and monitoring the progress of a building on the corner going up story by story. Nick's Diner has since closed, so our breakfasts have been relocated to another and like that building, my son is now tall and strong. I look back on his wonder of the world and fascination of even the smallest things. Even though it was only a few years ago, life seemed a bit less complicated. My hope for Every Friday is for dads, and moms, to set aside some time to be with their children. It doesn't have to be breakfast on Friday, but it should be some time that they can count on to be with just you. And perhaps many years from now, they will carry on the tradition with their own children.

We practice together writing sentences in whole group guided writing lessons.  We review beginning with a capital letter and not putting random capital letters in the rest of the sentence, leaving spaces between words, writing neatly, rereading to be sure no words are left out, and ending with a punctuation mark, just like I'm sure all of you do!

I found some wonderful (and FREE!)  resources on TpT  that I wanted to share with you.
Krazy in Kindergarten shared this cute poster for remembering those all important spaces.

I LOVE Samantha Francis' 4-Star Kindergarten Rubric.  I printed out and laminated one of these for each of my students to use.  It is a wonderful visual for the children.  They "get" it. This was a great mini lesson and is a great review before I send them off to start writing, too.
4-Star Kindergarten Rubric
This fabulous packet from Amy Morgan is perfect to show the children how adding details to writing adds so much to a story.  I got more excited as I saw and read more sentences on each page, and so did the children. We had so much fun with this.  We counted the sentences.  We found the periods, and  noticed that sentences don't just end at the end of a line but at the end of a complete thought.  We talked about how much more interesting the illustrations were with details and color, too.

These are some writing packets with some great printable writing papers for the children to use. They have reminder rubrics right on the papers for the children.

Mrs. Lindsey has a great Writing Rubric K-2 Packet at her TPT store.
Writing Rubrics for K-2

Lisa Sadler shared this journal page with editing at the bottom. It is easy for the children to use!
Journal Page with Editing Checklist at Bottom
Karen Langdon shared a great Writing for Readers Packet of writing papers.  Her reminder rubric has real photographs.
Writing For Readers Writing Workshop Paper - Using Checklists!

Tanya Dwyer shared such a great Mini-Book Writing and Rubric with a fairy tale and a Star Wars  mini book writing activity. This looks like so much fun to use. The kids will love it.
Mini-book Writing & Rubrics Freebie

Miss Jacobs' Little Learners shared this WONDERFUL  What Can We Write About? poster.
What can we write about poster?

My friend Stephanie from Principal Principles posted that she loved the song Brave by Sara Bareilles. 

Well, I  went to Youtube and listened and listened and listened. And added it to my iPod to listen more.  (That is what I do with songs- totally over do it until I don't like them anymore.)
I like the song for a couple reasons.  First of all, I don't want to wait to say what I really want to say until I am realllllly old- and it accidentally slips out . What if I am one of those older people who just doesn't care and starts swearing? Sometimes I think maybe I will just pretend I don't know what I am saying so I can start swearing.  Don't worry, I could never. But maybe sometimes really just a tiny bit.

Anyway, the song is a good reminder to not be afraid to say what I want to say (within reason... ).  I usually think nobody really cares what I have to say, so I don't say a lot or just rush through what I want to say.  That is why I love this blog.  I love that people can read it if they want, and hopefully enjoy it.  I love sharing that way. 

Secondly, I am always telling my children to BE BRAVE when they read and write. Especially with writing.  Be brave and try to hear as many sounds as you can, and get those words down on paper. Be brave and try to draw something you think you can't draw!

Here are some great books to share with your class about being BRAVE.
If you haven't seen Courage by Bernard Waber, it is such a wonderful book. It's great for conversations about being brave, and how courage is being brave for both big and small things.  Here are some pictures from the book:

 This is NOT how to be brave.  But how cute are those penguins? 

I also  have my  Primary Writing Prezi  up every day during Writer's Workshop so I can zoom in on reminders about topics, editing, or conventions. Of course a "Be Brave" section is on this Prezi,  along with all sorts of links, anchor charts, and videos to go along with different types of writing.

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great week!



  1. Just came from PreK&KSharing ... you have got the most AmAzInG posts ever. Thank you for the resource round-ups that you share with your readers. What an inspiration!



  2. Wow, thank you. I'll be teaching grade one for the first time and I was worried about the writing. This has given me lots of direction!

  3. Wonderful post! Tons of fantastic ideas to use. I really love the visual rubric for the kiddos to use. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Luv My Kinders

  4. Hi Carolyn. I'm sure you are enjoying your summer. Thanks for all the great recommendations and especially the books suggestions. Summer is my main book shopping time and this post really helps.
    Have a wonderful week.
    School Is a Happy Place

  5. Wow, Carolyn, this is amazing! Thanks for doing all the freebie shopping. :) I'm definitely stealing lots of ideas from you!
    The Kindergarten Bandit


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