The Kindergarten students have come so far in their writing. They have succeeded in being able to sound out words on their own, and remember how to spell sight words. One writing project they completed was for our farm theme, where the children wrote about farm machines. After learning about different machines the children picked three to write about. Each child then had to write about what that machine did. The children worked hard to sound out each word they needed and many did it by themselves. The children have learned to separate words in order to hear each individual sound. It is amazing to see the progress that each child has made. The Kindergarten students have grown both physically and academically every day, and have come so far since the beginning of the year.
The First Grade year is one in which huge growth happens around the writing process. The children started the year writing in short sentences, focusing on capitalization, punctuation, and spacing between words. Midway through the year, First Graders expanded their writing to a longer, multi-step biography project. After interviewing a family member, students formed sentences from the questions they asked, and compiled the information into a finished biography. This writing was a wonderful keepsake, complete with illustrations and a dedication page. As spring arrives, the children are currently finishing up a fiction story-writing piece. This piece has focused on the elements of character, setting, problem, and solution. The children worked on pre-writing and learned the beginning skills of editing before going on to write a final draft. Once complete, you can look for these stories on display outside of the First Grade classroom! The students will also have the opportunity to read their stories aloud at the First Grade's Author's Breakfast.
In Second Grade, students regularly practice many different styles of writing. Because of this regular practice, tremendous growth in their writing skills is demonstrated between the beginning and the end of the school year. Second Graders learn to add detail to their written work, organize their ideas into various writing frameworks (e.g., are they composing a story, responding to a prompt, or writing a report?), and to make the first steps in reviewing and editing their own work.
Second Grade students write regularly in their Personal Journals. They write responses to comprehension questions in their Reader’s Notebooks. The children love creative writing time! This school year, students have written creative writing pieces about pet rocks they had in the fall, the snowy days of winter, and most recently, Alien Adventure Stories. As related to our Astronomy science theme, each student researched and wrote a report on a planet in our solar system. April is poetry month, so in April students will have a chance to write all different types of poetry. Toward the end of the school year, the Second Graders will be writing autobiographies! The students are so proud of their written work and will get to take it all home in a portfolio at the end of the school year. Their written pieces are sure to become family keepsakes!
This year we have accomplished many different writing projects in the Third Grade! We began the year writing personal narratives. Students were taught to focus on a small moment of time throughout their piece of writing. Topics ranged from getting bit by a wasp at dinner to rescuing a sibling from a sailboat! We then moved on to “How To” writing pieces. Students were able to choose their topic and write a procedure for their reader to follow. This was done in preparation for their science experiment write ups for the science fair. As we studied Native Americans we wrote our own legends and learned about the many different types of folktales and the criteria specific to each type. This month we wrote an acrostic as a class with the word, RESPECT. For Saint Patrick’s Day each student wrote their own acrostic poem using the world LEPRECHAUN. It is fun to hear each student’s voice in their writing as they develop their own style and begin to add depth and length to their pieces.
Fourth Graders are currently learning about United States geography.During this unit, students have been writing a persuasive writing piece about an assigned US region. The purpose of their writing piece is to convince their reader to visit their specific region (either northeast, southeast, midwest, west, or southwest) over any other region. These pieces will be accompanied by a travel brochure that summarizes the highlights of their region’s nature, economy, and recreation. If you’re looking to plan your next vacation, come talk to a Fourth Grader!
Fifth Grade has focused on several writing activities and projects throughout the year. We begin the year with narrative writing. Students focus on small moments that are important to them and bring their stories to life. Fifth Graders advance their opinion writing from previous years by learning more strategies and transitional phrases. Following opinion writing pieces, students learn to write a persuasive essay. This year’s class used the 2014-2015 Red Clover story The Day the Crayons Quit as a fun way to write persuasively. Students each chose a crayon color and had to persuade the audience to start or stop using that color for many reasons. Students often engage in writing that connects to our curriculum. For example, during our Mesopotamia unit, students researched one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Their final product was written as a Google Presentation Slide Show. Students also learned to cite sources within their writing. Additionally, students researched ancient Egyptian pharaohs to create opinion pieces. They practiced citing for evidence in their research as well. In addition to these writing activities, students have continued The Young Writer’s Project weekly writing prompts. The students’ writing grows immensely throughout the year from daily practice.