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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Winter hats - project and writing

This is one cute little project and a good reason to write. Kids made hats out of paper plates. They used cotton balls, markers and construction paper. The writing piece was describing their hat.
In my class, we always talk about the difference between good and great writing. Great writing “paints pictures in the reader’s mind”. We give lots of examples and discuss the examples.
"I see a dog."
OR
"I see a big, brown dog running in the yard."
They all know what visualizing is. I say something like: "Close your eyes! Think of an elephant! Take a minute and think about it. Open your eyes." I then call one child's name and invite him/her to describe what he/she saw "in his/her brain". We talk about how we use our own experiences and can think of many things without having them right in front of us. It is the cutest thing to watch them close their eyes and "see things in their brain".
Complete sentences
My kids are getting very good at developing sentences orally: from simple to complex sentences using descriptive words (more developmentally appropriate term rather than “adjectives”, for Kindergarten age group). Imagination is such a wonderful thing and in full bloom at this age! I love it!
Writing
Each year, I have a variety of skill levels and I work hard to help each child make progress at his/her level while maintaining high expectations of all students.
Some students are just capable of labeling a picture while others are able to write complete sentences, with proper conventions of writing, correct spelling of sight words learned and phonetic spelling of difficult words. This is perfectly normal. It is good to notice and remember that students who are now able to label pictures and write CVC words, didn’t know any letters and letter sounds at the beginning of the year.  I love seeing the progress they all make across curricula. We all (students and adults alike) have strengths and weaknesses and have the opportunity to improve our skills, in time and with lots of practice.
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