Thursday, January 10, 2013

Writing, Rubrics and 2 Stars and a Wish!

Woo-hoo! It was my 1/2 birthday today! Yes, I will turn the big 40 on July 10th. IT was super fun. My Room Mom and my assistant, along with the kiddos, had the room decorated, treats ready, and were ready to party all day. I sure am a lucky girl!!
Enough about me, hope you had a fabulous week back at school!  We know you were probably like us, not ready to get out of your pjs, but we were so happy to get back to our cutie pies!

Anyway, WE LOVE JANUARY! Our kiddos come back to school pounds heavier, inches taller and many of them more eager to learn than ever. Not that our kids aren't eager all year, but in January ...something magical happens... our later bloomers begin to bloom.

We feel strongly about beginning Working on Writing with our kiddos day 1 of school. We either make writing journals using file folders or purchase primary composition books where there is space for our kiddos to draw their pictures along with handwriting lines.

While most cannot write letters and don't know sounds, we begin to instill a love of writing as well as a routine for writing. We model writing and drawing as well as introduce our writing rubric.

We actually show our kiddos what Emerging, Progressing, Meets and Exceeds the Standards looks like. We model pictures and writing to go with each level.

Then we celebrate the achievements of our students as they progress from beginning to draw pictures, to adding letters, then strings of letters, then words, and finally sentences. Our kiddos are by no means perfect, but without the opportunity to write ALL YEAR, our students would not be the authors and illustrators that they are now!

While individual conferencing is a big part of our writing instruction, so is peer reviewing. Because we trained our kiddos in the language of the rubric and the standards, they are amazing at reviewing their own writing as well as their peers.

One of the main ways we train our kiddos to review work is during Author's Chair where kiddos share their work. At the beginning of the year, we give our kiddos 2 Stars and a Wish... we tell them 2 things that they did that were great and 1 thing we wish they would do next time. We model in the beginning using specific items we want the kiddos to notice and use the language of the standards. The friends in our room quickly pick up on what to do and are critiquing their peers in no time :).

Now that many of our kiddos are good writers, we have them use 2 Stars and a Wish paper and give their friends written commentary. This is a time saver for us as teachers because the kiddos are doing our work!!!  (Shh! Don't tell them!)  WE love it! Check out our writing rubric, 2 Stars and a Wish commentary paper as well as some of our friend's work!!

If you click the picture you can grab our writing rubric along with our 2 Stars and a Wish Commentary Form.

The writing rubric was created several years ago when we were an awesome team of 6 teachers. Ms. Pence, Mrs. Huey, Mrs. Barthlow, Mrs. Bidne, along with your Kindergarten Squared girls first created this rubric. Through the years we have changed a little :).

The writing rubric has colored smiley faces on the left. We smile kids` papers or use stickers with the same corresponding colors to show what standards they meet or exceed.

The cute snow globe craftivity was done with our room mom during our Christmas/Holiday party. It was from Pinterest.  It's something similar to what we found over at Second Grade Shenanigans! Got to love Pinterest!

Happy Writing!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the writing rubric and 2 stars and a wish paper. I love this idea. I really focus on writing during second semester so I am excited to use these for that. I love how the rubric fits in with six trait writing! Thanks again for the freebie girls!

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten