Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Winter Wonders! Writing Into the New Year! Prompts for Little Writers

Welcome to the Winter Wonders blog hop hosted by the authors at Adventures In Literacy Land.  We are so excited to have you join us as we celebrate our first year blog anniversary!

 One year ago today, a group of teacher-bloggers launched the website Adventures in Literacy Land to share tips and tools for effective literacy instruction.
In honor of reaching our first full year of blogging together we are hosting a Winter Wonders Blog Hop and Birthday Celebration.   Each author has a FREE  literacy resource for you to download.

At the end of the hop, don't forget to enter a raffle for a chance to win a Barnes and Nobles gift certificate!

The freebie that I have for you is a sampler pack from my January Writing Prompts that I have listed in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.

Click the above picture to download your FREEBIE!

I view a writing journal as a place where students can safely take risks, experiment with new vocabulary, sight words, spelling words, grammar skills, and writing techniques.  It is not my journal, but the student's and becomes more of a writer's notebook as the year progresses.  I do not grade journals, but I do monitor them, walking around the room as my littles are writing and will have students bring the journal to Guided Writing or Writer's Workshop conferences.  I want students to have an invested interest and complete ownership of the journal.  If I provide too much structure and hover over their every writing move, I will not accomplish this goal.

The journal, without me formally grading the entries, provides an effective assessment tool.  When I conference with a student or when I casually glance at entries, I can discern strengths and weaknesses.  For example, if I give students a prompt, I may also ask students to use a word or words from our word wall, a few spelling words, or for older kids a metaphor. This is better than any test!  For, if my goal in teaching students spelling words is for students to use the word correctly and spell it accurately in their writing (applying the skill), the journal provides a much more authentic assessment tool.

Making the journal fun is a must!  I like to give my students fun, motivating prompts and also allow for free writes.  When I taught the intermediate and middle grades, I always had a "Free Write Friday", which was wildly popular with students because they had complete choice in what they would write about that day.  These free write days also allowed me to see which students struggled with choosing a topic to write about and allowed me to address this in Guided Writing groups or in Writer's Workshop.  Writers in the primary grades also like to have choice in what they write about!

I included a variety of writing prompts in this sampler packet so you can see the variety of forms ( stories, lists, etc.) and the level of difficulty.  Not all prompts require the same writing skills and you can pick and choose which prompts to use depending on the writing abilities of your students.  As well, you may find that the prompts are too difficult for kindergarten students, or that you will have to guide and scaffold the writing.

My intent was to make this packet as flexible as possible for you to use.  Enjoy!

Click the button below to go to your next stop where Emily has another fabulous FREEBIE for you!


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