Our door is the new home for our
Dot Project documentation.
After hearing Miriam Trehearne at the "Reading for the love of it" conference, I was inspired to blog about our Kindergarten writing program.
So, without further ado, here is a window into our classroom. Please walk through our door and see how we infuse writing throughout our school day...
During "Thinking and Learning Time," when our students are engaged in play-based and inquiry-based learning, they make their thinking and learning visible through their conversations, creations, and daily writing.
Below you will see our classroom's main "Thinking and Learning" wall, which showcases our planning method (students take their photo and place it in any learning area that they are interested in visiting), learning goal, success criteria, list of writing ideas, a place for our students to clip their writing, and a "Personal Best Writing Wall" to display that day's personal best writing by topic.
Thinking and Learning Time: Habits of Mind
I can show my personal best thinking (comments, ideas, connections, opinions, compliments, and questions) drawing, and writing today.
Did you stick to your plan?
1. Stay focused
2. Take your time (Develop Persistence)
3. Don't give up easily
4. Add detail
5. Be creative
6. Ask questions: I wonder _______.
1. Make a book
2. Make a plan
3. Draw a picture and sentence
4. Draw and label a picture
5. Write a list
6. Mail a letter or card
7. Create instructions (procedure)
*After listening to Miriam Trehearne's presentation, I know that we will be adding more options for our students (e.g., brainstorms, surveys, etc. for "Work on Writing")
The above list has also been written as separate headings by the students on our "We can show our personal best writing today" board. When the students show their personal best we give them feedback on the smart board, celebrate their work, and share it on this visual display (photographed blank and filled below).
Our students are invited to write in our creative expressions learning area or anywhere else in the classroom that they are demonstrating their thinking and learning.
The creative expressions learning area has individual mailboxes per student and a variety of writing materials (variety of paper, envelopes, found materials, word rings, sentence rings, fancy scissors, etc.)
The writing materials can easily be transported around the room, and we ensure that they are also readily available within all other learning areas.
Students can select a clipboard, writing paper (variety of options), and or drawing books for inspiration. Scissors, glue sticks, staplers, tape dispensers, rulers, stencils, sentence strips, and fancy pads of paper are also at their reach.
To support their letter sounds and letter formation, students can refer to their "Beautiful Stuff Co-Constructed Alphabet."
Educators differentiate their instruction using "Daily Mini Lessons" to support student writing and other literacy and mathematics lessons. These mini lessons are all based on assessment data gathered throughout the school year.
Here are a few examples of writing in our classroom during "Thinking and Learning Time" (Play-based and Inquiry-based learning):
Below you will see our students demonstrating persistence and their personal best by following our learning goal and success criteria. They are also preserving their work by placing stop signs to signal to their friends that they want to continue working beyond the time allotted in a single school day.
In addition to this, our students are engaged in a number of inquiries where they are constantly wondering, planning, and writing down their theories.
Finally one of my most favourite and memorable writing moments this school year, was when A.A. drew and wrote something and then immediately went over to our pet rabbit to show her. Talk about a real reason to write, as well as an audience!
We are so proud of what our students come up with every day and are always pleasantly surprised with how they fill the writing wall to make visible their thinking and learning! Even our pet rabbit enjoys watching the students clip up their personal best writing!
After we have given students feedback the following morning and celebrate those who showed their personal best, the writing gets taken day to begin fresh. All writing is gathered for the month into a folder, to allow us to reflect upon it and add a few samples to our "Portfolio/Documentation Book."
For more details around our portfolio/documentation books please visit our blog post: Portfolio/Documentation Books: The Burning Question
I welcome you to leave any comments or questions below and thank Miriam Trehearne for inspiring this blog post. I look forward to reading her book "Learning to Write and Loving It", trying her writing suggestions, and blogging again about it later on in the school year!