This week in Writer’s Workshop we focused on revising “All About” books that we have been working on for the past few weeks. We started the week off by revising one book. When we were revising, we read each page carefully and made sure that we had at least one fact that was teaching our reading about our topic. Students were encouraged to go through other finished books and make sure they had teaching facts on each page.
Our next lesson was using our writing partners to help us revise. We picked one book to share with out partner and took turns reading each page of our book to our partner. We asked our partner, “Did I have one teaching fact on that page?” Our partners also helped us make sure our writing made sense and had punctuation in the right places.
Another lesson we learned was making sure to use precise words in our writing that make our facts more exact. For example instead of saying “Dogs like to play.” we could say, “Some dogs like to play.” We read through each page and tried to make our facts more exact by adding precise words. I challenged first graders to go reread their other books and see if the could add precise words to those books too.
We ended the week with a discussion about how to make our writing more exciting. We can make our writing more exciting by wondering or exclaiming on our teaching pages. First we want to make sure we state our fact and then we want to react to it. For example, “Whales have a blow hole to help them breathe. I wonder how much water they shoot out?” or “An Apatosaurus has nostrils on top of his skull. That is interesting because usually animals have them above their mouth!”
Our first graders have been working so hard on these “All About” books! Way to go!
Mrs. Stadt :)
We continued our study of nonfiction books this past week. We started the week by checking to see if we are understanding what we read.
In a fiction book, we practiced using our CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING checkmark to stop every few pages and see if we could remember WHO we had just read about and WHAT had just happened. In our nonfiction books, we realized that we needed to stop after every section to check to see if we understood the big idea of what that section was teaching. We worked on summarizing the section by just answering the WHAT question from our checkmark. If we could answer it, then we kept going. If we couldn’t quite figure out the big idea from that section, then we went back to reread. We also talked about how the pictures could help them understand the big idea.
The kids have learned so much from our nonfiction books already and they just LOVE sharing what they learned with the class. We have been tracking our thinking and sharing throughout the week.
This week, we asked the kids to add their reaction to what they learned into what they shared. We talked about how when they learned something new, sometimes their first reaction was: that is so COOL! But other times it could be something else…
The kids worked on adding their reactions and it was so fun to see how their reactions brought out further understanding of their learning.
And we didn’t stop there, we talked about how when we learn something new, sometimes it opens up a new question for us. When Isaac’s shared his learning about the human body and how our left lung is smaller than our right lung – we were able to brainstorm as a class why this might be the case. Many of the kids in our class hypothesized about our heart needing extra space. And, when we shared Xavier’s learning about how crocodiles and alligators can sometimes camouflage themselves and look like logs, it made him and us wonder, “Is that how they hunt?” There were lots of kids who were throwing out their thoughts to try and answer our question, but we decided we would have to do some more reading to find out more about their hunting practices. We’ll keep working on adding these questions in while we track our thinking.
Aren’t these first grade readers amazing?! Way to go guys!
Mrs. Stadt :)