Category Archives: Writing Updates

Writing Update

We have been just like buzzing bees working on our informational writing the past two weeks!!

After choosing our best three books, we focused on revising them with some new techniques to make them even better.  We learned how to add precise words to make our writing more exact.  We used exclamations and wondered to make our books more interesting.  We even made comparisons to show how our topics are like or unlike something else.

Precise Words:  All whale have blowholes to help them breathe.  Several whales have teeth.

Exclaim & Wonder:  Blue whales use baleen to help them eat.  Did you know that?

Comparisons:  Whales can be very large.  Some whales are bigger than a bus!

This past week, we began getting ready for our next writing celebration.  We chose our best informational book to keep at school and worked with our writing partner to be sure that our book made sense.  Then, we focused on making our books easy-to-read.  We edited our books by adding punctuation and capital letters.  We also went back to spell our word wall words correctly.  Then, we chose one page from our books to completely rewrite.  We carefully cut out the picture glued it to a new page and wrote our words neatly with finger spaces.  It was a big job, but the kids were so proud of how their books looked.

Next week we will fancy up the illustrations in our books, add a cover, and celebrate!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

During our writing time this past week our first graders studied some of the text features that authors often include in their nonfiction books.

Nonfiction books frequently have a conclusion at the end to summarize the big ideas.  We learned how to add a conclusion that shared how topic is important/interesting and encouraged our reader to care about our topics the way we love our topics.

“Plants are important because they give us air to breathe.               Why don’t you plant a tree in your backyard!”

We also noticed that many nonfiction books include a glossary to define some of the  vocabulary.  We transformed some of the important words in our books to bold print and shared these words and their meaning in our own glossaries.


Finally, some of our first grade chose to add a quiz to the end of their books as a way to check their readers’ understanding of all the facts that have been taught.

These books are really starting to come together and truly teach some AMAZING facts!!  Next week we will organize a table of contents to go at the beginning of our books and start revising to make our writing even better!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

This week during Writer’s Workshop we jumped right back into our nonfiction books. We began the week reviewing all that we’ve learned!  First we pick a topic that we are an expert in.  Then, we brainstorm five facts that we know about that topic.  We use teaching pictures (labels, captions, zoomed in details, and direction arrows) and add our fact and an extra detail on each page of our book.

Inline image 1

This week we also discussed the importance of using headings on each page of our writing. A heading gives our audience an idea of what they are going to learn about on that page.

To end the week, we learned that we need an introduction to hook our readers into reading our books. We began our introduction with a question or an interesting fact, so our audience will want to keep on reading!

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 9.17.40 PM

Our first graders have loved using all of the facts they’ve learned about their fascinating topic during Reader’s Workshop to help them write new “All About” books during our writing time.  We can’t wait to explore more nonfiction text features next week!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

Our first grade writers began studying a new genre of writing this week: NONFICTION.  The kids were over the moon excited to start this new learning!!!

To begin, we brainstormed a list of topics that we know a lot about.  We used four categories to help organize our areas of expertise: people, places, activities, and things.  Under each category we listed as many topics as we could.

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 9.33.30 PM

After our topic lists were full of great ideas for nonfiction books, we got started with our writing.  We learned to think about our audience and include facts in our books that our audience would want to know.

We also learned how to plan for our books by “trying on” our topics.  To make sure our topic was a “good fit”, we used our fingers to list five different facts before starting our pictures and words.  If we were unable to come up with five facts, we moved on to a different topic.

In the next couple of weeks, be sure to explore any nonfictions texts that you have at home with your child.  Review the different nonfiction text features (headings, table of contents, captions, charts, maps, glossary, etc.), so your child feels confident about adding these interesting elements to his or her books!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

This past week during Writer’s Workshop we completed our narrative writing post-assessment! We spent the first part of our week reviewing the parts of a great small moment story.

Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 9.59.05 PM

After our review, we had time to plan, write, revise, and edit our very best small moment story.  We did it with no help, not even from our writing partner.  I was very impressed with what these first grade writers know about good writing.  These stories are AMAZING!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

In Writer’s Workshop this week we got to celebrate some amazing Small Moment stories!

First we picked our favorite story we had written so far. Then we made sure our stories had everything we learned from our mentor authors. We checked for leads, show not tell, other words other than “said”, ellipses, sound effects and an ending.

After we knew our stories had all of those great details, we double checked for finger spaces, neat handwriting, capital letters and punctuation.

We then made a title for our stories and created a cover. We also wrote a dedication page and an about the author page.  After putting all of our pages together, we left our stories on our desks and each got 3 sticky labels. We went around and read each other’s stories and left a book review on the back of the story to share what great things they had in their stories.

We ended with a Hawaiian Punch toast!!!  It was such a fun celebration of all we’ve learned!!! :)

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

In Writer’s Workshop we have been adding leads and endings to our stories.

Our leads are our way to hook our readers into our stories. We can use weather, time of dayand seasons to get the reader’s attention.

Example: “It was a hot summer day at lunchtime. We were going swimming in the pool.”

Our endings wrap up our stories and signal to the reader that our story is finished. We noticed that authors we were reading added the heart of the story (lesson we can learn) at the end leaving the reader with a warm and fuzzy feeling in their heart. We worked on wrapping up our stories like our mentor authors by using sentence starters like that stay close to the story like: I thought… and I hope… and sentence starters that look to the future like: I learned and From that day on on

Example: “I learned that it is fun to play with new friends.”

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

We have been continuing our work on Small Moment stories this week.

We learned that good writers include the 3 W‘s in their writing:

Screen Shot 2013-09-22 at 3.51.29 PM

By including the 3 W’s on our first page, it helps the reader know what is going on in the story.

We also talked about how writers use pictures to tell a story. Even when we aren’t sure if we can draw it the right way, we close our eyes and think of what we want to draw. We read the book Ish in which the character draws pictures that look “isn-like” for example, he drew a vase that looked “vase-ish.” We can draw pictures that look “ish-like” too! We decided that we are not going to worry about our pictures but we are just going to draw our pictures as best as we can!

Inline image 2

First graders have been working so hard on their writing. We are already writing in 3 page packets! Way to go First Graders!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

During Writer’s Workshop, we have been writing small moment stories.  A Small Moment story is a true story about you!

We learned how writers plan their stories:

Think of an idea

Sketch a quick picture for the beginning, middle, and end

Write our words

Add a more detailed picture if we want

We also learned that good writers always keep working! We used the phrase “When you’re done – you’ve just begun!”. Good writers add details to their pictures and words, or they can start a new story.

Mrs. Stadt :)

Writing Update

Last week was a busy week for Writing. Thank you so much for all the parents and family who came to JUST WRITE. The kids had a blast showing off all their writing from the year and touring the school to see everyone else’s writing from the whole school.

We also celebrated our “All About” books. We spent the beginning of week creating a cover, dedication and about the author page for our books.  Then we turned our classroom into a NONFICTION MUSEUM and read our books to friends from Mrs. VanKoevering’s class and taught them all about our topics. We had so much fun writing, fancying, and sharing our “All About” books!!!

Mrs. Stadt :)