*Check this page for weekly updates on what is going on in writing workshop!*
Week 32-33: April 16th-27th
We have started one of my favorite units in writing workshop… Poetry! Each student got their own Poetry Notepad to decorate and fill with poems of their own. We have learned that poets look at ordinary, every day objects with FRESH eyes. Like a pencil sharpener, or the ceiling. During this unit we are setting up centers for the students to read poems to each other by different authors, and practicing making line breaks in poems that are written in paragraph form. We will be adding other centers throughout the next two weeks. 2B students have already written some amazing poems. When this unit is done they are going to be able to write their top 10-20 poems and write them in a hardcover book!
Week 29-31: March 26th-April 12th
The students were able to have a publishing party this week to present their final fairy tale. These stories are going to be put in the school library, making them available for the entire elementary school to check out. 2B students are real authors!
Week 27-28: March 9th – 23rd
This week students continued to write fairy tales. They are doing a great job creating a story set in the past with good and bad characters. This week they learned that unlike realistic fiction stories, where problems have to be solved in a believable way, problems in a fairy tale can be solved with… MAGIC!
We are now going to pick a story to start publishing! As we revise this story 2B students are learning how to add paragraphs to their writing.
Week 26: March 2nd
We continued working on our fairy tale stories this week. Students are focusing on write a story that is set in the past, with good and bad characters, and making sure there is always a happy ending!
Week 25: February 24th
This week we started our new writing unit. We are writing Fairy Tales! This is part of our Fantasy unit. 2B students learned that every fairy tale starts with “Once upon a time…”, or “A long, long time ago…” the setting is in the distant past. Every fairy tale has a good and bad character. The students have really taken off with this genre and are already producing great ideas for stories!
Week 24: February 17th
This week 2B students started publishing their All-About Books! We are going to join 2A next week to have a publishing party to teach each other all about our non-fiction writing.
Week 23: February 10th
This week 2B students have proved that they have been in school for over a hundred days! They are revising and editing their all-about books like pros. We are going to start the publishing process next week.
Week 22: February 3rd
2B students are taking off with writing their all-about books. Many of them finished the first draft of their all-about books this week, and worked on writing the information they have learned about a topic in their own words.
Week 21: January 27th
We moved on from writing “how-to” books to writing All-About books! Students chose topics in which they are experts in and thought of a title as well as chapter headings. They are researching their topic by checking out books from the library and looking online. These non-fiction books are already looking amazing!
Week 20: January 20th
We continued to work on our “how-to” books this week. Students checked to make sure their steps were in order and clear. They practiced with each other, acting out the steps. This was a great way for them to “see” if their steps had enough detail and if they were in the right order.
Week 19: January 13th
We jumped right in our first week back after Christmas break and started our next writing unit: Non-fiction! This week the students started writing “How-To” books. I have learned so much from my students this week… how to ski, how to fry bacon, how to play soccer, how to make icing, how to make peanut butter and jam sandwich, and much more^^.
Week 18: December 16th
This week we had our first publishing party with our parents! It was so great to see all of the parents come to our classroom, and hear the realistic fiction stories that 2B students did so well on.
Week 17: December 9th
We officially started publishing our realistic fiction stories this week!
Week 16: December 2nd
We went back to working on our realistic fiction stories this week! Students learned that a problem in a story needs to get worse before it gets better to add tension to the story. They also worked with their writing partners to help make sure their stories made sense.
Week 15: November 23rd
We took a break from writing our realistic fiction stories during this short week and focused on what we are thankful for instead. Happy Thanksgiving!
Week 14: November 18th
Ms. Cammarrata is joining the second grade as we learn about writing Realistic Fiction. This week, she showed 2B how to add dialogue into their story to show the characters feelings and actions. Mrs. Cammarrata also had the students act out their stories to help them add details in their writing!
Week 13: November 11th
This week we started our unit on Realistic Fiction. 2B students came up with storylines that have believable characters, settings, and problems. They each got a Tiny Topic notepad to write down their ideas, and started writing out storylines on accordian books (pictured below). Then, they took their storylines from their accordian books and wrote their first draft, learning that you don’t always have to save revising for last!
2B held their second publishing party this week! The students showed a lot of techniques they learned from their authors as mentors. The students were given the following checklist right before they published their final story. They were supposed to have the first two bullet points checked, the last two, as well as one or two in the middle. Many students tried hard to check off everything!
- have a strong beginning?
- have a strong endingthat sticks my story?
- use ellipses to make the reader feel like something will happen?
- use sound words?
- use some comeback lines that show the main idea?
- have dialogue to make the story more interesting?
- “show”, not tell my feelings?
- “show”, not tell my actions?
Week 11: October 28th
The students were able to pick a story to start publishing this week! Using everything we have learned from our Authors as Mentors unit, they are now focusing on the writing process… revising, editing, and publishing! I am excited to see which techniques the students will choose to use in their final story.
Week 10: October 21st
This week we learned more from our authors Ezra Jack Keats and Kevin Henkes. I read Ezra Jack Keat’s book Peter’s Chair and Kevin Henkes’s book Sheila Rae the Brave, and we discussed how to incorporate dialogue into our stories during writing workshop. We also read the book Over in the Meadow (by Ezra Jack Keats) to learn about using a repeating line in our story. Or a comeback line. Which means you start your story with the same sentence that you end it with, or you repeat the same sentence throughout the story.
Week 9: October 14th
We started the week off reviewing how to include ellipses into our writing, as well as strong beginnings and strong endings. Then, we started learning about sound words (I read Circle Dogs by Kevin Henkes). 2B JUMPED right into writing sound words into their stories. They used words such as “clip-clop” “splash” and “woof-woof”!
Week 8: October 7th
This week we started a brand new unit during writing workshop. During this unit we will study different authors and use them as mentors for our writing. The two authors we are studying are Ezra Jack Keats and Kevin Henkes. This week were talked about how to write a STRONG beginning and a STRONG ending to our stories, I read Ezra Jack Keats book Whistle for Willie. We also learned what an ellipses is, I read the students A Good Day by Kevin Henkes. Ask your child to explain it to you!
(Week 7) Date: September 30th (Friday)
We had our first publishing party this week! The students did an excellent job sharing their final stories… sorry the group picture is pretty blurry!
Date: September 23rd (Friday)
The kiddies of 2B are learning more and more how to take a small moment and stretch it into a whole story. This week we had to have several discussions on what it means to write a “seed” story and not a “watermelon” story (ask your children what these terms mean!). We also focused on “showing” our feelings in our writing and not just “telling”.
An example of “showing” and not “telling”:
Tell: I was happy.
Show: I could not stop my mouth from smiling. I began to jump up and down, clapping my hands together quickly.
After we did this lesson one of the student’s changed a sentence in her story from, “I was excited” to “my heart started to bounce”… It was so neat to see!
We also worked more with our writing partners:
Date: September 16th (Friday)
Students were able to continue working on their small moments during writing workshop this week. They also had a chance to meet with their writing partners for the second time this year to help each other add details to their writing.
Date: September 8th (Thursday)
We were able to officially kick off our unit on writing small moments this week. The students worked really hard on taking a small moment that happened in their life and S T R E T C H I N G it out to write a whole story. We also introduced writing partners this week (they will changed throughout the year) and practice working with our writing partner.
Writing partners are a very important part of writing workshop. It gives the students a chance to talk with their peers about their own writing, and to give each other ideas!
Date: August 30th (Tuesday)
We will be starting our Small Moments writing unit TOMORROW. Students will be looking at previous stories they have written and zoom in on one small moment. They will work on adding details to that moment to make it into a story.
During the week of August 22nd we are learning about how the routines of writing workshop. In our mini lessons we are discussing how to GET STARTED:
1. Choose a topic
3. Write it down!
We are working on adding pictures to our writing and spreading our stories across many pages.
Next week, the week of August 29th, we will start our Small Moments writing unit. Students will learn how to take a moment in their lives and write a story about it. A small moment written with many details.