Mme G.C. -Work in Progress

Instructional Consultant sharing my learning with others


anchor charts

Grade One Writing – Ecriture en premiere annee

I was invited into a classroom to work on writing in a grade one room. The teacher really wanted her students to start writing more than labelling few words at a time. Merci B.S. for sharing your students with me  :)

I suggested that we start with a simple text that had a predictable pattern as a model. I also wanted to reinforce the gradual release of responsibility as I modeled this lesson. I told the students I wanted them to feel more comfortable in writing a sentence so we were going to work on it together. I chose the following book to start my lesson:chauve fraiseI read the book to the students. They understood the simple pattern before I was finished the book. I told them which attributes of the book I liked, as I wrote them on an anchor chart to use for future reference. We went back through the book again to check and see if the book actually had all the attributes that I had mentioned.

fraise j'aime

Next, I modeled  a piece of writing that I had written, using the same format. I added the pictures as we read. The children practiced reading the story aloud several times.

chats fraises

Together, we decided on a topic to write about . They wanted to write about food, so after some discussion they chose carrots. At this point the children were quite comfortable with the format. They gave me the simple title. We looked at our attribute chart and I asked them how I should start the piece of writing. They told me what to write, and I printed it out, reinforcing the punctuation as I wrote each line. The children took turns illustrating. Again we practiced reading aloud.

fraise carrots

At this point we told the class that we wanted each table group to create a small book just like in the book 1,2,3 chauves-souris…and just the way we had written about the cats and the carrots. We had each group pick a topic. They had to decide who was going to write page 1, 2 … Each student was given a blank page with simple lines at the bottom. They were to follow the sentence pattern and then illustrate it. We asked them all to stick with the food topic. Next time they can change the topic.

When each group was finished their writing and illustrating, the books were stapled together with a cover page. The children practiced reading their little book aloud in small groups and then presented it to the class. Some groups read the entire book together while others chose to read page by page individually.

The result? 4 new books to add to the class reading basket.A great basket to put in the hallway for parents to look through at conference time.

   Assessment was simple-did the picture match the writing, was printing an issue, could the student read their own writing, how well did the group cooperate.

printing fraises livres fraises


fraise 1fraise 2Fraise 3fraise 4fraise beaucoup


Anchoring Our Thinking in Phonics

Thanks so much to K. O. for sharing this anchor chart . I spotted it when I was visiting her classroom. What a great way to help students remember when c is soft and when it is hard.

It is vital when teaching the P.W.I.M. to teach phonics and phonemic awareness. The P.W.I.M.photograph itself should become an interactive anchor chart connecting the students to the sounds of each letter and how those letters work together.






Why We Study Words:

This anchor chart is what I used in a few grade one rooms to explain how we use our brains when we are classifying and sorting words in our word study. I start with an empty chart paper. I have the colour pictures and markers ready on the side.

I start by saying :” today we are going to talk about our brains”  I write the title and add the picture with the brain. We talk about how big their brain is and where it fits in their head.We talk about how nobody has an empty head and we are all learing at the same time even if we aren’t learning the same thing. Just like we have different eyes and hair and height we also have different brains.

I talk about how our brains like puzzles and patterns. We need to make our brain work hard so that it can grow. Next, I say that in order for our brain to grow we study those puzzles and patterns in every part of our lives and that is exercise for the brain.

We talk about neurons and dendrites at a very low-level and then I tell them that we have to keep thinking and making our brain work hard so that we can get smarter and smarter every time we work. They get really excited when I tell them they can leave smarter today, than when they came in this morning. Nobody says no when I ask “Do you want to get smarter?”

I review this anchor chart on a regular basis so that the children always know why they are doing what they are doing. I think if they know  what their job is and why it is important they are much more likely to be successful in the task at hand. I know there are much more technical ways to explain this but it is grade one and we are just opening a door for them to understand that they are in charge of their learning.

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