Getting Started with Kindergarten Writing

Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!

Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!Take a look at our kindergarten writing activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop.

Kindergarten Writing Activities

I have promised to share a little about the writing in our classroom.   I am pretty excited about how it is going so far.   This lesson I focused on the importance of noticing the details in the setting. I modeled how I closed my eyes to make a picture in my head, then drew the picture.  I had my kiddos help me come up with a sentence.  We decided it would be, “I am buying donuts for Matt.” We said the sentence over and over (in many voices… monster voice, opera singer voice…).  Then I drew lines, one for each word.Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!One by one, I had my students come up and share the pen to help write the words.  We really worked on hearing the sounds and writing the sounds we heard.

Meanwhile, on the carpet, each student had a plastic plate and an Expo marker.   I have always used whiteboards in the past, but Deanna Jump raved about the plates during one of her conferences and I was hooked on using them ever since.  They are CHEAP and the store beautifully under my writing easel.  Students remain engaged during the whole process.Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!Here is what it looks like when we are done.   I quickly write in the correct spelling and put a check mark above the sounds we figured out… with a big FAT, “look how smart you are” celebration. NOTE:  I don’t want my kiddos to think that I am correcting their work.   If they ever appear deflated… then I am doing it wrong. They should be beaming with pride  EVERY. STEP. OF. THE. WAY!

Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!
SIDENOTE: Donuts for my son’s 17th birthday was a huge hit in his physics class.

Again, my focus of the mini-lesson was to notice the details in the setting.  However, my kindergarten students also worked on:

  • writing from left to right
  • writing from top to bottom (or the return sweep)
  • stretching out the sounds we hear
  • adding ending punctuation

Then students write!

After our writing mini-lessons and activity, it was my kindergarten students’ turn to write.  I was so pleased to see some of my students using their tools.  This student looked at his alphabet strip to figure out how to write an “F.”Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!

Then he wrote it!Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!

You can see this student’s growth over a 2 week period!Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!

8/24: I am going swimming. 9/12: Me riding my four-wheeler. I see a turkey.

Here is this particular student’s growth over the last few weeks!

When teachers ask when we start writers workshop, I tell them as soon as we figure out where the restrooms are, we are ready for writers workshop.  What if I had waited until all of my students know letters and sounds?  What a wasted opportunity this would be!  Don’t wait!  When teachers say, “My kids are not ready for writers workshop.”  What they really mean is, “I am not ready for writers workshop.”  We need to move past holding students back because we are not willing to try something.  Our students are counting on us.

My class is an average class.   We have roughly 50% of my students below the poverty line.  I have ESL students in my classroom.  AND the student shown above did not come into the classroom with a large list of skills.  He knew a few letters and he knew how to write his name.  However, I have some students who are still learning the difference between red and blue.

I tell you this because I want you to be brave!

WANTING MORE ON WRITING?

Since I LOVE talking about writing, I have a few (dozen) blog posts about writing.   

LOOKING FOR PRINT AND TEACH WRITING LESSONS?

Deanna Jump and I have created simple, yet powerful daily lesson plans to teach writers workshop.  We have taken the guesswork out of your instruction.

Each unit is carefully planned out.Kindergarten Writing in September. We have made progress in writers workshop. Take a peek at student writing samples!

And it walks you through each day’s lesson.Kindergarten Writing in September. We have made progress in writers workshop. This post will show you how our kindergarten students publish their writing each month. Take a peek at student writing samples!

You can shop our writing curriculum below:

Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!Happy writing!

Kindergarten Writing Activities at the beginning of the year. Through shared writing and interactive writing, students learn the structure of writers workshop. Take a look at how we shared the pen in my classroom!

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
 

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18 Responses

  1. We are also beginning writing with your packet with Deanna Jump, and I am just amazed at the difference in writing workshop, and it's only been 3 days. Other years were never like this. Thank you!!

  2. THANK YOU for posting about your writing. 🙂 Like I've said, I am following your Writing Through The Year Unit and L-O-V-E it. In fact I have actually introduced it to one of my (seasoned) K teachers too:) We are thrilled! I do have some kids, though, that use all their time to draw picturesand color. There are never letters/words on their papers. Would you give them a verbal reminder to put colors away and try to write their story on their paper?
    These are also the children that think they can't write and I have avoided helping sound out words for them thinking they will come to rely on that. Do you have children whose papers have only a picture but can tell a fabulous story to go with it?

  3. Absolutely Jessica! I have some sweeties who do not have much command over the pencil yet. However, I do have words on my word wall already and EVERYone is expected to write "I" if it goes in their story. I do have some students who are still not convinced that I know best… Ha! So they are not "drinking the Kool-aid" yet… but they will! I know it! My first goal is to celebrate writing (which is drawing). I want their drawing to be purposeful, even if I need them to interpret their drawing for me.

    I have a good idea of those who can, but decide not to.. eh hemm… I just tell them, "Oh, I see you have not started on your words yet. That's okay, I'll be right back to check on you in a minute. I can't wait to see what you have to show me." This gentle nudging seems to do the trick.

    I hope that helps!!!

  4. The post and following comments help me so much! From our study this summer I have gained new insights into the Picture part of writing and how it mirrors the writing process. I do have some kiddos that want to do nothing but illustrate. I have written words for them as they "read" their picture stories to me. Today a student picture wrote about the things his pet does on the floor that he's not supposed to including peeing and barfing! When he shared it everyone said they wanted a copy of that book…Great!

  5. thanks for the apple packet update…i appreciate that.
    i have a question about the plans (by the way…i look forward to them each week).I wanted to know if these are your "working" plans that you will /can have on your desk when administrators walk in or are these just for your organization for your day/week? I have to have such detailed plans that it takes hours to write but not that helpful….your school doesn' require you to add objectives or essential questions? or have these posted?
    I am just curious.
    laura

    1. Luckily my school's administration is not crazy! I hand these in, but they are not really very detailed. I have detailed plans for my whole group activities (in Kim Adsit's reading workshop unit, our Writing workshop unit, and in Saxon math's units). When I get to the content part, I will have a set for those as well.

      Small group? I have plans for those too. It is impossible and impractical to include everything in one document. It would have to be 17 pages long and with a font of 1… Ha! I hope your administrators don't make you do that.

  6. Hi, I am homeschooling my four and five year old. I love your blog, and style of teaching. I am trying to incorporate your classroom setup into our home. Where did you get your big easel pad?

    Amy Campbell
    PS. I don’t even know you, but you make me want to be a kindergarten teacher, which technically I guess I am, but you know…

    1. Hi there!!! YES! Homeschooling counts with bonus points for being a mom too!!!!

      Thank you so much!!!! The big easel pad you can get at an office supply store or teacher store (like Lakeshore).

  7. Hi, you mentioned a sight for a math center using green paper plates that looked like monsters for counting. I can’t locate the name of it. Can you help? You recommended the site.

    1. Oh gosh! I’m sorry (I’m old), can you help me by telling where you think you may have seen this? I’ve been blogging for a long time, so I’m having a hard time remembering this activity. LOL HELP!

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