Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our First Stories

If you teach Kindergarten you know that teaching writing can be quite a task. First of all, many students do not know their letters and sounds when they enter, so that's step one. Once they've learned their sounds, then they can sound out their words to write using invented spelling-however, it can sometimes be like pulling teeth to convince a child they can actually do that. And the expectations just keep getting higher and higher. Can you believe our 2nd 9 weeks report card expected kiddos to have mastered punctuation and capitalization? Seriously?! The criteria to get a 3 (we grade on a 1, 2, 3 scale) was "student capitalizes the first letter of each sentence in the paragraph". Paragraph? I'm still trying to get some kids to just sound out 1 word!

But it all pays off in the end. The first time they bring their writing to you and start to tell you what it says and you say "I can read it". Their faces just light up! You can't beat that.

We read several Jan Brett books this past week. I know everyone is familiar with The Mitten.

But there are also 2 other stories about accessories. The Hat is my favorite Jan Brett book. I love the illustrations, especially at the end. I encourage the kids to look at her foreshadowing and see if they can figure out what is happening. Just an all-around cute story!

The 3rd one is the Umbrella, set in the rainforest. Very much like the Mitten only with more tropically-inclined animals. Great for comparing and contrasting lessons!

So I asked the kids to write their own story with events surrounding an accessory, paying attention to the settings.
What's a more creative setting than a pizza parlor?!

Sound like the beginning of an O. Henry story.

We've been talking about including resolutions to problems, so I love that he added one!

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