Tag Archive: Interactive Writing


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We are cruising along in Kindergarten.  At the beginning of March we transitioned into READING BOOKS!  This is such a big deal.  Learning to read is such a monumental life experience when you think about just everything you need to do at once to be able to read.  For the last several months we’ve been “practicing” getting ready to read by labeling, word by word matching, learning letters and sounds, putting sounds together, learning word parts, building simple words, and finishing sentence starters.  We’re reading basic patterned books and still working on those word by word matching skills, but we’re getting there.

IMG_0413One thing we’ve had to work on is keeping our eyes on the text unless we need to check the picture for help with a word.  Many friends memorize the pattern and only look at the picture, but when a page changes the pattern of the text then students have difficulties.  We’ve had to really work on even if we think we know the pattern making sure we are correct by looking carefully at words.

IMG_0417We’ve even transitioned from finishing a sentence Ms. Acuff has written to students actively participating in the Interactive Writing and writing the stories themselves.  They practice words on their white boards while another student adds the word to our chart.  I help with more difficult words I know they don’t know.

We still do the cut up sentence portion of the lesson, but instead of students copying the cut up sentence, they then write their OWN sentence about the story we wrote together.  Most of the kids are doing a great job of using parts they know (ee, ou, ow, oa) and applying them into their writing.  Some IMG_0416students still need a little more support and structure with the writing as this is very new for us.

I’m starting to notice students writing in capital letters as they are more comfortable with those than lower case letters and we’ve had to work on when we use capital letters and also working on letter reversals.  These are common and we just keep practicing the correct way to write them.  We’re also working on different punctuation–periods, exclamation points, IMG_0415and question marks–when do we use them and how do we make them?

We are seeing lots of great things in Kindergarten and are overjoyed with how well students are applying their phonics knowledge every day.

1st Grade Writing

img_02401st grade has been transitioning into only doing Interactive Writing to doing some independent writing applying CAP (Concepts About Print).

We’ve been working on transferring skills from the classroom to the work we do in groups by writing about the books we are reading.  In the picture above, we read a book called Yes We Can about things we can do at school.  We wrote a group story about different things we can do at school and then writing an independent story about things we can do at school.

We’ve had to work hard on stretching words out to hear multiple sounds in the word, using word parts we know to build words, and using words similar to build new words.  This has been a struggle, but that’s why Ms. Acuff has us doing a lot of magnetic letter work to help us build up our word knowledge and known word bank.

img_0247In Kindergarten we are getting better and better at matching our words.  We still aren’t ready to write our own words and sentences yet, but we can make up sentences.

Ms. Acuff still has us label pictures and finish a sentence she started about the picture.  She then writes our sentences on a sentence strip.  She cuts it up, mixes it up, and then we have to put it back together.  She has us searching through words and looking at the beginning of the word to make sure we are right.  She has us re-read our story over and over again.  Once we have practiced our sentence and matched it then we can glue it into our writing journals.  We love using glue sticks!

img_0248After we glue our sentence into our journal then we have to write that sentence below it.  Ms. Acuff says this is the time where we can practice letter formation and spacing between words.  Making sure there are spaces between our words is still really tricky.  We need lots of reminders, but we’re getting better at remembering.  When we are finished writing our sentence then we can draw and label a picture in our journal that goes along with the story we wrote.  We love using the smelly markers.  We usually leave with lots of dots on our noses from smelling every color we use.  Ms. Acuff HATES the licorice smelly marker and we always try to make her smell it and then giggle when she says, “YUCK!  No licorice!”

img_0257In 1st-grade we are still working on Interactive Writing and learning those foundational skills.  Ms. Acuff has us reading books and applying concepts we are working on in the classroom.  In our class, we are working on the beginning, middle, and end of a story.

This day we read a story about a frog that can’t find his red pajamas.  He has to tear his room apart looking everywhere for them.  We started by making -ed words with magnetic letters.  We’re doing a lot of work with “chunks” to help us problem-solve our reading much more efficiently and quickly.

Next, we read the book and then talked about the book.  The next day we wrote about the book after re-reading it.  We wrote the story together.  We got to write the words we knew and Ms. Acuff wrote the words that are still unknown.  We practice those words on the white board so they become known words in the future.

We practice one-to-one matching by using the large pointer and checking Ms. Acuff didn’t forget anything.  (Sometimes she does and we have to fix it for her!)  We’re working really hard on good spacing between our words so it’s not just a string of letters.  It’s hard work, but we’re really proud when we do a good job.

img_0238We are learning a lot about the way words work in Kindergarten.  Just like the big 1st-graders, we have also been labeling pictures.  We each get to draw the line of what we want to label and Ms. Acuff shows us how to write the words by stretching and articulating the sounds in the word for us.  We help say the sounds and letters we know.

img_0237We aren’t writing sentences by ourselves yet, but we write them together!  Ms. Acuff starts the sentence for us and we finish the sentence by writing something we see in our picture we labeled.  We work as a whole group to stretch out the word and write the sounds we hear.  We might not get ALL the letters in the word yet, but that’s OK!  Our goal is to hear MULTIPLE sounds in a word.

img_0239We think we’re doing a pretty good job because WE ARE!  We even learned a period goes at the end of a SENTENCE not every single word.  This has been a challenging new skill, but we’re catching on.  We also are working on letter formation and making sure our letters go the correct way.  There sure is a lot to learn in Kindergarten!

We get to practice our one-to-one word matching by using Ms. Acuff’s big pointer.  She reads the sentences and we have to point along with her making sure we touch each word as she reads.  When she gets to the end of the line we have to go back to the next line and keep up with her.  She makes us practice this a lot!  She says this is getting us ready to read books.

img_0230I spend an hour of my morning teaching groups to 1st-grade students within the classroom.  We’ve been working on lots of Interactive Writing skills to build up the foundational skills early readers need to become more successful and independent later in the school year.

img_0231We’ve been working on labeling pictures and then writing a group story based on our picture.  This helps show students CAP (Concepts About Print) such as where to start, directionality, return sweep to the left, spacing, capitals at the beginning, and periods at the end.  Students write known words on the chart paper and practice nearly known or new words on the white board in front of them.  This helps build up known reading and writing vocabulary.

1st Grade Hybrid

IMG_8056My 1st graders have been doing an Interactive Writing/Guided Reading Plus hybrid.    They aren’t quite ready to transition fully into Guided Reading Plus, but they don’t solely need Interactive Writing…so we’ve been doing both!  We’ve been reading a new book every three days.  We do a lot of building words, word work, etc. to build our reading and writing vocabulary to give the needed boost.

On the 2nd day we write a group message based on the story we read the previous day.  Each student gets to pick a sentence they want added to the group message.  This is the exact same process that Kindergarten does, except we write about the book instead of a labeled picture.  We don’t label a picture in 1st grade.

On the 3rd day we do something that looks a little bit different.  I have 4 students so I have 4 rotations.  The full 30 minutes just proved to be too much time for them all to write so I switched it up since we have multiple needs.  (I wish I had pictures of this, but I am SO busy during this 30 minutes I don’t have time to take any pictures!)

Rotation 1: write an individual message about the story we read.  The student tells me their message before they start so I can write it down. When they are finished writing (about 7 minutes per rotation) I conference with that student about their writing.

Rotation 2:  Rereading the story while Ms. Acuff takes a running record.  This allows me to track individual reading progress and collect data weekly on each student to make sure I’m providing the correct level of instruction.  I also get to talk to students about strategies they are using and provide positive feedback for growth.

Rotation 3: ipad!!  Woo hoo we love the ipad!  We play a word building and writing game on the ipad that incorporates high frequency words they need to know!

Rotation 4: ipad!!  Woo hoo!  We love getting to use the ipad AGAIN!  This time we play a sound sorting game of some kind.  This could either be vowel sounds, rhyming sounds, beginning sounds, or ending sounds. This game changes each time, but sounds are important so we continue to work on them!

My 1st graders are HARD WORKERS and they keep me VERY busy during our 30 minute session.

IMG_8057My Kindergarten kiddos are rocking and rolling!  I’m loving the progress they have made from the beginning of the year.  We have been working on a 4 day process.

Day 1 we read a new story.  Lately I’ve been using book builder books where I get to put in a name.  I’ve been using their classroom teacher’s name, which they find funny.  Mrs. Byers has been swimming, running, jumping, eating treats, and doing all kinds of fun things in our silly stories.   We do word work with each of our stories.  We highlight these high frequency words in our book.  We’ve been working on building and writing words such as: the, in, on, see, up, can.  These are words we need to know to be ready for 1st grade.

Day 2 we re-read our silly story for practice.  This gives me a chance to see what reading strategies they are using.  Do they have word by word matching?  Do they use multiple strategies when stuck?  Do they follow the correct direction? (They do!!)  Then I have a picture that we label.  This gives them a chance to see how words look.  We work on what letter sounds they hear in the word, specifically the beginning.  They get to locate something in the picture, draw the line, and then I label it.  We have a lot of fun finding all the new things.

Day 3 we look at our picture we labeled.  We come up with a story from our picture we labeled.  Each student gets to come up with a sentence of their own.  We write our story as a group.  They each get a white board and they practice writing the words in the story.  If they know the word they get to write it on our group story.  If they don’t know the word then I get to write it.  I often have them help me with the initial sound in the word as that is something they are able to do.  They get to put in the punctuation in our story, too.  Everyone gets lots of opportunities to write on our group story.

Day 4 we re-read our group story.  We practice rereading and word by word matching.  Then they come up with their own story that they write in their personal journal.  They can pick the same sentence they said yesterday, but they have to do it independently.  I’m looking for spacing between words, punctuation at the end, and getting multiple sounds in an unknown word or the whole word for high frequency words.  They get to draw a picture at the end and I get to conference with kiddos.  I check mark each correct sound they got in the words and then show them “how it looks in a book’ and write it the correct way for them to see.

That’s our whole week!  Then we start all over with a new book and picture the next week!  We definitely work hard!

IMG_5840IMG_5841My K, 1, and 2 groups are continuing to work on Interactive Writing.  We’ve been so busy!  Learning about concepts about print to help with foundational building is super important.  We’ve been doing a lot of labeling, word building, letter finding, letter sorting, letter forming, poetry reading, and group and individual writing.  Wow!  What a mouthful, right?

After several weeks of poetry interactive writing and foundational skill building, we are ready to get our hands on some books and transition away from poetry.

We will keep working on letter sounds, formation, concepts about print, and word building.  Check back in with us 🙂

Combo Interactive Writing

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This year one of my groups include a 1st/2nd grade combo and it’s fun having kids from different grade levels.  So if you see me talking about my “combo kids” you’ll know it’s my group with both grade levels in it.

IMG_5182This group is working on Interventions That Work’s Interactive Writing.  We have been working on letter identification, letter sounds, word building, directionality, and word by word matching.  I JUST received another iPad from Donor’s Choose (Thank you!) so some of our word work is able to be done on the iPad since both boys have one to use.  You can see them above working on beginning sounds.  It’s just a nice way to differentiate what we are doing.

We started out with a group poem that helped us work on fluency, directionality, and word by word matching.  Kacie Rogan, one of our 2nd grade teachers, came in to observe us on day 1 since she will also be doing Interactive Writing with some of her groups in her classroom so it was nice to have another teacher in to watch.

After we worked on our poem we wrote a group message and worked on building up some more known words such as has, red, go, we, will, or.  We are wanting to see some rapid acceleration in letter ID and known writing vocabulary.IMG_5176

Once we created our group message we then extended our message by writing individual messages.  Once the kiddos were finished with their individual message then I was able to conference with each child and check the sounds they correctly produced in their words.  We are working hard on stretching the word out and writing all the sounds we hear.  Keep checking back on us and see how we work to be the best readers possible.