Tag Archive: process

1st Grade: Sea Turtles

IMG_0079IMG_0083A couple of weeks ago my 1st graders read about sea turtles and the life cycle of sea turtles.  I was able to read them a couple of books on sea turtles and we watched 2 short videos of a sea turtle laying her eggs and then covering the hole along with a video of the sea turtles hatching, crawling out of the sand, and making their way to the ocean.  It was really exciting to watch.

After we read the books together and students read their own book, together we made a procedural list of what happens in the process of laying an egg.  I typically have this be more of an independent writing process with my 2nd and 3rd graders, but this was a group guided writing as this was a lot for them to do on their own.

From there they took their journal writing and were able to put it on chart paper.  It was so adorable seeing them read back through their journals to make sure they got things in the correct order.

They were also able to draw pictures to go with their writing and let’s face it, little kid IMG_0082drawings are just the best!

They were able to take their notes and charts home and share them with their family.  It was fun to hear how they shared the information at dinner time.  They learned so much about turtles and loved sharing what they knew with people close to them.


Kdg Interactive Writing

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!

2nd grade: Mother Sea Turtle

IMG_5838My 2nd graders recently read Mother Sea Turtle which talks about the journey a sea turtle goes from hatching, growing up, and returning to lay eggs.  I read to the students about sea turtle migration and the life cycle of a sea turtle and the process of laying an egg…again National Geographic Kids makes it so easy with their amazing non-fiction books about Sea Turtles and Animal Migration.

The kiddos were so sad that mother sea turtle doesn’t take care of her little hatchlings.  They have to fend for themselves and many of them don’t survive, but instinctively they all return to the same beach they were born to lay their eggs.

After we read all of our stories, the kids took the mentor text books I read and their Mother Sea Turtle book and mapped out the life cycle of the sea turtle or the process of laying/hatching an egg.  They did such a fantastic job of sorting out the information and putting it in a step by step life cycle model.



2nd Grade Procedures

IMG_5181My other 2nd grade group just finished a set of books on procedural steps.  I had started out by reading Monster Sandwich which went over the procedures to which a girl makes a sandwich.  I then used the graphic organizer from Interventions that Work (and our district has blown them up IMG_0003and laminated them so we can use them whole group).  I was going to model, but the kids started shouting out ideas and kind of took over for me.  It was a guided experience, but I was impressed how they really took ownership for what was supposed to be me modeling.  I still had to talk them through the steps as they wanted to jump straight from get out your ingredients to “make taco” and then eat.  We talked about how there is much more to making a taco than just ingredients and eating.  We also noticed how everyone in the group makes their tacos in different ways, which was interesting and brought out the point that just because you think you “know how to do something” that someone else might be able to show you a different way to do it.

Afterwards we did some work on The Fun Club Goes To A Dairy Farm where we talked about how there is a specific process that happens at the dairy farm and then the kids made their own procedural graphic organizers on something they knew how to do or make.

IMG_0005After they completed their graphic organizer, I had writing conferences with each of the kiddos and then went on to model how to transfer the information from the graphic organizer into sentence form.  The kids have already been working on connecting words so they easily put those into their stories (nice job 2nd grade teachers!!)

We are still working on the writing process and how editing can make our writing better.  We are a work in progress, but the students did a fabulous job of procedural steps.

My 2nd graders recently read From Milk to Ice Cream by Michael Christopher and learned about the process of how milk is turned into ice cream.  We created a step by step graphic organizer on the process, using our book as help.

IMG_0221IMG_0222The students had the weekend to think about something they knew how to make and could provide step by step instruction to the group over.  I came back with an example of how to make your bed.  I created a giant graphic organizer of the steps and wrote down key connecting words (first, then, next, after, last; First, second, third, fourth…) and students had to decide which connecting words they preferred to use in their writing.

Students then shared what they would be writing about.  We had how to do a back flip on a bike, how to ride a skateboard, how to get dressed, and how to play Minecraft.

Together as a group we started writing a group example using my “How to make your bed” graphic organizer.  The 2nd graders were excited at how easy it was to transition from your graphic organizer to writing as “all the work is already done.  I’m practically copying it.” Hmmmm!!  Could my point of showing how a graphic organizer can be helpful in writing finally be coming through? 🙂

IMG_0220Students then started writing their own stories using their graphic organizers and modeling it off of our group paper we had written.

I was able to conference with each student as they were writing.  The next day we talked about how we can edit our papers to give more spice and add more descriptive words.  Some of the boys were pretty set on “this is what I wrote and this is how I like it so this is how it will stay.”  I had students swap papers and give each other suggestions on how they could make their paper “more spicy” with detailed words or adding onto their sentences.

I even had the students help me add more “spice” to my story from the previous day.  They came up with a lot of great ways we could lengthen sentences and add more detail.  After students had added additional detailed words into their story I had a conference with them again to go over spelling and make sure everything made sense and followed their graphic organizer.

IMG_0224IMG_0223Some needed a little redirecting on following the graphic organizer instead of writing something entirely different.  After more swapping papers with students and conferences then we moved onto the final draft.  This is the first time we’ve ever tried moving our writing to lined paper.  Normally I give the students blank paper, but the lines helped keep students on track for size, spacing, and writing straight.

This ended up being a more laborious project than I had originally thought, but I think we got a lot of bang for our buck.  Students were flipping back and forth between their graphic organizers and their rough draft to help them.  It was encouraging to see the students helping each other and giving suggestions on how to make their paper more interesting.  After one of my 2nd graders finished he asked me, ” Will you read this?  Do you think it’s spicy?”  🙂