I have been reading a lot of the great writing posts the last several days. If I had to say a favorite thing about kindergarten it would have to be watching the huge growth that kindergarten students show with their writing throughout the year. It's a great way to show growth to parents, students, administration, and of course to yourself!
I would have to say that Guided Writing is a very powerful tool that I use with the students every day of the year. It's SOOOOOOOOO easy and the best part is that is will cost you NO MONEY!! We start it the first day of kindergarten and carry it through to the very last day. We discuss so many things throughout our lessons that every level of learner can use. It's a great time to model: handwriting, segmenting words, vowel rules, capitalization/punctuation, spacing, illustrating a picture, and labeling a picture just to name a few. Typically after a couple of months, most students are ready for independent journal writing. For those students who are not, I use different things to differentiate their writing. They may be ready for just drawing/labeling, they may be needing small writing intervention group time when we are doing it together in a small group, or they may need to dictate to you what he/she wants to write.
We do our guided writing lesson using the SMARTBoard. We sit on the floor with our clipboards, journal paper, and 2 pencils. Depending on the time of year, our lesson can last 10-20 minutes. It's also a great time to teach/review reading standards while you are focusing on writing.
Once we are done with our guided writing, I have the students place these into their Journal Binders. At the end of the month, we collect these monthly journal pages and place them into their year end Data Binders. By the end of the year, students will have over 170 journal entries just from kindergarten.
Last year we offered free monthly covers for these months using some DJ Inkers clipart for these monthly covers. Feel free to grab these covers again realizing that we will make new 2012-2013 "Heading Pages" for you to use as an introduction to your Data Binders. Look for a complete new Journal Binder covers set coming next week that I designed which will coordinate with our new homework booklet that we will be placing on TPT soon.
Guided journal writing lessons can be used in kindergarten classes all the way through high school. It is such a powerful tool for all ages to use!! Check back for Writing Tip #2.
Journal Covers for Free