Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Writing Trait: Ideas

Hi Friends!
My computer has been down for a few days, so I'm trying to catch up on what I've missed!
Today I'd like to share a couple of ways to compile writing ideas with students.
I rarely give my first graders a topic to write about.  I really believe that they should
write about things they know about, care about, and have a personal connection to.
I know what some of you are thinking...what if they can't think of anything to write about?
Well, at the beginning of the school year, we spend time coming up with as many ideas
as we can to write about.  I record the students' ideas on a piece of paper and draw a
quick sketch of each idea.  (I am NOT an artist, but I always try my best.)
After compiling all the ideas, I copy the idea sheet and put it on the back of
each child's writing folder.  Then I laminate the folder.  I rarely have a student
that says he doesn't have anything to write about, but if I do,
 I remind him to look on the back of his folder for some ideas. 

Another way I have students compile ideas is to use an Idea Notebook.
I give each of my students a handmade 6"x4" blank notebook. 
They write "My Ideas" on the cover.  When they have a great idea they want
to write about, I tell them to go write it in their Idea Notebook & make a quick
sketch so they don't forget about it.  This is usually done in the morning when
they first get to school.  I don't know about you, but my students always
have exciting things to tell me in the morning like "I lost a tooth!" or "I'm going
to a birthday party tonight!" or "I saw the principal at the store!" or "I got
a new puppy!"  This is the perfect opportunity to say, "Go write that idea in
your Idea Notebook, so you can tell me all about it when it's time to write today!"
The Idea Notebook is kept in their desks, so it is always handy.
This is another place for students to look for ideas.

Happy Writing!

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