Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Our Little Seeds Have Bloomed

The TDRs display the work over time of two different students on this final bulletin board of the year. Reading across the board is one student's work and then under his work, is another student's work over time.Parker begins first grade full of things he wants to write about. He uses some sight words and uses invented spelling for words that he doesn't know by sight. His work is easy to read because he has made the letter sound connection and easily hears sounds in words. He opens the piece establishing the context and then writes three pages describing a series of events. His ending provides closure for the piece. Parker also demonstrates that he is learning some conventions. Even early in the year you can find a sense of humor in his work. In this first piece he writes about liking being alone in his room which is funny in his family of three sisters!By mid-year Parker has written many engaging pieces. The piece above is an example of a nonfiction work where he writes all about computers including instructions for getting on the computer. He obviously knows lots about technology. He uses a series of questions to drive the piece. Parker demonstrates that he knows lots about nonfiction writing and includes many nonfiction conventions. His language conventions and spelling have greatly improved but it is his writing fluency that demonstrates the most obvious progress.

Parker's final piece, which was written in early March, is a response to literature written during the Kevin Henkes author study. Parker has a complete retelling of Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse. I think it is probably one of Parker's favorite stories because it's the one that his mother read to his class. Parker's spelling and use of sight words has really improved along with his use of conventions. He even used dialogue in the retelling, along with quotation marks! Parker is developing his own voice in his writing but it is the ten pages that he writes that is most impressive.
Parker is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when a student writes daily in a Writers' Workshop and is exposed to mini-lessons that teach him all about genres and writer's craft.

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