Thursday, January 19, 2012

Enhance Writing by Building Vocabulary


Words We Love

In our room, we do a lot of reading.  I do a lot of reading aloud.  The students love to notice rich vocabulary other authors have used.  We began jotting down these interesting words onto anchor charts; however, we weren't always able to reference each word, and our paper became crowded.  Thus, we began writing "words we love" down on index cards so that I could hang them for us to see, learn, and incorporate into our own writing as young authors.

I bought four pieces of cork board so that I could easily tack the index cards to the wall.  
(as seen above)


When students find a word within their own reading or from something I've read, they simply jot down the word onto a tiny sticky note and place it into the square basket.  I have pencils in the round basket and bookmarks along with extra sticky notes in the rectangular basket.  

I try to differentiate my activities as much as possible.  I never worry about meeting the needs of my struggling students - they always receive my support.  It's my high achieving students that I never want to leave out.  This simple activity allows my independent readers a chance to stretch their vocabulary and incorporate new words into their writing as well.

Here's an example of a small moment one of my seven year old second graders published:


As I conference with students, I try to guide them to discovery without pointing out mistakes.


This student incorporated many of the "words we love" without me nudging her in the least.


Her use of dialogue is so fitting for this part!


I love how she truly zoomed in on a specific small moment... so precious!


...like Fireworks on the Fourth of July!  ...wow!!


As teachers, I know we all get wrapped up in our day to day moments.  I often wonder if I'm doing enough for the kids, and what more can I do to coach, guide, facilitate, encourage... then, I get pieces like this that just force me to stop, take it in, smile, and realize that what we are doing is working.

I wish I could share all 17 pieces with you... they're all so very cute!!

What successes have you had with writer's workshop?  What are your favorite resources?

One of my absolute favorite teaching resources is No More, I'm Done by Jennifer Jacobson


Click Here to view inside this book on Amazon.
They have a paperback or a Kindle version!

3 comments:

  1. That's a beautiful piece. That's 2nd grade? It's wonderful to see what my first grade writers will be able to do a year. I just posted about some of their work during our revision unit. They can do some pretty cool things for this time of the year, but to see what's ahead for them is even better. Thanks for sharing. (I love writer's workshop.)
    Tammy
    Forever in First

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  2. I love looking at student's writing. What a smart second grader. I love the paper that you use because there is a small square for pictures and lots of nice lines with spaces in between. Did you make this paper? Or did you find it somewhere?

    thanks for sharing
    Donna

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  3. Donna,

    Thanks so much for sharing your feedback. I was given the paper by our consultant. However, it would be easy to recreate in Word. If you can't get it to work, let me know and I'll send you a copy.

    Thanks,

    Erin

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