Tuesday, July 29, 2008

writing workshop, day 2 of kindergarten

today my fearless and fabulous co teacher and i dove head first into our new plans for writing workshop based on the book Already Ready, and the work we're doing with our reading coaches.

yesterday (the first day of school) my co-teacher started writing workshop by telling a story about how a taxi-cab she was in this summer ran out of gas. the kids loved it, although they were so fidgety i wasn't sure they really were attending. turns out they were...

today i started writing workshop by asking them what they remembered from writing time yesterday. they all practically re-told her story. (i was so impressed with their oral language, their recall of details, and their sequential description of the story!) so then i launched into my own story from the summer. once i'd told it orally i drew the story on 3 pages in a booklet. even though there were not any words every time i came to a certain part of the story (i re-told it a few times) the kids were "reading" with me, "no frogs!" they'd yell together.
then it was their turn...
we pulled out a writer's story telling stool and called on a little girl to come up. at first i was worried she would whisper her story or would get scared, but she was just taking a few moments to compose herself. she took a deep breath, leaned forward to talk to the class, and began telling her story with great expression and details. it was awesome.

to be honest it was about right here when we lost them. (it was only the 2nd day of school). but, (not wisely) i so impressed with her story-telling that i took out a 3 page booklet and asked her to tell me where she would put the pictures of her story. she re-told it again, and again on the pages. the kids were rocking on the carpet to tell their own stories.

and so, equipped with their own 3 page book they hurried back to their seats. some got it and immediately launched into their worldless yet exciting stories, adding lots of details in their pictures to show what is going on. one boy wrote about being at Koran school and 'reading, reading, reading'. (page 1) "then it started to rain" (page 2) "it rained and rained and rained" (page 3) "the sun came out and we could go home" (page 4).

another started his with a picture of him and his mom on the way to chuck-e-cheese, then page 2 showed him and his mom in chuck-e-cheese. he was sadly interrupted before he could go on to his story, but i was excited to see him understand that we tell a sequential story this way.

others put the same 'characters' on each page, but they did not follow a consecutive story. one boy had "a bird", "bird and bug", "bird and tree". he beamed proudly as he and i turned the pages of his book, reading the pictures over and over again. another boy drew his monster on each page. his excitement overwhelmed me and i gave up trying to get him to tell 1 story. it will come. i'm just happy all of his pages were on 1 character.

we're not sure when we're going to give them paper again in writing workshop. i think we'll go back to oral story-telling for a bit. hmmm... maybe we could take videos of their stories and re-play it on the smartboard...
it was really exciting to see what the kids would do across 3 pages. we did not get the usually 'i go to the park' stories. or the pictures with the butterflies and rainbows that don't really have anything to do with anything.

they are already ready to be story tellers, and i can't wait to continue.


Jenny said...

Wow! Awesome! It's so great to hear about the ideas from Already Ready in another classroom.

You could have the kids record their stories on tapes (using the little recorders for SOL testing). Then they could listen back as they draw their pictures, as many times as they want.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a teacher but I'm curious what the difference might be in a classroom of "mainstream" children who have been to pre-school before K. Wouldn't they also be telling their stories and drawing pictures?
What's the major difference besides possibly knowing how to line up and cooperate in a group setting?