Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Writing Jobs Part B- Boggle.

So yesterday I started telling you all about how I organize my writing program, and explained one of the independent activities that my writers go on with while I am working with a group/ conferencing.

The second independent activity is greatly loved- Boggle. I have a range of Boggle sets organised, and try to present it in a variety of formats.

We have laminated Boggle letters attached to our whiteboard with strips of magnet tape...

And we have plastic baggies pinned to our wall with letters in them...
In the plastic baggies you might find cardboard tags with the letters written on, or printed and laminated letters, or milk bottle tops with the letters, or even some plastic letters (that I found for 50 cents at an emporium one day).

I place importance on making sure the children can take the set back to their table and physically manipulate them to make as many new words as they possibly can. They then record the letters on their whiteboards.

Sometimes we have competitions to see who can come up with the most words. This is a fabulous fast finisher and was also really effective when I was relieving.

Happy writing!

Monday, June 29, 2015

Writing Jobs Part A

In my class we use Math and Reading rotation boards to manage independent work while I am working with small groups. It is an incredibly effective system, once you have got all your resources up and running etc. Writing is a little different. At the moment I have four writing groups. We start with a whole class lesson/ explicit teaching, then go back to our tables to write. My teacher aide (I get a small period of time 3 times a week) works with the 'slow starters', helping them get their ideas on paper. I work with another group on a teaching point. I then conference with the third group, and mark the last group overnight. Then it all changes the next day, enabling me to see as many students as possible. But there are always some fast finishers in our class who complete their tasks... and then what? First they are expected to edit their writing with a green pen, correcting capital letters and full stops. Some groups are beginning to use the dictionary or classroom resources to make corrections to spelling. Once that is complete, they may CHOOSE a task from the 'Writing Jobs' board. There are only four activities in our 'Writing Jobs' board, four independent activities that the students may choose from. Today I would like to share with you our "Creative Writing" task. Quite simply, this is an opportunity for the students to write an imaginary story. They could use our Story Stones (mentioned here, or the Scholastic Story Starters (a digital resource at or a Roll and Write activity board. I have laminated a series of "Roll and Write" pages and the students absolutely love them! All three options are a great way to get the children writing. I provide a choice of writing materials (scrap paper, their draft books, whiteboards) and they are loving writing away! The boards I printed are from: This is a relatively easy to set up and easy to maintain independent activity. The children are engaged and are actively practising their writing skills. Happy writing everybody!