Monday, April 15, 2013

Writing with Transitional Words

One of the things I learned early on with this school at home adventure is to NOT assume a student knows something.  The K12 curriculum is lovely, I definitely recommend it.  However, I would love to have taken the children from Kindergarten or 1st grade.  There are days where we are really only backtracking and teaching from the get go whereas K12 assumes they already have worked with the topic (because they would have if they use K12 the previous years).  Not that K12 should be different, it shouldn't be.  It does a lovely job a reviewing and going to the next level but I've found that we have to introduce it and work with it a bit before we move onto the next level.  :-) It gives me just a little insight of what happens to a student when they transfer from school to school where the standards and scope and sequence is different.  So, I really do not have a problem with Common Core.  I think it would be good that nationally the schools are following the same set of standards.  However, that will take several years (if ever) to get to that point...but the thought behind it is right!
One specific area that I see a gap at every grade level is in writing.  I find that I often review my 1st grader's lesson with the kids up to grade 4.  Yes, that's right.  They really haven't had any formal learning for writing, even up to grade 4.   Today was one of those days where we did a whole group 1st grade lesson.  Language Arts1: Transitional Words.  (We also did whole group measurement review and metric system introduction so the 3rd grader could do her work.  But I was amazed still what I thought they would/should have known but didn't.)  Anyway, back to L's 1st grade language arts lesson.  It focused on the transition words first, next, and last.  We went a little beyond that.  First off I provided them an Oreo cookie to enjoy, right at the end of lunch time.  Then I pulled out the white board and we brainstormed transitional words.  Then I challenged them to eat another Oreo (yes, they had their fair share complaining for some reason!) but really think about how they eat them.  Then each child verbally used transitional words to tell me how they each ate their Oreo.  They had recess and when they came in most of them created an Oreo project.
4th grader
3rd grader
1st grader
2nd grader
Simple, yes?! They absolutely loved it!  Seriously, isn't that funny?!  Oh the simple things.  Of course it probably had something to do with eating Oreo cookies when I never have those in the house...and getting to use the metallic permanent markers. :-)  As you see, we happened to talk about the various types of Oreos that are available now.  Pink for Valentine's day, green for St. Patrick's Day (actually I think we can get those year around now), orange for Halloween, etc.  So we got some variety of color for the inside frosting.  There was also a little friendly debate about what color the cookies actually are.  :-)  So, they got the option of brown and black paper.  And for those that had additional steps...they just created double stuffed oreos.
Totally Terrific in Texas has a nice little reference sheet for those kiddos that need a little help revising and broadening their vocabulary.  :-)  You can get it here.
There are several ideas out there on the web such as a face with a balloon and the kids telling the sequence of how to blow a bubble (gum).  My 4th grade suggested we do this again but with a hamburger.  Really, the possibilities are endless for a sequence craftactivity.  I really hope to do more of this next year. 

No comments:

Post a Comment