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Welcome to kindergarten! Join me as I share my experiences in the classroom, my professional learning and reflections and my love of teaching. Teaching is an exciting journey - come along as I share mine!


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How To. Who knew?

 Today was my observation day.  It isn't something that worries me or makes me nervous.  My principal knows me pretty well at this point.  I know a lot of people who put on a "dog and pony" show when they are observed.  Not me.  I do what I would normally do and he comes in to watch.  No big deal.

This time, he chose to come on a day that just happened to be the change-over from one writing genre to another.  Typically, I take a day or two of writer's workshop and immerse my students in reading and studying the new genre.  But, I wondered, is this the type of writing lesson he would expect to see?  Probably not. 

Was I going to do something else instead?  Nope.  I grabbed two mentor texts and away we went.  I explained that since yesterday we finished our opinion unit and published our final piece, today we were going to start learning about the next writing genre!  The kids were pretty excited as I read the two short examples and we talked about the transition words used in each to show the procedures being explained in the books. 

For our writing today I let the kids decide what genre they wanted to write in.  They could pick opinion or narrative.  Many picked opinion because we had just finished it and they enjoyed it.  Some chose to write a narrative story since it had been a few weeks since their last one.  But there was a handful that surprised me!  They insisted on trying a How To piece!  After reading two examples, they were ready and confident enough to jump on it!  Check it out - I am completely blown away by these amazing kindergarten kiddos!

How To Make a Snowman With Paint
By Conner





Step 1
Use paint to paint the snowman.






Step 2
Let them dry.

Step 3
Decorate them.







How To Make a Rainbow Craft
By Meredith

Step 1
Draw a rainbow.

Step 2
Cut it out.

Step 3
Cut strips of tissue paper.



Step 4
Glue or tape the tissue paper on the rainbow.







Are these fantastic or what?  I am so excited to dive into this genre.  I know my students will love it and I already have some great student models to teach from!  Bonus!

9 comments:

  1. You have amazing kindergartners! There is so much talent! And hurray for Michigan bloggers!

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  2. They are...they are. I would be super pumped...I'm glad there was no 'dog and pony'...just the love of writing and them! xo

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  3. The best kind of observation - a master teacher, being herself. The real winners? The kids, of course!

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  4. I love the little pictures, Robin. What fun to see, & since my granddaughter is in kindergarten, even more fun. Sounds like the lesson went beautifully!

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  5. Love the way your kids tackle the new genre! They have that "I can do it" attitude and that only comes from watching their teacher. Nice!

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  6. I always have that fear that when my principal comes in and I'm starting something new that I'll have that deer in the headlights look but it sounds like it went great! Sometimes I forget how much kids have to learn in kindergarten. It's truely amazing where they start and where you take them by the end of the year. As a third grade teacher I'm glad to see the opinion writing using transition words!

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  7. Dive away! Love them!
    Bonnie K.
    http://digitalbonnie.wordpress.com

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  8. This is a perfect example of why we need see what kids know before we make our plans...even for kindergartners! Often they surprise us in good ways! If they are already able to this, imagine where you can take them! :)

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  9. I love that you didn't do a dog and pony show. I never did either, which is why I didn't sweat observations.

    Thanks for sharing that great student work.

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