CLAMDIGGERS: March Literacy Enrichment Collection

 WELCOME

TO:

CLAMDIGGERS: March’s Literacy Enrichment Collection

It is astonishing how short a time it takes for very wonderful things to happen. ~ Frances Burnett

March is filled with mystery. And some of its mystery is written in the whirling winds, changing from Winter to Spring.

This Mysterious Month encourages your Imagination to create a tale or two, observes Windy Weather, celebrates the Green of another Spring, and/or engages that sense of Humor you may have lost inside Winter’s cave.

Opportunities for creative expressions in art, science, math, social studies, and writing are included in March’s activities.

Each and Every Unit of the Literacy Enrichment Collection

The Components of each Unit include:

  • colorful Front & Back covers
  • a Contents list
  • an Introduction Sequence
  • a Master Materials List
  • a Thematic Literature List of fiction& nonfiction trade books
  • an overall Lesson Plan
  • Projects/Activities with Construction Instructions written on an Independent Reading Level for Grades 3 ~ 6

Ready, Set and Go!

Preparation for each of these units can be done  by following this sequence:

  • Read over the Materials & Tools needed for each project in the Master Materials List ~ a component included with each Unit.
  • Gather the Materials & Tools together specific for each Activity ~ card-stock, printing paper, scissors, glue, pencil, colors, etc.
  • Protect your work space with a plastic, washable tablecloth, newspaper, or butcher paper ~ the latter invites doodling & checklists.
  • Read all the steps included in the Sequence part of the Instructions provided for each Project/Activity BEFORE beginning.
  • Keep a copy of these Construction Instructions close by, so you can re-read as you create.
  • Clean up your work space when you have completed what you wanted to do.

What Is the CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program?

Click on this link for more information on CLAMDiggers’ Literacy Enrichment Program:

CLAMDiggers: An Enrichment Program for Upper Elementary Learners

Read on for more Details on each Unit, but, first, take a look at March’s Poetry Posters to provide each Unit with a little focus.

CLAMDiggers’ March Poetry for the Literacy Enrichment Collection

During my years in the classroom, I discovered the best way to focus my students’ attention for new content was a choral read of thematic poetry written with colorful images.

March’s six poems are printed onto six thematic 8 ½ x 11″ images you can enlarge if needed. The font sizes are large as well.

You can access this PDF freebie in Mz. Bizzy Lizzy Biz’s TPT Shop by clicking on this link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDIGGERS-March-Poetry-Posters-6581788 

Use Your Imagination

Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one. ~ Dr. Seuss

Week One of CLAMDiggers:  March Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 42-page unit entitled Use Your Imagination.  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Use Your Imagination: A Guide in a personal journal format for recording “your fantastic ideas” with graphic organizers & “curiosity queries”.
  • Let’s Write A Script with templates for a storyboard, playbook covers & script pages.
  • Triangular Prism Diorama Sets with directions for constructing stage sets.

General Supply List: card-stock,printing paper, lined/unlined blank page inserts, binding, laminate, dry erase markers, construction paper, decorative papers, ruler, scissors,  glue, hole punch, markers, stapler

You can access the Use Your Imagination unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Use-Your-Imagination-6581911

Windy Weather

The wind said, ” You know I am the result of forces beyond my control”. ~A.R. Ammons

Week Two of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is a 26-page unit entitled Windy Weather. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Wind ~ Wise includes informative text with a Comprehension & Vocabulary Fill-In component
  • Wind Power has a Positive & Negative comparison Match Chart as a lead-in for a Book with a Page Insert Template
  • Wind Catcher with instructions & a Diagram for creating an outdoor Wind Catcher
  • Wind Vane is a multiple activity with directions & a Diagram for constructing an outdoor Wind Vane as a tool for gathering data to fill-in a Wind & Weather Data Log table

General Supply List:  card-stock, printing paper,  binding materials, pencil, colors, scissors, ruler, glue, specific Wind Catcher & Wind Vane construction materials

You can access the Windy Weather unit by  clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Windy-Weather-6582041

A Wee Bit O’ Green

Nature’s first green is gold. ~ Robert Frost

Week Three of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is a   20-page unit entitled A Wee Bit O’ Green. It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Better Than Gold Poster with directions, images & Better Than Gold ideas for creating a Leprechaun/Rainbow-themed visual
  •  A Book O’ Green includes page templates & answers for categorizing all things green

General Supply List: poster board, card-stock, printing paper, paper scraps, markers, green pens, reference materials

You can access the A Wee Bit O’ Green unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/A-Wee-Bit-O-Green-6582107

Spring Into Spring

Spring-an experience in immortality. ~ H.D. Thoreau

Week Four of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is an 20-page unit entitled Spring Into Spring.  It contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • Sprout A Mini Garden  includes instructions with a materials list for starting seeds to plant in your Spring/Summer garden
  • Watch It Grow Flip~Book with directions for converting your observation log into a flip-book
  • Nature~Watchers’ Spring Journal is a book & vocabulary template with page inserts for recording the changes in plant & animal life in Spring

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, binding materials, seedling starter cups (egg cartons, cardboard rolls, etc.), soil, seeds, craft sticks

You can access the Spring Into Spring unit by clicking on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spring-Into-Spring-6582174

HUMOR: Now THAT’S Funny!

Humor is humankind’s greatest blessing. ~ Mark Twain

Week Five of CLAMDiggers: March Literacy Enrichment Collection is an 41-page unit entitled HUMOR: Now THAT’S Funny!  As a lead-in to  April Fools Day,  it contains the following Projects/Activities:

  • A Comedian’s Handbook: Helpful Hints  is a 24-page informative booklet with front/back covers and includes presentation ideas.
  • SOOOO FUNNY! : My Favorite Jokes & Riddles  has a category list for you to include as you construct a book of your favs to share.
  • Create  Cartoon Strip has dialogue templates and a sample cartoon frame to use for your new cartoon series.

General Supply List: card-stock, printing paper, binding materials,  pencil, notebook paper, cartoon strips, adding machine tape. construction paper

You can access the HUMOR unit by clicking on the link below:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/HUMOR-Now-THATS-Funny-6582236

 How About a Bundle ?!?

You can  access CLAMDiggers:  March Literacy Enrichment Collection units individually or as a 5-Unit bundle for your convenience & savings.

Just click on the link below:

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/CLAMDIggers-March-A-5-Unit-Bundle-6582428

AND….as an added appreciation bonus…..

Here are two PDF freebies to thank you for reading!

A Home Reading and Writing Guide

Let Me Show You What I Learned-AltAssess

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

 

Copyright©2021BizzyLizzyBiz

 

Encouraging the FLC with Your Kindergartner’s Writing Skills

This is Part 5 of the Family Literacy Circle’s Five ~ Part Kindergarten Series

Developing & engaging the Writing Skills of your 5-year-old is this post’s focus.  This complex set, yes set, of skills has several components, beginning with the growth & development of your child’s fine motor skills. This can take some time, routine, exercise & patience. As a preparation-overview for helping your child with his/her writing skills, check out the sections: “Writing Activities & The Brain” as well as “Pre-Writing Readiness” in my post, Building Your Family Literacy Circle’s Reading & Writing with Your “I AM FOUR!” Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/building-reading-writing-skills-with-your-preschooler/

THE FINALE~ACT FIVE : Encouraging Your Kindergartner’s Writing Skills

You may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. ~ Kahlil Gibran

Written expression offers an exciting opportunity for your child toFLC Writing Skills see how the worlds of creativity are imagined & invented.

If drawing has been, and continues to be, part of her/his communication, letter formation & words will be easier to approach.

There are many different sensory activities that can encourage this key part of his/her Literacy growth & development.

By the end of Kindergarten, your child’s writing skills should include:

  • writing upper & lower case letters
  • writing her/his first & last names in a legible, readable way
  • using letters & sounds to spell common, frequently-used  words in a legible, readable  way
  • using letters & sounds to attempt spelling less common words in a legible, readable  way
  • writing several sentences without a lot of help from an adult
  • writing responses to topics studied in school, or elsewhere
  • writing about a book s/he has read
  • writing about some of his/her life experiences

Did I just hear a large chorus of OMGs?!?

The expectations in Kindergarten are now what YOU were expected to know at the end of First grade…. Read on for the Common Core’s current list of objectives & expectations for Kindergarten…..

The USA’s Common Core Writing Expectations

From 2011  to 2012 many states & territories of the USA reviewed, adopted & began using the K-12  Common Core Standards for Language & Math in their schools. By 2018, 41 of the 50 states were using these Standard Expectations. Some states revised & re-worded  the Common Core; some states continued to use their own set of Standards. For more specific information, click on the Common Core link below, or visit your state’s website:

http://www.corestandards.org/

And the Common Core Language (Some of Them) & Writing Standards Are……

If your child will be, or is attending school in one of the “Common Core” states/territories, here is a list of Kindergarten’s  Language & Writing Standard Expectations:

Language: Standard English Conventions

  • Writes & speaks using accepted English grammar
  • Prints many upper & lowercase letters
  • Understands & uses questions words
  • Produces & expands complete sentences
  • Uses capitalization, punctuation & spelling with accuracy
  • Capitalizes the first word in a sentence and the pronoun “I”
  • Recognizes & names end punctuation with accuracy
  • Writes a letter or letters for most consonants & short-vowel sounds
  • Spells simple words they way they sound

 

Language: Vocabulary Growth & Use

  • Sorts common objects into categories
  • Shows an understanding of common verb & adjective opposites
  • Identifies real-life connections between words & their uses

 

Writing: Types & Purposes

  • Uses drawing, dictating & writing to compose an opinion about a topic or book read; an informative or explanation about a topic; a narrative about one or several events in sequential order
  • Responds to suggestions for editing writing
  • Uses digital tools to produce & publish writing
  • Participates in shared research to produce writing projects

UH HUH!!!! Of course, these are progressive developments taking place throughout the year and continuing on into First Grade.

So, let’s get them grasping that fat red pencil in a way that promotes writing!!!

Strengthening Those Fine Motor Skills

Fine Motor Skills-PatrickFore
Fine Motor Skills-PatrickFore

How are your 5 year-old’s finger grasping skills?  Does s/he:

  • Hold a pencil or crayon in a non-fisted grip?
  • Control scissors when intentionally completing a task?
  • Trace lines & basic shapes with accuracy?
  • Copy figures like a circle, square, triangle?

Parents.com has a great article listing the skills your child learned last year as a 4-year-old, either with you or in Pre-School. Check it out by clicking on the link below:

https://www.parents.com/toddlers-preschoolers/development/physical/child-developing-motor-skills/

There are lots of FUN activities to share with your child as Fine Motor developmental tools and/or to use as warm-up exercises for pre-writing.

 It is important to remember that drawing and writing, though similar, are not the same. Painting, scribbling & drawing are important steps in the growth & development of writing. Scribbles, in particular, are the early attempts of writing words & thoughts.

A child’s eye sees letters as a combination of curved & straight lines as well as  shapes.  Drawing letters can be a start, but the end result should be automatic when writing letters.  Drawing to form  an image uses a different part of the brain than writing letters to form words.

BLB’s Resource Library includes a page on locating sites with activities & exercises for developing Fine Motor Skills in children, ages 4~6. There are, also, some sites offering free, downloadable, practice skill sheets for tracing, cutting & letter-writing. Here’s the link:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/fine-motor-skills-resource-sitesteaching-activities-exercises-for-ages-4-6/

What Are the “Stages of Writing”?

Your child’s beginning, “purposeful” writing may look like scribbling….It is, but it ISN’T to your child. Just ask. You’ll receive several sentences describing what the “writing” is saying. There may even be some random letters and, or symbols included, but they won’t represent accurate sounds to words.

In the next stage of writing ~ Letter Strings~ your child will chose legible, random letters and write them in the correct progression-left to right. S/he will read the writing back to you from top to bottom. However, the letters s/he has chosen do not correspond with the sounds in the words written.

The final stage before your child is actually connecting letters & sounds into words is when s/he copies the words s/he sees, known as Environmental Print. S/he usually doesn’t know what the words are and they don’t form a sentence.

These  important stages, when encouraged and praised, will lead to your child’s ability to construct meaningful words into sentences.

Keep reading for some tips to encourage these important early stages of writing.

Call Those Scribbles ” Writing”

Kinder Pre-Writing Stage-EfraimStochter
Kinder Pre-Writing Stage-EfraimStochter

If your child enjoys drawing and attempts to “write” about her/his pictures, take that as a positive sign! Those “scribblings” are meaningful. You can encourage your child to make those “words” say something with an interactive conversation. When given a specific answer, write it down on the picture (with permission, of course).

You can, also, have your child help you write lists and notes. Be sure to take and send them once “written”. Write notes to each other.

Make sure to include fill-able writing forms in your child’s Pretend Play scenarios.

Use colorful sticky-notes to label things around the house.  Point and use these words in your interactive writings about events, routines & descriptions.

Your child can tell you sentences to write and, then, have him/her make a drawing to go with the sentences. Make a collection book of these writings to read together. SO FUN!!!

If s/he enjoys tracing letters, numbers & shapes ~ YAY!!! If you see random letters (some from her/his name) included in his/her descriptions ~ WooHoo!! Time to set up a Writing Nook.

Setting Up A Writing Nook for Your Budding Writer

Writing Supplies-AnnCA
Writing Supplies-AnnCA

First of all, make sure your child’s writing space includes a hard surface like a lap-desk, clipboard and/or table. Organize some of these materials in containers on a shelf or stacked crates:

  • pencils- colored & regular
  • crayons- glittered & regular
  • markers- water-based, fine & regular point
  • papers- 8×11″, lined, unlined, colored & white
  • papers- large, colored construction, manilla & newsprint
  • wallpaper- murals for pic ideas & deco for book covers
  • pre-made blank books & list pads
  • dry erase board with dry erase markers
  • cookie sheet & magnetic letters
  • pictured vocab cards & picture dictionary
  • blank cards & envelopes
  • stamps & stickers
  • glue sticks, tape & scissors

Hang an alphabet chart nearby with a few Writing Ideas containers.

  • The “Mystery Writer”container can have “hidden” choice strips for surprise prompts, like “The Big Red Truck” or “The Giant Ladybug”. 
  • You can, also, have a container with a stack of “Sentence Beginners” strips , like “I like to eat…..”, “I can draw…….”, “Outside I can see……..”, “I can play….”
  • A List-In 2 Me” Tin can have one -word cards as choices, like colors, toys, foods, clothes, friends, animals, family, celebrations
  • A “Travel Agent” container can hold pictures of places from around the world, vacation spots, habitats, the community
  • Include some Handwriting Practice sheets, too

Deb @learnwithplayathome collected some ideas from a variety of contributors.  Click on the link below :

http://www.learnwithplayathome.com/2014/05/learn-to-write-12-activities-for-early.html

Join the Writing Nook, too, for modeling, actual writing, interactive writing, and sharing/reading what you are writing on your paper, cards, notepad, journal, etc.

You Are Your Child’s First Writing Teacher

Heart of Letters-GDJ
Heart of Letters-GDJ

In addition to Writing & Reading a Daily Morning message to your child  plus labeling house item together on sticky notes, there are many other writing activities you can do together.

Scholastic Parents & I have several suggestions for ways to “slip writing into everyday play”:

  • Make simple signs for block-built structures & Lego creations
  • Write lists together for going on errands.
  • Take pictures of Environmental Print while out & about, so you & your child can compile a  “World~Words” book together
  • Use letter stamps on play dough to explore letters & write words
  • Create simple menus & signs for Pretend Play restaurants, like Pizza Parlor, Cozy Cafe, Breakfast Bistro,  Sandwich Stand, Blue Plate Diner
  • Write name tags for different roles during a variety of Pretend Play scenarios
  • Use chunky sidewalk chalk on the driveway to create murals, game frames, designs, messages, floor plans, city-scapes, neighborhoods, pretend play scenery
  • Compose invitations for playroom tea parties, backyard picnics, fashion shows, plays, concerts, art exhibits, readings (especially authored storybooks)
  • Encourage your child to sign his/her paintings, drawings & other creations

As your child’s Kindergarten year progresses, try to include more school-objective expectations as writing activities into the Family Literacy Circle.

And On A More Serious Note…..

Letters To Words To Sentences To........-973894
Letters To Words To Sentences To……

Your Kindergartner’s teacher has probably presented a few Writing Structure expectations for her Sentence Writers to follow:

  • Sentences begin with a capital letter~ reinforce the differences using the alphabet letters chart.
  • Sentences end with an stop mark~make mini emoji-like faces on cards to go with each one.
  • Each word in a sentence is followed by a space~use a finger or thin craft stick to help with this skill.
  • Write letters as neatly as possible~handwriting letter practice will help with this.
  • Read the sentence to see if it makes sense~re-read, if necessary for accuracy.

Here’s an 8×11″  Writing Checklist Mini-Poster to hang up in your child’s Writing Nook. Just click on the link below, download & print:

MyPencilPerfectWriting

Once your young writer knows most of the alphabet with their letter sounds, s/he will using that knowledge to spell words during written composition. Try not to correct too much. Instead, help him/her learn how to use  a sight & vocabulary word chart/cards, word family lists, and a simple picture dictionary as well as word-sound stretching. 

Using these skills will help your child meet the high expectations that are currently part of your Kindergartner’s Writing Goals for the year: writing fiction & nonfiction stories (the narrative), writing a book review ( the opinion), and writing directions (the informative, or how-to)……

Yes, Seriously…..Continued….

My Story-PanXiaozhen
My Story-PanXiaozhen

I heard that collective GASP!!!! Believe me, many educators were/are part of that concern…..but that is a whole ‘nother convo-post.

Back to the ” informative” part of this section….

So, YES ~  3 main types of writing (several varieties are part of the “main types”) with several (usually about five) complete, related sentences on a topic, using minimal adult/teacher intervention are the Common Core Writing expectations by the completion of Kindergarten……

YES…5 Different Pieces of Writing….

How-To Draw A Face-RawPixel
How-To Draw A Face-RawPixel

The Narrative can be a personal, nonfiction story about an event in your child’s life. Think celebrations, holidays, vacations, younger/older siblings & relatives, friendships, growing experiences, etc. The other piece of story-telling your Kindergartner is expected to compose is a simple fictional piece, complete with a setting, characters, events  as well as  a problem to be solved.

The Informative can be a How-To, or Instructional sequence describing the way to make or do something. Think how to ride a bike, how to brush one’s teeth, how to make a breakfast cereal bowl, how to build a sheet-tent, etc. The other part of this expectation has to do with sharing learned, nonfictional facts about a subject. Think bears, apple trees, community helpers, parts of a flower, holidays, seasons, etc.

An Opinion is usually written about books being read as a class, by the teacher and/or independently by your emergent reader.

Graphic organizers can help with this process. I created a few as a PDF for you to use. Just click on the link below to download & print:

5 GOs for K Wtg

And as rigorous as this sounds, many 5 (soon to be 6)-year-olds are able to accomplish this. The growth from beginning Kindergarten (think Pre-K) to the  end of Kindergarten (think Pre-First) is HUGE and amazing!!!

However, some writers are reluctant, especially at this level….well at any level, really…. As a PUBLISHED author~it’s called a Block….

This Is TOO HARD!!!!!

You can make anything by writing. ~ C.S. Lewis

Several factors can contribute to your child’s reluctance to putting the pencil-to-the-paper:

  • S/he is not confident with his/her knowledge of what the letters are, how the letters look, and/or how to form the letters on the paper.
  • S/he is struggling with grasping a writing tool  and, then, using it to form the letters on paper.
  • S/he becomes frustrated when trying to choose what to write about.

Continue practicing the alphabet with fun, hands-on activities. You can find some ideas from a number of websites. BLB’s Resource Library has a page to help with that. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/15-abc-activities-websites/

BLB Shop has a download & print ABC Activities product, too. Here’s the link to these games:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/alphabet-games-8-literacy-activities/

If Fine Motor skills are part of your child’s struggle with writing, click on the several  links provided in the “Strengthening Those Fine Motor Skills” section of this post.

Remember to show your child  the importance of writing throughout the day as you write notes, lists, calendar appointments, etc.   Your interactive writing with your child is, also, very instrumental in the actual writing process of literacy.

HEY!!!! I CAN Write Words & Sentences!

Letting your reluctant writer set the pace for her/his learning is one of the keys to putting that pencil (or any writing tool)-to-the-paper. Instead of specific lessons, blend writing into everyday activities & especially during play, like labeling things, making signs, filling out Pretend Play lists & forms.

Every Picture Is A Story-Blake Campbell
Every Picture Is A Story-Blake Campbell

One of the easiest ways to start the writing process is to begin with a drawing your child has created. Label parts of the picture with post-its, describe what the picture is telling, give the picture a title, and, then, write some simple sentences together.

Another fun way to get the writing “juices” flowing is to use the rhyming activity the Word Families encourage. Use those words as a basis for a song to be performed on the Family Stage in Concert or as a verse to be shared during a Poetry Reading with other family poets.

Need a few Writing Tool Kits to include in your child’s Home Writing Nook?

BLB Shop can help! Just click on the links below to check them out:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/kindergarten-writing-tools/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/reading-writing-word-families-high-frequency-words-learning-tool/

Celebration Power

Probably one of the most powerful ways to engage your “budding” author is through the  Interactive Journal. This personal – written dialogue between you & your child can be quite a surprising way to learn as well as discover thoughts, feelings & knowledge. It is a very successful Literacy tool for writing (and parenting…..).

Need some other ideas, tips and/or suggestions? The post from Creekside Learning lists as for First through Third, but there are some FUN ideas you can use with your Kindergartner. Click on the link to read:

http://creeksidelearning.com/handwriting-activities-for-kids/

 

Well,  not a lot of Writer’s Block here (or on any of my other Posts for that matter)….. Hope you found some usable info. Writing in Kindergarten can be a struggle…..

 Any Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

Enriching the FLC with Your First Grader’s Writing Skills

And NOW….The Final Post in FLC’s  5~Part First Grader’s Series….

Enriching the FLC with your First Grader’s Writing Skills has its challenges and rewards…..

Wish you (or someone) could record all those wonderful new ideas & vocabulary words your incredibly bright First Grader is sharing?

Writing them down would take more than a considerable amount of time…

However, encouraging the source of all that growth to write down all those ideas & words shouldn’t be too difficult…Should it ?!?!?

Part FIVE: The Hard-Won Skill of Writing

Teach children what to think and you limit their ideas. Teach children how to think and their ideas are unlimited. ~ Sandra Parks

What favorite story, or stories do you tirelessly read again & again?

Which author do you trust to transform dull, dry facts into fascinating information?

What cookbook(s) and/or manual(s) do you refer to constantly with easy-to-follow directions that always bring great results?

Do you have a favorite editor and/or critic whose opinion you value, even when you don’t share the same view(s) about certain topics ?

You are one of the reasons why writers write !

Not only do writers love to write (on most days), they, also, write to share ideas, important events & teach. They want to share & communicate their  experiences, feelings & information. They love to ask questions & solve mysteries or problems.

As a writer, you tell your story as only you can. Whether reflecting, explaining, judging, exploring, learning, interpreting, problem solving, and/or taking a stand, your words are your words are your words…

As a parent & writer,  encourage your young scribe to see & use the power of Written Expression for his/her self and/or to share with others. How  ~ by modeling with everyday examples.

Soooo…Are You A Writer ?

Does your child see you write ?

Everyday Writing
Everyday Writing

Not only do you show your child how writing helps with daily life, it, also, helps to have a variety of the printed words scattered throughout the home: magazines, cookbooks, manuals, newspapers, cartoons, advertisement slicks, comics, posters, dictionaries, and. of course, many different kinds of books.

Is your child writing everyday ? I’m sure s/he is trying to read EVERYTHING in sight….oh yeah….

Yes, Your Child Needs to Write Everyday

Some time during the day , engage your child is some type of writing activity. It can be a Free Write about anything s/he is interested in exploring, feeling good or bad about,  and/or asking for more information.

Practice, practice, practice ~ and remember to encourage your writer to slow down, otherwise….

Try to make it a “routine” event. You may want to collect these writings into a box and/or scrapbook :

  • Give him/her a personal calendar to record special dates, like holidays, celebrations, birthdays, vacations, play-dates, field trips, memories, etc.
  • Have her/him write Thank-You cards , notes & letters.

BLB Shop has a Writing Literacy Tool~Lists, Labels & Love Notes– to help engage your young writer. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/kindergarten-writing-tools/

  • Make sure s/he has a “Storybook” spiral for writing those creative tales with different, colorful writing tools.
  • Add another “Info & Data Collection” notebook with Topic Tabs for research finds & new information. 

Here are some other suggestions from a First Grade Teacher @ primaryjunction.net:

  • Create a Family newspaper to record weekly activities, articles & upcoming events. You may want to include a comic strip, an advice column with  some want ads & an advertisement or two.
  • Enlist your child to help write shopping & to-do lists.
  • Play word games like Wheel of Fortune & Hangman while waiting in an office.
  • Make sure to Publish, Display & Share completed stories, posters, reports, etc.

One of the BEST ways I discovered to engage children in writing is with an Interactive Journal. Prepare yourself for some “eye-openers !”

Your Child’s Favorite Writing Activity

The Interactive Journal-Hires
The Interactive Journal-Hires

Whether you and/or some other family member participates in this very effective writing activity, the results will prove to be insightful, entertaining &, at times, hilarious.

A simple lined or unlined journal provides numerous opportunities for you & your budding author to share feelings, information, reflections, memories, problems and interactive solutions to life’s daily moments.

Usually written before “lights out”, your child will not only tell you about his/her thoughts, but also, ask you some interesting questions. You, then, answer the question(s) while s/he sleeps, respond with some comments & ask some questions of your own ~ which may, or may not, be answered.

This form of writing is a powerful communication tool and will, definitely engage your young writer. Include drawings with a variety of text lettering & messaging for emphasis & amusement.

Random ramblings are especially welcome. Here are a few ideas. Just click on this PDF link: INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

You’ll be keeping these “talks”~

So, What Are the Writing Expectations for My First Grader ?

At the beginning of First Grade, your Summer-of-Growth Kindergartner can decide (without your prompting) when to read & when to write (even though they occur simultaneously)…

S/he is able to sound out the “big” sounds & write them down when trying to spell words while writing thoughts.

S/he is even trying to use capital letters & punctuation ~ amazing, huh?!?

At the end of First Grade, s/he is probably printing very legibly when expressing thoughts in stories, journals & notes.

S/he will frequently spell familiar words correctly AND begin sentences with capital letters as well as end those sentences with a punctuation mark (most of the time….when s/he remembers to do so…).

How did this happen, you may ask….

Your First grader is writing in the classroom ALL DAY LONG ~ in all subject areas ~ math, science, social studies, health. S/he writes during trips to the Media Center, Art, Music & occasionally  in P.E.

Here’s a wonderful example of a classroom Writing Workshop, posted by Chandra, a primary teacher & parent, on her website teachingwithcrayonsandcurls:

http://www.teachingwithcrayonsandcurls.com/2017/09/launching-writers-workshop-in-primary.html

AND, if your school district follows the Common Core, here are the Writing & Language expectations for your First Grader. Keep in mind, some of these objectives began in Kindergarten & will continue in the years to come.

The Common Core’s Writing Expectations

Writing in School-Sobima
Writing in School-Sobima

Language & Writing, as well as Reading, are heavily linked together within the Common Core’s Expectations & Objectives for First Graders.

“With the guidance & support from adults” s/he will be writing & editing opinion pieces, informative, or explanatory text and sequenced narratives, or stories.

Each form of writing has a specific process for your young writer to follow. S/he is expected to include reasons to support opinions, facts to support informational topics, and sequential details to support stories.

During the writing & editing process, s/he needs to “demonstrate command” of “standard English grammar”. Some of these include:

  • printing all upper & lowercase letters with accuracy
  • using common, proper & possessive nouns
  • using singular & plural nouns with verb agreement
  • using pronouns
  • using past, present & future verbs with accuracy

S/he, also, is expected to “demonstrate command” of “standard English capitalization, punctuation & spelling” (at grade level).

Here’s a Parent-friendly version of  the Common Core’s ELA guidelines for First Grade. Just  click on the link below:

 https://www.pta.org/home/family-resources/Parents-Guides-to-Student-Success

You can help your First Grader’s growth & development with some of these specific Writing Literacy Skills at home.

How Do I Build Some of These Skills at Home ?

These are some of the Writing Skills you can help your child master at home:

  • You child should be able to read his/her own writing ~ need some handwriting practice sheets? AtoZ is a great website to explore for teacher tools. You can custom-make sheets to match your child’s handwriting needs while writing spelling words & sentences. Just click on the link below:

http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/printable-handwriting-practice-worksheet-maker/

  • S/he should be writing & editing lists, letters & stories, using complete sentences. Here a short PDF Writing Checklist link: 

My Checklist for Perfect Writing

  • S/he should be spelling sight words & spelling list words with accuracy. BLB Shop has a Literacy Tool to help your child learn how to spell those words. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/reading-writing-word-families-high-frequency-words-learning-tool/

I created a PDF with Spelling Activity ideas, including several I used with my K~3 students as part of their Weekly Spelling Homework:

Spelling Activity Ideas

Hope these ideas help, especially with the FOUR FORMS OF WRITING!!!! Not talking about Lists, Labels, Letters & Love Notes…..

Those 4 Forms of Writing

Write! Read! Write! - Klimkin
Write! Read! Write! – Klimkin

Regardless of which Form your child is writing, each one should start with a Main Idea, or Topic sentence & end with a Conclusion sentence.

Each Form of writing  should have a beginning, middle  &   an ending.

Informative writing should include 3-5 facts about the Topic. Narrative writing should include at least 3 interesting events within the story. Opinion writing should have 3 or more reasons to support the opinion. How-To writing needs an order of specific steps for someone to follow.

BLB Shop has an easy-to-use, step-by-step  Primary Writing Toolkit to help you help your child with these specific Forms of writing. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/primary-grade-levels-writing-toolkit/

Reading to Writing to Reading

If there’s a book you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then, you must write it. ~ Toni Morrison

Sometimes writing or thinking about what to write can be frustrating. Talk about a blank slate……

So, sometimes repeating, repeating & yes, more repeating can shake up those creative juices. BLB’s Library has a Resource for getting those juices flowing, using repetitive books:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

Here’s a PDF with beginning sentence Repetitive Prompts & Book Title ideas:

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts.

And if you need more, complete with Book Templates, check out this product in BLB’s Shop:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/read-write-draw-books/

Is your youngster still struggling with her/his Writing Skills? Read on….

YIKES! My Bright Child Hates to Write!!!!!

There are several reasons why your young creative child may be reluctant to write. Hand strength, or the lack of it, could be the cause. Tuning up those Fine Motor Skills can help. Try weaving baskets, forming pottery, working wood, playing a musical instrument, building models, and creating jewelry  . BLB Library has a Resource listing several websites with LOTS of other ideas:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/resources/fine-motor-skills-resource-sitesteaching-activities-exercises-for-ages-4-6/

Don’t push too hard…read some books together about writing. BLB Library has a Resource for that, too:   

Reading About Writing: 15 Books to encourage Your Young Author’s Writing Skills

Talk about ideas together. Wordless books with their incredible drawings can inspire stories created for a potential writer. Here’s a list of some beauties: 

  More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5~8

    A Simple Motivator: Writing in Drawings

Drawing to Write- Cienpies Design
Drawing to Write- Cienpies Design

Most of my beginning writers couldn’t wait to get their words inside the picture. Here’s a PDF I created just for this concept:

Seasonal Story Starters

And once you feel your young author has sharpened her/his pencils, but needs to SEE images before writing about them, BLB Shop has a great Story Starter Tool for doing just that. Just click on the link below:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/primary-story-sequence-starters-pics-sight-words-helpers/

 

Can you tell I like to write ?!?!? I hope you have found some useful information regarding this extremely important Literacy Skill. Yes, it is complex and, sometimes, frustrating ~ even for those of us who love to write. But it a VERY necessary component of  life!

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2018BizzyLizzyBiz

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Reading Skills

Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

You may have noticed a BIG difference in your soon-to-become-a-Second-Grader’s speaking, listening & reading skills over the summer.

Not only is s/he listening for the meaning of discussions & conversations, s/he is, also, participating with his/her ideas clearly expressed in complete sentences AND is following multi-step directions with accuracy.

These are some of the “perks” her/his progress with reading comprehension skills : Main Ideas, Details, Sequence.

S/he is very excited about his/her ability to read some text independently.

And, although, s/he wants to transition from an Emergent/Beginning Reader into an Independent Reader, s/he still LOVES your time together reading together, especially those wonderful Chapter Books.

This is Part Four :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Reading Skills

Your Second Grade Reader

The more that you read, the more you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go. ~ Dr. Seuss

Here’s a brief checklist of other Reading Skills your child is preparing to use in Second Grade. S/he can:

  • Recognize & understand new words by using phonics & context clues
  • Use a basic sight & high frequency words vocabulary with accuracy
  • Speak the beginning, middle & end sounds within a word
  • Add, omit or change sounds in a word to make a different word
  • Read & make words in word families
  • Read some compound words & contractions
  • Understand & interpret  stories or short passages
  • Answer the 5 Ws & How questions accurately
  • Retell the Main Idea, Characters, Setting & the Sequence of Events with accuracy
  • Use a story’s elements to make a plausible prediction
  • Follow simple, written directions correctly

Your child will continue to develop and extend these skills during Second Grade as well as adding just a “few” more….

How’s your Literacy ~ Rich Home Environment coming along?

From Playroom to Study Nook

Is there a place in your home, near the “library ” bookcase for bean bags & large floor pillows?

If your child has a bookcase  in his/her nook, make sure to include other reading materials besides fiction & nonfiction books, like pamphlets, catalogs, comic books, magazines.

You may want to set up a special “display” area for current study materials as well as a calendar/schedule on a cork board.

Include infographics, labeled/captioned  posters, and/or maybe an “anchor chart” regarding specific skills ~ your child’s teacher may help with that resource.

Here’s an I AM A READER Poster you can make with your soon-to-be-an-Independent-Reader : I Am A Reader poster

Oh, and a dry erase board with multi-colored dry erase markers is a great tool for planning, vocabulary word of the day, graphic organizers, and, of course, a brain-break doodling session.

Need some other ideas?

Check out this Resources in BLB’s Library :

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/your-educational-home-environment-activities-to-boost-your-childs-literacy-growth/

And here’s A Materials & Activities List Freebie to download & print:

A Materials & Activities List for the Home~Learning Experience

Your Home is your child’s first classroom and can continue to provide an on-going Literacy Space. It will  encourage and build  her/his academic success with Reading accuracy as its foundation.

Second Grade’s Reading Expectations

Reading becomes more complex in its vocabulary within much longer content. The words have more syllables, common prefixes & suffixes, irregular spellings & complex phonetic rules. Synonyms, antonyms, compound words & adjectives are part of word definitions.

  The variety of fiction & nonfiction genres as well as poetry types expands into:

FICTION

  • Realistic
  • Historical
  • Fantasy
  • Science
  • Mystery
  • Traditional: Folklore, Fables, Fairy Tales, Tall Tales, Legends & Myths

NONFICTION

  • Autobiography
  • Biography
  • Informational

POETRY

  • Acrostics
  • Limericks
  • Haiku
  • Cinquains
  • Sensory & Shapes

Story Structure (beginning, middle & end) with  its Elements (Main Idea, Character, Setting, Problem/Solution, Lesson)  are explored in greater detail. Emphasis of comprehension can be done by comparing & contrasting similar stories, characters’ response, and   cultural definitions. Why the author wrote the story is, also, part of the comprehension discussion.

Nonfictional reading is used for Research Projects with attention given to text features such as labels, caption, diagrams, glossaries, indexes, etc. Click on my previous post for A LOT more info:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/second-grade-research-skills/

So ~ reading at grade-level includes word recognition accuracy at a steady pace with expression. Using Comprehension strategies to locate evidence and self-correction skills are benchmarks for your Second Grade reader.

Here’s a List of the Reading Literacy Terms such as Decoding  Skills & Fluency Rate,  your child’s teacher will be using during The Conference : Literacy Terms

Let’s Begin At The Beginning

Blast Off ! - RDBrittliff
Blast Off ! – RDBrittliff

You and your child have been “working” on Word Attack Skills since, really, s/he was in-utero. Letters, sounds & their combos are the building blocks of beginning to read ~ think the hearing & speaking skills of Phonological Awareness to Phonemic Awareness and, now, Phonics ~ the written version.

Second Grade currently introduces more of those Phonetic structures to increase your child’s ability to Decode all those BIG, unknown vocabulary words s/he is experiencing while reading more complex content. 

Along with blending 2 or more consonant sounds together at the beginning and/or ending of a word, here are some other graphemes (written letters) & phonemes (spoken sounds), your child will be learning this year:

  • Consonants Digraphs: ch, sh, th, wh, qu, ng
  • Hard & Soft c & g
  • Silent Consonants: wr, kn, lk, mb
  • Long Vowels: silent e &  teams
  • Vowel Patterns: igh, y 
  • Diphthongs: ou, ow, oo, aw, au, oi, oy
  • R-controlled Vowels
  • Inflectional Endings: s, es, ies, ves, ed, ing

BLB Shop has TONS of games for teaching some of these specific skills:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/consonant-blends-learn-beginning-ending-blends/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/one-sound-consonant-combos/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/variety-vowel-sounds/

Here’s a short Parent Guide with Verbal Prompts to use while listening to your child read until s/he needs to Decode: 

Cracking the Code of Decoding Skills

Malia Hollowell from Playdough to Plato created & shared several Reading Roadmap “Sheets” for meeting some of readers’ challenges. Among her suggestions are:

  • Does that sound in the word: Make sense, sound right, look right?
  • Skip the word & come back to it during the re-read
  • Stretch out the word slowly; then saying it again fast (kids love this one & it can be very effective)
  • Make a good guess

Decoding Skills go hand-in-hand with the speed & flow of your child’s reading.

The Ebb & Flow of Fluency

Fluency, or Fluent Reading is the ability to read without stopping to decode words. Decoding occurs in a quick, mental, self-check way.

Speed, Word Recognition Accuracy, Comma Pauses, End Punctuation Inflections, and Expression are all components of Reading Fluency.

Getting stuck can be disruptive to his/her thought process & comprehension, although, it doesn’t always affect understanding.

For example, a child may read the words accurately without stopping in an even pace, but NOT understand anything s/he read. Just as another child may read and decode more slowly, but understands exactly what s/he read.

Click here for a Parent Guide on Fluency :

Parent Guide to Understanding FLUENCY

Malia Holloway ( The Reading Roadmap) and Emily@ Education to the Core along with her Facebook Group Teachers shared these suggestions for building Fluency:

  • Model a comfortable fluency pace with your daily read-aloud.
  • Make sure your child is choosing a just-right book to read.
  • Create some flash cards with short, silly sentences or phrases, using Sight & High Frequency words.
  • Use poetry as an effective way to teach & improve fluency.
  • Speak with different voices for different characters.
  • Monitor punctuation pauses  : short for comma / longer for a period / voice up for a question / excitement for an exclamation.
  • Remember informational, or nonfiction text is usually read more slowly that fiction.

And, speaking of Sight & High Frequency Words…..

Words, Words & More Words

Lotsa Words-159556Pixabaycco
Lotsa Words-159556Pixabaycco

Memorizing Second Grade Level Sight Words &  High Frequency Words can definitely improve your child’s Fluency Rate.

I combined Dolch’s Sight Word List with Fry’s High Frequency Word List as your Second Grader will view them from the beginning of the year onward. Here’s the List with some Activities:

2nd grade HFW Lists & Games

Here’s a great site for DIY Sight Word Games including links:

https://thelettersofliteracy.com/27-awesome-sight-word-activities/

And, it’s not just Sight Words & High Frequency Words your Second Grader is learning…..

WOW! Those Are Really BIG Words!

Using those Decoding Skills to read those BIG, new Vocabulary words can, also, help with Fluency and, more importantly,  Comprehension.

Hopefully, my Freebie Parent Guide can shed some light on this Word Study subject : Solving the New Vocabulary Words Mystery

I, also, created a few Noun/Verb Freebie Games for you & yours to play:

One Frog Hops uses Sight Words for matching Plural Nouns and their corresponding Verbs.

Collective Nouns includes picture/word matches for groups of  living & nonliving things.

BLB Shop has more than a few Games & Activities to engage your Second Grader in Word Study:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/second-grade-wow-words-vocabulary/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/category-word-sort-groups/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/compound-words-connections-ten-file-folder-games/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/contractions-prefixes-suffixes-activities/

Finally, I organized my Reading Strategies into a Mini-Poster & Flip Cards Sequence Guide   ~ Ready To Read ~ for your Second Grade Reader when solving the “I’m STUCK on this word!” dilemma : Reading Success Sequence

The Vocabulary in the MANY different books s/he is reading this year is GINORMOUS!!!

So,  What Books Are on My Second Grader’s Level?

A book is a dream you hold in your hand. ~ Neil Gaiman

Reading on the Moon-MysticArtDesign
Reading on the Moon-MysticArtDesign

Before I get into actual Reading Comprehension Strategies, I thought I’d go on a bit more about the “newer” book genres your child will be sharing with you from the classroom (according to the Second Grade Core Expectations).

Within the Fiction Genre, there is an emphasis on stories created that could happen in real-life, have a historical basis,  contain mysteries to be solved as well as inventive futuristic stories and imaginary fantasies. Books & stories about the Creative Arts can be very engaging to your aspiring artists.

BLB Library has a Book Resource for you & yours:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/creative-arts-book-list/

S/he will be reading a large selection of Traditional Literature, which are 100s-of-year-old tales passed from one generation to another. BLB Library has a Book List Resource : https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/fables-folktales-from-around-the-world-k3-book-lists-websites/

Exploring the many types of Poetry is another on-going genre in Second Grade. Here’s BLB’s Library Resource link for this genre:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/poetry-collection-book-lists/

You may have noticed your child’s developing sense of humor. Funny chapter books are a wonderful way to read-aloud while guiding & sharing & laughing out loud:

And, yes, BLB’s Library has a Resource for you:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/20-funny-books/

Don’t forget Joke & Riddle Books, too.

Now for the NOT funny side of your Second Grader’s reading experience….

Non~Fiction Readers

Although these books may not be as entertaining as fictional reads, they will capture your child’s fascination for the real world and all it real-life wonders.

BLB’s Library has a Resource to help meet those Informational Text needs:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/nonfiction-independent-second-grade-reads/

Oh, BTW ~ Research Projects are an on-going part of Second Grade….. So, here’s a Freebie to help your child learn about those Informational Text Features :

I Understand Informational Text Features

BLB’s Shop has a few products to help you & yours with this huge step, well, written step that is now an, again, on-going part of her/his academic life.

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/research-project-toolkit/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/interactive-informational-text-features-learning-tool/

Here are five sites with fiction & nonfiction Book Lists, summaries, opinions & locations collected by teachers, librarians, parents & kids:

https://www.weareteachers.com/second-grade-books/

https://www.greatschools.org/gk/book-lists/favorite-books-for-second-graders/

https://www.readbrightly.com/9-superb-chapter-books-second-graders/

https://imaginationsoup.net/read-aloud-books-second-grade/

https://www.bcls.lib.nj.us/best-books-second-grade

There’s A LOT to understand…..

YIKES!! That’s A TON of Text to Understand !

I Understand-Pezibear
I Understand-Pezibear

Comprehension Skills can be mastered by using a variety of Reading Strategies.

You have been teaching your child many of these during your read-alouds with him/her throughout the years. You did this by:

  • pointing out specific details & key ideas/facts in the illustrations on the Picture Walk and throughout the story (click on this link for the Parent Guide to the Picture Walk : Going on A Picture Walk)
  • asking & answering the 5 Ws
  • defining time & place regarding present, past ,future & fantasy vs reality
  • retelling the story by including important details, such as the characters, setting & plot (click on this link for the Parent Guide to Tell Me A Story : Tell Me A Story Abt the Story Read)
  • using descriptive language & lots of expression
  • explaining new vocabulary words
  • making personal connections to the story
  • discussing lessons & morals of the stories
  • sharing both fiction & nonfiction books

Your child’s teacher uses similar strategies during read-alouds to encourage comprehension.

Guided reading promotes an effective way to teach how-to-understand-the-read  strategies during one-on-one time.

Guided Reading Comprehension Strategies

In Second Grade many of the following Story Elements Comprehension Questions are discussed orally with maybe a short prompt or two for written responses.

However, as the year progresses, written responses to these questions begin to occur more frequently. This Comprehension Q & A can help your child understand & answer those questions with accuracy: Primary Rdr’s Comp Q & A

Filling in Graphic Organizers (Click on this Reading Graphic Organizers link: K Rdg Comp GOrgs ) are easy ways to engage your child’s understanding of texts read. Here’s a Comprehension Freebie example using  Aesop’s fable ~ “The Crow and the Pitcher” : I Understand the Story

Take a breath ~

Although your Second Grader may feel overwhelmed at certain times, s/he is totally capable of learning all these things AND MORE!!! You and yours have got this!!!

OMG!!!! How Can I Help!?!?!

Now that you’ve taken a deep breath…or several….

Remember, there are several ways you can help your child read and listen to stories with a purpose in mind, which you have probably been doing for years.

Dr. Michael Gurian, a brain scientist, family therapist & author of the book, Nurture the Nature, offers these suggestions:

  • Engage discovery in nature
  • Encourage imagination with physical & mental play
  • Include morals & values in family discussions
  • Foster positive relationships with peers
  • Show support of the school environment

There are many DIY Comprehension games you can make together &  play with your child to keep learning fun. Here are a few links:

https://www.weareteachers.com/second-grade-reading-comprehension-activities/

https://www.themeasuredmom.com/10-diy-reading-games-for-kids/

http://www.readingrockets.org/article/six-games-reading

https://www.word-game-world.com/reading-games-for-kids.html

I Can Read Anywhere-Victoria Borodinova
I Can Read Anywhere-Victoria Borodinova

Keep reading anything everywhere with your child everyday and encourage her/him to read  to other children. Listen to books on tape while driving. Record your child reading a story. Act out stories.

And… if your child struggles with reading…….

  Teaching Your Child to Read WITHOUT Words

For some children Reading is a challenge…..for a number of reasons.

Does your child “freeze” at the sight of words on a page you are not reading?

Wordless Picture Books are not just created for “babies”. They are, also, “written” for older children ~ like me ~ and may be the way to actually engage your child into reading. Really….

 They can inspire your child’s creativity & imagination while building reading comprehension skills, vocabulary AND critical thinking.

Nicole Clevenger@playfullearning.net and I  have some  suggestions for fun activities with Wordless Picture Books:

  • Use Post It notes to write down thoughts or dialogue of the characters & place them directly on the book pages beside them.
  • Use Post It notes to write down observations, questions, predictions, and/or inferences about what’s happening in the illustrations.
  • Ask your child to write a book review that includes the story elements: Main Idea, Characters, Setting, Problem/Solution.
  • Encourage your child to create a Wordless Picture Book and narrate it as it is being read. Write down those thoughts & attach them to the backs of the illustrations. Hopefully, your child will want to read those words.

I, also,  compiled a Wordless Picture Books list for older children:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/wordless-picture-books-older-readers/

Please know ~ it’s not that s/he can’t read or doesn’t want to read. S/he may just not be ready to read.

Well…S/He Can Read…. A Little…..

Check out this little Freebie: Help! My Child Hates to Read

A few questions, regardless of your child’s reading level:

  • Is the reading material  interesting to your child?
  • Are you reading together & talking about what’s being read?
  • Is your child tracking the words as s/he reads?
  • Does s/he use the pictures in the story to help?
  • Is your child trying to sound out unknown words with some accuracy?
  • How many sight words can s/he read quickly?
  • Can your child retell the story accurately?

If you answered yes to most of these questions, keep doing what you’re doing with lots of repetition & review. Soon, his/her reading level will increase.

Here are some other Resources in BLB’s Library I hope will help:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/guide-nonreader-readers-world/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/read-aloud-chapter-books/

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/blb-resource-library/repetitive-predictable-pattern-books-for-emergent-readers/

And a little follow-up Freebie to go with Repetitive Readers : I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts .

A more in-depth approach to this reading strategy can be found in BLB’s Shop:

https://www.bizzylizzybiz.com/shop/blb-press-writing-collection/read-write-draw-books/

One more VERY effective Reading Strategy for engaging a Reluctant Reader is Partner, or Paired, Reading ~ usually with a peer, friend or slightly older “mentor”.

Reading Together-KOMUnews
Reading Together-KOMUnews

I used this reading strategy every year with my struggling readers and found this approach to be highly effective for building confidence, improving reading skills, and encouraging a love for reading ~ for pleasure. A definite Win ~  Win ~ Win !!!

Click on this Reading Rockets link below for more information:

http://www.readingrockets.org/strategies/partner_reading

And now with summer coming….

Your Summer Reading Program

Reading……a vacation for the mind. ~ Dave Barry

No, I’m not talking about Summer School….more like a Summer Camp….with an emphasis on Reading.

Summer Reading- Sondich
Summer Reading- Sondich

I’m creating a Summer Literacy Handbook, so stay tuned…..

SO~UPDATE~ here’s the link to my TpT shop where you’ll find, among other freebies & products ~ my Summer Literacy Camp Handbook:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Summer-Literacy-Camp-Handbook-for-K-3-4620902

It’s JAM-PACKED!!!

In the meantime, here’s a few suggestions to Encourage Reading for Pleasure :

Encourage Reading for Pleasure

WHEW!!!

If you’re still reading this post, Faithful Reader ~ thank you !!!

Hopefully, you have read some useful information regarding your child’s Reading Literacy.

Part Five on Writing Skills is my next & final post on the FLC’s Second Grade Series.

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2019BizzyLizzyBiz

 

 

 

 

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

 Upgrading The Family Literacy Circle with Your Second Grader

If your soon-to-be Second Grader’s vocabulary & reading skills have progressed over the summer, pat yourself on the back because those daily reading sessions have worked. Even s/he is surprised (YAY for the Family Literacy Circle !).

Now……How are those Writing Skills coming along ?

Unless your child LOVES to write…..prepare for a Super-Sized learning curve with Super-Sized expectations in your Second Grader’s Writing Workshop.

Got your Family Literacy Circle Writing Center ready?

Here are some suggestions for your young author’s Writing Space:

Home Wtg Space Checklist

This is Part Five :

Upgrading the FLC with Your Second Grader’s Writing Skills

Your Second Grade Writer

Sometime this summer, inventory the following Writing & Spelling Skills with your soon-to-be Second Grader:

  • Writes last name with accuracy
  • Writes messages using phrases & sentences
  • Writes simple stories with a beginning, middle & ending
  • Recognizes & uses print conventions when writing:  end punctuation, grammar, nouns/verbs
  • Spells common grade-level words with accuracy
  • Locates known & unknown words in a picture dictionary
  • Recognizes & uses phonetic rules to spell unknown words
  • Understands & identifies the differences between a noun & a verb
  • Can write a simple, complete sentence
  • Understands compound words
  • Identifies some prefixes & suffixes
  • Identifies regular & some irregular plurals
  • Understands the meanings of synonyms & antonyms

Yeah! And there will be MORE  to learn in the Writing Arena throughout the year….

Oh ! A quick word or two about Handwriting…..

The Labors of Legible Handwriting

Picking up a paper using those fine motors skills is easy compared to the complex set of muscles (brain included) needed to write thoughts, grasping a #2 pencil onto that piece of paper in a clear, readable way.

Those skills ~ still growing and developing~ can be “nurtured” in several ways. Seemingly, “mindless” practice is one of them, but they are part of your Second Grader’s Writing Skills.

Click on this link to access a Resource on Fine Motor Skills from BLB’s Library :

Fine Motor Skills Resource Sites: Activities & Exercises for Ages 4~6

Here are a few other Handwriting~specific sites :

https://flintobox.com/blog/child-development/improve-handwriting-child

 https://www.verywellfamily.com/how-to-improve-kids-handwriting-4108552

https://www.whatdowedoallday.com/fun-handwriting-activities-for-kids/

Writing & Reading Together

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it. ~ Toni Morrison

Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign
Writing Dreams-MysticArtDesign

Is your child choosing to use reading and writing for different purposes without your input?

BLB’s Library has a Resource List of books about writing for your hesitant writer. Just click on the link below:

Reading About Writing: 15 Books to Encourage Your Young Author’s Writing Skills

Engaging your child to draw pictures of the words s/he is reading can be a stepping stone into the Writing Process. S/he may decide the story should be written differently and will “edit” the text (YAY!) in a creative way.

Using Dialogue clouds in those character  pictures is definitely writing. Think comic books and cartoon strips.

Here are some book title ideas in this little freebie~ Read, Write and Draw Books :

I Can R, W & D Bks Repetitive Prompts

You can, also, find additional RW&D books in BLB Shop. Here’s the link:

I CAN READ, WRITE & DRAW THESE BOOKS, TOO!

Or, maybe, “reading” some Wordless Picture Books together may inspire a story or five. BLB’s Library has a Book List Resource for you:

More Wonderful Wordless Picture Books for Readers, Ages 5~8

Time to Make A Book ?!?

Yes, You Can Be A Bookmaker!

Record your child’s imaginings & help him/her write it/them down on pages to be bound into a book, using card-stock, paper & binding materials. Here are a few DIY bookmaking sites:

http://www.makingbooks.com/families.shtml

https://growingbookbybook.com/making-books-with-kids/

If you & yours want a “serious” book-bound presentation, this website can help you with that:

https://studentreasures.com/

Engaging your child in the fun and creative process of story telling is a very productive way to inspire writing. However, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will include learning and mastering many other writing elements this year

Second Grade Writing Expectations & Objectives

If your campus follows the Common Core, there are two major components of the Writing Process: Language, or Standard English Conventions, and the actual Writing Purposes.

Here’s a General Overview, listing the Second Grader’s Writing Skills Expectations for Language Usage & Composition:

2nd grade ELA Writing CC

You may want to check out this ELA Common Core PDF link for Parents:

 https://www.cgcs.org/cms/lib/DC00001581/Centricity/Domain/36/ParentGuide_ELA_2.pdf

I’ll get into a little (haha) more detail on these 2 HUGE topics, beginning with Standard English, or Grammar.

Good Grief, Grammar !!!

No one is perfect ~ that’s why pencils have erasers. ~ Wolfgang Riebe

I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus
I Got, I Mean, I Use Good Grammar ! -Elementus

Informal speech, also known as slang, colloquialisms, street talk, jargon, lingo and, even, dialect, can make learning “proper”, or Standard English confusing. Heard in peer groups, media and read in “literature”, expecting your child to use good grammar while speaking can be frustrating.

And in writing….oh my…..

Here are a few of my Freebie Helpers with a BLB’s Shop Product:

NOUNS:    Collective Nouns 

 Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

VERBS:    One Frog Hops

CAPITALIZATION: Make That Letter A Capital

I, also, created a 100+ page Grammar Handbook that includes lots of activities for learning & practicing Good Grammar with a Sentence Builder component, using Adjectives & Adverbs. You can preview it in my TpT Shop. Here’s the product link:

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Please-Practice-Good-Grammar–4711045

And, although Vocabulary is listed as more of a Reading Skill, I’d like to chat a little (again, haha) about it’s significant role in writing ~ choosing the exact words to express exactly what you want to say.

Here’s What I Want to Say…..

My Vocabulary -SharonAng
My Vocabulary -SharonAng

Although reading plays a large role in Vocabulary Acquisition, knowing which words you want to use in your writing, how to find them, and how to spell them correctly definitely takes some practice. It is a skill good writers learn through lots of repetition and review.

Using a Picture Dictionary is more appropriate for Second graders than teaching the actual Dictionary skills. Even my Third Graders found learning how to use a dictionary challenging. Again, practice, practice, practice. 

Click on the link below for ideas and games to help teach your Second Grader how to use a dictionary:

 https://www.theschoolrun.com/teaching-children-to-use-dictionary

Synonym, Antonym, Homonym Lists can help as well as Adjective & Adverb Lists. Here are a few sites with Primary Level Words:

https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-antonyms-synonyms-and-homonyms-for-kids.html

https://freelanguagestuff.com/antonyms-and-synonyms/

I have several products available in my BLB Shop:

PREFIXES & SUFFIXES:     WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

COMPOUND WORDS:  COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

VOCABULARY:  WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

I, also, have a few SPELLING Freebies:

Spelling Activity Ideas  &   ABC Order 

Yes, ALL of this in a Written Expression or Ten….yes, at least 10 by the end of Second Grade…..

The Storyteller Becomes The Author

Write the kind of story you would like to read. ~ Meg Cabot

Writing to Read-Pexels261967
Writing to Read-Pexels261967

Your youngster has been inventing & writing stories since Kindergarten. This year those stories will be following certain guidelines to meet Expectations. Her/his editing skills, as well as, paragraph construction play heavily into meeting those expectations.

Believe it or not, within the first few weeks of school, your Second Grader’s Writing Skills will help him/her produce more complex and interesting stories, opinions and reports.

Does s/he keep a journal or diary at home ?

S/he will probably be excited about an upcoming Research Project (aren’t you?). YAY! It’s Our Family Tree Project !!!

And, yes, there’s more….

The Second Grade Writing Experience

Writing About This & That!-SarahJane
Writing About This & That!-SarahJane

There are more than a few writing assignments s/he will be given during Second Grade. Here’s a list of Written Expressions (with some helpful Resource links  ) your child will be composing this year:

  • The 5~Sentence Paragraph Formula ~ topic sentence, 3+ topic-supporting sentences, and a conclusion sentence, which re-states the beginning topic sentence

 https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Paragraph-Planner-A-Literacy-Tool-for-Primary-Writers-4735915

  • Narrative, or story ~  real, imagined real-life and/or total fantasy

Seasonal Story Starters

PRIMARY STORY SEQUENCE STARTERS: Pics & Sight Words Helpers

  • Informative, or report ~  nonfiction, singular topics supported with specific  facts and/or details relating to the topic

I Understand Informational Text Features

  • Persuasive, or  opinion ~ feelings about a specific subject with details to support the specific feeling

Opinion Wtg K-2

  • Research ~ group, partner and/or independent projects involving the use of several resources to support a nonfiction Main Topic

Upgrading The FLC with Your Second Grader’s Research Project Skills

  • Letters ~ recognizing & using the specific parts of a letter

It’s in the Mail

  • Journals ~ a daily free-write, usually, for expressing thoughts on a variety of subjects, including reading responses, math problem solving & science observations

INTERACTIVE Journal Prompts

  • Poetry ~ identifying & selecting some of these styles for composition : acrostic, limerick, concrete (shapes), sensory, haiku & cinquain

50 Beginning Rhyming Words

Poetry Collections for K~5

https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/articles/teaching-content/grades-1-2-poetry-lessons/

Your child’s teacher may introduce the Explanatory, or How-To form of Writing. Directions and recipes are examples of this type of writing.

Editor, Please!

The first draft is just you telling yourself the story. ~ Terry Pratchett

Editor Time-MasterStudio
Editor Time-MasterStudio

The Writing Stages usually taught in the classroom are :

  • Pre-writing~the brainsorm & research
  • Organizing~thoughts & sequence
  • Sloppy Copy~ the first draft
  •   Revising~ sentence building

and then, the tiresome, but, oh so necessary,

  • Editing~ grammar, punctuation, capitalization,  & spell check for accuracy

All these steps are taken BEFORE a piece of Writing is ready to be published into ~ The Final Copy.

Need a few suggestions ?

BLB’s Revise & Edit Resources

Here are some Resources to help your Second Grade Writer with the Revising & Editing Processes:

  • Sentence Builders:

Asking & Exciting Beginnings

Words Can Make Sentences: Lists, Labels & Love Notes as Writing Literacy Tools

2nd grade HFW Lists & Games

WOW WORDS in Second Grade: 25+ Learning Games & Activities

COMPOUND WORDS CONNECTIONS: Ten File Folder Games

WORD FIXES: Contractions, Prefixes & Suffixes Literacy Activities

  • Editing Tools:

Choose A Category : Sorting Words Into Different Groups

One Frog Hops

Collective Nouns

Make That Letter A Capital

Spelling Activity Ideas

ABC Order

To the FINAL COPY & PUBLISH !!!! Share with your family, share with your friends, share with your cuddlies, share with your class ! And take a BOW!

A Definite Call to Your Family Literacy Circle 

You  encourage your Second Grader’s Writing Skills when s/he sees you :

Everyday Writing
Everyday Writing

You, also, encourage those rapidly growing memory skills, which are engaging her/him in thinking with more complexity and depth. Check out this Growth Mindset Tools Chart:

If you are participating in an Interactive Journal (see link above), you are already seeing lots of growth in your Second Grader’s writing skills.

If your child writes~and mails~ Thank You notes, greeting cards, and friendly letters to others, s/he is experiencing a personal sense of pride in her/his writing abilities.

Have the two of you created a story book together?  How about an alphabet book on animals, plants, foods, toys, etc?

Do you know how your child feels about writing ?

A Writing Attitude Survey

If your child is a Reluctant Writer, you may want to have an informal “writing attitude survey” chat with him/her.

Have this list of statements in front of you so you can record his/her responses, like never, sometimes, and/or always.

A “Sometimes” response might need some clarification ~ does it depend on the day, the subject, some hand cramps, rather doing something else, etc.

  • Do you think you are a good writer ?
  • Do you enjoy writing at school ?
  • Do you like writing at home ?
  • Is it easy to think of things to write about ?
  • Do you like to write about real-life or make-believe ?
  • Do you like to read your writing to others ?
  • What do they think about your writing ?
  • How do you feel when it’s time to write ?
  • Which do you like better : reading or writing ?
  • How do you feel about editing your work: grammar, spelling, etc ?

And now for a few more FLC Writing Resources…

Home Writing Helpers

BLB Library has an Inquiry Resource:

Inquiry Investigations: Authors, Books & Websites for Your Child’s Exploration & Discovery

And some Freebies:

KQRL Template

Home Research Projects

Kris Bales of Thought Co’s Second Grade Writing Prompts

My Checklist for Perfect Writing

With several BLB Shop Products:

MEETING PRIMARY LEVEL’S WRITING EXPECTATIONS

OH YAY! A RESEARCH PROJECT!: Processes, Templates & Resources

Plus, a Homework Hotline Helper resource from BLB’s Library:

Your Homework Help HOTLINE : Parent Involvement Strategies

So, that concludes the FLC’s Second Grade Series.

I have a new & exciting Series in the Vault ready to be released. I created it for the Independent Third Grader and above. However, your Second Grader might enjoy  these activities as well.

Hope to see you then! Thank you for reading!

Questions? Concerns? Shares?

Just fill in the Contact Me form below. You will NOT be subscribing. 

Otherwise, fill in the BLB Exclusive form as a FREE subscriber!

Copyright©2019BizzyLizzyBiz