In writing, math, and for our morning message I have put a twist on writing. Students have shown in reading group what great writers they are becoming by writing words we know and also sentences in their journal. I have put a twist on group writing. It is NO longer teacher directed!!! It's been great to have students help me with our writing ideas. It does take a lot longer for the whole group lesson model to get completed, but it's definitely MORE engaging for our students.
What am I doing differently? Simple! I am no longer writing the entire idea students have for our model sentence. Students are helping me! See the picture below to see an example. Students are helping me with beginning letters of words because of the sounds they know, they are writing sight words we have worked on, and they are writing the punctuation needed to end a sentence. What am I doing? I am helping fill in words that students aren't sure of how to spell. For example I fill in the e on likes because it's not a sound we hear. I also wrote the word named because it isn't a word that we know yet. I also ask questions as students write- for instance when we wrote likes in the picture, the first time we had a capital L. I asked the student if likes is the first word. The student responded, "No." I continued the discussion by asking if it's not the first word do we need it to be capitalized? He new it should be lowercase l. It was great to see him thinking and change his writing! We do make sure that words are spelled correctly when we do interactive writing, but as you can see, some letters are written backwards- I'm okay with that because that is developmental and will come the more we write.
Deciding to do more writing was a difficult decision to make because I knew it would take longer and wasn't sure students would sit for the amount of time it takes... Boy was I wrong! They LOVE it and can't wait to come up and have a turn helping me write a sentence!