Monday, January 5, 2015

Editing and Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade


Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you enjoyed a restful break! As promised, I'm finishing up my posts about our procedural writing unit on how-to books by sharing how we edit, publish and celebrate! If you'd like to read the previous posts, they are all here:





Editing & Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

At this point in the year, I have students edit for 3 things:

  • complete sentences
  • capitalization and end punctuation, 
  • basic spelling (control of basic/high frequency words)

To edit for sentence structure, I confer with each child and have them read their writing out loud to me (they hold the paper and I am just the audience); if they have an incomplete sentence, they either notice it right away, or I stop them and say, "Wait, that didn't sound right." and we correct it together.

I then have them read it a second time, but now with me, so I can point out common words that I feel they should know how to spell. Of course, the words I expect a child to be able to spell differs from one to the next, but by now, all students are responsible for many of the basic high frequency words that they often read in books.

Finally, we edit for capital and end marks. To do this, we use green and red BIC pens.
Editing & Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

This is a page that I modeled. As you can see, I teach them that green means go, or start, like the start of a sentence, so they check that they have capitalized with the green pen. If they remembered to do it, they get to draw a small happy face! Who doesn't love a smiley?? Of course, red means stop, or stop your sentence with an end mark, which for my kids, it's usually a period. Pretty simple, but they love it.  Here is one friend that's got it down!
Editing & Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

Editing & Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

Yes, they "mess it up" sometimes, but I don't worry too much about that; they are still becoming familiar with and taking more responsibility for the editing process and know that editing their writing is an expectation- I'm really satisfied with that, after all, they are first graders and this is the beginning of their journey as authors!

OK, now it's time to publish! We break out the manilla tag paper (because it's sturdy), box of Crayola 64 and bang out some beautifully illustrated covers! While they all learn to write their title at the top, draw an illustration in the middle and write their names at the bottom, that's where the similarities end. Just like for the drafting process, I don't ever really give them photocopied template pages to just fill in or color for the cover because I want them to be creative and take ownership of their books. Besides, "kid writing" is the BEST (imperfections and all!)
Editing & Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

Students celebrate as a grade level by sharing their writing with one another. Later on in the year, we invite parents so it's a little more of a "big deal" and each celebration kind of builds with significance.

Editing & Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

That's followed up with a sugar cookie and some fruit punch- can't beat that!

Editing & Publishing How-to Books in 1st grade, Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

Thanks for stopping by and reading about writing workshop! How do you engage your students in the writing process?

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