Professional Development

May 30, 2012

End of Year Writing Freebie

ย As the end of the year nears and we finish our curriculum, it’s a great time to review all that has been learned, while still having engaging lessons. This is no different with end of year writing. We spent some time doing fun writing since finished our curriculum for writing and had a wonderful time! ย We wrote thank you letters, sweet notes to our mentors and buddies who helped us with our reading, and we wrote about what we learned as the year flew by! Let’s chat a little more about how I made the last project engaging and squeezed in some writing review for the end of year writing!

If you are looking for a wasy to easily assess writing conventions while also engaging students and creating excitement and fun, this is it! This end of year writing assessment is sure to hook your writers!

I gave the students the writing paper and had them write about the many things we did during their first grade year. This was truly more of a free write–they could write as little or as much as they wanted! The point was to get things down on paper that we had done. You could even do this whole group and create a list!

When they were finished, we gathered on the carpet and made a list of items that make our writing “star” writing. ย The kids listed: spaces, capital letters at the beginning of sentences, punctuation at the end, lowercase letters in the middle of our sentences, sentences that make sense, and word wall words spelled correctly.

After they made the list, I assigned a bird part to each writing aspect. ย I told them they had to earn their bird! ย If their writing wasn’t done correctly, their bird wouldn’t be done correctly either. ย They thought it was SO silly! I wanted them to understand that their writing looked silly when it was missing writing conventions.

I gave them the chance to go back and check their writing and then I conferenced with each one as we went through the list. ย Some birds look complete! Others, as the students said, “can never stop flying or rest” because they don’t have feet. ย Some birds are blind. ย I even had a headless bird! ย The kids had a blast with it and it really helped them see the importance of each item they listed.

Next year, I think I will do this more than just at the end of the year! It was powerful! (UPDATE: I did this throughout the whole next year! You can read more about that HERE.)

This bird is the headless one. ย The smart kiddo made the top part of the body the bird’s head.

If you want to give this end of year writing activity a try with your little writers, I updated it for you!
Go HERE to get a copy of this and other end of year writing templates!
If you are looking for a wasy to easily assess writing conventions while also engaging students and creating excitement and fun, this is it! This end of year writing assessment is sure to hook your writers!
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Happy Teaching,


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Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your studentsย loveย and that areย easy to implementย for teachers.ย ย Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, youโ€™ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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7 Responses

    1. Hi Lori! Unfortunately my classroom was packed up when you sent this comment. I have the writing paper I made, but not the tracers. Would you still like that part?

  1. Hi! Mrs. Richardson,
    What a cute idea!
    I love your blog!
    I would like to invite you to post links to YOUR BLOG at my newly created blog . It is intended to be a collection of blog posts to help teachers and educators easily find links to specific topics based on their interests and needs. It is also a nice way to help send traffic to your blog and build your readership. Please check it out and feel free to start linking to any relevant posts you may already have on your blog! Keep up the great blogging!

  2. I would love the tracers as well as the earning the bird page as well! This is an awesome assessment and eye opener for my kiddos! Thanks for a wonderful project!

  3. Are the tracers and “Earn the Bird” page still available? What a wonderful idea and activity! Thanks for sharing! I love the writing page templates!

    1. Hi Chris! Email me and I can send the Earn the Bird page. Unfortunately, while I do have the tracers, I don’t have them in a downloadable form right now. If I weren’t in the middle of moving and 26 weeks pregnant I would totally make them downloadable for you! Email me and I can send you the other, though!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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