Professional Development

July 1, 2013

Talking, Drawing, Writing, Ch. 5- Making Words

I just finished up my 5th year of teaching. ย It is hard to believe I have been teaching little munchkins for five years already! Four out of the five years, I have been the newbie on a team. ย I always get stuck with planning writing because no one else wants to plan it. ย (They have always been honest and told me that so I have no shame in telling you all! HA!) After my 4th year of planning writing, I thought, “Well what the heck, I’ll just plan it again! I am beginning to embrace it!” Year 5 was spent planning writing, too.

Teaching first grade and kindergarten kids how to write words is not always simple. Use this systemic and direct approach to teaching them how to write words to help them get started!

I have really been enjoying readingย Talking, Drawing, Writingย by Martha Horn and Mary Ellen Giacobbe.ย Teaching with Graceย has been hosting a great book study about this. ย I’m up next! ย I am going to share a few thoughts on Chapter 5: Making Words. Amazon affiliate link used below.ย 

Interactive Writing
“One way the teachers in these kindergarten classrooms provide support on a regular basis is through interactive writing lessons.”-Horn and Giacobbe

The chapter begins with talking about the importance of interactive writing.

Interactive writing is one of the most important elements that is a component of a balanced literacy program.ย  It is defined as writing in which โ€œ both teacher and student compose a story.โ€ (Gunning, 2011, p. 149)ย  The act of interactive writing is a bridge, so to speak, between reading and writing.ย  The students not only get to write alongside an expert writer, the teacher, but they also get to read and re-read as they are composing the text.ย 

Horn and Giacobbe then transition into teaching us what we do with those students who struggle with writing words.

Writing Words
Some students don’t know the relationship between the words they say and the letters they write on paper. ย Horn and Giacobbe share a series of mini-lessons as they teach students how to begin writing word.

  • Listening for Sounds in Words
  • Listening for Sounds in Words: Writing a Whole Sentence
  • Looking at the Illustration when you Can’t Read the Text
  • Listening for Sounds: Going Back and Touching

I love the simple steps they walk through. ย I use mostly Lucy Calkin’s Writing Units of Study when teaching writing in my classroom. ย The mini-lessons are very similar. ย I made these posters to hang up in my classroom as I teach the students how to add words to their pictures.

Other mini-lessons included in Chapter 5 were:
-Valuing Differences in How We Write Words
-Some Words You Don’t Have to Sound Out
-Writing Big WOrds We Use in Telling Our Stories
-How to Do Good Work During Writing TimeAll of the mini-lessons were so powerful!! I really enjoyed this chapter and am walking away with many new ideas!Are you reading Drawing, Talking, Writing? Link up with your thoughts on Chapter 5!

Teaching writing words is simple with these steps!
pin it

Happy Teaching,


Writer's Workshop Posters

Grab these FREE writer's workshop guideline posters and be set for beginning writer's workshop!
Use this set of FREE posters for writer’s workshop to help your writers remember important guidelines for writing. You can display them in your classroom for easy reference. Pick them up today!

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!


Soc St

You may also enjoy...

4 Responses

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Which type of professional development interests you?