I have joined up with over 106 teacher authors to give you "The Best for the Best, Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop". We are demonstrating how we use our best product in our classrooms for you, our followers. We think you are the best! This blog hop has been designed by the Amazing Amy from Teaching in Blue Jeans.
So which product do I think is my best? That is a tough question! There are so many that I love. One of my favourites right now are my new Problem Solving Strategies Posters. They are animal themed to help students remember the different strategies they can use to solve problems.
However, this product wasn't ready for you when I signed up for this blog hop, so I have decided to highlight my Writing Personal Recounts with Learning Goals and Success Criteria.
Over the last couple of years, my school board has been asking us to post Learning Goals and Success Criteria in our classrooms. At first, I have to admit I was a cynic. My little firsties could barely say Success Criteria let alone know what they are. But, after using them for the last four years I am a true believer. I think it's important for the students to know exactly what it is they are learning. Too often we have an end goal, but the students don't know what that goal is until they reach the end of the journey. Learning goals allow students to be participants in the journey, they know what their goal is.
Success criteria are the things that the students need to do to be successful. Keep it simple. Success criteria, that are written in student language, allow them to be successful. The same language is used in the rubric.
I also included a variety of writing templates. I have found that allowing my students to choose the template they on which they will write allows them to become more motivated to write. Some students at the beginning of first grade find it easier to write on unlined paper; others need more lines to write.
Learning to use conventions is important for beginning writers, but adding details are as well. I post the 5W's posters in my classroom for students to use. The pictures in each of the posters are used throughout all of my units (i.e. Retell, Narrative, and Letter Writing)
I placed each of the success criteria on to arrows, including the clip art. The arrows can be used for so many different purposes. I introduce the arrows as a way to deconstruct and model my own writing.
I then let the students peer assess their partners work using the arrows. If they have arrows left over it is obvious that they have forgotten to include something.
I also use checklists and a double sided recount glove for students to assess their own work. I laminate one glove for each student. They store them in their writing folder. The students enjoy using a whiteboard marker to check off that they have all of the success criteria.
The Writing Rainbow is a perfect opportunity for students to create examplars as well as goals to improve their own writing.
Each colour on the writing rainbow represents a goal that young writers need to work on, i.e. finger spaces, capital letters, and adding details. I use packing tape to tape the sides of a page protector leaving the top open. This way when I see a student who is using, for example finger spaces, I insert their page into the reading rainbow. This allows my exemplars to be more authentic to the students.
I conference with my students and together we come up with a goal for them to work on. They clip their names on to their goal and attach a goal card to their folders as a reminder of their goal.
Don't forget to enter the giveaway to win a copy of this great unit!
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