On Friday, we discussed our favorite vehicles. Since I have almost all boys, this topic grabbed their attention immediately. We made a list of vehicles on the board. When a student volunteered an answer, they had to back it up by using a "because" sentence. For example, one student said, "I like limos because they are long." We proceeded in this manner until we had a list of several different kinds of vehicles on the board.
Then, we used this frame to write an oral paragraph.
Each time we orally wrote our paragraph, we would use different vehicles with different reasons.
After the class had practiced many different versions of the paragraph, they were turned loose to write their own paragraph independently.
I'll be honest, this is the time my class falls apart. It seems no matter how much I explain and we practice, the class completely loses it during independent practice. I always have a line of students around my desk with questions and a couple who have given up and have found something to play with. Sound familiar? Well, this no longer occurs in my classroom.
This is what happened:
This first student is almost a non-reader. She wrote this entire paragraph without any help. She didn't even ask a question. I didn't see her until she brought me her paper to look over. It is AMAZING!!
(Three of my favorite vehicles are Mustangs, yellow taxi, and Hot Rods. I like Mustangs because they are fast. I like yellow taxi because they can take us anywhere. I like Hot Rods because they are fun.)
Not only did the kids write complete paragraphs, they all had complete sentences. Each sentence began with a capital letter and ends with correct punctuation. They also capitalized proper nouns. Oral writing has been a miracle for my kids!
I hope you will check out my friend's blog for more ideas and more info.