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Writing Program

Although the writing program at Woodruff Primary School is based upon the work of several researchers and authors, the writing program in first and second grades is primarily based upon Dr. Linda Dorn's work in Arkansas.  Dr. Dorn and Carla Soffos are the co-authors of "Scaffolding Young Writers" and "Shaping Literate Minds". Kindergarten teachers utilize an approach outlined in "Kid Writing" by Eileen Feldgus and Isabella Cardonick.

1. Mini-lesson
2. Writing/Conferences
3. Sharing

Our teachers include Writing Workshop in their daily schedules. Within this Writing Workshop, teachers provide a writing mini-lesson based upon the strategies or skills in the standards or the previously assessed needs of the students. Following the mini-lesson, the students spend time writing. They usually write on their topic of choice during this time. In addition to writing on different topics, children are also at various stages of the writing process. During this writing time, the teacher conferences with individual students or small groups of students if they have similar writing needs. The teacher takes notes during the conferences to guide her decision-making regarding future lessons and to assess the students' progress.

Following this writing and conferring time, several students share the writing that they have been working on in Writing Workshop. During this sharing, other students may provide feedback or questions to help the writer develop the writing. During writing conferences and assessments, teachers determine where students are on the writing continuum. They identify first and second grade writers as emergent, beginning early, late early, or transitional. The teacher scaffolds (supports) the writer to the next level through the introduction of specific skills or strategies.


First Nine Weeks:
Ways to write
Reasons to write
Popcorn words
Magic lines
Capital letters
Different types of punctuation
ABC chart LK5
Locating words around the room (lost, found, on, off, up, down)
Word Wall
Writing Process (think, draw, write, share)
Number of words in a sentence
Writing folders (ABC chart, writing process, color words, popcorn words,writing checklist)
How to respond to peers during sharing
Describing words
Hearing sounds in simple words
Uses correct beginning letter to match the sound

Second Nine Weeks:
Review all topics covered in the first nine weeks
Students locating words around the room
Matching the illustration to the words
Matching spoken words to print
Rereading what has been written
Writing high frequency words correctly in writing
Descriptive writing
Adding details
Using complete sentences
Stretching out the sounds in words
Uses the correct beginning and ending sounds to write words

Third Nine Weeks:
Review all topics covered in the first nine weeks
Writing and cutting sentences
Word order
Making new words by changing the first letter
Making a book

Fourth Nine Weeks:
Review all topics covered in the previous nine weeks
Use prior journal writing for spelling words
Making new words by changing the last letter
Middle sounds
Sticking to a topic
Beginning, Middle and End
Expository writing (How-to)
Word Choice


First Nine Weeks:
Writing to a prompt
Narrative writing
Descriptive writing
Prewriting stage
Drafting stage
Rereading what has been written
Writing complete sentences
Using beginning capitalization
Using correct closing punctuation
Proper letter formation
Correct spacing
Topics list
Student writing rubric

Second Nine Weeks:
Informative/Explanatory Texts
Revision stage (adding/deleting words)
Editing stage (correcting some punctuation and capitalization)
Writing an opening sentence that state the focus of the piece
Sustains the idea throughout the piece
Writing high frequency words correctly
Introducing the writing portfolio
Introducing the writing checklist by reference

Third Nine Weeks:
Friendly Letter
Descriptive words
Using a dictionary
Using the writing checklist
Editing (using resources to check spelling)
Sustaining the idea throughout the piece
Providing a sense of closure
Using the writing checklist
Beginning, middle, end
Transitional and time flow words
Variety of sentence structures and length

Fourth Nine Weeks:
Opinion piece
Recording ideas with fluency (first draft)
Incorporating revisions into the final copy
Increasing the accuracy of the final draft
Strong vocabulary and word choice
Review of writing genres
Expanding the piece with more details


First Nine Weeks:

​(Review from first grade)
Writing to a prompt
Narrative writing
Friendly letter, poetry, and descriptive writing (by reference)
Review the writing process
Introduce the writing checklist and student rubric
Final drafts
Beginning, middle, end
Topic sentence
Sustaining the idea
Transitional and time flow words
Strong nouns and muscular verbs
Providing a sense of closure
Variety of sentence structures and length
Accurate spelling of most high frequency words
Writing portfolio

Second Nine Weeks:
Friendly letter
Thank you letter
Business letter
Descriptive writing
Revision - substituting richer vocabulary
Strong nouns and adjectives
Using richer vocabulary

Third Nine Weeks:
Review transition and time flow words
Expository writing
Persuasive writing
Individual voice
Transitional or conventional spelling
Using pronouns correctly
Subject/verb agreement

Fourth Nine Weeks:
Using descriptive words to create mind pictures
Showing evidence of book language, specialized vocabulary, or structures from other texts
Using an outline

Shared Writing (Students dictate the information while the teacher writes on a chart.)
Interactive Writing (Students and teacher "share the pen" and both contribute to the writing chart.)
Guided Writing/Writing Conferences (Teacher confers with student on
his/her writing and provides explicit instruction.)

Independent Writing(Students write independently for variety of purposes.)