Friday, April 7, 2017

Only 3 Days Left To Grab Your 5 Month Trial, ESGI Discount Code, & Enter To Win Their Pot of Gold!

And I have even more questions to answer about writing in K:

But first, here is the link to get your 5 month free trial, ESGI discount code for $40 off of your first year, AND get entered in their Pot of Gold drawing!  

Now, for a little Q & A:
Donna, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin stated -Mine isn't so much a question as it is a frustration in trying to fit in into my schedule.
I get it, that’s why integration is the key to success. So, while you are teaching science, such as “Sink & Float”, I would include a writing prompt such as the one below. Here, students illustrate something that sinks and something that floats and they complete the sentences. And there are lots of other writing prompts that integrate curriculum in the set from the webinar that is pictured below this sample.

And, students can write about national symbols, (social studies), about an addition or subtraction sentence (math), or even about the weather (science).
Click the image to grab this set. 

Kristin, from San Francisco, California asked -How do I get them to write independently? How do I move them through each stage of their writing?
Model, make it super easy so they are successful, and then celebrate them!
Model writing every day in a whole group setting.

Make it super easy by having them glue framed words onto paper to create a sentence, have them copy your sentence, or use my Instant Writing to make composing sentence easy and FUN.

Click the image to grab this Instant Writing set. 

Celebrate them by allowing them to share their writing in a small group (and later in a whole group) setting where the audience finds one thing they liked or enjoyed about their writing. 
I used the Writers’ Workshop model to teach writing one day each week and we practiced writing the other four days for about 25 min each day. 
If you want students to write independently, they must enjoy it. So, after using my Instant Writing lessons for about 6 days, I set it up as a center and students loved going to that center to write independently. 

As far as writing independently during a whole group writing lesson, once they have moved from copying my sentence or copying most of my sentence and completing it with their own words, I made sure that there was lots of help available for them in the form of sight word charts, a word wall, and “students you can ask for help” if needed. 

In terms of moving them through the stages of writing, I used ESGI to record where each child was based on the criteria I chose while creating my own custom test. Then, all I had to do was refer to the data to see which students need specific skills and I met with them in small groups to address the needed skills. 
Click the image to get the ESGI discount code.

Brittany, from Las Vegas, Nevada asked -How do I get a certificate of completion for these webinars?  I attended one prior and didn't get anything to use for my eval.
ESGI will email you your certificate within 1 week of the webinar, so you should get it via email by Wednesday, April 5. As for the prior webinar, contact ESGI and, if you registered for that webinar, they should have a record of it and they will take care of you. You can reach them through their website at and while you are there, register for your FREE 60 day trial which will be upgraded within a week to a 5 month FREE trial, you will qualify for $40 off your 1st year, and get an entry in their Pot of Gold drawing. But you must register before April 10. You can use this link: 


Pam, from Bangor, Maine asked -How do you share information with parents about their child's writing?  
Before I started using ESGI, I shared information with parents at our fall and spring conferences. But after changing my teacher-life with ESGI all I had to do was click on “Print Parent Letter” and voila, there was a user-friendly letter in English or Spanish which clearly reported which skills their child had mastered and which skills had not been mastered for this reporting period. The best part was that I could customize the letter to include specific skills or time periods and it was so much easier to read and understand than the report card! I could also print out a set of flashcards for each student that included all of the skills not mastered for each individual child! 
Here is a sample of what they looked like:
Click the parent letter.
Beth, from Tarrytown, New York asked -How do you support young writers that struggle with fine motor control not with the formation of ideas? Execution vs. creativity.
Sometimes, you just have to say, “Let’s not worry about neatness or mechanics today.” That’s OK, really, because even a professional writer sometimes just has to get their ideas down on paper and there will always be time for editing or re-writing later. So let’s not correct everything during the brainstorming lessons. Take time later for correcting, guiding, and using that teachable moment to reinforce skills in a private, friendly way so kids gain confidence and are more willing to take risks and use more challenging words. Otherwise, you will spend your year getting simple writing like, “I like my mom,” because they will be intimidated and afraid to use more challenging words. 
And, to encourage neatness and accuracy during the final draft lessons, ask students to come up to you to show you their best letter, word, or sentence. They will be so proud to share that with you and it will raise their level of awareness about the appearance of their final product. 

I'll be back in a day or so to answer even more questions. 


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