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First Grade Writer's Workshop
Writing Workshop Procedure:

Our class participates daily in Writer's Workshop. Our lesson begins with a mini-lesson to teach a particular writing skill, then the students write independently while the teacher confers with individual students or meets with a small group. We end our workshop with providing students an opportunity to share their stories with either their writing buddy or other people at their table. The students keep their stories in their writing portfolios.

Writing Grades:

Each student's writing grade is determined by the content, not by their handwriting skills. First graders should be able to write complete thoughts across one or more pages, using punctuation, appropriate capitalizations, and be able to organize their thoughts. First grade writing is scored using a writing rubric to determine Writing Stages 1-6. The writing stage expectations are as follows:

*August: Stage 2-3.5
*December: Stage 3-4
*May: Stage 4-6


What does each writing stage look like?

Stage 1:
The writing consists of pictures and/or scribbling to communicate. The student
uses mock letters to convey meaning. The writing consists of a random string of letters and possibly some phonetically-related approximations, however a complete thought can not be deciphered. Some concepts of print may be evident
such as spacing between mock words, left to right directional pattern, and correct return sweep.

Stage 2:
Print concepts are evident such as left to right directional pattern, correct return sweep, and spacing between words. Phonetically-related approximations, correct first letters, and approximations using some phonemes may also be evident. Some sight words are spelled correctly. At least one complete thought is expressed and can be read with only minimal need for translation.

Stage 3:
The writing consists of simple, logical (structurally correct) sentences that make sense. Some specific details may be evident. Simple sight words are spelled correctly and approximations represent enough phonemes to be easily understood. Capital letters are used at the beginning of sentences and an attempt to use ending punctuation is evident. Listing of sentences is typical at this stage.

Stage 4:
The writing is generally focused, although it may contain some loosely related information. Its organizational pattern is evident with a simple beginning, weakly developed middle, and a simple ending. The writing contains complete thoughts with at least one phrase or sentence elaborating another. The word choice is adequate, but ordinary and occasionally vague. Sight words are generally spelled correctly and approximations contain all phonemes. Pronouns, capital letters, and ending punctuation are generally used correctly.

Stage 5:
The writing is focused on the topic and its organizational pattern shows a more developed beginning, middle, and end. There is elaboration of more than one idea. Word choice is often adequate, often specific, and related to the topic.
Sentences are varied and usually complete. Similes and metaphors, if used enhance the description. The writing contains more correct spelling than approximations. Pronouns, capital letters, and conventions of punctuation are generally correct.

Stage 6:
The writing is focused and its organizational pattern provides for a logical sequence of ideas with a well-developed beginning, middle, and end. Support is substantial with more than one sentence elaborating another. Details are specific and relevant. Word choice is effective and precise. Similes and metaphors, if used, enhance the description. Sentences are varied and complete. Several paragraphs and the use of transition words may be evident.
Few, if any, convention errors occur in mechanics, usage, and punctuation. Spelling is generally correct.

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