Monday, March 17, 2014

List Paper FREEBIE

Yippee!! We have our first Teachers Pay Teachers Freebie up for grabs!

Usually somewhere in the year I do a little mini-unit on list writing. I find the best time to do this is right after our first writing unit in the fall. Little newbies find the expectations of writing rather rigorous, even if they know letters and words coming in. It is a complex task to hear individual sounds in words, link that sound to the proper letter, remember to look for sight words in the room, and then keep track of just what they were trying to say in the first place!

To change things up for a week or two I break out the old list paper. It is a refreshing change of genre, has real life use for kindergartners, and frees them up from trying to write a whole story. We look at all sorts of lists-- to-do lists, gift lists, book lists, shopping lists, to name a few. This kind of writing asks kids to organize their ideas by the one category they are writing about. They can then concentrate on writing the letters heard in just one word at a time, with no need for a whole sentence.

List writing provides students with lots of success. They feel productive as the list fills up quickly. I've seen many students get really excited when they can still read the list the next day! This is a big accomplishment for kids who often forget what they wrote after they got five words on a line. One little guy this year made a birthday gift list for his mom. On the title line he wrote Mom's Birthday Presents like this, "mom bd pst." Then he wrote slippers "spr," book "bk," and dog, "dg." (hmm, I had to wonder exactly who wanted the dog...) The next day he got out his list, grinned broadly, and proudly read to me, "Mom's birthday presents.  Slippers, books, and a dog!" Then he started adding to it.

And the other great thing about lists is that they can be used all year. I leave out a supply of list paper in the writing center and all sorts of lists are generated as the kids write and write and write-- having fun even as they practice stretching their words. It catches on so well that on occasion when I say to the class that we will be doing this and this and this today, a student will hop up and say, "Mrs. Wright, I'll make the list!" It's nice having secretaries :)

The best list paper has just a seed of an illustrated idea because it can grow so many different lists. Paper with a picture of wrapped packages at the top, for example, can generate birthday wish lists for students, family and friends, Christmas lists, gift lists so thank yous can be written, and shopping lists to use when buying presents. Lists with toys at the top can help generate wish lists, itemized lists of games kids own, games their friends own, games to play on the weekend or vacations, favorite toys, toys at school in the classroom, indoor recess games, after school care games, things to do with the babysitter... you get the idea. I put out plain list paper, too, and sometimes the kids illustrate their own. For the most part I don't want kids drawing at this time, but writing-- think of a word, stretch to write the sounds they hear, repeat. Practice of exactly the skill they need, useful to them, and FUN.

So, Jonathan and I created some list paper with room for a name at the top, a little illustration to get them going, and a line for the title of the list. The rest of the list is full of lines for writing. There are two lists per page so you get a double bang from one sheet of paper, while keeping the paper format long. And Jonathan's illustrations are original and adorable, if I do say so myself :) The freebie includes eight different list papers.

If you haven't done list writing yet this year, you can do it now. And if you have, these can spruce up your list paper supply. I hope you and your students enjoy these little writing sparks! Just click here on this preview to grab it.

Please, please, please leave feedback. It is really important as we are just starting out!  Thanks!

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1 comment:

  1. These great list papers will make 'writing the room' and doing 'shopping lists' more fun! Thank you!