Sunday, May 20, 2012

Our New Bookmarks

Since we've come back from Spring Break, we've been working on journal writing every morning. I told my class that the second grade teachers came in over break to look at their work and really wanted them to practice writing. {Works every time ;)}

It's been a really nice start to our mornings. We usually write "Weekend News" on Monday, we'll practice our HM strategy skill on Tuesday,  free write on Wednesday and either a silly story or writing prompt on Thursday. Friday is our "day off".

My students' writing has improved SO much!! I've always struggled teaching writing so that was really my personal focus this year. I am very proud of my students!

The other morning I gave my students their writing prompt and told them I was setting our timer for 20 minutes. They all groaned. Want to know why?? Because they wanted 30 minutes instead!!! Melt my heart, proud teacher right here!

To help motivate them and reassure them that I think what they are writing is important, I check their journal entries, every single day. I love to read what they write and I've gotten it down to a science so that it doesn't take me longer than two minutes to go around the whole room. However, there was one thing that was really bothering me!!!

Every single day while walking around and checking their writing, I found that I needed to remind more than half of my class to check their conventions. "Did you remember to start your sentence with a capital letter? What should go here? Is this is first grade sentence?" Every single day!!!

Then it hit me. They've probably tuned my voice out at this point of the year anyway. What could I do to make sure they remembered these important things so that their second grade teachers wouldn't come knock on my door! they're ready for second grade? I got a brilliant idea!
Self check bookmarks!!!
Meaningful and functional bookmarks!

I made some new posters to hang on our writing bulletin board {I think the others were just starting to blend in!} and introduced them to my students.

After we talked about the expectations, I gave them all their new bookmarks, with ribbons! They loved them! I seriously love first graders!

We practiced using them with a journal page that I wrote out and printed for all of them. We looked to make sure all the sentences started with a capital letter. We fixed the sentences and then check! We looked for periods. Fixed the periods, then check! We looked for spaces...fixed the spaces...check! You get it!

The next morning, during journal writing, I reminded them all to get out their bookmarks. I didn't check their writing until I saw the check marks on their bookmarks. I think using their dry erase markers and personal erasers was their favorite part ;)

After I checked their work, they erased their bookmarks and put them in their journals. 

And I didn't have to ask them any questions...not even once!

You can pick up your own self check bookmarks, which include 2 sets of writing posters and 2 types of practice pages at my TpT store or TN shop.
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  1. Love the bookmarks! Writing skills are super important!
    First Grade Blue SKies

  2. I LOVE this! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's having issues with conventions. It seems to be the same repeat offenders, but it starts to drive me bonkers! ;) My students will love these bookmarks. It's a great way to get them to edit their work. I'll definitely be getting these from your store. Thanks!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  3. This is seriously smart Hadar--plus they're beautiful!! When are you out of school...I think you and I are finishing around the same time, our students' last day is June 21st and ours is the 22nd. Are you with me girl?!

  4. Love the book marks:) If you ever want to read up a little on writing {my favorite thing to teach!} check out this book

    We used it for my last class for ESL endorsement and it is a pretty amazing resource on writing.

  5. PRECIOUS! I love those booksmarks. That ribbon adds a little extra something ;). What a fabulous way to get students to remember conventions. LOVE IT!

    A Year of Many Firsts

  6. The bookmarks are a wonderful idea! I just added them to my cart. I was also hoping that you would have you writing posters for sale too. You have the greatest ideas!


  7. Janice, I do! The bookmarks, posters and a practice page are all in the download :)

  8. I love how they turned out! Super cute and useful!

    Tales From Outside the Classroom

  9. What a great idea! My students tend to slack a little on their Morning Journals and this will help me kick it up a notch!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  10. Great idea...Thanks for sharing!

  11. You know I love these and will be using them!
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  12. Hadar... these couldn't be MORE perfect. You KNOW how much I am in LOVE with teaching writing! :D

  13. How in the world do you come up with all this cuteness? I really like this!!

  14. These are GREAT!! I love them!! Are you going to make any fun crafts this summer??

  15. Hadar,
    I just watched your presentation for the Kinder Expo from January. I know I am late to the game, but that weekend I had my kids and I am just NOW finding some time watch all of the presentations. I got a lot of great ideas from you today! I downloaded all of the goodie bag items that day, but I am having trouble finding them. Can you please let me know the exact title so I can search for it on my computer? Thanks! I am excited about looking at the songs you referred to on your video.

  16. Hi Karen,

    The file is called Songs in the Classroom, however it was not part of the goodie bag. It should still be available in the presentation. If you need another copy just send me an email!


  17. What a wonderful idea! I will be adapting this for m 4th graders. Writing is super important in 4th and I know they will need some reminders. Thanks!

    Fun is Found in Fourth