Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Hi everyone! I don't know about all of you, but here in Winnipeg, Manitoba, it is dreadfully cold. I mean, C-O-L-D! Today it was -36°C (including wind chill), which converts to about -32.8°F. It has been so cold here the last week, we are on our second week of indoor recess, and to be honest, my firsties are beginning to act a little crazy wild! 

As we settle into the academic routines of our second term, my expectations for my student's writing usually becomes more rigid and concrete than the previous term. One of the things we have been utilizing in the classroom throughout the school year to help us become better writers is a '5 Star Writing Criteria'. Each time we write, we review what good writers do and what my expectations are for them as writers. I have designed the criteria like a checklist, so as they complete a writing activity, they can reflect and assess what they have done correctly, as well as what needs to be improved or changed. To reinforce these expectations, I have it displayed on my SMARTboard during all writing activities, as well as have laminated copies at each table group. Having a laminated copy for each student, encourages the importance of assessing their work themselves, and of course reduces the amount of paper that is wasted. I have included picture prompts for each of the 'stars', to help those students who are unable to read, especially at the beginning of the year. The first picture prompt in the '5 Star Writing Criteria', the paintbrush, is supposed to signify how good writers include sufficient details, so that it 'paints' an image in the reader's mind.

5 Star Writing Criteria

To compliment the '5 Star Writing Criteria', I also developed a '5 Star Picture Criteria'. In grade 1, so often the picture tells as much of the story as the writing does, so for this reason, it is important to be explicit in what good writers do in their accompanying pictures. Because we have used both criterias simultaneously since the beginning of the year, all my students are aware of the expectations, but still often need gentle reminders to review their work and make any edits or improvements.    

5 Star Picture Criteria

I hope you find the criterias helpful in your own classroom. As usual, if you decide to use them, please leave me a comment! I would love to hear your thoughts! Have a wonderful evening, and stay warm!



Anita said...

Just received the penguin giveaway package today--thanks!!! Hope you are keeping warm :)
Mrs. Bremer’s Kindergarten

Laura said...

Love the 5 star pics! Come join the fun! i just tagged you!

Peace, Love and First Grade

Amy said...

Love it, and I'm your newest follower!

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