In all honesty, some days I love teaching writing, and others days I’m definitely not quite feeling the love. I love it because you can see SO much progress throughout the year. I feel like student’s writing abilities tell me so much about their overall reading skills. However, writing is just plain time consuming! With everything that has to fit into a day, sometimes writing gets cut pretty short. For this reason, I had to find a way to make the most out of my writing instruction.
I felt like a broken record with teaching, and reteaching, and reteaching how to structure a story. I wanted my students to write a topic sentence, three detail sentences, and a closing. Now, of course, I broke this format down into numerous mini-lessons, but still so many of my students were not getting it. I had to find a better way.
I began by teaching the students this rainbow format for organizing their writing. I laminated the colored paper to work on whole class writing assignments.
I modeled how to write a story using this format by writing with dry erase markers onto each colored paper.
We discussed how each color was a different part of our story (topic, details, and closing). We really focused on each color containing a complete sentence. I have a couple of students that want to connect every sentence in the story with the word “and.” This format really helped them to break that habit.
I created individual graphic organizers for each of my students by cutting out 2 1/4 inch strips of colored paper and laminating them.
The students used dry erase markers to write their own stories.
They loved this! Any opportunity that they have to use dry erase markers is a win in their minds. This was the perfect visual for my students to see that each color had its own sentence.
The organizers made transferring their writing over to their writing paper so easy.
We went back and used markers to check and make sure that they included each colored section.
These colored star stickers are also great for having students find each part of their story.
This was definitely a win for writing! We will be using this format a lot more frequently in my classroom. I created a practice packet that includes the printables, organizers, practice pages, and writing prompts. On days when it’s just too time consuming to do the full dry erase organizer, this sheet below is perfect!
You can click on the picture below to check out the entire packet.
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