Guest Blogging

I guest blogged for the first time this week. In case you have not seen it at Pocket Full of Kinders, I decided to repost here. Please visit Shuana's site - it is wonderful!


I am thrilled that this is my FIRST guest blog entry, and I am grateful to Shuna for allowing me to do so! The topic for today is: WRITING and how to ensure that Kindergarten students take responsibility for their writing through peer and self-assessments.

At the beginning of each year, I model and show my students how to set criteria for various classroom procedures. Once we have set criteria, we begin to hold ourselves and one another accountable for following that criteria. Same is true for writing.

*If you would like to know more about how I set criteria, please visit one of my prior posts here.*

After many mini-lessons and examples of what good writing looks like, we begin to talk about the parts necessary to make our writing the best! For this posting, I will use writing sentences as the example.

When students write sentences, there are many parts the standards state must be present:
  • Upper case letter at the beginning
  • Spaces between words
  • Left-to-right progression of writing
  • Punctuation at the end of each sentence
  • Sounding out words
  • Neatness
  • Does the sentence make sense?
After they tell me all these items, I create a chart like this:

We call this our STAR Sentence criteria chart. Throughout the year, during any center or genre writing students produce, they will use this criteria chart to check their work to ensure they have ALL the parts listed.

Now, how do we make sure they are using the chart? Practice, practice, model, model. I model how to use the chart many times with my own writing or any shared writing we complete together.

Another way to make sure they are using the criteria is to have them self- and/or peer-assess using the following form PRIOR to conferencing with the teacher. I try to keep it simple for use in kindergarten, where students can color in the star when they have that particular element evident throughout their writing: (click image for {FREE} resource)

How do you hold students accountable for their work? How do you teach students how to peer- and self-assess? If you have any questions or comments, I would love to hear them! Hope this guest blog entry has been beneficial!