A large part of the writing curriculum is our Memory Book project. Each month, I make sure to take a number of pictures of students doing work and play. Field trips, special visitors, and every day "stuff" gets documented. Then, at the end of the month I print out a group of photographs to use as writing prompts, and children take several work periods to write about each memory.
We do this for many reasons:
* It is a great way to remember and reflect on what we've done.
* It provides a way to practice various skills - one week, we may focus on making sure we have space between each word, another week we may work on using upper and lower case letters.
* It is a natural way to provide differentiation where all children can find success. The beginning writers may write a word or two, often looking up to the "word bank" on the board. More experienced writers are encouraged to write 2-3 sentences on a topic.
* It shows growth. At the middle and end of the year, it is interesting for the student (and helpful for me) to have clear progress in writing skills displayed.
* It because a wonderful time capsule of your child's first and/or second grade year - one that they may want to revisit time and time again. Grandparents and other relatives often love to spend time with their special little one, looking through their memory books of school.
Here are some random samples for you to enjoy: