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August 28, 2013

My Writing Board: VOICES

Hello everyone.  I've had a bunch of questions regarding my VOICES (Writing) board, so I figured I would take some up close pictures today during prep.  

This board basically takes up one wall of the classroom.  It's big - but you can see that there is a lot of stuff included in it.  At one point last year I had put both VOICES and FACE strategies on the same board, but with all the stuff that I really want to have available to my students it worked better to separate.  The elements on both boards came from Ladybug's Teacher Files - so cute!   

The V in VOICES stands for the writer's voice.  I know, repetitive.  In my classroom, 4th graders specifically learn about Point of View and Author's Purpose.  I start the year with all the strategies showing since it's review of things they know.

O is for Organization.  How can they organize their writing?  Paragraphs, summary, response to literature, narrative, and research... 

I is for Ideas.  Ideas come from many different places, but I mainly want them to know there is always something to write about.  That they are never completely done learning and practicing.  We make up heart maps the first week of school of things they love in their lives.  I give them index cards and they brainstorm journal prompts (that we stick in a big plastic jar).  They have those Whole Class Writing Journals to write in.  They can write me letters.  There is always something...

C is for Conventions.  They need to check their work to make it the best it can be...   Most of these colors go with the Rainbow Edit system that I use.  

E is for Excellent Word Choice.  We talk a lot about using lots of details so the reader can form those pictures in their brains (visualization).  That they need to make sure there are tons of adjectives and examples.  We discuss their use of vocabulary - the need for strong words.  

S is for Sentence Fluency.  We talk about how each sentence in a paragraph better not have the same word (the, a, I, etc...) to start each sentence- that no one wants to read something so blah and boring.  We review transition words/signal words.

These all just hang up across the top of the board, and then I have other things underneath.  Here they are close up.  

The kids loved the activity of brainstorming (looking it up in a thesaurus) different ways to say common words.  I hung the french fry cups up with pushpins, and the blue words are just paper clipped to the cup.  We had just finished the activity when some of the kids made me promise that we would do it again.  :)  Love the buy in.  I told them that we would do it again once a month.    

Here's my Rainbow Edit poster up close - also on the board.

I hope this answers some of your questions.  Hope you had a great day!  


  1. Love your VOICES board. Thanks for taking up close and personal pictures. Love the rainbow edit too!
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  2. Your voices idea looks great - I will have to pin that one!

    Teaching Maths with Meaning


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