I am really trying to capture my own ideas here. Most importantly, the ones that are kind of spur of the moment, fun things that come up day to day.

Well, today I was teaching my first graders how to use a web to do writing. Last year, I had tons of kiddos copy the words from their webs on their writing pages in a list, instead of forming sentences with them.

This year I went to teach the same lesson, in the moment remembered that struggle from last year, and thought of how I could help my first graders understand that their web idea was just where they “caught” their small ideas, like a spider would catch a fly.

Today’s topic was writing about a special birthday!

We brainstormed together, students completed their own webs with words like “cake, party, friends,   candy, fun, beach, restaurant”


Then, when it came time to write, I had the students catch their ideas (choose one), whisper it into their clasped hands, shake their hands and ask “What is it I wanted to write about ‘party’? Oh yes, I wanted to write ‘I had a party. ‘ See how my idea grew?”

The students then practiced it, and it was incredible! Each student wrote complete thoughts about the ideas on their web organizers. I don’t know if this will continue to work, but it’s exciting enough to write about.

I tell my class that there’s a lot of magic in first grade. Growing our ideas was one of those first grade magic moments 🙂


We also made cute little birthday cakes during the hot afternoon hours, when the main goal is to be still and stay hydrated! I’ll display these on the back bulletin board for the kids to see. It’s a nice addition to our All About Me unit. It’s also amazing how many of them learn their birthday on this day!